February 10, 2012

Guest Post - A Great In-vest-ment: Personal Flotation!

Yeah, I didn't write this post.

I get offers from time to time from people representing brands, retailers, or whatever to write guest posts.  I always used to draw a line and pretty much say no, but I made an exception for Lee from Savvyboater.com.  Considering that Pennsylvania is going to enact mandatory personal flotation device regulations later this year, I thought the content was timely and worth sharing.


So you're heading out for a big day of fishing. You've got your rod, reel, tackle box, creel and your lunch is all packed. You're ready to roll! But don't forget your most important piece of gear - a life jacket (or PFD - personal flotation device).

So if you're thinking "PFD! I don't need no stinking PFD!" well, think again. Nine out of 10 drownings occur in inland waters, most within a few feet of safety. Weather and water conditions can change at a moment's notice, and even strong swimmers, when injured can drown. The majority of drowning victims actually had access to a PFD, but they didn't wear it! A life jacket can save your life – but only if you put it on! And, in most states, a USCG approved PFD is required.

But fortunately, there is a selection of good fishing vests out there designed specifically to meet the unique requirements of anglers, providing not only safety, but comfort and functionality. The Evolution Camouflage Fishing and Sportsman Vest is a great fishing vest for the active sportsman.

Its lightweight construction contours to your body and won't hinder mobility. It features durable foam flotation, two large pockets (plenty of storage space) with D-ring attachment, three adjustable belts and a stylin' camouflage design. A USCG approved Type III vest, it's a great value at $32.95.

Evolution also offers a Deluxe Mesh Sport Fishing Vest, a Type III vest that features mesh shoulders, back and sides to keep you cool and comfortable for all-day fishing (49.95).

For the fisherman needing maximum flexibility, a full range of motion and all day comfort, the First Watch AV-400 Recreational Mesh Vest is just what the angler ordered.

Featuring a cool, lightweight mesh top, a soft neoprene collar and wide cut armholes, this vest is so comfortable you barely know you're wearing it! This Type III vest has a rugged, durable ripstop nylon shell, two large cargo pockets, (with hand warmer compartments), zipper closure with adjustable buckles (for a secure fit) and form fitting soft flotation foam. All this for only $59.95!

While these vests are good options for anglers fishing in calm, inland waters where there is a good chance for quick rescue, they are not intended for non-swimmers, survival in rough water or open sea, and they will not turn an unconscious wearer to a face-up position. Depending on your needs, you may want to consider an inflatable life vest as an alternative to a conventional fishing vest. While still allowing freedom of movement, they're available in USCG Type III and V should you be fishing in rougher water. For more info on what is the right PFD for you, check out these handy Life Jacket Resources.

So play it smart and safe. Any of these great fishing vests can help make your next outing a safe and comfortable one. As far as productive, well that's up to you.


As noted above, this post was written by Lee at SavvyBoater.com.  I currently hold no affiliation with Lee or SavvyBoater, and was not compensated for this post.  As with all guest posts on Troutrageous! the opinions expressed are solely those of the guest author as you should all know by now that I'm generally too lazy to come up with opinions of my own.


  1. Very interesting...it's always time to keep safe.

  2. I never wear one unless in the boat...maybe it's time to change that, especially since I fish and hunt in waist+ deep water all through the winter.

    And especially since I already own a beautiful $100 paddling PFD that looks like the Onyx in your photo.

    Worth a thought.

  3. Michael
    Good Post---I do wear a lifejacket when I am in my boat traveling from place to place using my outboard, but as for wading I make it a practice to never get in water deeper than knee deep. I am never on the water wading without a wading staff. Thanks for sharing

  4. Oh great... There goes my easy post about the new life jacket regs! (: You are always like one full week ahead of me. Darn you Troutrageous! get outa my head!

  5. It is state law for PDF's in the stillwaters of Utah, I believe. In any case, I always carry one when out on the pontoon. I like that Type III vest a lot! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Alot of people drown in their own bathtubs. Are we going to be ok with that, too? ( probably so. *sigh...)How anyone has fished 20, 30, 40 years without drowning is beyond me. And even after my close call a few weeks ago, I have no reservations in saying that anglers should not be forced to wear a PFD while wading. How we all grew up riding bikes without helmets is beyond me too. (/sarcasm)

    1. Nevermind. I clicked the link. Who shows a guy wading with a story like this? I thought you folks in PA had totally gone off your rockers and mandated wading anglers everywhere to wear PFD's all the time. My. Bad.
      .............what I get for speed reading. :)