Can I purchase fishing life jackets at Anaconda?
Yes, you can. No matter where and at which time of your you go fishing, it is always recommended that you wear a life jacket or personal flotation device to assist you in case of emergency if you are fishing from a boat, kayak or canoe. A life jacket, or PFD (personal flotation device), allows you to stay afloat if you fall into the water. Boating laws require each passenger to have an approved life jacket when in a boat, and children should be wearing them. Regulations can vary from state to state or country to country, so make sure you check up on the requirements in your chosen area before you set off.
What should I be looking for when choosing a fishing life jacket?
Here are some of the key features to keep in mind:
Low-Bulk Design: Look for a life jacket that has flotation panels in the front and back, while offering a low-bulk design around the shoulders, neck and sides. Having minimum bulk and fabric toward the top and sides of the life jacket will allow your arms to move more freely, which is important when casting.
Pockets & Gear Loops: Life jackets designed for fishing often have zip pockets and gear loops. Pockets are useful for holding lures, flies, pliers and other fishing tools to make sure you have them to hand when needed. You can also store a whistle and small flashlight in a pocket for safety. Gear loops work in much the same way, allowing you to attach gear to the outside of your life jacket.
Panel Positioning: If you are planning to go kayak fishing, make sure you look for a life jacket with a high back panel. The back panel of a kayaking life jacket sits just above the kayak for maximum comfort. Another important issue is comfort: look for breathable, mesh panels in the design of your life jacket if you plan to go fishing in hot and humid conditions.
Inflatable: Using an inflatable PFD rather than one that is inherently buoyant is one way to keep bulk at a minimum. Inflatable PFDs are designed to be inflated only once you find yourself overboard, usually by pulling a special tab, located at the front of the PDF. Inflatable life jackets, which are designed for adult use only, are best used in calm waters rather than in fast-moving rivers or streams. Children should never be fitted with Inflatable PDFs.
Colour: While many life jackets are designed in bright colours or with reflective panels or strips, some fishermen feel that this is a drawback when it comes to attracting fish, as the bright colours or sun reflecting of the high-vis areas may startle their catch. Luckily, there are fishing life jackets in more muted colours as well as several that have a camouflage design, so if you want to trade the safety aspect for a more inconspicuous appearance, the option is there for you.
No matter which life jacket or PDF you end up choosing, make sure that you have the correct fit, know how to operate it in an emergency and if possible, have tested it in calm or shallow water. Always make sure you are wearing your life jacket or have it close at hand.