Fishing Forum
Skip to Content


Fishing Forum > Float Tube Fishing : Float Tubing General >

Life Jackets

fishing
Report Post | Register to Reply
Life Jackets
I was curious as to which fishing vests/life jackets the tubers on this forum use. I'm gearing up to be the new guy in the float tube here shortly, and would like some opinions and some ideas about what's out there, so I can be a bit more informed when I start shopping for one. Are there any alternatives to vests (not trying to sacrifice myself here....I still want a floatie) that I should consider. I would also like to thank everyone for helping make my transition from shore angler to waterbug that much easier.

Justin Huether
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [ram4x] Life Jackets In reply to
 
Hey there ram4x,

TubeDude and others have a great deal of advice that will give you a big-time edge on deciding on what to look for in a vest. I'm gonna add just one thing to his comments.

Recently I had occasion to talk to some Northern California kayakers. Being here in usually sunny and warm Southern California, I had failed to consider one important element when selecting a PFD. One of them mentioned they had a full sized Class II PFD when they paddled Monterey Bay!(near San Francisco)

I suddenly realized that my beloved Class III PDF i.e suspender type, SOSPENDERS (expensive but top rate), was great for hot weather and warm water but not the best protection from the weather of chilly winds of a Utah lake, Oregon river, let alone the colder ocean currents. I stand corrected and humbled.

Enough from me, Oh ya, please check our sponsors.

JapanRon
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [ram4x] Life Jackets In reply to
CoolOn this subject, JR is probably a better source of uptodate info. I have a type III Stearns, that I use primarily for boating. Arizona and many other states do not require float tubers to wear them, and I don't like the bulk and the contribution to heat stroke in high temperatures. However, whenever I am on big waters or rivers, I will be wearing extra flotation.

A lot of the new floatation vests have pockets and double as a traditional fishing vest, so you do not need both. Well stocked tackletoriums usually have a good selection, as to boating outlets...and "Wally World" (Walmart). Be sure to try them on before buying. Some are adjustable, but you need one large enough to fit over extra layers i n cold weather. I had to look to find a true double extra gross (XXL) for my petite frame. Many are made "offshore", and the sizes are not always true to US standards.

California is perhaps the most restrictive state when it comes to rules and regulations that affect flotation fishing. Some might find the requirements for vests to be onerous, but it only takes one time of needing one and you will never feel picked on again.

Both the fishing and marine catalogs for BassPro and Cabelas have vests for sale. And, as JapanRon so correctly suggested, check out some of the sponsors on BFT. They often try to provide special pricing.

I would bet that you have already spent some time surfing the net too. weigh the features and benefits against the prices and try to make a sound selection.

(This post was edited by TubeDude on May 16, 2003, 4:14 PM)
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [TubeDude] Life Jackets In reply to
I must be pointing myself in the right direction, because the PFD's that JR and TD both mentioned were two out of half a dozen that I've already looked at. I tried the Stearns (III) professional series sportvest on at Hooked Fishing Tackle, and, although I've got an inexpensive source Wink for that vest, I didn't like the rigidity of it. I think I'll look closer into the inflatables, or something less cumbersome. I sure am a finicky(sp) shopper! Does anyone else have .02 they'd like to throw in, I'd greatly appreciate it. By the time I'm done getting outfitted I'll be able to write my own book "How to explain to your wife WHY IT TOOK SO LONG TO GET HOME FROM WORK."
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [ram4x] Life Jackets In reply to
CoolIf Rip Van Winkle could pull it off, a fisherman should be able to. But then again, fishing wives are used to tall tales. You'd better have some good backup.

Don't know if I would recomment plan B...turning your spouse into a fisherperson. I'm still working through the subtleties of that one, with Tube Babe. There are upsides and downsides. It's bad enough losing Tshirts to your wife...but when she takes over your favorite rods and lures, then you may need to see a marriage counselor...or a fishing guide.

My suggestion, for the state you fish, is to go with compact but serviceable. Have something available if you need it, but don't sacrifice space and mobility...expecially when you are just getting started. You will get so bogged down in extraneous gear you can't focus on fun.