This is arguably the most important piece of safety equipment that any kayak angler can bring out on the water with them. Some people may say a VHF radio, or flares, or a knife, etc but you can use none of those items if you do not have a PFD on and subsequently sink like a stone!
Going afloat without a PFD is foolish in the extreme. Accidents do happen and a PFD will greatly enhance your chances of getting out of the water and giving yourself a fighting chance of being able to enjoy your kayak fishing long into the future. I would not recommend that anybody leave the shore without one and I have cancelled days on the water after realising that I had forgotten my PFD.
PFD’s come in lots of various shapes and sizes and what one kayak angler finds useful and comfortable may be totally unsuitable for another. The PFD that I use is called the ‘Kaikoura’ produced by Palm Equipment. The jacket is well constructed with strong materials and most importantly, it keeps me afloat with my head clear of the water. Find a full review of the ‘Kaikoura’ here.
This PFD is comfortable to wear and handy for keeping small items of tackle organised with its multitude of pockets. Whichever type of PFD you decide on, make sure that it is a comfortable fit and capable of keeping you afloat.
A very good range of PFD’s can be found in Ireland at the Canoe Centre.