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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Has anyone found a fishing vest PFD that works well with the Hobie boat? I have been considering buying the MTI Dio F-Spec fishing PFD but don't want something that is too bulky and will get in the way of my pedaling.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:14 pm 
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My 2cents:
Inflatables are comfy and lightweight, but if you want something more substantial and has pockets for gear, look at the Kokatat Bahia Tour pfd : http://kokatat.com/products/pfd.html


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:03 pm 
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Kokatat's SeaO2 PFD is an interesting hybrid PFD providing 7 lbs. of buoyancy until it is inflated at which point it increases to 22 lbs. of buoyancy. I can see the benefit of having less buoyancy and bulk when pedaling or if one took a tumble in the surf and yet not needing to have the full buoyancy of the vest when inflated. It is pricey at $230 or 2-3 times the cost of most fishing PFD's.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:40 am 
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NRS Chinook. I had an Extrasport Osprey before and like this one better. Less bulky, and no chafing by nylon webbing or material if you are shirtless or wearing a tank. Enough pouches and comfy with seatbacks.

I like pfds with plastic zippers to minimize corrosion from sw.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:13 pm 
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Oh yeah that Chinook looks like a good deal!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:45 pm 
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The plastic zippers will last the longest if done properly. They still need a thorough dunking in fresh water or they too will corrode in time.

Where can one put a VHF radio with the Chinook PFD?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:21 pm 
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Jcanracer wrote:
My 2cents:
Inflatables are comfy and lightweight, but if you want something more substantial and has pockets for gear, look at the Kokatat Bahia Tour pfd : http://kokatat.com/products/pfd.html


Yep!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:21 pm 
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Location: Columbia, MD
I have a NRS Chinook also. It's fine. As comfortable as my old Hobie rebranded high back Stohlquist.

I like it more for wading than for kayaking. I'm starting to have second thoughts about keeping a lot of non-lifesafety gear and tackle on the vest while in the boat. Makes bending forward or turning side to side difficult, as well as more things to snag line on or hang on during reentry.

I clipped my VHF (a small Icom 24) to the pliers loop on the lower front since I decided to keep the pliers elsewhere. I havent had a chance to test that setup yet on the water though. There's a few other small gear pockets & loops you can also use.

I like wearing a non-inflatable PFD, but am trying to streamline what I keep on it. "Fishing" PFDs kind of work counter to that philosophy.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:01 pm 
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True, and the more crap in the pockets the harder it is to slide back into the kayak if you are re-entering after falling out or capsizing.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:13 am 
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I have both a NRS Chinook and a Stohlquist Fisherman.....IMHO they both are very good choices.
My Chinook is easier/quicker to zip up due to the hanging tab and the "below the rib cage strap and quick snap design".
I do snag the fabric sleeves, of my Columbia fish and guts shirt on the NRS Velcro pocket closures unless I pay close attention when closing the pocket flaps.....making sure the Velcro is not exposed.
Both PFD's have a mesh high back design, but the Chinook has a smaller flotation/shorter flotation piece and is slightly "higher up" on your back.....this could be a benefit if your kayak seat has a higher back.
This is a non issue with the seat in my PA-14.

I like the two, "unzip and fold down front pockets" better on the Stohlquist.....easier to locate and pick out of the pocket what I am looking for.
The hard surface of the front pockets make it less likely to snag/restrict reentry into your kayak.
The adjusting strap design is very good and makes for a secure fit.

All in all, if you can try on both PFDs to see which one you prefer....make sure you a wearing the maximum clothing (jacket, rain jacket, sweater, dry suit, etc, etc) so the PFD is not too small.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:41 pm 
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In my search I found that some PFD fishing vest makers have a choice of a 34-40 chest size and then a 42-54 size and I fall in the middle. The NRS Chinook seems to have the best sizing for my 41" chest and will allow for another layer of clothing.

Trying a vest on is not an option as there are none of the fishing type stocked at local stores and even harder to find the less than mainstream ones like the Kokatat and MTI PFD's.

One that is intriguing but not shipping yet is the new one from Kokatat, the SeaO2 which provides 7.5 lbs. of buoyancy uninflated and when inflated provides 22.5 lbs. of support and can be inflated with a CO2 cartridge or orally if the cartridge fails. Expensive at $235 but an interesting approach nonetheless. The slimmer profile makes this the easiest PFD for getting back on a boat with minimal interference from the vest.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:31 am 
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The biggest down side to an inflatable PFD is reentry into your kayak once the PFD is inflated....the PA is the easiest to reenter since you can come back on to it, over the aft-flat-top surface.
My first PFD was an inflatable Bluestorm Sport 24....at the time I owned an Outback.....the first time I practiced reentry into the Outback with the PFD inflated, I could not reenter without first deflating it at least 50%....that's when I bought a NRS Chinook and 3 years later, I bought a PA-14 and the Stohlquist Fisherman PFD.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:16 pm 
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That is the advantage of the Kokotat SeaO2 as the native 7.5 lbs. is enough to keep a conscious person afloat and makes getting back into the boat easy. If one has lost their boat and is in high swells they can inflate the vest orally or use the CO2 cartridge to get the full 22.5 lbs. of buoyancy.

Wearing a neoprene farmer john wetsuit and the SeaO2 PFD not inflated provides a slim profile PFD that still provides more than enough flotation and is more "swimmable" in terms of getting back to your boat than a standard Type III PFD. Unlike the normal inflatable PFD's this one is not 100% dependent on the CO2 cartridge firing.

The 40 plus years Kokotat has been in business shows in all their gear. Of the top 4 PFD's I am looking at buying, 3 are made by Kokatat.

I bought the NRS Chinook but I am returning it as its design is the one of the least bulky but least well suited for fishing. The MTI Dio F-Spec has a lot of pockets and can hold a radio but it is the bulkiest PFD I have tried on. It is a lot bulkier than the Stohlquist Fisherman PFD. The Kotatat Guide and Bahia are the best designed in terms of having a dedicated VHF pocket with a flap and elastic side panels but also they are nearly as bulky as the Dio F-Spec.

The PFD I found best for use on a Hobie both for paddling and for ease of getting back on the boat from the water is the Kokatat SeaO2. Like the other Kokatat PFD's it has the VHF pocket but on the SeaO2 for some odd reason Kokatat chose to make the pocket smaller than on their other PFD's. I can fit my old non floating Standard Horizon radio into the pocket but not my Icom M92 floating radio.

Trying to find an optimum fishing vest and PFD all rolled into one turned out to be an impossible task. The Stohlquist Fisherman seems to be the least bad PFD - only need to figure out how best to attach a VHF radio to it.


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