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By fishsaint78
#2253628
I was gifted a sea ghost 130 this Christmas and now I'm looking for recommendations for a lifejacket. I want one that doesnt get in the way too much and maybe has some pockets. Not keen on the auto inflate ones. Im also cheap, so theres that. Whatcha got?

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By TexasJim
#2253632
Also, being frugal(cheap), I used a $20 Onyx PFD with two large front pockets, for five years. It was functional, but not very good, and the foam started disintegrating, so I started searching for a replacement. I wanted a PFD with the high back foam flotation to clear my seat. I wanted lots of functional pockets. I didn't want to spend a lot. Most every PFD that met my needs was $80+ to over $100 dollars. Austin Canoe and Kayak had a 25% off special on the NRS Chinook, which put it at $83.00, so I sprung for it. I'm really pleased with the quality, fit, kayaker-friendly design and all SEVEN pockets! They really put a lot of thought in that PFD. The ones in my hopeful price range didn't come close to this one. The Stolquist PFD's look really good, but they're at or over $100.00.

Good luck! TexasJim
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By OrangeQuest
#2253644
Why you want pockets? Energy bars, whistle, maybe a knife to cut you free of line you may get tangled in? Those are all good things to put in pocket on your lifejacket. Good jackets for paddling have most the floatation in the front and just enough to rest your head on and keep your face parts out of the water enough so you suck air and not water. Because all that floatation is in the front for some people it's gets in the way when they try to get back in the boat , then you start adding tackle that makes it even harder.

Good paddling jackets have big arm opening so your arms are free to move also make it easy to cast. When you go shopping for one and find something you like, put it on. Make sure you tighten it up enough so when you pull up on the shoulder straps you can't pull it over your head. Loosen it up a little and walk around with it on and practice a few different paddle strokes, notice if it rubs anywhere. Try casting while wearing it. Bend over and reach for your toes. Find a chair and sit down and again try a few strokes and casts.

Two things you don't want to be cheap on. Your paddle that gets you from point A to B and back. The PFD that you enjoy wearing and it doesn't get in your way. Both will last you a life time.
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By kickingback
#2253686
I have a NRS Chinook. It is at the average price for a life vest. It is comfortable in the back with a high riding back float that is high enough to not interfere with your seat back. I have had mine for over a year and a half and never have torn, damaged, or hurt this jacket in any way. Lots of pockets and attachment points. I carry my Horizon 300 radio on the jacket at all times and it is out of the way. I have safety whistle, lights, and other items in the jacket at all times and it is still comfortable without any interference with kayak operation.
You can find them for $80-$110 on the net.
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By crusher
#2254000
Two things you don't want to be cheap on. Your paddle that gets you from point A to B and back. The PFD that you enjoy wearing and it doesn't get in your way. Both will last you a life time.

Totally agree.

I'm normally pretty cheap on myself too. I've outfitted me and my couple boys. If I'd have bought my NRS Chinook as my first pfd and either my Werner or AT paddles first, I'd have spent less money in the long run, been more comfortable and efficient getting around earlier, and probably be a few trips more advanced due to the slow uncomfortable trips my first year.
Get a good pfd and paddle and in a years time you'll be really happy you did it right the first time.
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By Ron Mc
#2254060
one way to look at paddles is your first less-expensive paddle can be a back-up in your hold.

That said, even for your first, avoid cheap aluminum shaft paddles - nothing less than fiberglass. - flexing of aluminum shaft paddles lengthens your paddle home and also slows you down to get to the fish.
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