By Josh Duke
Your personal flotation device (PFD), also known as a life jacket or life vest, is perhaps the most important piece of equipment that you have in your kayak. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my fishing rods and reels, but the reality is that a quality PFD is a must (and required in most states) for any avid fisherman, especially a kayak fisherman.
For kayak fishermen a PFD is much more than just a flotation device. PFDs have evolved to meet the needs of fishermen while at the same time making sure they are safe in the event of an emergency. They have become in themselves a tool and an accessory for many kayak fishermen.
Here are a few of my favorite features of the Bahia Tour.
Living in Florida it’s a necessity to have gear that is lightweight and breathable. When you are paddling long distances you need a life jacket that allows you to move freely while still being comfortable with your PFD on. The Bahia Tour is a great blend of all of these features. It is compact and has a mesh vent panel that will allow it to breathe. It also provides multiple adjustment points that will allow you to get the PFD to fit you perfectly.
One of my favorite features of the Bahia Tour is the front pockets. It has a spot for your pliers and for your fishing license (I leave a copy of my license in the pocket). It has two side pockets that are great for storing your whistle or a few extra baits. There are also two lash tabs that work great for a light or a small knife.
If you are going to be on the water for longer periods of time, comfort is extremely important so that your fishing experience can be enjoyable. The Bahia Tour is very comfortable and can be adjusted to a paddler’s liking. An important feature of the Bahia is that it has a high back, which means the foam on the back of the flotation device sits higher on your shoulders. This is extremely important in terms of comfort because it prevents your life jacket from interfering with your seat and gives you a wide range of motion.
Having had this life jacket for over three years, it has seen everything from heavy rain, mud, long periods of exposure to the sun, and the occasional hook snag. Through all of this it has held up great and I have had zero issues.
If you are in the market for a new PFD or looking to upgrade your current one, be sure to take a close look at the Kokatat Bahia Tour. With the combination of lightweight comfort and options for holding additional gear, the Bahia Tour is a great choice for any kayak angler.
For more info and reviews on the Bahia Tour be sure to check out Austinkayak.com.ABOUT JOSH: I am a husband, dad, outdoorsman and avid fisherman. I am also the founder of Florida Kayak Anglers, which was created to build community and unite kayak anglers in the state of Florida. Web: floridakayakanglers.com – Twitter: @joshuaduke – Instagram: @joshduke10