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Discussion Starter #1
Have decided to do something about this for next year.
Have no experience of what its like to have an auto jacket 'inflate' (thankfully) when in the water.
I know having a 150n life jacket keeping you up must be the best thing but with the sort of places that we fish (rock hopping) would the sheer baulk of the inflated jacket make manouvering and 'getting out' or 'climbing out' more difficult ?
I have been looking at some of the flotation devices as well and climbing out would not be such a problem in one of those etc.
What do you all think ?
 

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From what little experience i have of them being used i never had a problem getting out of the water. The main advantage would be with the 150 newtonss of pressure they are designed to flip you onto your back and keep your head up incase of losing conciousness.
I have used PFD's yakaking and never had issues used horse shoe harnessses on boats never had issue. they are not realy noticable when there fishing away for instances watch the competition fly anglers on large stil waters.
They have to waer a life jacket of some sort as per rules and the are fly casting all day long. so there can't be movement issues there.
Anyways that just my 2 pennies worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mike I think what I am wandering is, when the life jacket has inflated and the person is bobbing around would the shear baulkiness of the inflated jacket hamper attemps to get out.
 

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it does me mate i swin on my back by and large when i have to anyways hate swimming im crap at it.
when they are inflated yes they are bulky though they dont haper so much as to stop you getting out. the advantages out weigh the disadvantages.
 

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I have used all types of life jackets including a number in anger! I would make the following observations:

- Auto-inflate can go off when you get hit by a big wave and drenched. The best auto-inflation devices work when they have been submerged for a short period of time - 5-10 seconds. Make sure you know what you are buying
- If you are likely to have to get out on your own buy a jacket not a horseshoe type, with straps that go under both legs to 2 attachment points on the front. If you look at military pilot and coxswain lifejackets they are jacket type for in part for this reason
- Horseshoe life jackets will keep you afloat and get you noticed by rescuers. More than once I have seen people being rescued where a line was attached to the individual and then the lifejacket burst to get them into the boat even with help. Rocks are not much different.
- How likely is it you are going to be unconscious? If likely then an auto inflate horseshoe life jacket is good.

When doing work where we expected to be washed off rocks I have always used a jacket type buoyancy aid that allowed me to swim and climb out unassisted. As with anything there is not one lifejacket/bouyancy aid that will do everything. The needs of an ocean going sailor are different from a pilot, diver or lure fisherman. For fishing I use a jacket type buoyancy aid with hard buoyancy because whilst slightly more bulky it allows me to swim, climb and move about freely when keeping me afloat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have used all types of life jackets including a number in anger! I would make the following observations:

- Auto-inflate can go off when you get hit by a big wave and drenched. The best auto-inflation devices work when they have been submerged for a short period of time - 5-10 seconds. Make sure you know what you are buying
- If you are likely to have to get out on your own buy a jacket not a horseshoe type, with straps that go under both legs to 2 attachment points on the front. If you look at military pilot and coxswain lifejackets they are jacket type for in part for this reason
- Horseshoe life jackets will keep you afloat and get you noticed by rescuers. More than once I have seen people being rescued where a line was attached to the individual and then the lifejacket burst to get them into the boat even with help. Rocks are not much different.
- How likely is it you are going to be unconscious? If likely then an auto inflate horseshoe life jacket is good.

When doing work where we expected to be washed off rocks I have always used a jacket type buoyancy aid that allowed me to swim and climb out unassisted. As with anything there is not one lifejacket/bouyancy aid that will do everything. The needs of an ocean going sailor are different from a pilot, diver or lure fisherman. For fishing I use a jacket type buoyancy aid with hard buoyancy because whilst slightly more bulky it allows me to swim, climb and move about freely when keeping me afloat.
A great and informative posting there Nick.
 

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- Auto-inflate can go off when you get hit by a big wave and drenched. Yep, this has happened to me, only a week before I had my 'incident' last Sunday The best auto-inflation devices work when they have been submerged for a short period of time - 5-10 seconds. This would be useful. I've learnt now when I see a wave coming towards me & that I think could drench me & set my jacket off (which is quite difficult with the way the jacket is designed), to turn away from said wave

-- How likely is it you are going to be unconscious. If likely then an auto inflate horseshoe life jacket is good.

I think the answer to this question, for most lure anglers is 'not very likely'. If it is likely then you should be asking yourself the question whether you should be fishing. However despite it being unlikely that I will become unconscious whilst fishing, my view is that as far as safety is concerned an auto inflate jacket is the better buy. For the sake of a few extra quid getting an auto inflate life jacket you're covering all eventualities. Another advantage of the auto inflate devices is that out of the water they tend to be less bulky than standard buoyancy aids. For me this is another reason why I would get an auto inflate device of some sort
Another thing worth noting Nick, is that on my auto inflate jacket you can manually deflate (or inflate) the jacket after it has auto inflated. Don't know whether this is a standard feature or not on lifejackets. With something like this, if you had gone into the water, once you'd gotten yourself close to safety you could if desired/required let out some air if it emerges that the inflated jacket is too bulky. Got to say though that my jacket is not so bulky that it stops me climbing out, that said it is only rated at 110N buoyancy
 

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another thing about auto inflates is that they can go of with a change in humidity a friend of mine had one go off hanging in his wadrobe :-D whilst he was assleep his wife was not best amused (at least it works i supose).
i myself were a manual u shape when fly fishing it doesent bother me enymore you just get used to it. but they will just slide of if you were to be rescued(god forbid) i think the fishing waist coat type come with a rescue ring on them (dont hold me to that) hope this helps.:-D
 

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another thing about auto inflates is that they can go of with a change in humidity
I can see how that might happen but it must depend on the sensitivity of the auto inflate sensor. I've had my jacket hanging up for months without any problems.

It also has a substantial waist belt & chest strap that stops the jacket riding up/becoming unzipped once inflated
 

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I've been doing some research, and identified what i believe are suitable jackets for both Luke & I. The only concern i now have, is how well my bouyancy aid will work in conjunction with my Fishpond Back / Chest Pack. Nothing is ever simple, eh :p.
 

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275N for your jacket!! You'll float to the moon lol! I would be very interested to hear how you get on if you buy or try this lifejacket on with your chest pack. I assume that you're intending on putting on the lifejacket first & then putting the chestpack/rucksac on so it sits 'around' the lifejacket?

For my next upgrade I was thinking of the same kind of combination. At present I don't know whether the straps for the pack will get in the way of the lifejacket &/or whether the chestpack would stop the lifejacket inflating properly..............
 

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275N for your jacket!! You'll float to the moon lol!

Yep, 275N. When i spoke to the friendly lady at the shop, i asked for advice, and mentioned that i'm a fat-boy. She very politely asked if i am over 18 stone. I am, so her advice was that for weights over 18 stone they recommend the 'commercial' jackets (designed for people who may be carrying tools, etc . . ). Im 19 stone, plus i tend to carry the bulk of Luke's & my gear, so probably more than 20 stone fully laden. Hence the 275N jacket.

I was actually thinking that the life jacket would need to go on 'over' the chest pack, otherwise the shoulder straps of the pack would sit on top of the life jacket. So theoretically, it would sit 'around' my chest pack.
 

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Yep, 275N. When i spoke to the friendly lady at the shop, i asked for advice, and mentioned that i'm a fat-boy. She very politely asked if i am over 18 stone. I am, so her advice was that for weights over 18 stone they recommend the 'commercial' jackets (designed for people who may be carrying tools, etc . . ). Im 19 stone, plus i tend to carry the bulk of Luke's & my gear, so probably more than 20 stone fully laden. Hence the 275N jacket.

I was actually thinking that the life jacket would need to go on 'over' the chest pack, otherwise the shoulder straps of the pack would sit on top of the life jacket. So theoretically, it would sit 'around' my chest pack.
Interesting stuff Simon. I was going to say that from memory after meeting you on Portland that I thought you & I were of similar stature. With you being 18st I'm a bit more slimline than you :) but not far off. Getting a 275N jacket is far in excess of the quoted 110N buoyancy that I've got at the moment.....food for thought.

Putting the lifejacket on after the jacket is the better way, I spose you've just got to put up with the buggeration of removing the lifejacket when you want to access the rucsac.

Did you ask the friendly lady if the chestpack would affect the lifejacket inflating at all?
 

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Did you ask the friendly lady if the chestpack would affect the lifejacket inflating at all?

I didnt get to that level of detail im afraid. By chance though, they are local, and have offered for me to come around to their warehouse & try the jackets on (they dont have a shop at the moment, but will soon). So i may head over there in the next week or so, and take my Chestpack with me for a dry-run. When i do, i'll take my camera & post some pics.
 

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So i may head over there in the next week or so, and take my Chestpack with me for a dry-run. When i do, i'll take my camera & post some pics.
Ideal. I look forward to hearing/seeing how you get on. I spose if it all works out OK you'll have the jacket for the Cornish bumble?? I could have a closer look at it & how it fits with the chestpack there.
 

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Being a watersports fiend the majority of bouyancy over the years has generally been impact jackets - basically low Newton bouyancy jackets designed to reduce imapct of hitting the water (wakeboarding / Kitesurfing / Jet Skiing etc) and I feel most comforatable knowing that my bouyancy doesn't rely on something to inflate - its always "on"

I have a Redmoon Wading jacket and it suits my needs for shore based roving - and yes it does float me with all gear and wetsuit on ... not tried with waders though ...

Hopefully this is all theoretical - the safest option is stay away from dangerous situations and play it safe - the life jacket or bouyancy aid should be treated as an emergency option only ... not a "I can stay on this rock perched in this swell for 5 minutes longer because I have a life jacket on" people still lose their lives wearing life jackets - fact.
 

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Having used both buoyancy aid and self inflate, the choice for me would only be a buoyancy aid.
I have found that if the self inflates are not fitted exactly right things can get very messy. Even with croctch straps they have a tendancy to ride up and really can hinder swimming and visual contact, A bouyancy aid will also give you some protection when you get slammed up against the rocks while trying to get out.
I noticed that matt newcombe has an intresting article on his blog about jackets.

Bouyancy aid for me.
 
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