Kayak personal floating devices (PFD's for short) are readily available online. Manufacturers do things differently so there are lots to choose from. That's why picking the best one might be tricky. Still, there won't be a problem so long as you put importance on the things that matter for finding the best kayak fishing PFD's.

The most essential thing for me personally to a kayak is that a life jacket. It isn't important if you're able to float like an Olympic player or if the water is quite shallow. And for social websites it's quite clear for me: no use, no talk! 

The life jackets specially created for kayak fishing aren't just life insurance, but tremendously useful with their numerous pockets. My first pick is that the NRS Chinook, in my view among the ideal life jackets on the market. For kids I urge that the NRS Vista Youth PFD and my dog always wears a life jacket (Ruffwear) if he's about the kayak.

In this article, I'll be explaining the factors that I find crucial for buying a kayak fishing PFD. Don't leave because what I'm about to say will help save time, effort, and even money when purchasing.

Pockets Pockets Pockets...

I think that a kayak fishing PFD that doesn't have a lot of pockets is sacrilegious. After all, a PFD for kayak fishing is better if it allows you to carry additional things aside from keeping you afloat during emergencies. My golden standard is that a PFD should have three pockets - two large ones and one smaller pocket. Large pockets are useful for baits while the small pockets are useful for storing hooks.

Of course, it's even better if the pockets are lined with a waterproof fabric. A waterproof pocket allows me to carry a wallet or a phone. It also ensures that these possessions of mine stay dry even if I get wet.

Ideally, I chose PFD's with pockets that are placed on the sides or at the lower portion. It's because I find it hard to get things from pockets that are placed near the chest area.

Rod Holder and Knife Holder

I also think that the best kayak fishing PFD has a knife holder and rod holder. These usually come in the form of straps that get to work as soon as you insert rods and knives. Only expensive kayak fishing PFD's have this feature. Still, some cheap ones also have this. Nevertheless, I doubt if they're as good.

I usually pick those that have two rod holders and one knife holder. Specifically, the rod holders should be at the side or the upper portion of the back. I don't like getting PFDs that have rod holders at the front because they're bulky and restricts my movement.

I consider a knife holder good if it has a scabbard. The scabbard ensures that I don't injure myself with the knife while paddling or lifting something.


Not Heavy Even When Wet

I can forgive a PFD that feels uncomfortably warm. However, I'll never think twice ignoring a PFD that feels very heavy. A kayak fishing PFD shouldn't add to the bulkiness of the items that it carries. That's why it should be as light as it can get.

There are several advantages that I enjoy when wearing light PFD. First, I am certain that it won't get in the way of efficient swimming. Second, it prevents my shoulders, back, chest, and neck from pains. Third, it encourages me to put several things in my pockets without looking sluggish.

Also, I prioritize PFD's that are still lightweight even wet. Water makes some PFD's heavier than usual. As I said before, bearing extra weight is something that I'm not very keen on.


You might have noticed that I didn't talk about the type of kayak fishing PFD's or what are the best materials for making them. It's because these are user-specific. What I explained above are the considerations that apply to all. That said, never ignore them if you're planning to get the best kayak fishing PFD in the market.