For the most part, life jackets can be quite uncomfortable causing you to put good safety underneath a seat or in storage. Life Jackets are mandatory to have aboard any watercraft, and if you are ever in rough water or in an accident, you will want to have a good life jacket that suits your purpose well. For me, I need a life jacket that suits my needs of kayak fishing:
Extremely high back
Good air flow
With this said, I demand a lot. This is why I have chosen to fish and kayak with a MTI Adventurewear Dio F-Spec. For those of you who may not know, F-Spec stands for fishing specification. You can take my word, this will definitely serve your on the water needs of fishing and kayak fishing.
I fish with Jackson Kayaks which have the most luxurious sit on top kayak seat on the market. This comes with some cost though, as there are few life jackets that fit these seats well. Standard wraparound life jackets will leave you with back aches and a tempting conscious to take your life jacket off. With the MTI Adventurewear Dio F-Spec, you have the highest back life jacket on the market. As you can see above, the Dio F-Spec perfectly contours the seat of a Jackson Kayak allowing the seat to do its job and the Dio F Spec to do its without any interference. This is almost unheard of on the market, as most life jackets will have flotation foam below in the region of the seat back causing aches and pains. The Dio F-Spec will work great with any kayak as well, as Jackson Kayaks have the highest seat backs of any on the market, so you can definitely paddle any kayak on the market with comfort in conjunction with the Dio F-Spec. The back of the Dio F-Spec also contains attachment spots that can allow you to mount a net, knife of light of some sort to your life jacket. This is especially helpful for trout fisherman who try to keep their fish in the water as much as possible and always use nets to land their fish. I do not need a net though because I live in Texas and in Texas we like to do everything with our hands and catch tough fish that can be handled.
You will also notice in the picture above that below the flotation in the back of the life jacket is mesh that allows for great air flow to keep you cool for that hot Texas heat and long days on the water. Although a life jacket is meant to serve a purpose of protecting your life, I also need a life jacket to serve me well in my fishing aspects. The Dio F-Spec does just that, as it has a tank top design which allows great arm movement for any style of casting. This is extremely crucial to me because I will cast under trees, over stumps, through grass, and anything you can think of. The straps are quite nice and also resemble a tank top. They are quite adjustable and contain very comfortable foam on the inside to help you have a better time out on the water catching huge Largemouth Bass.
Just as casting is not prohibited, neither is paddling. I can easily paddle without any interference from the Dio F-Spec, which allows me to get places fast and efficient. I am also able to stand up and paddle in my Jackson Kayak Big Tuna, which presents a slightly different angle of paddling that most life jackets prohibit. The front of the Dio F-Spec is very well designed and contains plenty of storage. The front zipper is very heavy duty and easy to use. It also has a small bungee pocket at the top of the zipper to tuck the actually zipper handle in for a snug fit. This is nice because every once in a while something will get caught on the zipper handle, but this is not a problem now.
There is reflective fabric all throughout the life jacket which allows for safety in lower lighting, along with a lash tab for the attachment of a knife or a light. The front left pocket is very large and contains a whistle attached to a bungee cord so you do not lose it. This whistle may never be used, but it is extremely nice to have if worse was to happen, and if you every get board you can make some pretty nifty tunes with this whistle. There is also a bungee inside of the front left pocket to attach your keys to so you don't drop them in the water. This pocket is a great place to put your phone, wallet and personal items, but anything that will fit in here will be stored safely. There is also a small hole at the top of this pocket for a radio mast so that you can receive signals without interference of fabric. On the outside of the front left pocket is a small velcro strap with an open patch of fabric that works great for storing pliers as you can see to the right. The front right pocket is similar to the front left pocket with the difference that there are two pockets - one on top of another. The very inside pocket has a small patch of foam which works great for fly fisherman who would like to store their flies here, but this can be easily removed if you do not want it. There are two mesh pockets that have a bungee on the top of each one for storing items that you want to stay in a snug location. Once again, you can store anything you want here such as fishing bags, lures, cell phone, rope, or anything you can think of. The outer pocket is really good for storing bags and such, as there is nothing but open space for items to be stored in. All in all this is the best life jacket that you can buy for kayak fishing and will definitely work great for just kayaking too. Check out the MTI Adventurewear website here and get you your own MTI Dio F-Spec Life Jacket and check out a life jacket for your dog and some other family members too. Whatever style you need, MTI Adventurewear will have what you are looking for plus much more.