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I am putting this together on very short notice and I need a PFD. Please provide recommendations ie manufacturer, model and should I go conventional or inflatable. I will be fishing the GOM (5' 6" 160 lbs). Also I am about to start accessorizing so any tips or must haves will be appreciated. I plan on a good FF/GPS elite 7 possibly, Icom VHF hand held, whistle, emergency light, led lighting inside Kayak, rod holders, fish bag, bait tube, anchor and trolly, emergency safety kit and first aid kit. I am sure I have missed plenty so any and all advise will be appreciated for I am PROUD to be a NEWBY! We all have to start somewhere, lol
 

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I am putting this together on very short notice and I need a PFD. Please provide recommendations ie manufacturer, model and should I go conventional or inflatable. I will be fishing the GOM (5' 6" 160 lbs). Also I am about to start accessorizing so any tips or must haves will be appreciated. I plan on a good FF/GPS elite 7 possibly, Icom VHF hand held, whistle, emergency light, led lighting inside Kayak, rod holders, fish bag, bait tube, anchor and trolly, emergency safety kit and first aid kit. I am sure I have missed plenty so any and all advise will be appreciated for I am PROUD to be a NEWBY! We all have to start somewhere, lol
PFD: I have a inflatable belt pack from Mustang Survival, it comes with a whistle attached and a canister to inflate with a pull cord or a hose to manually inflate, I don't like the feeling of the clunky conventional kind, to restrictive for me.


Icom VHF hand held: All depends on how many features you want just make sure it floats.
Cobra makes a good entry level one for $100 which will work two to six miles out in the Gulf.


emergency light: Glow sticks, buy them cheap at wally world, plus a headlamp is nice to have.
I have a Petzel and a cheap backup, you don't need anything to fancy.


led lighting inside Kayak: I have a string led I picked up from Camping World that is battery powered, don't remember the name right now.
Also Luci makes a cool inflatable solar powered one that floats and is good up to ten hours and very bright. looks like this.




rod holders: Scotty or RAM both make good holders for everything you might need.


fish bag: I have a Boone Just Bait bag that fits up front, Surf to Summit makes a good bag as well, there are a few other choices out there but some folks just use an old cooler tied on the back of the yak.


bait tube: Build your own,
http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/f49/bait-tube-how-kayak-88939/


anchor and trolley, Hobie Anchor Trolley Kit with a Lewmar 2.2# claw anchor.
I've anchored off 3 yaks with this anchor in fast currents with no problem. 70' of line with 10' of chain will cover most reefs you can get to by yak in the Gulf.




emergency safety kit/first aid kit: My "Oh Chit Kit" is pretty basic paired down to the essentials from when I worked SAR. A small roll of duct tape, a leatherman, Kendall athletic tape to tape small cuts, liquid bandage, and some absorbent plus ACE elastic bandages. If I need to get extravagant I make due with what I have, for a tourniquet you can use a tshirt, ace bandage, or sunglass leash twisted with a filet knife. Splints can be made with the same stuff.

For fixing what can go wrong on the kayak I have a few allen wrenches for the mirage drive, learned that the hard way when one of the flippers became disengaged two miles out. A hand pump with a long hose is smart to have in case the hull springs a leak Also remember to tie everything down with leashes and cords. I've turtled in surf, had rods pulled, dropped my knife and haven't lost anything yet because they were tied in. Buy some elastic tent cord and tie it to everything with a figure eight knot then add some stainless carabiners or copper oval swivel eye bolt snaps to the other end of the cord. I clip the carabiners to my seat webbing and have a few padeyes for the rest of the gear.

Getting all this gear together is almost as much fun as fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow great info, I like the idea an inflatable as well, much less cumbersome I was just concerned about the safety of hooks, knives, fish spines and all the other things that could puncture it. Like the anchor! I am pretty familiar with DC LED lighting so that should not be an issue. my plans for electronics will be two 17.6 amp hour lithium ion batteries at 2.5 pounds per battery. I'm hoping to use a 4 position marine battery switch and come off of that into a multi switch panel with some auxiliary power. I'm hoping to be able to fit it in the tackle box in front of the seat. I can't design it until I have the kayak.
 
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