Anyone have experience with NRS Chinook Fishing Mesh Back PFD'S

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by cmann886, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. I am looking for a good quality PFD to use on raft and pontoon craft. The NRS Chinook looks appealing but I don't like the lake of multiple buckles on the front. I like to high back and the number of pockets---any thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. I recently got an NRS Chinook for kayak angling. Lower 60% of the back is mesh. Above that, flotation. I use, but don't overload the many pockets. It is comfortable and the "high back" clears the back of any of my boat seats. Love it for paddling.
    It has a zipper and one buckle below the zipper. I got the hot orange/gray so powerboats can see me a little sooner. I nearly got run over once in the early morning river fog wearing brown and camo.
    You also might want to check out the Stohlquist "Fisherman." Well made and popular.
    Extrasport makes some nice paddling pfds, too/. I have a "Solstice" pfd from them. Very well made and very comfortable, also with a high back. Only one small and one medium pocket on the front, so there's less to hang up when doing a re-entry. They make some with more pockets, too.
  3. Thanks for the response---the Stohlquist also looks good.
  4. I purchased the Stohlquist Fisherman PFD a few months ago. I think I got it on sale for about $99. It is a well made and comfortable PFD. I haven't kayaked in it but it seems to have ample range of motion. One thing that can be improved is that the two pockets in the front are a little small and I have a hard time fitting even a medium sized flybox in it. I did check out the NRS Chinook also but chose the Stohlquist as it seemed to be better made.
  5. cmann, at the same site you are looking at the chinook you might find an extrasport sturgeon. I have one and really like it. Pockets are huge. Lower back is mesh so no interference with your seat back. Great adjustability and a super cool sale price right now. Best of luck.
  6. The one thing all of those fishing PFDs share in common is not that much flotation capability. For instance, the Extrasport Sturgeon is rated at 16.5 lbs. The Chinook has the same rating. I use a Cabela's Guardian Series Angler 3500 manual inflatable. That puppy when inflated provides more than twice the flotation of the Chinook and Sturgeon, 35lbs. The additional flotation is important to me because I am a heavy guy and can't swim very well.

    The Guardian 3500 doesn't have any pockets, but I have a vest and a Simms jacket that have plenty of pockets, and you can wear the Cabela's PFD over anything. And because I fish out of a Scadden 'toon that has huge cargo pockets right next to me, I don't need pockets on my body anyway.

  7. Good point, Michael. I think that if one loaded up all the pockets on some of these vests with too much stuff, one would offset the flotation! The other clothing one is wearing might be a factor, too.
    The other day, I launched my SOT kayak off the beach in Half Moon Bay here to do some jetty fishing. I was wearing a newer surfing wetsuit. Just the wetsuit alone floats me pretty high, as long as I haven't gotten it flushed full of water. I can't even dive under the surface when I have my pfd on over my wetsuit. I always dress for the water temp in my SOT yak, which means I'll always be wearing a wetsuit (or maybe a drysuit when i can afford one) when on the ocean here in WA.

    On the other hand, when wearing my waders, wading belt, and pfd on the rivers or tidal creeks, I'll probably take on some water and get my clothing saturated if I capsize. But, I don't use my SOT in those waters because my Native Ultimate 12 (low-profile hybrid canoe design with a super-stable yet "fast enough" tunnel hull) is so-o-o-o much better for these applications than any SOT yak I've ever seen. It takes some work to capsize the U-12 when seated. I tried it. I doubt I'll ever capsize this craft (or can even fall out of it) when seated, since I use it only on flat, slow-moving or still water. (By far my favorite boat. I'll probably never sell it as long as I'm paddling and fishing).

    However, I stand and cast in it a lot, and often paddle downstream standing up. I could easily lose it and fall out when trying to cast while standing by carrying too much line in the air or having to twist my upper body into position if/when my U-12 gets swung around in the current or wind. Also standing up and trying to retrieve a fly from the overhanging tree branches is another good way to lose balance! Almost done that a few times, but that was in relatively warm and shallow water. Also, boat wakes can nail you on otherwise calm water, if you aren't aware.

    I'm a good swimmer, but thats no guarantee of anything! 90% of the time I'm fishing alone away from other anglers or in secluded places, and "self rescue" is the only thing that I can count on.
  8. auto inflatables are ok if you are not in moving water. If you flip in a rapid or fall out you have other things to consider than if my life preservers arming device is going to work. I would look at the extra sport b-22 or the nrs big water guide if you are planning on floating any white water.
  9. I should have mentioned that I am a stillwater guy only. However, still or whitewater, 35lbs of flotation beats 16.5lbs (and the 22lbs of the b-22 or big water guide) any day. Mine is not an autoinflate type either, I have to pull the handle to make it inflate. But on stillwaters in a Scadden frameless 'toon that has five air chambers (any one of which would float me indefinitely) and a carrying capacity of 1300lbs, I'm not worried.

    There is also the comfort & convenience factor. On a hot day, you BAKE in those foam PFDs. They are also pretty bulky. If they aren't comfortable, they aren't as likely to be worn.
  10. 16.5 lbs of firm floatation is not as much as one might wish for, but when you carve away the lower back of a floatation vest you'll lose some buoyancy. On stillwater I continue to use my pull to activate inflatable PFD and mine is rated for 32# of floatation. I too believe that multichambered stillwater craft will do well even if one or two chambers were to blow. I have had a few tell me things about moving water that made sense. 35# of potential floatation is great, but no so great if you take a knock on the melon by a pinned oar, or flip and bang the brain on a boulder or piece of large woody debris. I have considered an automatic vest and have a few friends that use them. I like the sleek profile and lack of rowing interference compared to a bulkier standard vest. On stillwater I've test fired my vest, it was easy and a nice distraction from the poor fishing. I'm not sure I'd want to be tumbling in the river current and fumbling for the pull handle. Just my thoughts based in input I've received from others. Get the vest that you'll wear, suits your needs and provides the safety you seek. Lots of good conversation on such safety items here.
  11. Being one to run a lot of whitewater, I'll pass on the inflatable pfd. Bad circumstances tend to happen a lot faster than people can plan for.

    Make mine a traditional vest, despite the negative consequences to casting/rowing. A whitewater type vest gives pretty good arm movement w/o being in the way.
  12. I wear an inflatable for stillwater, and have an Extrasport Sturgeon for rivers. It is comfortable with my Water Master high-back seat. However I was advised to retire the Sturgeon by the instructor of a River Nav & Safety class due to the bulk interfereing with efficient rowing in favor of a slimmer profile Type III that is suitable for rivers like the Extrasport Riptide or Stohlquist Drifter, and to find some easy to reach cargo bag(s) for my Water Master
  13. Brian, where in the world did you take a class, and who was teaching it? I only ask, because in a proper rowing setup, your oars should NEVER interfer with pockets up front. Maybe in a rowing shell on a lake I could see it, but in river conditions and for maximum oar stroke you want those oars to almost hit you in the ribs, but not IN the ribs. I have a high floatation vest I use with tons of pockets. It's yet to cause me problems rowing (and I put alot of miles on it).

    Jim is correct about load distribution. I mostly use tactical floatation vests now. But they suggest you checking the load of your vest for proper floatation. BUT, in most circumstances the amount of weight we all carry in a vest won't affect us that much. Gear fisherman, maybe, but flyfisherman, nahhh. Even when I'm fishing gear with my camelbak loaded, I'm in a good stance floating (and yeah, I've water tested my load a few different times just to see).

    Completely agree, stillwater inflatable, moving water standard PFD. PFD's are like helmets though for horseback riders. You either wear them or you don't. Even having a comfortable one on won't mean someone will wear it.
  14. I took the class from Dave McCoy at Emerald Water Anglers in my Water Master. The pockets on the Extrasport Sturgeon extend out a full 4" from the flotation, and could go more if they have a couple of fly boxes in each, for a total thickness of >= 6 1/4". I'm a rook but I don't think the WM has the adjustment range of (many) 'toons, cats, framed rafts and driftboats. After watching me from shore in the WM Dave felt I would be able to row more efficiently without the pockets.
  15. Oh gotcha. Well its not the front I'm talking about but the sides where no pockets should be. But being the WM I can see his point. LOL

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