Ric Burnley
New PFDs focus on comfort, good looks and safety.

A PFD only works if you wear it, and anglers looking for all day comfort with reliable performance will be happy with the new Neptune inflatable from MTI Adventurewear.

Inflatable PFDs have a tendancy to dig into an anglers neck, but MTI gave the Neptune an ergonomic collar and breathable, mesh yoke to keep the vest in place under the active pressure of fishing and paddling. The jacket promises to be so comfortable, an angler will forget he is wearing it until he needs it. When you need it, the Neptune automatically inflates a split second after it hits water. There is also a ripcord to inflate the PFD manually. A window in the PFD shows arming status and the CO2 cartridge is easy to replace. We like the the zippered pocket and D-rings that make it easy to carry necessary gear. The vest even includes a safety whistle. Neptune comes in blaze orange or RealTree Max-4 camo. If you fish in heat and humidity or hate the feeling of a bulky foam life vest, check out MTI’s Neptune to stay safe all day. Price:$159.99

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Nothing is more rewarding than watching a kid catch a fish. And kids love to be on the water when they can be comfortable and independent.

Two new kids PFDs were on display at ICAST 2016.

Mustang Survival is dedicated to safety for the whole family, no matter what watersport they chase.

Following up on their popular line of PFDs for toddlers and small paddlers, they’ve added a REV Youth PFD for anglers between 75 and 125 pounds. Since kids can’t wear inflatable PFDs until 16 years old, they need a comfortable and good looking PFD that will keep them safe. Mustang did exhaustive research on fit, function and appearance before releasing the REV Youth. A young paddler wearing a small adult PFD will often slip out of the lifevest when in the water. After hours of pool testing, Mustang engineers carved and shaped the internal foam to fit the growing bodies of pre-teen and teen paddlers. Then, they added a easy-to-use zipper for a snug fit. Cooling mesh in the back keeps kids from overheating. Molle loops on the front will accept Mustang’s line of matching cases. Colors are specific to boy and girl models. Marketing director Shannon Ward explained, “There are eight-million kids on the water, we want to keep them safe.”

Mustang PFD

Astral Designs has a reputation for cool looking paddle gear that functions flawlessly.

Marketing director Bryan Owen showed us their new Kid’s PFD at the ICAST show. The vest is designed for kids from 50 to 90 pounds. It is made with organic plant fibers. The design wraps around the paddler to protect the kid’s ribs from injury. Pockets in the front give a kid a place to store his own stuff. We love the bright colors and striking accents. There is even an integrated grab handle in the back for quick water rescue. The PFDs will be availalbe in 2017 for $130.



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Ric Burnley
“Thank God my dad wasn’t a podiatrist,” jokes Ric about following in the footsteps of a famous outdoor writer. After graduating from Radford University and serving two years in Russia with the Peace Corps, Ric returned to Virginia Beach and started writing for The Fisherman magazine, where his dad was editor. When the kayak fishing scene exploded, Ric was among the first to get onboard. His 2007 book, The Complete Kayak Fisherman is one of the first tomes to introduce anglers to paddle fishing and hundreds of articles and seminars have brought countless anglers into the fold. When he’s not chasing every fish that swims, Ric teaches English at a school for at-risk teens.


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