Bluewave Kids Red Automatic 150N Gas Lifejacket review

A life jacket is an essential piece of kit when fly fishing with kids: read our review of the Bluewave Kids Automatic 150N Gas Lifejacket.

Bluewave Kids Red Automatic 150N Gas Lifejacket review
© Fly and Lure
Bluewave Kids Red Automatic 150N Gas Lifejacket review
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Bluewave Kids Red Automatic 150N Gas Lifejacket review
Estimated reading time 3 - 5 minutes

Do you really need a life jacket when fly fishing?

Thankfully, drownings aren't that common among fly fishers but they do happen. Anyone in a boat should definitely be wearing a life jacket in my opinion, but they're not that common for bank anglers.

If you're fishing a river, it would be a wise purchase. If you've ever fallen over wearing waders you'll know how hard it can be to stand up again. Add a bit of water movement and it can become extremely difficult - children could find it near impossible.

What is the Bluewave Kids Red Automatic 150N Gas Lifejacket?

These are automative life jackets, so they have a sensor in them that detects water and they inflate explosively via a little gas canister when submerged.

Your child doesn't need to rummage around for a cord to pull. They just need to fall in and the life jacket will go off and keep them afloat with their head above the water so you can fish them out.

Do they fit children well?

We bought three of these for our children - Lily (12), Henry (11) and George (9). As I'm 6'4" and the children have inherited my lanky stature, they're all on the tall side - George is already 5' tall at nine years' old. However, the jackets all fit them well.

There's a good waist fitting which adjusts easily to your child's dimensions, as well as a strap that goes under the crotch to stop the jacket coming over their head if they fall in.

For really tall children, like ours, it would be helpful if this strap were a bit longer, as there's little slack left to allow much more room for height growth.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

They're not too heavy or bulky to wear and the children haven't really complained about wearing them. They're also comfortable enough to cast in, so they don't impede your casting skills too much. George has never complained about his and it's seen a fair bit of use.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

Does it work?

Yes! It's already prevented one potential drowning for us. George was fly fishing with me on the River Dee and stumbled and went under.

I was downstream and there were 40 GAIA instructors within 100m of us, so he wasn't in massive danger, but the life jacket went off instantly and he popped back up like a cork.

A rather cold and wet George after a dunking in the River Dee.

The jacket went off quickly and he didn't even get his hair wet. The worst that happened was that freezing cold River Dee water trickled down his jacket and filled his waders with icy water, so he still got quite a shock.

What was most impressive though was the cut of the inflated part of the life jacket. It's cleverly designed to tuck around the head and the neck so it keeps the head up and it grips so firmly that it's actually surprisingly hard to pull back off. If your child has undone the straps, they'd probably still be fine, so this is a great safety feature.

How much are they?

These cost £59.99 each. Not bad, given that they could save your child's life.

About the author

matt

Comments

No comments yet. Go on, be the first to comment...

Royal Wulff Monoclear Triangle Taper clear intermediate fly line review Royal Wulff's Monoclear clear intermediate fly line uses Lee Wulff's famous Triangle...

Loop Cross SX fly rod review The Loop Cross SX is the top of the range model in Loop's fly rod collection and is...

Wychwood Connect Deck Zone Extra Fast Sink Fly Line review Is your usual Di3 fly line sinking too slowly? Then you need to try the Wychwood Deck...

Stroft Leader Rings review Stroft Leader Rings, or rig rings, will help prolong the life of your tapered leaders,...

Stroft GTM monofilament tippet review Stroft GTM monofilament tippet material is strong and supple and has a breaking strain...

Stroft GTM Tapered Leaders review Stroft GTM Tapered Leaders come in a wider range of lengths, diameters and breaking...

Lee Wulff Line Dressing review Lee Wulff Line Dressing from Royal Wulff is one of the few fly line dressings that can...

Stroft Leader Spools System tippet dispenser review The Stroft Leader Spools System is a very innovative tippet dispenser which solves a...

Wychwood International Para Drogue review The Wychwood International Para Drogue is a dual arm drogue for boat anglers which...