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Safety FIRST!

The biggest concern I have as a bass fishing guide is safety. Some of this concern is allayed with BoatUS insurance. With my boat tied to the dock and the Power Poles holding my Skeeter steady in one place, I go over safety features and procedures on my boat. I demonstrate how to use the fire extinguisher, the location of my throwable device, and a few other man overboard procedures. But above all, I REQUIRE my clients to wear a PFD on the trip at all times! I am required by the USCG to carry TYPE 1 PFDs, the big bulky orange vests. While these are perhaps the best to wear in the worst emergencies, they are almost impossible to fish with! 
About 15 years ago, I offered auto inflatables. These were perfect. They allowed my clients to wear a PFD the entire trip in comfort. But, they had two inherent downsides. First, I had to take them into my house every night, as they could not be stored on the boat or in my truck. The heat would cause them to inflate! But even worse, they would inflate when worn in the rain!  Both of these issues were dealt with because nothing better was around.

For the 2013 season, I did some research into the latest technology. The auto inflatables of the day had a bobbin which dissolved when wet, and fired a pin to allow the CO2 cartridge to fill the PFD. This triggering mechanism was where the problem existed. That is until MUSTANG introduced Hydrostatic Inflator Technology. Professionals have used HIT for 10 years or more. Instead of working with a dissolving bobbin the principle of Hydrostatic pressure, that is applied to objects submerged in water, has been engineered into these new smart PFDs. The inflator needs only to be submerged 4 inches or more for hydrostatic pressure to open a pressure valve releasing a firing mechanism to automatically inflate the PFD. Instead of a yearly bobbin replacement or misfire replacements, the low maintenance HIT requires servicing only every five years, unless deployed!  Only hydrostatic pressure or pulling the manual activation cord will inflate the MUSTANG. They will not inflate due to rain, humidity or water contact.

Prior to using the MUSTANG, I was always wary of rain and storage of my old style auto-inflatables. I felt so secure in the HIT Technology that I stored mine on the boat, ready for use. As part of my safety drill, I explain the MUSTANGS to my clients to assure them of the quality and safety of use. Due to the comfort and technology, don’t have to argue with my clients to wear a MUSTANG! In fact, many of my clients have actually purchased MUSTANGS and on subsequent trips brought their own!

PFDs are lifesaver, but only work if you are wearing them. All other types of PFDs are cumbersome and don’t work well with bass fishing. They inhibit movement and hinder fishing success. The MUSTANGS are quiet assurance of a safe fishing and boating experience.

For more information:

Capt. Steve Chaconas, Potomac bass fishing guide, contributing writer to BoatUS. Potomac River reports: Book trips/purchase gift certificates:

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