My criteria for mobile lure fishing is to be able to carry the essential kit such as  waterproofs, lunch, camera, small first aid kit, spare end tackle and of course lures but still be able to cast comfortably without having to drop / remove a bag. I also prefer not having to remove a bag from my shoulder or back to change lures or access unhooking tools.
I have tried many different ideas, fly vests, small ruck sacks with added pouches, military MOLLE vests etc. they have all done the job but nothing was perfect. I had recently made the decision to combine a lure vest with a permanent foam buoyancy flotation vest - this way I could have the added security when bank fishing and have suitable buoyancy when boat fishing. Many buoyancy aids were available with pockets but none were suitable to carry a days lure fishing kit.

Thankfully it was suggested that I look at Japanese saltwater Bass fishing kit and some of the vests worn in that discipline. I found the IMA / RBB (Rivalley Burning Blood) vest after reading reviews on Bass fishing forums and ordered one. RBB actually make the vest but IMA have pimped it by adding the harness pouch and pliers sheath to the versions that they distribute. (It is mentioned on Bass fishing forums that the RBB version of the vest has shallower front compartments compared to the IMA RBB version; I cannot confirm this either way though having not seen the RBB vest)

The vest is an exceptionally well made piece of kit, not too bulky and it is very comfortable to wear - I am really impressed with it. My only minor complaint is that there is a little too much IMA branding on the harness pouches, they could have been just black, so I neatly covered the fronts over with black PVC electrical tape - it works surprisingly well!

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The vest comes with the following features:

  • 50N built in (removable) foam buoyancy
  • Two large front zipped compartments, (H21cm x W15cm x D7.5cm) with shallow velcro fastened exterior pocket
  • One large rear zipped compartment, (H22cm x W18cm x D9cm) with shallow zipped exterior pocket
  • One water resistant medium removable harness pouch (IMA call it a "Porch", must be poor translation!)
  • One pliers sheath, with D-ring for coiled lanyards
  • One insulated drinks bottle holder
  • Crotch straps - to stop the vest riding up should you end up in the water
  • Multiple D-rings and straps for attaching equipment

The IMA pliers sheath (below right) is perfect for Saltwater multi pliers or traditional Pike fishing long nose pliers. I bought a second one to be able to hold one of each tool on the vest and a third to go on the belt
of my flotation suit. The removable harness pouch is useful for an iPhone, Leatherman tool etc. and I bought an additional large version (below left) which I turned sideways and mounted on the vest's belt to house my compact camera.

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"Highly durable and designed for saltwater use, the IMA RBB (Rivalley Burning Blood) Flotation Vest is an essential item for those of us who like to take our fishing to more extreme environments. The fundamental attribute offered by this product is that it has been developed with safety in mind. As more and more lure anglers start to venture out onto the water, regardless of conditions, how many consider the implications of not wearing a buoyancy aid should the worst happen?

The vest is also a highly practical piece of kit for the modern lure angler designed for comfort and support with fully adjustable straps to the waist and shoulders. This ensures a snug fit yet four separate sections to the front allows the angler to move freely. Key features include; two main front compartments and a single rear compartment, removable IMA plier sheath, an insulated drinks holder, removable IMA porch, reflective fabric detail and harness straps."

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My actual IMA RBB vest with additional kit attached shown above. Click on the image to open a larger version.
I added a Molle 6x6" pouch to each side of the belt to provide additional carrying space, this really perfects the vest in my opinion (not shown in the photo on the left). My pouches were manufactured by 5.11 and the model is the 6.6 pouch.

I bought my vest from Bass Lures, very helpful and good customer service. They threw in a neat Meihi Reins lure box (21cm x 14.5cm x 4cm ) and a few bass lures.

The Meihi Reins lure box (below left) fits perfectly with depth space to spare in the front or rear main compartments. I am also using the Fladen 4-15 Section Box (below right) and the Sakura 9210 (below lowest) both of which are exactly the same size / shape as the Meihi Reins box at 21cm x 14.5cm x 4cm. The Plano 3500 lure boxes fit ok too but not anywhere near as nice as the other three, they are only just short enough to fit in.

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If you can read Japanese (!) then there is a data sheet HERE
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