-- Last Updated: Feb-24-13 9:18 AM EST --
I strongly agree with the previous post.
I have never found any advantage to having a knife on my PFD for sea kayaking, but I have seen first-hand how they can be a MAJOR liability when they come loose during a rescue or other close quarters activity. There are few things more dangerous than having a knife flopping around when you're trying to haul yourself into your boat or assist someone else in a reentry. I have yet to see a sheath that can be easily released when you need quick access, but won't fail in accidental close quarters contact or if someone grabs it inadvertently.
A rescue hook is a much better and SAFER choice for a tool to get you out of entanglements. If it does come out of its sheath, it's still relatively harmless. The worst situation I've seen with one is a snagged and cut deck line that was repaired easily with a knot.
My preference is for the Benchmade tools, but frankly the brand doesn't matter as long as the tool has a keen edge that will not rust in salt water and it can be used with bulky gloves on. Any quality rescue hook will do.
I do carry a Swiss Army knife in the boat for use on land and will add a camp hatchet/saw combo when necessary.
No, this gear is not flashy, sexy or macho, but it does the job without putting me at risk of injuring myself with my own "safety" equipment.