I know they have collapsable wading staffs for about $100 but are there any cheaper alternatives? If you have a solid staff what do you do when you get to the spot you want to fish? let it dangle off a belt? Put it on shore?
I have a Folstaff but gave it to my wife. I replaced it with another (larger) collapsible staff that I bought from Sportsman's Warehouse at a very affordable price but I can't quote it. You need to shop around a bit, I prefer the folding vs. solid or telescoping type. When I don't require the use it is stowed neatly in a belt holster and you don't even realize it is there. When you need it you are ready in a matter of seconds. A very handy piece of gear and one that has probably saved me taking a few spills over the years.
The older you get the more you tend to err on the side of caution eh?
Here, Here! What Ard said! I have a Folstaff, and wouldn't head to the river without it. Don't need it, its in the holster. Need it, and its keeping me upright. There are some wonderful places I fish that I simply could not anymore without the staff. If you shop around, you can find Folstaff's for less than a hundred, but it takes some hunting. (the profit margin on those staffs must be equal to the margin picture framers enjoy - high and mighty).
I'm pretty sure you couldn't convince me to rely on a telescopic staff; everything I have that is telescopic (light stands, painting poles, etc) fails on a regular basis.
I have tried using a collapsable pole, but I found that it shook around too much in fast water. Actually I still use it, but I think I am going to opt for a Hart's River Stalker Wading Staff. It is solid wood and does not shake around like aluminum poles. I have used my friend's, and I am impressed how solid it is. When I am not using it, I let it dangle from my wading belt.
__________________ -Tom Wilson Attention New Fly Fishers and those just wanting to improve- Join a Fly Fishing Club. They have classes on every aspect of fly fishing for beginners to advanced for free or cheaper than offered elsewhere. Some offer mentor programs. You will make friends with other fly fishers. Clubs often have outings in which members pay special group rates for guides or to fish prime private access areas.
i use a collapsible style staff as well. the model i have is extremely durable and i think i got it from the cabelas bargain barn for around 30.00. it sits in a holster on my wading belt at the ready whenever i may need it and the coil lanyard easily allows the staff to drag along behind me as i fish. definitely a great tool to have if needed.
I have a folding staff, $49.00 from Cabelas, with a holster. I attached a magnet to the handle, and on on the holster (net keeper from allen and co), so that when I am mid water, I can just hook the magnets and it is always right there at my left hip.
The cork cracked one day, I taped it up with waterproof tape, I keep thinking I will get a folstaff, but I have not yet, this one has lasted me 3 seasons now. I would not think about wading the Truckee without a wading staff on my hip. this aluminum cheapie is not the greatest staff, but it works, and I have gotten my moneys worth out of it.
Lots of good suggestions for which staff to buy. I have the Folstaff and, as GT suggests, would not hit the river without it.
Now, about your second question, what do you do with it when you get to a spot to fish....
Collapsing the staff every time I stop is simply not feasible, especially considering I am a hit-and-move-on kind of guy. I employ a magnetic net holder, one magnet tied into the staff's tether near it's handle, the other on a loop that I hang from my belt. When the magnets are "hooked" the staff handle is at my hip. I also regularly let the staff float along behind/beside me, particularly if while stepping it clicks on the stream bed.