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tie one on 01-03-2006 10:39 AM

Wading Staff yes or no ???
Good Day All,

I was wondering how many of you use a wading staff when you are in the river to help with balance or just to test depth ? I know for me personally, being a young 51, that sometimes it seems that I do not seem to have the balance I had when I was 30. However trying to traverse your way thru a bunch of large rocks while the water is pushing you around can be intimidating.

I purchased one ( a William Joseph telescoping model )with some Christmas money I received & I'm glad I did. I went out yesterday Jan 2 to one of my favorite rivers, the Rouge, looking to tie into a nice steelhead. Because of all the melting snows & vast amounts of rain we received in the last week or so the river was WAY up & moving quite quickly. That staff saved me more than once from going into 37 degree water.

Only had one bite that really did not commit, but being out in HIS creation was just as satisfiying. I'm interested in anyone's thought's.

Tie One On

fshfanatic 01-03-2006 11:11 AM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???
Never used one. Just one more thing to carry around. Yes I have ended up swimming more often than not, but I still won't carry one.

freeze69 01-03-2006 12:20 PM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???
before my free waders up and took a :banned: i never used one. instead i had a snug life jacket that had pockets and i used that as a vest for my stuff.(not for fly fishing wading for bass and gills) prefered the life jacket. i knew if i fell or stepped into a deep hole i had something to help me out. just my opinion go for a tight vest with plenty of pockets.

BigCliff 01-03-2006 12:28 PM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???
I haven't forked out for one yet, but may some day. I like the Simms one, which collapses down into multiple sections but won't pull apart like a shock-corded one can. The sections are held together with coated steel cable that won't won't rot either.

The first time I bother with one, it will probably be the broom/shovel handle type that will be tethered to me. the price is right and it will float up downstream of me.

DAVY WOTTON 01-03-2006 07:01 PM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???
For sure, you are far better of with one than without, and you are right Cliff, the Simms deal is the best for the reasons that you state.
I cannot speak for other products that are of a similar nature and do not pull apart.
I have twice had clients that have got a good dunking because the type of staff they were using got stuck and came apart. Not good.

Wading fast water takes practice and even as much as l have done it l have still gone arse over head many times, one time nearly cost me my life, but that was due to the energetic force of large Atlantic Salmon that caused me to go over the top of a weir into a deep pool some 12 ft below.
The fish won the day that time.


Gordon Bryson 01-03-2006 07:11 PM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???
Being a few years older than most of you, I can say with certainty that a staff has helped several times. I used to just look for a good healthy stick along the river, and these worked okay. Besides, if it got away from you, what had you lost?
I recently finished making a staff from a cedar sapling, about five feet long. Stripped the bark, let it dry for several months, then sanded it down good. Applied a coat of light stain, then a couple of coats of spar varnish. A hole drilled through one end serves to hold a lanyard type loop, and it can be tethered to prevent it washing away while doing other things. Cedar is very strong, doesn't rot easily, and is beautifu when finished as the "knots" where all the little limbs came out are dark and contrast nicely with the lighter base stock.
If I used one a lot, probably the folding kind would be the best choice. However, I only fish this particular river a couple of times a year, and the other streams are much more docile and smooth bottomed.
Yes, it's something else to carry around, but if it saves me a dip in 40 degree water, it's worth it. Just my $0.02 worth.

JBinUTAH 01-04-2006 05:55 AM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???
I haven't yet but this is some good info and I think I will look into that Sage. Great info. Thanks.

Curtis 01-04-2006 08:06 AM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???

Originally Posted by fshfanatic
Never used one. Just one more thing to carry around. Yes I have ended up swimming more often than not, but I still won't carry one.

And I can attest to his swimming abilities!! LOL!!! And in the middle of January no less with three feet of snow on the bank!


BigCliff 01-04-2006 08:30 AM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???
Here's a link to that Simms staff.

As can be expected with Simms, its durn expensive, but the best available in its class. That retractor pictured with it looks like the type that sells for $15-25 on its own, that was developed by the scuba crowd. If I wanted a staff to use all the time and last forever, this is the one.

Gordo, I think I know which stream you are referring to and have wanted a staff before myself on that slate bottomed boulder chain. What do you recommend putting on the end of the staff to help it gain traction on the slick rocks?

tie one on 01-04-2006 11:03 AM

Re: Wading Staff yes or no ???
Thank you for all of your input regarding a wading staff.

I too looked into the Simms one ( I believe it was around $100 ??, maybe a little less. ) but I do like the one I purchased. One thing different is it has two ends. One is the "normal" pointed one & it also has a real nice "rubber foot" end. I opted to use the rubber foot. ( being from an engineering background it has a larger surface area of contact than the plain point on the river bottom. )

When I was out on Monday I left it extended & connected to my vest, it was not a problem, or hinderence. I understand the comments about another piece of luggage to carry into the water, but it is so light I don't even notice.

Thanks again,

Tie One On

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