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Wading staff

What are the other ESSENTIAL pieces of equipment you carry with you? How do you pack? How do you hold your gear while fishing? Fly boxes? Snips? you tell us.

Wading staff

Postby CM_Stewart » Sun May 09, 2010 6:42 pm

Use of a wading staff has been discussed a few times here - especially as a suggestion of what to do with your "line" hand now that it no longer has any line to deal with.

I've expanded my thoughts on a wading staff on my site, and think that the Folstaf wading staff is a pretty good choice. That is if you don't just use a broomstick like I do. I guess I'm just a Bum.
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Re: Wading staff

Postby rsetina » Sun May 09, 2010 8:55 pm

I nearly always have a wading staff with me no matter what the water level. I have bad knees from years of jumping up and down from a UPS truck and the staff really helps me get across the streams.

My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
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Re: Wading staff

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Mon May 10, 2010 12:20 am

A wading staff is something that I'm starting to consider...
I have been doing more and more what one may call "extreme wading", that is, fishing the wider streams and putting myself in foolish, but thrilling situations. As a rock climber, I get the thrill of wading some difficult spots and trying to figure out my moves, I just have to figure out a "belay" method to be safe. I suppose the wading staff may be my best alternative.
Thanks for the reminder.
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Re: Wading staff

Postby jbenenson » Mon May 10, 2010 8:39 am

I use a wading staff almost all the time, except when I fishing small streams that I can easily wade across. It not only helps with balance and keeping my footing but also serves as a depth probe when wading, a snake probe when climbing (no blind reaching into handholds for me), and a tool to move willow branches and other impediments out of the way while on the trail.

I have it attached to my wading belt with a heavy-duty zinger and it is never in the way. I like a collapsible staff as solid staffs are too cumbersome for my tastes. The Folstaf is excellent: it can't collapse like a telescoping staff but, IMHO, is overpriced. It has always been a family-run business; the daughter of the founder is now in charge. Another staff to consider is the one sold by Lamson Waterworks, but you really have to tighten it down or it will collapse.

Maybe Daniel could create a TenkaraUSA staff out of sections of the rod that he is currently designing for tuna. Oops, didn't mean to let that project "out of the bag" Daniel. :o
I would like to have the modest contact with the nature in hope of continuing the beautiful streams forever

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Re: Wading staff

Postby Softouch333 » Mon May 10, 2010 8:16 pm

I been using a 3-section collapsable Black Diamond hiking pole for several years, and though not as small a collapsed package as a wading staff, it is more reliable in my view. In addition to wading, I use it to hike in to remote streams or use a pair if backpacking. With its click lock it has always held me up, unlike my wife's Leki's. With its carbon sections, it's not very noisy underwater either, which I prefer over aluminum.

I have posted elsewhere how I lash a mailing tube to the hiking pole for a protected tenkara rod carrier, which crashes through the tightest brush without damage.

A wading staff is nearly essential on deeper streams and fast water, but surprisingly helpful on small streams with algae covered rocks. The sudden jerk of slipping, even if you don't go down, can cause back pain for weeks...
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Re: Wading staff

Postby Stephen McGowen » Tue May 11, 2010 5:50 am

The author of that great and thoughtful book "What The Trout Said" drowned several years ago on his own private trout stream. He slipped and fell in water that was less than knee deep and struck his head on a rock. He left his wading staff in the car.

Small streams can be more dangerous than bigger water. I always use a wading staff on any water anymore. It is often of more use getting to the stream than on the stream.
As for noise attributed to the different materials, I'd say that falls under the category of "pilot error". Learning the proper ( and quiet) use of a wading staff is part of stalking fish.

Let me close by quoting a fishing buddy....." Hey...I love trout fishing ! But not enough to die for."
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Re: Wading staff

Postby solocanoe » Tue May 11, 2010 10:18 am

you guys are making a ton of sense.

When I stream fish in the canoe (or when I had the kayaks) I would use an anchor trolley set-up hooked bow and stern - homemade out of paracord.

I'll use a stake out pole - you can buy these pre made, but think of it as basically a broom strick with sharpened point to hold the boat in place when I want to stop...and when I get out and wade (at times) I'd take the stake out pole with me and have it on a short tether. -use it as a staff.

The difference is I may start doing that closer to "all the times" - not just when the water looks deep and fast.

makes sense to me anyway.
Last edited by solocanoe on Wed May 12, 2010 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wading staff

Postby grampa » Tue May 11, 2010 10:35 am

I also use a Folstaff nearly all the time when wading. Most of my wading is done in shorts and sandals, on rounded rock streams (cobblestones?), with the usual coating of algae, etc.

I've used a staff or trekking poles when hiking/backpacking for years, and can't imagine not using a staff while wading in terrain that's much more treacherous than a hiking trail!
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Re: Wading staff

Postby craigprice » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:06 am

I've been an ardant fan of staffs since fishing NZ - i.e fast rivers, slippery bottoms. Especially with the baning of felt.
I was initially attracted to the Folstaff as it breaks down to the smallest of them all (6 pieces), so would be most convenient when crawling through the brush, and they snap together very easy with one hand, using an elastic shock or bungee cord (kinda like easton tent poles). I bought a thin one, but when I tried it in the lounge room, it was no good - thank goodness for the dry test beforehand. The thinner diameter staff collapsed under any pressure - the thinner diam version flexed more, and the flex was sufficient to allow enough movement for failure. The sections only fit into each other by about 1/2 inch - not enough. I returned it to Cabelas (great return policy). My mates have the wider diameter one and haven't had the same issue, but when you look at reviews of Folstaffs on Cabelas, there are similar experiences with the wider one with heavier guys - i.e. if you can flex it, watch out, it may lead to collapse - I suggest you try before buying. In looking at how they are designed and thinking about it (yes, I am an engineer) I could see the obvious afterwards, and they do have a design weakness that is not present in others, like the Simms, which use a cable that is non elastic, and the sleeves on each section overlap by 2 inch.
I have a Simms. They are heavy, but completely robust, with a steel cable inside and a locking mechanism, and a better engineered interlock of parts. The Simms staff weighs 340g naked, or 430g with holster. The Simms breaks down into 4 pieces and packs away for the scrambly bits, very convenient. And typcial of Simms, very high quality (but with a corresponding price tag).
Walking staffs are also convenient to use as wading staffs, robust, but typically only break down into two or three sections, so there's more to hang from your waist on the hike in/out. Aluminium staffs are typically about 280g, with a tether. A Komperdell Carbon C3 is the lightest of the 3 piece walking staffs, at about 180g.
The lightest walking staffs to are the Gossamer Gear Light Trek or Titanium Goat APGs. The TiGoat APG's are better for wading staffs, as they use Al in the bottom section (carbon in the bottom section will get rubbed/etched on rocks in th eriver, and will eventually lead to a catastopihic failure), and come with a Tenkara attachment for the walking staff (yep, Daniel's hooked up with them for the Ultralight backpackers). These come in at about 90-100g.

If all else fails, use the broom stick, or the native way, find a long stick from the river bank (I've used that on many an occasion when I forgot my staff).

Last edited by craigprice on Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wading staff

Postby Stephen McGowen » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:44 pm

Craig...I'm impressed. You've put much thought into this and your evaluations of the of the few models I'm familiar with are accurate.
I've used the heavier Folstaff for years and it performs superbly (as long as you keep the ferrules waxed). I find that as I age I rarely use it's folding's as much help getting to the stream as on the stream of late and I'm passing it on to a younger fishing partner this year. The "old broomstick" is cheap and works well and you are less likely to make a noisy mistake on stream. Why buy a folder if you don't need one?
Again...impressive .Thanks for the post
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