Thinking of using wading sticks now that felt is not an option
I've never used a wading staff as I thought they were just something more to get in the way. Now without felt I have been rethinking this tool. Have many of you regularly used wading staff's while fishing. If so, can you feed me some of the pro's and con's of their use? Are there some better than others. The few times I've used one it was just a stick I picked up and threw back in the wods after I got accross the stream. With my bad knees and getting older every day and no felt on my boots, I'm forseeing a few more "wet" days this season.
I've used the heck out of one in the last year and a half, just to get used to it. Done it both with and without felts. I gotta say, even in states where I can use felt, I'll keep right on using a staff. They add that much to your stability in fast water and are dandy in mud, too. Basically any place where you wouldn't need one with felts you won't need it with studded rubber soles.
I bought the dandy one from Simms and it's dandy alright. But I got away from home without it on this winter's fishing jag. Went to SW and bought a pair of the cheap (like $30) trekking poles. They work just as well, and after using her half of the pair my wife sezz she doesn't want me to buy her a Simms too. On both the Simms and the cheapies, add a piece of para cord or some such between three and four feet long. Tie it to your wading belt on your weak hand side. When you're fishing and not using it, drop the staff in the water behind you and it will trail downstream and out of the way. If you drop it in front of you, it will always be in the way. The Simms is nice because it stows so short, but the three-section cheapies are fine too. Just collapse it and shove it into your wading belt in the middle of your back, and you won't know it's there till you need it.
Felt or not, I'm sold on a staff.
Simms collapsible staff - strong as all get-out, fold up into 4 pieces and stows in a nifty neoprene belt patch, has a big ol' honkin' aluminum tip for grip when things get dicey, doesn't rust, and comes with its own stainless retractor cable.
Some of my friends used to laugh at my use of the "old man stick", as they called it. Then they started falling in trying to wade behind me on some of the bigger pacific coast rivers. They don't laugh much about it any more.
A very useful tool, especially when fishing alone in AK.
Boy, does that dredge up memories (and laughs). Our son-in-law is a top athlete and really gave me heck when I showed up with mine. After his second dunking in 100 yards, he went back to the truck and got one of the trekking poles. He won't fish without one now.
Originally Posted by G_Smolt
Bad knees. Bad ankles. Bad hips. Bad back. Always reasons for us old guys to use a wading staff. Now, most of us will have Bad Soles, as well -- and that's a great reason for even the young guys to grab a stick. Really, really makes a difference in deep/fast water and slimy bottoms. Like BrownBear says - with a little bit of thought, you won't even notice it's there until you want it or need it. I've been dry for 2 seasons now (not including the issue with a buddy's runaway boat, but that really shouldn't count...), due mostly to my use of a staff.
I've got one I bought on ebay years ago.
It's a 4 piece collapable with alluminum tip, holster and cord.
I only use it when crossing tricky stretches of water.
I have been using studded aquastealth Simms wading boots since 2004 and they are better than any felts I ever owned.
Got a new set of Simms with studs and Vibram soles to try this year. If they are anywhere near as good as the Aquastealth I will be happy.