The Best Insurance for a Wading Mishap

The other day a friend stopped by the shop to pick up a few item for a trip up to the Green River. Somehow the subject of wading staffs came up. His comment was. "I rarely use them - they just get in the way." I responded, "You've got to be kidding." I never go anywhere without a wading staff. It has saved my rear-end on more occasions than I care to remember.

Some anglers use a ski pole with the basket removed. They are typically made of tempered aluminum, and strong and light in weight. They can be secured from ski rental shops when they are discarding single or mismatched poles. I don't particularly care for them because they are difficult to transport and store. I like the telescoping or folding variety.

I believe a wading staff is the most useful tool an angler can have on freestone waters. Not only are you safer but the fly fisher who uses a staff can usually outfish the wader who doesn't use one.

I've owned most of the popular commercial products. For the last three years I have used the Simms product which I purchased when they first came out. Occasionally, my heavy duty Folstaf ends up in the travel bag because it's even more compact. I've had this particular staff for more than 25 years and replaced just about every component with the exception of the steel sections.

Whatever product you ultimately select, make sure it is of high quality and will not come apart at a critical moment. Evaluate a wading staff as if your safety depends on it, because if you wade aggressively, sooner or later it will.

Following our discussion my friend selected the Fish Pond Slippery Rock Wading Pro. It's made out of aluminum alloy with a secure locking system that extends the sections up to 57-inches from 25 ½-inches closed. At $79 he was very happy with his selection.