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Ski Poles and Wading Staffs
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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I'm a cheapskate and minimalist, so I have never purchased a wading staff. Most times I don't feel I need one. However, we are heading to the Smokies at the end of the week and one of the creeks I hope to fish often is very slick with rock ledges that are flat and slanted with severe drop offs, not deep, but enough to jar your back pretty good. I have a couple sets of old ski poles and would like to modify them into staffs for Gino and me. Has anyone done this and what suggestions do you have? I assume I should take off the shield at the bottom so it doesn't act as a underwater sail, making it hard to manipulate the staff. What about the point? Should it be covered with a rubber tip or is the standard ski pole bottom OK for wading? Also, how long is the lanyard supposed to be? How long should the staff be? Waist high, elbow high? Lots of questions, I know, but any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Posted on: 2007/4/17 7:22
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Peace, Tony


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

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Slightly apples to oranges but...

I have and use a Folstaf; and use it mostly on small treacherous rocky creeks as opposed to large swift ones. It just makes getting around SO much easier.

While I can't give you any specific ski pole to wading staff conversion tips I can offer a few observation from my experience.

The optimum length for me is with the grip slightly higher than my waist. If it's too short; it can become useless if the hole is deep. If it's too long; well you CAN always choke up on it.

Lanyard length is whatever length will allow you to EASILY grasp and hold the staff in EITHER hand. Obviously this will depend on where you attach it. My lanyard is probably 36" long or so and it really doesn't present a problem for me. I don't affix it to a specific spot but rather have it loosely looped/slip knotted around my wading belt so I can move it around. I never considered any type of retractor cause quite simply; I don't trust any of them when failure could mean losing my staff.

While some prefer a rubber tip because of the noise factor; I like metal because of it's "digging into the slime" ability. I think that my rock crunching and/or metal cleats make more noise than metal wading staff tips; besides, I don't use it except when the situation calls for it so I'm NOT clacking all over the place.

Good luck!

Posted on: 2007/4/17 7:42

Edited by Bamboozle on 2007/4/17 8:24:35


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

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2006/10/26 23:01
From Ohio
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Fished Abrahms this past thursday, definitely needed my staff. Worst river to wade on for me yet. Hopefully the water will warm a bit - it was too cold for any dry fly action when we went.

Posted on: 2007/4/17 8:01


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

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2006/9/13 8:36
From SEPA
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Jack,

I have done this and it works fine. As far as length goes, with my hand grasping the ski pole, my arm lower arm is straight. Cut off the lower basket with a razor knife. I don't use a rubber tip, it can be noisy, but at least it's safer. I just tied on a piece of backing as a strap. The strap is long enough so I can put the pole over my shoulder and it hangs behind me.

Thanks to some fine garbage picking, I have extras if needed.

Now you've got me worried. I'll need to look into either bringing my korkers or adding some machine screws to my boots.

beeber

Posted on: 2007/4/17 8:35


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs
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From Altoona, PA
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I used a Leki pole for a long time. It has the cup at the end like a ski pole and found it invaluable. The cup will ensure that it doesn't sink into mud or sand. I never noticed it dragging in the water.

Posted on: 2007/4/17 9:59
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Padraic
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs
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Beeber, ask Merle about wading Abrams. It really pays to be extra careful there. Maybe if I get a few beers in me at the Jam I'll share my story-- as long as Merle gives me permission first.

Posted on: 2007/4/17 10:20
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Peace, Tony


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

Joined:
2006/9/28 14:40
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JackM,
I'm an older guy (sigh) and won't fish without a staff. I used a ski pole without the shield for a few years but last year bought one of those fancy collapsing ones. Maybe not the best move I've ever made, but it is right up there. First, if I find myself in shallow water that's easily wadable, I don't have to bother with the staff ( I'm not THAT old), so it just sits on my hip in its holster, unlike the ski pole that was...well...just always there. Second...well, maybe there's not a second. The folding staffs are convenient, lightweight, and easily put into action when things seem like they might, as Festus would say, "get a bit out of hand, Ms. Kitty."
Coughlin

Posted on: 2007/4/17 20:05


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

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2006/9/16 15:52
From Bucks County
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My wife gave me a Folstaf many years ago and I use it ALL the time. I’m a Putz to begin with and worse on/in the water. If you fish Abrams, you’ll definitely need it. As far as length goes, I like it about 12” above my waist. One note, while frugal is an admirable trait, if you plan on using a staff more than a few times a year, you may wish to consider a Folstaf or something like it. It’s convenient and can handle “larger” loads. Good Luck!

Rolf

Posted on: 2007/4/17 21:57


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs
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I handled Abrams last year without one, but this year, with Gino along, I am trying to be extra careful. I don't mind dying on the stream, but I'd hate to have the kid have to go through that kind of trauma, so I'm taking a little extra insurance. "Frugal" isn't just a trait, for me it is a way of life. Thanks for all the input.

Posted on: 2007/4/17 22:36
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Peace, Tony


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

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2006/10/26 23:01
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BTW - last week they did some prescribed burns along abrahms fall trail which muddied the water up and closed the trail. Should be reopened by now I think but I call the ranger and make sure before I made that long miserable drive around the loop.

Posted on: 2007/4/18 6:50


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

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2007/1/25 5:24
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Quote:
and easily put into action when things seem like they might, as Festus would say, "get a bit out of hand, Ms. Kitty."


Soon as I laid eyes on this thread, I figgered I'd be drawn into the conversation since my fishin pard just last week mentioned that as topheavy as I was gittin I'd soon be needin a wadin staff.

I just didn't figger the topic woulda come up withouty me puttin it here first.

Posted on: 2007/4/18 19:02
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Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

Joined:
2006/11/5 16:58
From York
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The seven times I've been to the Smokies, I've never needed a staff for Abrams. What you need are studded felt or Aqua stealth soles for your waders. The rocks are covered in a super slippery growth that will send you for a cold dip.
I hope some of you guys post some pictures when y'all get back, I wanted to join in on this trip but my boss has other plans for me.
Good luck to all
John

Posted on: 2007/4/20 8:01


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs
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From Monessen, PA
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John, we're sorry you won't be coming as well. I thought we were going to have 12-15 this year, but when the chips were down, there were only 8 of us still standing. Circumstances.

I agree with your take on Abrams, for me the staff is more to feel ahead of me for the drops and slants that might be obscured. I may put some screws into my felts, but can't afford a separate pair of boots. Anyhow, I want the trip to be memorable for Gino, so a splashy fall or stream dance or two won't bother me much, but a broken leg or fractured hip will ruin the day at least.

Posted on: 2007/4/20 9:11
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Peace, Tony


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs

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2006/9/14 18:30
From glenside
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I'm sort of surprised that Paul G. didn't "jump on" this. A number of years ago he "hit me" with this. Take a length of broom stick (or comparable dowel) a foot or so longer that the distance from the ground to your waist. Put a rubber crutch tip on both ends. Drill a hole close to one end and put through a piece of leather shoe lace about a foot and a half long. Tie the other end around your belt. Go fishing with your "new" wading staff. When you don't "need" it, drop it and it will float along behind you.

Thank's, Paul, I wouldn't leave home without it!

Jack

Posted on: 2007/4/24 14:46


Re: Ski Poles and Wading Staffs
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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Jack,

Paul G is livin' high on the hog these days. He & I went to the Muddy Creek TU's Banquet a few years ago. They have a terriffic woodworker and he had made a nce staff that Paul picked up. You should see it, it's a thing of beauty. (Certainly compared to his broomstick)

Posted on: 2007/4/25 11:35
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Padraic
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest



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