Fly fishing will take you to some wild yet extremely magnificent places in the pursuit of steelhead, trout, bass and many other species. After hiking into the secluded river, you might have to make your way into the water. You might feel the pressure of current in the water against your legs. That is when you will grab your trusty wading staff and deploy it to stand firm on the rugged stones in the river. You’ll be able to move through the current with confidence to find a great spot. It’ll just be you and the fish.
There are some who think that wading staffs aren’t important. However, if you ask any experienced angler, they will tell you how important wading staffs are and how many times they have helped them stand firm for catching fish. It helps them stay balanced in the river and prevents them from falling. If you want to become a great angler, it is essential that you get yourself a good wading staff.
Since there are a lot of wading staffs available in the market, it might be hard for you to choose the one that is best for you. To help you out, we have compiled a list of some of the best wading staffs.
Best Fly Fishing Wading Staff
1. FishPond Lost Trail Wading Staff
The Lost Trail Wading Staff from FishPond is an expensive wading staff, but its durability and quality justify the price. It is extremely stable, lightweight and easy to deploy. This is what everyone wants in their wading staff. The FishPond Lost Trail Wading Staff is the ideal solution for hiking support as well as general wading.
Lightweight aluminum tubing is used in the construction of this staff. It extends into different adjustable positions through its locking mechanism that’s integrated into the staff. There are many wading staffs with fixed lengths, but this staff offers multiple height adjustability which makes it extremely versatile. You can adjust it from 42 inches up to 49 inches and it is 16 inches tall when folded.
When fully deployed, a locking button will keep the folding sections secured. When you pull tight on sections, they’ll lock into place and then you can use the staff without worrying about it folding on you. The handle of the FishPond Lost Trail Wading Staff is made of lightweight foam and cork material. An adjustable lanyard loop is attached to the handle of the wading staff and is covered with neoprene padding to provide extra comfort. The tip boasts a rubber end that can be removed.
The FishPond Lost Trail Wading Staff sports a stranded metal cable encased in plastic. This makes the staff durable and long lasting. When you are done using this staff, you can easily fold it into 3 sections and then store it in a carrying pouch that comes with the staff. The carrying pouch is made from ballistic nylon and thermoformed foam and fits easily on the wading belt. It also has an integrated belt loop, in case you want to fit it on your backpack.
- The pouch that comes with the FishPond Lost Trail Wading Staff is easy to use and functional. You can strap it to your backpack or body to keep your wading staff within arm’s reach.
- Although the FishPond Lost Trail Wading Staff folds into three pieces, it has the ability to lock securely when extended to full length.
- There are some bulkier additions like contoured grip and adjustable cam-lock that make this rod less packable than a few other wading staffs.
2. Kingfisher 54” Wading Staff
The Kingfisher 54” Wading Staff is made using lightweight yet durable aluminum which gives you the confidence to stand on slippery rocks and traversing waters. You will be able to quickly and easily extend the staff with just one hand whenever you need it so you don’t have to put down the gear you are carrying with you on the other hand. The easy and fast opening is attributed to the double bungee cord found in the middle of the staff.
The bottom end of the Kingfisher 54” Wading Staff is designed using a firm aluminum pointed tip. Many other staffs sport a rubber tip, but the Kingfisher staff’s pointed tip will make it easier for you to stand on slick rocks as the staff will nestle into the sturdy ground.
The wrist lanyard and large foam handle allow you to navigate through the water with confidence knowing that the staff won’t let you fall. This wading staff doesn’t float and therefore will sink if you accidentally drop it. So don’t use the Kingfisher 54” Wading Staff without the wrist lanyard
When you have crossed the river or don’t need the wading staff anymore, you can just collapse it back with one hand into its 15” long storage length and put it in the durable neoprene storage case.
- Can be easily deployed with just one hand
- An affordable option compared to several other wading staffs
- You’ll feel a minor flex in the Kingfisher 54” Wading Staff when you apply heavy weight to it. This is probably because of its large size.
- The metal tip will create a noise when it clangs against rocks which can make stealth an issue for you.
3. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Folding Wading Staff
The Maxcatch Folding Wading Staff from the M MAXIMUMCATCH is extremely easy to operate. Durable aluminum is used in the construction of the pole to keep the staff lightweight. Unlike the Kingfisher Wading Staff, you will need both your hands to deploy this one. Simply take the fishing staff and hold it up as the sections fall into place. Next push all the sections together. You will hear a click sound indicating that the rod is secure and you can use it for your excursions in the stream.
The handle is made of plastic and covered with non-slippery rubber to ensure that the wading staff doesn’t fall out while you are using it. Even if you accidentally drop it, you don’t have to worry because it comes with an integrated wrist lanyard that’ll prevent the rod from being lost.
The Maxcatch Wading Staff include two kinds of tips – rock/snow claw and rubber end cap. You can use either of them during your fly fishing adventure. When you aren’t using the staff, you can fold into four sections and then store it in the neoprene storage case that comes with the staff. The case boasts a belt loop, allowing you to carry it on your backpack or wading belt.
- Features two different tips which make the Maxcatch Folding Wading Staff extremely versatile.
- You must use two hands to assemble this rod which means that you might have to put down your fly fishing rod or any other gear to extend the Maxcatch Folding Wading Staff
4. Orvis Sure Step Folding Wading Staff
The Orvis Sure Step Folding Wading Staff is one of the best wading staffs you will find on the market. The folding design makes this rod easy to carry while the bungee cord enables fast assembly and takedown. Once you have folded the wading staff, you can easily slide it into the carrying case that comes with staff.
The shaft is made of aluminum and an attractive and lightweight cork handle sits on the top. Instead of a contoured style that is normally found on hiking staffs, the Orvis Sure Step Folding Wading Staff sports straight cylindrical design. While it isn’t the best for overland hiking, the Orvis Sure Step Wading Staff is perfect for the water. This wading staff is available in 51” length and 59” length.
Orvis did a great job in designing this wading staff to be attractive and functional. The sleek design doesn’t just look good but is also helpful when packing the staff or removing it from the water. This is a great choice for anglers who want a wading staff to keep their balance while standing on rocks in the river.
- The carrying case and leash are included which will prevent you from losing the Orvis Sure Step Folding Wading Staff and also put the staff within arm’s reach.
- The straight break-down shaft and cork grip allows you to easily breakdown the staff and put it into the carrying case.
- Orvis has developed its reputation for quality among fly anglers. While the Orvis Sure Step Folding Wading Staff is certainly better than several other staffs, we think that Orvis should have included more features for the price.
5. Folstaf – The Original Folding Wading Staff
Folstaf is a renowned brand among fly anglers. The Original Folding Wading Staff from Folstaf is based on the effective and simple original design with a few modifications. This folding wading staff can fold down into 10 inches because of its 6-piece breakdown design. You can assemble it with only hand thanks to the inner bungee. Aircraft grade aluminum is used in the construction of the shaft which means that it is extremely durable and should last for several years.
The Folstaf Original Folding Wading Staff features an attractive and light cork grip and a leash to ensure that the staff stays securely attached to your body. A nylon carrying case is also included with the staff so that you can keep it within arm’s reach when not in use. The Original Folding Wading Staff is available in fixed lengths of 59”, 51”, and 41”. It weighs 15 ounces when fully extended and about 10 ounces when collapsed, making it a great choice for your long excursions in the river.
Folstaf has been known for producing great wading staff. This model from the company boasts an easy-to-use and quick design that is perfect for many anglers. So if you are looking for a Folstaf wading staff, the Original Folding Wading Staff might be a great option for you.
- Thanks to the 6-piece breakdown folding design the Original Folding Wading Staff is under 10” when folded. Moreover, inner bungee cord on the staff allows for quick, one-handed assembly.
- Since the Folstaf Original Folding Wading Staff is available in multiple sizes – 59”, 51” and 41” – you can choose the rod of the size that you are most comfortable with.
- Since it is an expensive wading staff, it isn’t the best option for budget-minded anglers.
- The Folstaf Original Folding Staff doesn’t include the features of hiking poles. This means that it isn’t a great option for you if you are looking for a versatile wading staff for both ground hiking and water excursions.
6. Hammers Collapsible Wading Staff
The design of the Hammers Collapsible Wading Staff is similar to some other models but still very effective. It features a bungee collapse design, allowing you to quickly fold the staff down to 12”. It is easy to assemble and you can unfold it with just one hand.
Aluminum alloy tubes are used in the construction of the Hammers Collapsible Wading Staff that reduce weight while maintaining sturdiness. The wrist strap will allow you to use the staff for hiking while the clip-on leach will ensure that you don’t lose the wading staff to the strong current. The carbine tip allows the staff to dig deep into terrain and provide you with a proper footing.
When fully extended, the wading staff is 51” long while its collapsed length is 12”. It is a good option for budget-minded anglers who want good value from their wading staff. If you want a mid-range wading staff that is lightweight, sturdy and can be used for hiking, the Hammers Collapsible Wading Staff should be on your shortlist.
- Thanks to the included leash you don’t have to worry about losing your wading staff to the current in the event of an accidental drop. It is a great feature that isn’t found on several other wading staffs at this price range.
- Bungee collapsible design makes assembly and takedown quick and easy. This staff can also be used for trekking on dry ground. Since it reduces down to 12”, you can easily stash the staff away in a backpack.
- The height of the Hammers Collapsible Wading staff is non-adjustable and it is only offered in one size – 51”. This length may not be a good size for some anglers.
7. Aventik Foldable Wading Staff
This is another lightweight and affordable option for fly anglers. Aventik has designed this Foldable Wading Staff considering the needs of budget-minded anglers. The Aventik Foldable Wading Staff boasts a 4-piece folding design, allowing one-handed operations because of the shock-cord bungee. Aluminum is used in the construction of this wading staff to keep it durable, lightweight and corrosion-resistant.
Tungsten point at the tip allows for a firm grip in different terrains. The Aventik Foldable Wading Staff also sports a rubber point for varied hiking scenarios. The webbing grip and ergonomic handle of the staff will assist you in hiking. When fully extended, the Aventik Foldable Wading Staff is 55” long and it folds down to 12”. The weight of the staff is about 11 ounces.
The Aventik Foldable Wading Staff has the features one would expect in a mid-range wading staff. Its lightweight designed, fixed length and quick assembly make it a great tool to use for support while fishing in a river.
- There are depth markers on an aluminum pole which allow you to assess the depth of the water. It’s a handy feature to have on your wading staff.
- The Avintik Foldable Wading Staff comes with a carrying case which allows you to keep it within arm’s reach when not in use and take it out quickly when required.
- The easy and quick folding design allows for quick, one-handed assembly and simple breakdown.
- The height of the Avintik Foldable Wading Staff isn’t adjustable. It is only available in 55” length, which means that it might not be suitable for all anglers.
8. FishPond Slippery Rock Fly Fishing Wading Staff
Although the FishPond Slippery Rock Fly Fishing Wading Staff is pricey, it performs well and is quite durable. It is comfortable to hold, lightweight and adjustable in size. It can be used for hiking over the ground as well as river. It performs well on both land and water. Since the height is adjustable, you can choose anything between 29” and 57”. The oversized cork knob allows for great control and is comfortable to hold in hand.
- Since the height is adjustable, you can choose the length that you are most comfortable with.
- A bit pricey considering the features. At this price, you can get a wading staff with more impressive features.
Benefits of Wading Staff
- Navigate through Obstacles in the Water
In certain water conditions, the surface isn’t clearly visible so you might not know where you are standing or putting your feet. With a wading staff, you can check if the ground beneath is safe to move ahead.
- Reduces Fatigue
When wading in the river without a wading staff you will get tired pretty quickly. A wading staff provides you support to move against the current and reduces fatigue. It also helps you stay balanced while trying to catch a fish.
- Stability in Wet Conditions
You can slip while walking in the river without support. A wading staff provides you support to stand firm in the river and prevents you from slipping because of traversing water.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Wading Staff
- Folding or Telescopic
The wading staff that you choose should be able to breakdown into a smaller size. It can be a nuisance to carry a long stick with while trying to catch a fish in the river. For breaking down, there are usually two mechanisms – telescopic and folding. Telescopic styles are more versatile and sturdier. They allow for fine height adjustments and you can also use them for hiking over the ground. The downside of this style is that it takes longer for you to set up the staff and the staff tends to be heavier.
A folding design is more convenient and packable. These wading staffs piece together thanks to an internal bungee. This makes for a quick and easy setup. Folding wading staffs are also lightweight and you can easily slide them in a bag. The downside of these staffs is that they aren’t always adjustable in height and you can’t always use them as a hiking pole. They are a good option for anglers who want stability and balance when out fly fishing in the river.
If you want to make your fly fishing excursions more enjoyable and rewarding, it is essential that you get a high-quality fly fishing wading staff. We have listed some of the best wading staffs currently available in the market. Since we have done the legwork for you, you don’t have to search for wading staffs on the internet. All you have to do is see the features and capabilities of the wading staffs we have listed above and consider your needs to select the staff that would be best for you. Take your time to arrive at the final decision so that you buy a wading staff that will make your fly fishing adventures more rewarding.