Apr 19, 2014

Fishpond Slippery Rock Wading Staff: Gear Review

Step into the flow with confidence.

As a fairly new Angler, I find myself asking the same questions quite often, why pay X amount for certain fly fishing items, are they really worth it - is this product really worth the price tag and what makes it different than the rest? Product descriptions alone only get you so far, sometimes leaving out important details and YouTube videos can often feel long and drawn out, I know - I've made a few. All I can provide you are my own personal experiences and hope you make the right choice for you.

For this product review: It began last year at the 2013 IFTD / I-Cast show in Las Vegas. While visiting the show and using a generic brand X mono pod to film some of the show I spotted the Fishpond wading staff, it just so happened to have a camera mount under the cork, not something a whole lot of people realize but a feature that could appeal for those wishing to do a little filming or point and shoot but would rather not have a camera around your neck, or worse stuffed away in a pocket during that money shot. What makes this staff different than most camera mono sticks is that they are sealed where the Fishpond wading staff breaks down into 3 sections. This is important while spending the day on the river and these sections allow you to drain any water still inside the shaft where as a closed unit, like my brand X mono pod retains water after being submerged. That won't happen twice...

"A good wading staff is essential equipment on many rivers."



Don't forget the little things.
GoPro tripod adapter
The boys at Fishpond where able to hook me up and I was glad to test this staff on the Sandy, Deschutes and my most recent adventure the San Juan River this past March. Now some of you may not need or even use a staff, but I found it quite handy to have on hand while trekking into new parts of the river I was unfamiliar with, both for support in high currents and to feel for larger rocks in murkier water. Not to mention the added bonus of the camera mount.

The biggest thing I found this staff had going for was three things: Paint, Cork and Mount.

PAINT SCHEME:
Instead of the a traditional black or chrome stick they opted for a green speckled logo look. See pictures below you'll see what I mean. I would say, most people either love it or hate it. Quite frankly, it grew on me as I'm usually a "dressed in black" kinda guy but overall the paint represented Fishpond really well.

CORK / HANDLE:
I found the cork knob quite comfortable to walk with while walking the trails along the San Juan River and the banks of the Deschutes and Sandy. If I needed a firmer grip I had the option to use the foam handle just under the knob.

CAMERA MOUNT:
The mount itself is nothing special. Standard tripod threads and will attach to any standard camera. GoPro's will need a tripod adapter and the JVC Adixxion that i'm testing attach's beautifully with the option to mount vertical or horizontally (depending on how you want to view the screen). However, I found that this feature alone made it a A+ feature in my book and one of the biggest reasons I would recommend this particular wading staff to anyone else like minded or in the market to film or shoot stills on the water.

Fishpond Slippery Rock Wading Staff



Product Features - 
  • For general wading and hiking support 
  • Advanced locking adjustment system 
  • Oversized cork knob for control and comfort 
  • Padded, adjustable neoprene strap 
  • Foam handle for comfort in cold water 
  • Integrated Combi-tip twist mechanism switches between a rubber tip and tungsten carbide tip 
  • Extends from 29.5” to maximum safe extended length of 57”

Back to my original question. Is the product worth it? If your looking for something with style, quality and purpose? Than the answer would have to be yes. Are their other options on the market, of course. However I hope my brief insight on this product will help guide you in making the right decision for you. 


Remember, whenever wading: Be safe, be happy, Fish On!
Tip: Get a Gear Keeper Retractable Wading Staff Tether or build your own for this product.


Article by: Mike Prine - The Newbie
Gorge Fly Shop - Webmaster



"Fly Fish the World with Us"


2 comments :

  1. Mine eventually locked up, probably from grit. The replacement did too this Spring after only two trips. Couldn't even rotate the shaft with a pliers to unlock it. Fishpond makes some great products, but this is not one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the feedback Gary. I've had mine since March with no issue thus far. A shame none the less. Have you informed Fishpond of the issue? If not send me a email at the Gorge Fly Shop and i'll contact the boys over at Fishpond. Where all did you get to use your staffs? - Mike Prine

    ReplyDelete

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