A good wading staff is probably the most important piece of equipment you will ever take salmon fishing.
Grandfathers walking stick will not do. Nor will the same stick with a bit of lead in the base and a string attached to it. Nor for that matter will one of the collapsible wading sticks on the market. I have fished a number of people out of the river as a result of these collapsible sticks collapsing without warning.
A good stick must be long – at least from the ground to just under your arm-pit when standing straight. Straight – if it is not it will set up a vibration in the water when you hold it in the current which makes it difficult to hold in the current and frightens the fish. The lanyard must be of the correct length, just long enough so that you can extend your arm but not so long that you cannot reach it in the water. The lanyard must have a break away clip so that you can loose it in the nasty event that you go for a swim and the stick jams under a rock and holds you down.
Finally a good wading staff should not be a nuisance and in the way when you don’t need it. For this reason I designed the extra clip mechanism on mine that enables you to clip it behind you when not in use.
Oh and you can measure your fish with it!