Wading stick for tenkara

I’m using a tenkara stick since I read Tom’s blog : Teton Tenkara: Making a Human Tripod

As tenkara let our left hand free, it’s easy to use this hand to hold a wading stick.

It’s very useful when you got older and mine saved hundred of my flies from the trees .

Sometimes it helps to save my friend’s flies : have a look at 3’ in this video:

It’s easy to make our own tenkara staff, mine has an Alpine chamois horn that make easy to grab the lower branches.

Do you use this kind of tool ? Come on, show us your wading stick


What a wonderful wading staff! Mine is not so nice as yours, but I can’t wade without it. It keeps me from falling! And with it I’ve retrieved dozens of flies from trees and underwater snags as well!


Inspired by Tom Davis, I used to use a regular senior citizen’s wooden walking stick as my wading staff and fly retriever. currently I’m using a metal, collapsible senior citizen’s walking stick, becuase my wooden one broke when I tried to use it as a machete to smash my through blackberries.
I’m now thinking that perhaps a cut-down, grinded and sanded hockey stick might also work? Thoughts?

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I’ve made hiking sticks out of golf club blanks, adding a handle and a carbide tip.


Merci messieurs.Thank you for your insight, It’s nice to see that many of you are converting tools from other sports( hockey, golf) to fit our game.

I also love the staff because they increase your stability while you’re casting. A better stability = better accuracy

This morning we were fishing on a small creek and had often slingshot casts to do. When you need your two hands you can hang the staff on a ring. Here my friend Daniel is carrying it in the ring of his tamo.

I have a bunch of wading staffs, a metallic one that makes too much noise when I hit the rocks, and 4 wooden staffs. For small creeks I use this one, it’s light and has a roe deer horn:

Another advantage of wood is its insulation, when you have to cross under an electrical fence

Once he crossed my friend is returning me the courtesy. Daniel too can not fish without his tenkara staff

I have just a concern with my tenkara staffs, my wife think I have enough Makilas and walking staffs and don’t want any more in her hall :grin:


I walked along the river with a wooden staff and thought I needed to buy a folding, metal-covered staff. Bought and realized that he rattles on the stones. When the lower part of it gets stuck in the stones, the upper part continues to move with me. Everything is relative, you need to make a wooden staff.


Sorry bad pictures 3.2 oz weight carbon fiber golf shaft and Leki hiking tips, gossamer gear handles.


I bought a pair of High Stream Gear aluminum carbide-tipped hybrid telescoping/folding trekking poles that have cork hand grips and included removable mud baskets and rubber tip covers, and a belt pouch for each pole off Amazon for a around $35 (they’re up to $45 now). I carry one in a pouch on my wading belt. The collapsed length is 14.5 inches. They’re not quite as stout as my BD poles but collapse much shorter and are about 1/2 the cost. They work very well as a wading staff and were a great deal at <$20 per pole. I think they are still a good deal $23 per pole

I think it’s time I started using one.

I like the T handle of Dr. Toms.

I have a lightweight travel “balance pole” that will break in a second. It’s used for steadying, not weight bearing.

I like the idea of NOT having to worry about it.

This will be fun making it and more importantly, using it.

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Jean Santos, can I use your pictures for a piece I am going to make on wading staffs? You are an artist, a fishing artist and I love what you do.

Hi Adam , of course you can…I feel myself more craftman than artist and I love making stuf for tenkara fishing.Thank you for your comments.

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Thank you Jean-Santos.

I bought my wood stick yesterday. I’ll get this all together and bring it back here.

I think making your gear is part of being a tenkara fisherman. Making a wading staff is pretty freaking cool. I am inspired by you guys and I want you to know it. Dr.Tom and Jean Santos, I think Chris Stewart makes his too.

My hat is off to you guys.

I will be happy being steady.

@JeanSantos , would you be willing to do an interview?

I’m well on my way, I’m making a T-handle staff ala Dr.Tom Davis.

I’m really digging it, I’ll use it next time I go fishing, super stoked.

Check the page, I’ve made three blanks, one for myself, one for my fishing buddy (his will be pink wrapped) and there is an extra that I will sell to re-coup my money. You can pick out your own color paracord if you so desire at boredparacord.com otherwise, I’ll just lean it in the corner and finish it later.

I will finish the two shortly.

Super fun to make your own stuff for fishing.


I’ve got a couple of blanks just waiting to be put together.

If you are interested in one, let me know and I’ll finish it for you.

Been thinking about using a wading stick as well, since my left hand is free most of the time and might save me from an awful humble.
Wondering what people do with their sticks once they have to handle a fish? Do people place the stick on the bank, have it attached to a string, tuck handle in belt, etc?

I’ve been using the Zpacks carbon fiber staff as a wading staff. I like the fact that’s it’s lightweight and folds down to a very small package so it works well for my style of ultralight backpacking. I attached a gear keeper to it and just let it hang behind me while I fish. It’s so lightweight I forget it’s there. It is also really strong and I’ve had it save my bacon a few times while getting up and down into some pretty sketchy places. I’d love to figure out how to attach some sort of hook or antler thing to the top. That would be a nice upgrade.

I like the paracord wrap, do you actually glue it to the staff? I’m thinking I may try that with my carbon fiber staff.