Thursday, October 24, 2013

Simms Wading Staff

 I had the misfortune of watching my wading staff float down the Taylor River because I carried it untethered and needless to say it did not stay put.

Fortunately, I was fishing with my gear expert, Mike over at Big Dry Fly, who let me field test a Simms folding wading staff that he had brought along on the trip. After using his, Santa was nice enough to bring me one for Christmas last year.

My intent for sharing my experience with the Simms Wading Staff is twofold – one to share with you an amazing tool any fly fisher should have by their side even if they never intend to use it. Secondly, to give a heartfelt shout out to the amazing customer service I received from Aaron, at St. Peter’s Fly Shop and the responsiveness of Simms!

The Simms wading staff is well worth its weight in gold. The engineering that went into the staff obviously was the result of field use and input from end users.

The staff itself was amazing! It is an aluminum sectional staff that has a cable running through the center of the sections that allow for easy use and folding. It quickly extends and locks in place with a locking collar and comes in two lengths – 52 or 56”. The staff was lightweight, easy to use and easy to put away. It is very sturdy and had no problems keeping my 210 pound self upright in the crazy pocket water I sometimes find myself in. Regardless of the air or water temperature, the molded rudder grip was comfortable and did not slip.

The staff is attached to a neoprene holster with a retractable wire system that allows for easy use; however, retracts quickly. The staff can quickly be released from the retractor with a quick release clip. I have found that neither the retractor nor the clip have hindered its use or storage. The retractor is attached to the neoprene holster so you do not have to worry about losing any part of the system.

The neoprene holster is a tight fitting pouch that eliminates excess material that might get in the way. The holster rides very comfortably, regardless of where you intend to carry the staff. I carry mine on my waist attached to a neoprene wading belt Simms makes. The holster is self-draining and has a belt loop that can be easily worn on your wading belt, attached to your vest, or attached to a sling pack without purchasing the wading belt. The holster and the belt are sold separately. The entire rig; staff, holster, and belt; packed away very easily in my gear bag.  Definitely a keeper! Check out the wading staff at www.simmsfishing.com/wading-staff.html

I have only had one problem with the staff. This year in Gunnison, after getting off the water on day three, I noticed that the webbing that held the retractable wire system to the neoprene holster had unraveled. The webbing literally unraveled.  I was still able to use the staff and the holster for the remainder of the trip. I was able to tuck the retractable wire system under my wading belt without fear of the staff going for a swim.

After getting home to the fun fort, I apprehensively thought about the process of getting the holster repaired or replaced.  
I stopped by St. Peter’s Fly Shop’s south location in Fort Collins and chatted with Aaron.  Of course in his laid back, ready to hit the water demeanor, he simply said no problem! If you have ever met him you know what I mean. 

In a matter of minutes he had it tagged and ready to be sent back to Simms.  If you are ever in Fort Collins, stop in and checkout St. Pete’s at either their north or south locations. Whether it is just to stop in and chat, book a trip, get some advice/recommendations, or purchase quality gear; their staff rocks!  Both locations are full service fly shops that are worth stopping in just to check out their locations! www.stpetes.com

Hats off to Simms! Without a question they replaced the holster and shipped it back to St. Pete’s in 10 days! They did not require one piece of documentation. It sufficed that their name was on the product! I have no doubt that the webbing just failed and stuff happens. No big deal. What was a big deal was the confidence in their products and customer service they instilled in me!

8 comments:

  1. I am really impressed with this staff, I wish I had found this type staff before I bought the one I am using. I will keep the link for future reference. I never go on the water now without my staff. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Hey Bill! Tell ya what I never used to carry a staff; however, it is a piece of insurance that I take all the time now. I am pleased with the staff! Thanks for stopping by and tight lines buddy!

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  2. Thanks for the nice review Al. When I started fly fishing seriously many years ago, my first purchase was a Simms wading staff. I agree 100% with review. I've always got it with me. Well made and backed by Simms customer service, this is a must have.

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    1. Always a pleasure Howard! All it takes is one time stuck thinking to yourself man I wish I had..... You know how effective the staff is and I am a believer without a doubt! Thanks for your continued support!

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  3. Nice review! What a great staff, I've had mine for over 6 years and it is still going strong. Great product. Glad they took care of fixing yours.

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    1. Thanks Buddy! I appreciate being able to field test yours! I am definitely sold! The service from both St. Pete's and Simms was awesome! Tight lines!

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  4. I notice it comes in two sizes 52 inch or 56 inch. What size would you recommend for someone approx 6ft regualr build?

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  5. Osprey thanks for stopping by. I would go with the 56 inch. See if you can find one before you purchase it. Turn it upside down and place the handle on the floor. Grab the bottom of the extended wading staff 2-3 inches below the end of the staff. Get the size that allows your forearm to be as parallel to the floor as possible. Thanks for stopping by and hope it helps

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