Making a Wading Stick

Needle Tubes and Tube Flies

How to make a simple wading staff

by John Gray

Making a wading stick for salmon fishing

Until this year, I had never used a wading stick. Apart from the very occasional lapse of concentration, resulting in an unscheduled, and never life threatening, ducking, I have managed to keep my feet fairly well over forty years of loch and river fishing. In general, for loch and river trout fishing, and for night time sea trout fishing, I would find a wading stick an unnecessary encumbrance, and I have never felt a pressing need for a third leg in such fishing. In recent seasons, though, an increasing number of outings on medium and large salmon rivers, such as the Spey, Teith and Earn, combined with the lack of agility which comes with the slow but steady advance in years, has convinced me of the wisdom in taking a bit more care in potentially risky situations.

Wherever possible, I find much more satisfaction in using tackle I have made rather than bought .... rods, flies, spinners, priests etc. So, in the early Spring, before the fishing season got properly underway, I went in search of a stout stick. I must say that I found the search itself most enjoyable, a bit like searching through a second hand bookshop for a hidden gem, with the added benefit of a good bit of much needed exercise thrown in. Having cut several likely looking sticks of various kinds from a number of locations, including ash and willow, I finally settled on a nice length of hazel. Hazel sticks could almost have evolved for use as wading or walking sticks. They have a smooth and attractive bark, grow straighter than most other trees, with a gradual taper and a minimum of side shoots. Ideally, when cut, a stick should be sealed at both ends to prevent cracking and stored in a dry place for six months or so before working on it. Being rather impatient, and in need of a stick for the imminent fishing season, I left the stick for only a few weeks before starting on it and I must say that I can detect no fault in the resulting wading stick, which is shown in the photographs below.

The stick is 54 inches in length, loaded with about 12 ounces of lead contained within a length of 22 mm copper pipe, while the foot is a rubber rod butt cap, all held together with silicone sealant. The short detachable cord is looped to the ring on my wading jacket or waistcoat. I have found the simple flat top on the handle useful for leaning on, rather than a v-shaped thumb grip.


Wading stick handle with lanyard

The Wading stick handle and lanyard


Metal ring and clip for lanyard

Metal ring and lanyard clip

Book - Sea Trout Nights



weighted copper tube for wading stick

Weighted copper tube and rubber foot

 Salmon Spinhead


HMH Tube Fly Tool



Grays of Kilsyth

Salmon Flies

Trout Flies

Fly Fishing Knots

Salmon Fishing Scotland

Trout Fishing Scotland

Sea Trout Fishing

Sea Trout Flies

Tube Flies

The Tube Fly Shop





needle tube fish ] The Spinhead ] The Needle Fly 2 ] Bead Tube Flies ] The Needle Fly 3 ] Grays Needle Tubes ] Needle Tube Flies ] Micro Tubes ] Tube flies ] sea trout fishing ] Linked Tube Flies ] Flug ] Endrick Sea Trout ] An August Night ] The Sea Trout Fisher ] The Muckle Saumon ] stocking ] religion ] Brown Trout or Sea Trout ] Magus fly ] sea trout decline ] sea trout river ] Memories ] needle shrimp ] fly lines ] spey cast ] spey sea trout ] hill walk ] highland river ] corrie loch ] grays loop ] [ wading stick ] Inverness fishing ] Aberlour Fishing ] Sea Trout ] Avon sea trout ] steelies ] cascade tube flies ] steelhead needle tubes ] tube fly vise ] blackback tube flies ] catch and release ] salmon fly hooks ] Spey salmon and sea trout ] needle tube fly or waddington ] fiery cascade tube fly ] black & silver tube fly ] scottish shrimp flies ] river spey photographs ] wee monkey tube flies ] Irish shrimp tube fly ] cascade step-by-step ] spring tube flies ] River Nairn ] Mallard & Silver Fly ] black & yellow tube fly ] River Dulnain ] sea trout fly ] Loch Fly ] Willie Gunn tube fly ] black & pink fly ] upside down flies ] magus shrimp fly ] dusty miller fly ] spring green tube fly ] beltra badger tube fly ] minitube flies ] snake tube flies ] summer shrimp flies ] night tube fly ] skye ] lammas shrimp fly ] salmon tingler ] salmon shrimps ] salmon fly depth ] ruddy buck tube fly ] salmon needle fly ] stoats tail ]

Trout and Salmon Fishing