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I have had a couple of really close calls in the water. Never mind that I'm petite; we have sold wading staffs to all sizes of people, and many of them, returned from an outing, have told us how grateful they were to have had it with them.
If you're in a strong current, or medium flow with slippery rocks, or any flow with big boulders, or if you are entering or crossing a stream whose bottom you cannot see, you are going to want a wading staff. Once I was fishing too late one night had to "feel" my way in the dark through a back-channel, which would have been impossible without my staff.
If you an experienced anger, you know what I'm talking about. If you are a novice, you might have an idea.
The Ripcord Wading Staff design was adapted from avalanche probe technology. Quick and easy to use, but can easily prevent a wading disaster. Four-section collapsible wading staff assembles in seconds. Built with light and strong 7075 aluminum and kernmantle climbing cord that won't absorb moisture, fray, or stretch. Accessory Kit includes Delrin tip, fly retrieval hook tip, and tip-removal tool. Non-slip EVA grip foam grip. Built-in gear keeper retractor attaches the staff to neoprene sheath that is easily attached to a wader belt. 54"L. Collapsed length 18½". Made in USA.