August 1, 2015

TrailLite Designs Stream Sutikku -- review

I recently received a new product from TrailLite Designs' owner Thom Darrah.  I have a few TrailLite Designs products and I have found them to be well designed, functional, light weight and robust. I use the TrailLite Designs Ti Tenkara net all the time and have come to appreciate it's functionality in every day use.

The new product I received is the Stream Sutikku. As Thom says on the website: Sutikku ("soo-teek-coo") means stick in Japanese.   This wading staff is the modern version of the classic wading accessory. It is made of carbon fiber, thus making it very lightweight and sturdy. The handle section is 17 mm in diameter. Fully collapsed it is 80 cm. Fully extended it is a very generous 145.5 cm. It can be adjusted to any length in between by twisting the lower section counter clockwise, sliding it in or out to the desired length, then twisting it clockwise to tighten. This is very similar to the mechanism on many trekking poles.  The surface of the staff is slightly textured, due to the carbon fiber weave, thus allowing a positive grip. The weight of the staff (without the rubber tip cover) is 155.5 g.


Carbon fiber weave


Length fully collapsed

Length fully extended


At the top of the Stream Sutikku is a small compass. There is also a loop to aid in holding the staff. On the tip of the staff is an anodized milled aluminum cleat, which aids in biting though moss for a more sure contact with the stream bottom. For those seeking a more stealthy contact, a rubber tip cover is provided.



Milled aluminum cleat

Rubber tip cover


I found the Stream Sutikku to be very well made and easy to use. I'm not sure that the compass really is of any usefulness.  Rather maybe a removable top showing a 1/4" threaded platform to allow you to mount your camera so the wading staff becomes a monopod might be more useful.

The staff does oscillate in deep, fast water, but then again, every telescoping type wading staff does this. The Stream Sutikku is better than most and I can only attribute this to the carbon fiber material. Water does get on the inside but it drains out the holes at the top (the ones the the hand loop goes through) when the staff is inverted. This is much better than trekking poles, which have to be pulled apart to dry.

Conclusion: I like this wading staff. It's very lightweight, excellently designed and constructed, and very sturdy. It is a little too thin for my extra large size palms, but I'll add a wrap and that will be fixed. The aluminum tip cleat really bites onto rocks, and the included rubber tip cover works great in softening the sound. All in all -- it's another winner from TrailLite Designs!

Here is a video of me using the Stream Sutikku on a typical moderate sized mountain stream.


















10 comments:

  1. The camera mount top cap will be an available option in the very near future. Thanks again for the gear review of the Stream Sutikku.

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    1. Thanks Thom. Options are always good. Great staff!

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  2. Neat wading staff! Thanks for another review and video.

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    1. Thanks, Shawn. It is a nice staff. I used it again today. It's very light but sturdy.

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  3. Is the aluminum cleat field replaceable?

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    1. It does not appear so. That would be a nice feature. I prefer the rubber cap so my cleat will likely never need replacing.

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    2. The aluminum cleat is set using epoxy and is not field replaceable. If ever damaged it could be returned for repair but all materials and assembly are very high quality.

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  4. A wee bit pricey for some of us. Didn't you, or maybe Chris Stewart, once publish directions for creating a nice homemade staff? I can't find it anywhere...

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  5. Do you think this carbon fiber will hold up to the rocks? My wooden stick gets beat up bad.

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  6. The carbon fiber tubing used is very high quality, strong and durable. Also the lower 6" are reinforced internally with said rocks in mind.

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