I used to sneer at people who used a clipstick but, having copied the finest Sard design © Fabrizio Dessì/Simone Sarti, I am converted.
Putting on the quick draws ground-up can be very stressful - you don't know the moves, you end up dynoing and trashing your skin, and above all it's scary trying to do successive moves that are (by definition) at your limit AND trying to place the clips - so I have copied the locals, putting the draws on on either coming down from the chain of a nearby route or using a clipstick to pre-clip the quickdraw and do hard moves with a top-rope, or pulling past them if they seem too hard first time round. This way you get your draws placed with as little energy expenditure as possible and can already have a good look at the holds and moves on the way down, saving you energy for actually trying the route (including on top rope) and, in my case, pushing your RP grade.
The key design feature is the inclined bulldog clip, which means that the "hook" of the krab is horizontal so you can easily put it through the bolt hangar with the clipstick held vertically. Simone's even has the plane of the bulldog clip and krab slightly angled towards the rock to make clipping even easier. Mine doesn't have this feature, and works fine all the same.
The materials (2 folding tent poles - the stiffer the better, large bulldog clip, elastic, metal strip with holes at intervals from hardware store, thin nylon cord) cost all together €15; the epoxy resin, rawl plug and wire I already had at home.
I can assure you that any qualms about using the clip stick are more than dispelled when you start racking up RP's at your limit, on successive days' climbing. This doesn't mean I no longer onsight - far from it - or that every RP works out - several I have backed off because I couldn't do some moves after a couple of goes, and decided to come back in a month or so's time - but I am doing more, harder RP's in less time, and spending much more time actually climbing at my limit. That's got to be good for me!
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