There are many different techniques and surface treatments that you can use, or literally do nothing at all. Besides the vast array of surface treatments I recommend at least subtle sanding and a clear sealer to just to make it comfortable to carry and easy to clean. A little random orbit sander makes it easier, but hand sanding suffices just fine. Start with a coarser grit sandpaper (like 60 or 80 grit) and sand with the grain. You might want to fold the paper (to make it thicker) or wear gloves for the initial sanding because some of the pin knots and truncated grain can pierce the skin readily. If the staff has roots you might want to start with a piece of a sanding cloth roll, like 1" wide cloth by maybe an 18" long strip. You can wrap it over a root and pull it back and forth in a sawing motion. This is going against the grain so it'll leave scratches that'll have to be removed but it cleans up the bulk of the mess. Gradually step up to a finer grit each time you sand the entire staff; a 120 or 150 grit is probably as fine as you'll have to go. When you are sanding, remove what you want. I prefer to leave the subtle flat facets from the drawknife, if there are any, and just smooth them out some. I also like to leave a little bit of the cambium intact if it is attached well. At this point I will typically "whisker" it with a damp rag to raise the grain. When it dries lightly sand it again with a finer grit, 150, 180, 220, whatever works. Whiskering it will reduce how much grain rises when you apply a finish to it. t is important that the moisture content is low enough to finish sand and seal. If there are a lot of "fuzzy" areas that don't sand well, chances are the piece is too wet to proceed. If it's dry enough after the final sanding you dust it off with a brush or compressed air and "tack it" to further clean it. You can buy a tack rag but typically you can just take a little of the sealer you are going to use, wipe it on a rag and use that rag to wipe down the entire piece to remove the fine dust. You don't need much on the rag. I typically stir the can and just wipe off the stir stick on my rag. Depending on what product you use you might want to add the a little of the appropriate solvent on the rag as well. You just need the tack rag to be lightly sticky, not gooey. Plan ahead before you start brushing the product on. Where to hold it, how to hang it or stand it up to dry etc. The first coat will absorb the most and it can be applied more liberally than the following coats. If you see any runs or sags brush them out and reduce how much you are putting on. If I don't see any, I push the limit until I do. When the fist coat is dry and hard you'll want to lightly sand the piece with some 220 grit or mabe some 0000 stel wool to take any rough spots off, then tack it and apply another coat. I typically do two or three coats depending on what product I use, which is another discussion in itself.