CAS, I usualy usually use a spar varnish, but have recently been using just oil. I like the old and worn look that tung or boiled linseed oil can give. I have used Danish oil for furniture before , but I don't think it would offer any more protection than tung or BLO. Shellac won't offer any protection, I do use it as a sanding sealer though. Lacquer probably won't stand up to moisture. If a stick is going out in the wilderness my vote is spar varnish. If it's a fancier stick, some sort of poly or varnish based finish would probably fit the bill.