Gary Lipon to jansymello [I mean, the substantive "Stange" meaning "perch,"] I don't get an entry for "stange" meaning "perch" in, my first goto source for words, only a town in Norway. So I'm confused as to what you mean...The peculiar thing is that "rail" and "stang" are both monosyllabic and thus work equally well in terms of prosody.Surely VN would have considered a common word like "rail"; thus must of really intended "stang"...
JM: I originally checked in the Oxford Duden Dictionary (German), but on-line there is Stange, indicating perch, stick,rail...:  
Stange Stange  f , -, -n 
a  (=langer, runder Stab) pole 
(=Kleiderstange, Teppichstange) 
(=Gardinenstange, Leiste für Treppenläufer) 
perch, roost 
bit, (Hunt)  (=Schwanz) brush 
branch (of antlers)  (fig)  (=dünner Mensch) beanpole inf 
b  (=länglicher Gegenstand) stick 
eine Stange Zigaretten  a carton of 200 cigarettes 
c  (=zylinderförmiges Glas) tall glass
d  (Redewendungen)  ein Anzug von der Stange  a suit off the peg  (Brit)  or  rack  (US)  
von der Stange kaufen  to buy off the peg  (Brit)  or  rack  (US)  
jdn bei der Stange halten  inf to keep  or  hold sb 
bei der Stange bleiben  inf to stick at it inf  
jdm die Stange halten  inf to stick up for sb inf , to stand up for sb 
eine (schöne  or  ganze) Stange Geld  inf a tidy sum inf  

Translation Stange in the German-English Collins dictionary  
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