To pole or not to pole

john step

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That is the question!
There has been a little bit of friendly banter on here about using/not using a pole.

I don't use one very often but have recently re elasticated my old pole of about 30 years of age vintage.
Its a dinosaur to be honest and only manageable for about 7 to 8 Meters. I prefer yards but that isn't right in pole parlance.

Today(HDYGO) I would have struggled to catch much with even a long rod. The fish wanted it laying on in the flow at a distance beyond rod range. At least any rod I own. The wind was also a factor.

There are limited venues fishing well for me locally at the moment so just getting silvers to bite was a bonus. I wanted to get away from going back to carp dominated waters again as I am all carped out what with the rivers being in their current state.

I think a pole gives just another option for decent presentation and would not use one exclusively like some do.
Another string to ones bow in fact.

Do you stick at rod and reel come what may?
 

sam vimes

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I own a pole and a damned good one (in its day). However, it rarely sees daylight. I don't really fish anywhere that it would be particularly useful and I do prefer a running line. However, if my venues changed, I'd have no hesitation in using a pole again. I'd certainly rather fish a pole than leger. There's a time and place for most methods though.
 

nottskev

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Why anyone woukd cut themselves off from a method that has as many applications and variations as other methods is a mystery to me.

I've used poles since the mid 1970's. The first one, a modified Shakespeare 6m telescopic with a home-made elastic system, was the answer to a canal swim that had a fast-running overflow on the near bank and a big reed-bed with flow going the other way across. With a little bit of peacock and a long line, you could flick the float across and hold the line away from the runner flow and bag up with bream and tench that nobody else caught because floatfished rigs simply pulled out of place. The Shakey was replaced with a glass Garbolino SLV. I had to go to Wimbledon to buy this rare import.

Poles just extend your ability to come up with the answer to all kinds of fishing challenges. It's a pleasure to fish with them and in many situations they are unbeatable. I've caught every species I've caught on rod and line, including grayling, barbel and pike, on a pole. I often choose to use a long rod and pin these days for things I could do with a pole, but I wouldn't handicap myself by using a pole exclusively or avoiding using them.

Occasionally I hear people describe poles as "clumsy", which makes me question whether they've noticed the pinpoint accuracy of plumbing, feeding, placing your float, the opportunity to control exactly how your bait falls in front of the fish, and the ability to use a fraction of the weight other methods need.

Nor is it all about hanging on like grim death to 13m or more of unwieldy carbon. Most of the fish I catch on a pole these days come from between 6 and 10m out, and at these lengths the pole I use probably weighs less than the float rods I started fishing with.
 

whitty

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For me the pole has been directly responsible for the loss of many 'skills' that held you apart from others,casting and feeding to far bank trees/snags/features,i own three,two havent been out for a long time,one a margin pole gets used for crucians,bream and tench occasionally,i only enjoy decent,net sized fish on the pole,smaller fish on it dont do it for me,my main dislike about poles is when bites are at a premium and you have to hold the things for ages,especially in the cold,rod and line for me all the way...
 

whitty

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Why anyone woukd cut themselves off from a method that has as many applications and variations as other methods is a mystery to me.

I've used poles since the mid 1970's. The first one, a modified Shakespeare 6m telescopic with a home-made elastic system, was the answer to a canal swim that had a fast-running overflow on the near bank and a big reed-bed with flow going the other way across. With a little bit of peacock and a long line, you could flick the float across and hold the line away from the runner flow and bag up with bream and tench that nobody else caught because floatfished rigs simply pulled out of place. The Shakey was replaced with a glass Garbolino SLV. I had to go to Wimbledon to buy this rare import.

Poles just extend your ability to come up with the answer to all kinds of fishing challenges. It's a pleasure to fish with them and in many situations they are unbeatable. I've caught every species I've caught on rod and line, including grayling, barbel and pike, on a pole. I often choose to use a long rod and pin these days for things I could do with a pole, but I wouldn't handicap myself by using a pole exclusively or avoiding using them.

Occasionally I hear people describe poles as "clumsy", which makes me question whether they've noticed the pinpoint accuracy of plumbing, feeding, placing your float, the opportunity to control exactly how your bait falls in front of the fish, and the ability to use a fraction of the weight other methods need.

Nor is it all about hanging on like grim death to 13m or more of unwieldy carbon. Most of the fish I catch on a pole these days come from between 6 and 10m out, and at these lengths the pole I use probably weighs less than the float rods I started fishing with.
If i never held another pole again it wouldnt bother me in the slightest Kev,and ive caught decent barbel,carp,tench,chub,perch on them,but to me fishing these days is about enjoyment and pole fishing doesnt give me that,at all,each to their own,but because i dont match fish these days im not forced to use one,heaven....
 

Roger Johnson 2

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Well, this is clearly a thread for insomniacs,( I lay awake half the night worrying about insomnia!)!
I’m with nottskev, when you need pinpoint accuracy such as tight feeding,placing a bait against cover or holding a bait stationary against a flow/ undertow, then nothing touches a pole.
However I prefer running line for the sensations of playing a good fish as I find having a fish bouncing around on a piece of elastic feels a bit remote.
My own use of the pole is mainly keeping one in the pike kit for bait snatching as a small ( cheap 8-9m “beginners”) pole and a couple of winders takes up less space, weight and set up time than a rod reel, and also a top 2 or 3 ( or a whip) is a great way to introduce a newbie to fishing, you can get them fishing within seconds and not spend all afternoon untangling, very useful with my current apprentice aged 5 1/2!
Finally, I do resort to a pole in the depths of winter when I need the accuracy thing.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

peterjg

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Well I must confess that a few months ago I bought a 8m system whip. There are a few spots with overhanging trees where I can now ship the float out into position. It is also sometimes used for laying on.

Although it does have its uses and some advantages it is an ugly way to fish - so for me it's rod and line whenever possible.
 

seth49

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I’ve had one for a couple of years now, it’s just a 8 metre margin pole, but as mentioned it’s another method which works well for silvers tench and crucians,
I don’t use it on my new fishery because the carp fight so hard here, they just zoom of and break the nylon, one even broke the pole when I used 16 to 20s elastic in it.

But it’s a good method I’ve had some cracking fish on it, I particularly like the accuracy it gives me, feeding and fishing in a small area, works well for silvers, most of the time I just use two sections and a top kit, so it’s easy to use at that length, like it a lot more than I thought i would.
 

rich66

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I have 3 poles all left to me by my late brother. I’ve not got a clue how to use them. I’m pretty sure they are mixed up between each other and no idea how to sort them . I’ve used whips when taking my kids fishing but preferred the running line.
 

wetthrough

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I like to be comfortable in a proper chair when I'm fishing and by most accounts I've read a chair isn't really practical when using a pole. Poles clearly have a massive advantage over running lines in some situations, canals in particular. I just find the running line so versatile and enjoy overcoming (sometimes!) the challenges it does present.
 

mikench

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No comment!:rolleyes:

Ps. I haven't the time to do justice to my rods and reels without Poles.
 

whitty

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There are three things that tbe pole are brilliant at,one is feeding(with a pot),putting the float in position,especially under trees is second,but the main one is presentation. However fishing in a tow with a pole with baits like maggot and caster is something ive found does not pay to be stationary and have caught on the waggler 8yds along over loose feed,even on pellet,something that is virtually impossible to present correctly on the pole unless you start with 2m of pole behind you and feed it out as the tow takes the float,so as to keep online....

As for insomnia,im waking between 3&3.30am every morning,its now becomi g a mental thing i think,i think a bottle of Jerry's JD might cure it...
 
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nottskev

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Each to their own, of course. But if we just stop at that, we'll have nothing to write about, so I'll add a bit more.

I don't see the need to make it an "either/or" matter. Fishing methods are complementary, not exclusive.
Knives and forks each have their uses.

Somebody said pole's an "ugly" method, and a few others imply something similar. Ok, but just as I appreciate how "pretty" running line is, there's nothing ugly about a float dotted til it's just held up in the film, sometimes in places you could never put or keep a float, and bites that can be hit in the blink of an eye on a short line.

Rod and line is certainly versatile. But it's less, not more versatile than than the option to select either or both.

It's absolutely true that you can't fish a pole beyond a shortish length from a chair. But I can't fish any method properly from a chair - except waiting a long time for a bite, which I'm always loath to do.


I wonder if some anglers fight shy of poles because they haven't really tried? I'd been fishing for a fair while before I found a mate one day fishing the canal basin in Chester with this revolutionary bit of kit, the first (or one of) 10m carbon pole. Made by Fothergill and Harvey, later TriCast, by the way. I watched him for a bit while he caught some bream with a still bait in a swim that always towed due to locks. Then he said "You have a go". I did. It felt like I'd never fished before, and I shaped up like an idiot. Shipping out, I bounced the rig into a tangle. Shipping out a second time, I realised I'd no idea how to hold the thing. Having got a grip on it, the float went down, and I was still solving the puzzle of how to move the tip, 10m away, 2 feet, when it came back up. Next time, I hit the bite and float plus fish came out of the water. And so on. Yes, it can be like that when you first have a go. A while later on you will be waving the thing around as easily as your float rod. But it needs practice like anything else. Using a reel, for instance.
 

steve2

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I have various poles and whips from 16m down to margin poles all left over from my match fishing days when you had to have them to compete equally.
Now they rarely see the light of days unless I have a use for them where I don't have to drag around a seat box and all the bits and pieces. I have used them successfully on small streams and lakes where I have dropped baits into small gaps in weed beds.
Most tackle as a place in angling and to rule one out could mean the difference between a blank and a good day.
 

whitty

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Yes Steve,my big issue now is that though i dont like blanking,i accept it more readily,i find more enjoyment working out how to make set up work,put that alongside the fact that catching a few 2oz roach is tantamount to blanking to me...
 

peter crabtree

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It's obvious that poles are like Marmite, you either like them or not. To really get the most out of one, as with most aspects of fishing, practice makes perfect.
One of the vital things to get right is the height of your seatbox, too high or low can make it a chore. Positioning rollers is another factor which comes with experience, a good pole angler rarely looks behind himself whilst shipping back, eyes should be firmly on the business end and what the fish is doing.
Then of course there's the pole itself. Only the really dedicated pole users would dream of spending £2000+ on one, but the difference when you get to use a top range pole is very noticeable.
The average margin pole @ 9meters weighs on average 850g+. A top range pole @ 16meters weighs the same.
Obviously a totally different tool.
For me the greatest advantages of using one is the presentation aspect. That far bank slack on a river, which with rod and line is impossible to cast to.Then, even if managed, it will only be moments before the current catches the slack line and pulls it away.
Likewise holding a float back in the flow of a river so it remains stationary can produce bites a moving float may not achieve .
Even on some lakes there is a tow which will affect a float and running line, a pole again has the advantage of holding position.


The downside is the cost of the pole and its vital accesories such as rollers, breakages are more common on expensive poles too due to their lightness. A new section can be hundreds of pounds...

To pole or not to pole ?

For me yes, mainly due to the examples above and the desire to compete in competition fishing .
 

whitty

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As soon as i saw you had posted Simon i thought you personally have to use them,just to be able to compete,its a must in match fishing,there again so is carryingfour float rods,four feeder rods,four whips,exaggeration i know but you know where im coming fro.
 

nottskev

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Reading between the lines, some seem to see pole as a complication and a weighty chore compared to rod and line.
I think it's often the other way around. If you are fishing say 6, 7, 8m from the bank, there's nothing lighter, simpler or more streamlined than a pole. Who needs the weight of a reel with it's mousetrap bail-arm and enough line to fish at the far end of a football pitch? Also, I never use rollers unless longer than 9/10m - soft ground or a holdall etc does the job, so no clutter needed.

That said, at longer lengths, poles can make you sit in a fixed, set position, and if you're prone to physical aches and pains, being able to move around a bit on your box is appreciated, and you can do this with more easily with rod and line.

I agree poles can pull off special tricks, like fishing in awkward spots, near to snags, over the flow etc etc - but the presentation can be made so good that the pole will often do bread-and-butter open-water stuff more effectively than rod and line.
 

whitty

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Kev,they do virtua!ly everything they can reach,but holding one at say eight metres or more combined with waiti g more than ten minutes for a bite is a chore,especially if its cold,a fantastic angling tool which to get a good one is expensive,which wears quickly on the sections that are broken down on,plus i dont need one...
 

nottskev

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Kev,they do virtua!ly everything they can reach,but holding one at say eight metres or more combined with waiti g more than ten minutes for a bite is a chore,especially if its cold,a fantastic angling tool which to get a good one is expensive,which wears quickly on the sections that are broken down on,plus i dont need one...
I don't usually wait that long :) I'm not trying to persuade you personally, Alan - just saying, as they say.
BTW, as to wearing out. I am still using the top end Shimano I bought in 1993! I've got through some bottles of Jointsave, and I can't quite believe it myself, but there it is. Best £650 I ever spend in fishing.
I've got two full spares lined up - but they're just gathering cobwebs. I can't imagine the total number/weight of fish that have been caught on it.
 
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