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Push Pole Length

1851 Views 52 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  Tomkos
Ok before I get all the rule of thumb "3ft longer than your boat" responses, I know the rule of thumb. What I am looking for are folks that are going longer. My sled is 16 and change and am wondering, as I am starting to look for a new pole, if there is any advantage to exceeding the 3ft rule of thumb. Is 19 just right? Would 21 or 23 be absurd? What are the advantages/drawbacks of being too long? Having pole that's too long is something I have zero life experience with... :sneaky:
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21 would be the max I'd do, 20 would be better. Yes, longer is an advantage when poling deeper water. or soft bottom. But for me, the trade-off in dealing with docks/ramps, trailering, running and storage just isn't worth it.
 

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I used a 20 foot pole on an 18 foot boat for years. My new pole is 23 foot. The theory being getting a little more forward motion without having to reset the pole which makes noise no matter how careful you are.
 

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Ok before I get all the rule of thumb "3ft longer than your boat" responses, I know the rule of thumb. What I am looking for are folks that are going longer. My sled is 16 and change and am wondering, as I am starting to look for a new pole, if there is any advantage to exceeding the 3ft rule of thumb. Is 19 just right? Would 21 or 23 be absurd? What are the advantages/drawbacks of being too long? Having pole that's too long is something I have zero life experience with... :sneaky:
21 or 22 is the sweet spot. Not longer unless you tarpon fish a lot.
 

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21 would be the max I'd do, 20 would be better. Yes, longer is an advantage when poling deeper water. or soft bottom. But for me, the trade-off in dealing with docks/ramps, trailering, running and storage just isn't worth it.
Zika nailed it - longer is better when you are poling - the problem is getting to that spot. Get a 24' pole, and you just turned your 16' boat into a 24' boat, which may be fine, but does require more consideration when trailering, turning, launching, and manuevering. There's nothing worse than the sound of a 24' pole catapulting out of your push pole holders at any speed, or the ugly "twang" of it catching on a piling at the ramp as you execute a tight turn..

I have a 20' pole for my 18' Maverick and it isn't enough. I might go 24', but its these considerations that have kept me from doing it. On the other hand, there's nothing quite like being forced to choose between losing your pole or going into the drink when you have a little momentum, are holding onto the 20th foot of the pole . . and the other end is stuck in the mud. Those extra feet make a big difference then!!
 

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My 2cents is, depends on where you fish. As others mentioned if tarpon come into play or maybe soft mud go longer. I always say get the nicest you can afford and the longest you can handle. I pole 100% of the time and have a 24’ for my 16’4 HB Biscayne. I wouldn’t want any shorter and I fish Biscayne Bay exclusively.
 

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If you are fishing hard sand bottom in 2 feet and under you might be able to get away with a 20 or 21. The length of the boat doesn't matter nearly as much as the height of the platform. You can always shorten a push pole and it will look like it came that way, not so with adding length.
You beat me to it.
The platform and water depths are a huge consideration. I switched to a 24 last year. And it took a bit of adjustment for me. But now I don’t even think about it on the boat.
The other day working on my new wood foot install. I couldn’t flip my pole around in my shop anymore. And it’s 30x55x15 no matter what angle it would not work. I had to walk it out in the parking lot and flip it.
But that’s a rare scenario. But trailing it is a daily issue.
 

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Use the minimum push pole length for the water depth you hunt. Shorter, lighter, easier to reset for shallow hunting. Longer, heavier, harder to reset for deep or shallow water. Check Joe Welborn video or ask professionals that fish shallow plus deep. A lot of pros use trolling motors whenever they can get away with it. And most have poles of different lengths. The shoulders are only good for so many lifts.
 
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