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I use a 21’ on my Saltmarsh 1444 and its ideal. I’m not an expert but my experience is; polling from cooler: 17’+ , polling from platform; 20’+ , polling in 4-6’ of water(tarpon) 24’ish

If you are buying a new heron, I got a great price on the moonlighter carbon pole that was tough to beat. I’m very pleased with it, it’s lighter and just as stiff as a stiffy hybrid. The only thing is if you pole in deeper water you might want a heavier pole. I use it in 6’+ Freshwater fishing but you have to shoot it down fairly hard to get traction
 

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I’ve got a Heron 16 with a 20’ Stiffy Hybrid and no trolling motor, so I’m poling or drifting. The 20’ length does really well in skinny water and a sand or grass bottom. However, I run out of pole at times fishing over soft mud. Also, when poling in 3-5 ft. of water, I could pole more efficiently (smaller angle relative to the bottom) if I had 3-4 ft. of extra pole. I’m in the process of getting my pole extended to 23’.

I suggest going with 23-24 ft. Even if you fish shallow most of the time, you’ll be placing the pole less often, and you’ll be able to pole in deeper water if you need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Perfect, that helps quite a bit. I figured a longer pole would be a smart decision. I will likely go that route.

jwaddiso

I would be interested in hearing how you like the heron 16. Where you fish and overall how it performs.
 

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Get the longest pole you can store. Longer pole equals less pushes from point A to point B and you can keep the foot or stake in the water more when pushing instead of pulling it out and breaking the surface...which could spook fish.
 

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CKEAT,

The Heron is a really good boat and I'd be happy to chat about it (phone or messaging). PM me either way. Also, I've been meaning to put together a build thread with the all the photos from the build and add-ons. I'll work on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good
A longer push pole is good for calm days and deeper water, but since he is fishing the windy shallow bays of Texas the 21' is more suited for that purpose. I like windy days, but don't take my word for it, call Kevin Shaw at Stiffy.
Good point, thanks for throwing that out there!
 

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A longer push pole is good for calm days and deeper water, but since he is fishing the windy shallow bays of Texas the 21' is more suited for that purpose.
I can always stand to learn something new.....so how does a longer pole, say 24', inhibit poling efficiency in shallow water on windy days? My though process is that with a longer pole, you can have a decreased entry angle and can make short, subtle pushes without having to walk your hands up and down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is good info.

I have a bay boat (many reasons why over a skiff) but I am now in a position to have both and I fly fish almost exclusively so it will help me a ton. I usually carry diablo kayaks on bay boat out to the flats and drop them off and pole those around. Lots of work involved there.

Glad to be finally getting a skiff and glad to have a forum to acquire some useful info. Thank you all.
 

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I poled the old BT many a mile with a 20 foot pole. Next pole will be 21 and no longer.

1) Some docks and ramps are already tight with a 20 foot pole strapped to the skiff. Now add another 4 foot to that and things can get really tight.

2) And on a 24 footer I would darn sure have a red flag hanging off the end when trailering. I was always waiting to get the pole hit at a stop light. Never happened but it could.

3) On the other hand, a 24 footer would be better for reaching out and nudging stingrays.
 
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I pole into the wind a lot in Texas in order to keep the sun. When I do that I don't use much of the pole, maybe three feet. So any extra length is just more weight to lift and plant.
I have a 21' Stiffy Extreme so I have yet to find a situation where the lift and plant is an issue when poling. I do not have a 24' only because I cannot store it.
 
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