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Author Topic:   Best push pole for a Classic Whaler
Dr T posted 12-19-2003 09:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for Dr T   Send Email to Dr T  
The thread has finally pushed me to ask a question that I have pondered often, but been loathe to ask:

What is the best pushpole for a Classic Whaler?

What materials should be used, what should the business end look like (and does it depend on the bottom), how long should it be, and does its length depend on the boad length?

I once had a bright idea about a dozen years ago or so of making one out of PVC for my 13. I must say it was a resounding failure. It turned out to have about as much backbone as a piece of over-cooked pasta.

I have pondered other materials (such as closet rod doweling), but the question remains.

Thanks in advance.


quickfarms posted 12-19-2003 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for quickfarms  Send Email to quickfarms     
Look at this site they have a lot of information

soggy bottom boy posted 12-19-2003 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for soggy bottom boy  Send Email to soggy bottom boy     

An aluminum shaft, telescoping unit is the best. An octagan (sp.?) shape is strongest. There are various head units available. The type of bottom you use should dictate. I use a unit that collapses when being pulled up, and spreads on the push stroke. Kinda like a duck bill.

Hope this helps,

Moe posted 12-19-2003 11:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Topic: Best push pole for a Classic Whaler

Dr. T, do you really believe a "classic" Whaler requires a different push pole than a "modern" Whaler? Does it have to be solid mahogany? Or are you saying that because you're sipping Jim's Glenlivet again? LOL!

In fact, do you really think a push pole for a Whaler requires a different push pole than any other brand of boat?

Just curious...

Jerry Townsend posted 12-20-2003 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Moe - when I saw the topic posed - I almost choked laughing - and just had to see to what extreme this thing has been carried. Jim's Glenlivet must be pretty powerfull stuff!

And with that, I rest as I cannot think of a thing that is constructive and objective to contribute. Ted - my friend -you need to see a doctor. But, this is the first laugh I have had this morning - thanks. --- Jerry/Idaho

jstachowiak posted 12-20-2003 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak     
For a "Classic Whaler" the pushpole should be octagon bamboo, from central China. Very rare but you an still get them. They are hand wrapped with silk threads at the connection points (three part) and screw together with solid brass connections, like a pool cue. Three coats of marine varnish and I believe they will even hand write your name or boat name on it. Avaible in 16, 18 and 21 feet.
elaelap posted 12-20-2003 07:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Hey stach...your handmade custom imported model would be inexpensive compared to some of the pushpoles made by quickfarms' link...$900+ for their top o' the line poles!
Well, let's see...a nice Stiffy pushpole would set me back just about one-third the cost of my Katama, trailer, and beat-up-but-then-functioning Evinrude...sounds good to me. And even better fuel economy than my "grossly underpowered" 50 hp Yamaha repower...hmmmm...too bad I get most of my salmon in 100-400 feet of water.


jstachowiak posted 12-20-2003 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak

Yeah but with a name like Stiffy, how can you go wrong.

Dr T posted 12-20-2003 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Hmmmmm....Scottie's offers a pushpole made by G. Loomis. It must be targeted at the "brand name loyalty" segment of the market. It is even more expensive than some of their fly rods.

And, it is not JimH's Glenlivet. It is not even Laphoig, although either would serve in a Pinch.

I like the notion of being able to take one down into segements, but Tony points out the fundamental problem: The takedown pushpoles are too expensive.

Now this WAS a serious query. (I admit, it was backlash to some of the pseudo-philisophical bashing in other places on the forum, but it WAS a serious query.) So far we have had a couple of manufacturers referenced (but no strong STIFFY vs. LOOMIS partisanship yet).

However, my enquiring mind still wants to know.

(Jerry, it gets this way every quarter when I am trying to get a research report out. I have learned to live with it.--Terry)

hooter posted 12-21-2003 02:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
OK, now, pay attention. THIS is the definitive push pole, link: .

While the stiffy brand name has much t' recommend it, and the pole-cat brand just smells right, the duck-billed variety is what it's all about here abouts.

I'm deep into a fresh bottle o' Glenlivet 18 t'night, which is good, as it's keepin' me out o' the JW Blue. Need t' keep that stuff for special occasions, like t'morrow night. And none of it b'longs t' Jim, 'sfar as Ah know:-!

jstachowiak posted 12-21-2003 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak     
Like everything else if you use it everyday, maybe the G Loomis or Stiffy $900 pole is worth it. If you use it a dozen times a year, then any $200 pole should work great. Graphite will conduct a lightning strike, so keep that in mind.

FYI, you do not need a poling platform to pole, many guides in the Bahamas pole from the floor of the boat, and do just fine. All the platform does is get you a better line of sight and a little better leverage.

kingfish posted 12-21-2003 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I've always thought the pole served the platform, not vice versa; I've thought the platform was to get a better non-glare view of the prey being poled after-
Moe posted 12-21-2003 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
That's my understanding of the platform, too.

Nevertheless, I'd opt for the longer pole. Keep in mind that when you've run the bow aground, you want to be in the stern to take the weight off the bow when trying to push it free. In fact, just moving your weight from side to side in the stern sometimes works the bow loose if you aren't stuck too badly.


Mumbo Jumbo posted 12-21-2003 07:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mumbo Jumbo  Send Email to Mumbo Jumbo     
I pole from the bow of my 13 Whaler using an 18' glass/graphite combo Stiffy. It is the correct length and is light enough that you can pole for hours without tiring. I have emphysema and the light weight helps. I also use the pole on my Eastport which has a poling platform thwart mounted flush on the side rails back near the engine. The 18' pole is fine for this as well –but a 21' would be perfect if I only used the Eastport. Moonlighter Marine in south Florida makes a nice two piece fiberglass pole that is a good fit for the 13. It has a well designed coupling and, although it does weigh more than the glass/graphite Stiffy, it costs less. Email me if you want pics.
Whalerdan posted 12-22-2003 08:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     

I bought a Stiffy that is really made for canoes and kayaks. It is 1.25" dia vs the regular Stiffy 1.5". It's 14 ft and came with mahogany tip and foot for $150. So far so good and the wood on it looks good with the boat (Montauk).
Over the LINE posted 12-22-2003 08:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Over the LINE  Send Email to Over the LINE     
I'm with Hooter. The link he has shows the pole that I have been using for several years. It has put up with some hard use down here in the Louisiana marsh (brackish water). The only problem I had was the aluminum corroded under the powder coat (paint peeled) and I had to repaint (it needed some camo anyway). I've leaned into it hard enough to break a wooden push pole and have yet to fold it.

I've used a carbon fiber pole on a friends boat. Extremely light and really nice, but he cries everytime someone breaks it.

Good Luck

BOB KEMMLER JR posted 12-22-2003 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for BOB KEMMLER JR    
hehehehe you said stiffy
Robob2003 posted 12-22-2003 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Robob2003  Send Email to Robob2003     
I made one out of PVC with a tee for a foot and jointed it every four feet with a threaded coupling and it works okay. For fishing alone an electric trolling motor is superior and won't set you back much more than a Stiffy or a Loomis pole.

If you must pole, relax later with a sip of whatever. I like Glenmorangie Port Wood 12 year old single malt.

It's really sweet, smooth and drunk like cognac mixed with just a few drops of spring water.

Merry Christmas from Bob on Tampa Bay:-)

hooter posted 12-23-2003 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
Ah've found that any water at all in a tumbler is best applied only after you's drained all the Scotch and you intend to clean the glass for winter storage.
Robob2003 posted 12-23-2003 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Robob2003  Send Email to Robob2003     

What winter storage??

I had a real Scotch aficionado who owns a bar specializing in the stuff in Sarasota put me on to the few drops of water trick. It really does make it taste better. Don't ask why, I just enjoy it. I don't try to understand it:-)

Merry Christmas,

Bob on Tampa Bay

goodad posted 12-23-2003 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for goodad  Send Email to goodad     
Hey..Thought I'd get into this..Here in Pittsburgh (shot and a beer town) I like a nice draft and a Jim Beam on ice to compliment..I will be traveling to the Keys in Feb. for 6 wks. and was trying to figure out a cheap way to pole for some bonefish and etc.having never caught one..(just recently retired) Will be trailering my 85 18' Whaler Outrage and I love to fly fish so I thought I'd give it a try....Due to my past occupation I have access to some outdated and slightly worn pole vault poles in the 15' class which I intend on using..Have no idea how they will work in the environment at the Keys but recycling seems an option...Price is right!!!!! Bill
Dr T posted 12-24-2003 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
That sounds like an excellent idea.

I think you would need to fit one of Hooter's push pole feet on it, though.

I wonder if you could gel coat the pole to match the boat?


Buzzorouter posted 12-29-2003 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buzzorouter  Send Email to Buzzorouter     
For my "Classic Whaler" (Montauk) I chose a combination oar/hook/push pole. It has a hand hole in the oar end and a combination hook/push on the other end. It is light weight and telescopic. As you know there is limited gunnel areas in a whaler to store such a devices. With the combo unit you only have to attatch one pole. I use the nylon snap in brackets and have it mounted in the front on the side under the fist section of bow rail.
woodenflatsboats posted 08-19-2009 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for woodenflatsboats  Send Email to woodenflatsboats     
I make wooden push poles if any one interested in one I can be reached at 239 462 7243. Ask for Bruce. Solid or hollow.

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