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New pole coming in handy lately

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I got a pole that I plan to use on the Susquehanna and Lehigh rivers near me in Pa. I haven't gotten to do that yet but I did get to use it to navigate through and over ice to get to open water on my lake. It is an indispensable tool that got me three days of paddling before Thanksgiving before things froze and I needed it to get out the last three days since things melted. I used it to smash thin ice in front of the bow to make it easier to get through and to minimize damage to my hull. I've also used it to push the bow onto the ice that then would break with weight on it. I was also able to push myself across the top of ice that was too thick to break through. I was surprised that I was even able to get some glide when going downwind. To be totally safe I also need to get an ice hook or loggers hookeroon to pull the boat up on the ice in deeper water. If there is any ice where you're doing your paddling it is prudent to have at least one tool to deal with it or you could get stuck.
 
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This is Kathleen and me on Colville Lake, in the NWT, on June 14, 1999. We could have used your pole, Al. Did a lot of rocking back and forth. Lot of work.
 
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I got a pole that I plan to use on the Susquehanna and Lehigh rivers near me in Pa. I haven't gotten to do that yet but I did get to use it to navigate through and over ice to get to open water on my lake. It is an indispensable tool.

We have a couple of real setting poles, 12 and 14 feet in length that my sons use occasionally, but a stand up poler I will never be. None the less I usually trip with a pole. We have several short poles, 5 to 6 foot long closet rod pole with shoes, and T-top or Duckhead tops

PC261477 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Those short poles are handy as hell when tripping; push poles for sandbars and shallows, hiking staff, spare tarp pole, busting out rim ice. The bottoms have shoes, either a copper cap or checked steel, or on the stouter diameter poles a mud foot (coots foot or ducks bill) for swamp and marsh work.

PC261478 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There is one with a spring loaded duck’s foot mud end around somewhere, which was surprisingly less effective than the rigid plastic Coot’s foot, especially when used in pluff mud.

The T-tops or Duckhead bill is handy for hooking onto outside of reach things in the canoe or in camp.

PC261475 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr
 
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Up here in NH when we had years were the rivers weren't totally hard we use to go out during all 12 months. In the winter months I would use my pole to get up on the ice shelves to take out or to even get onto a an ice floe to catch a ride and then get off it. My pole at that time had a 1" bolt sticking out of the ends so jamming that in the ice was a godsend! Could get some real momentum up with that. Lost it on a small river in CT a few years back. Lately I've been in the Rob Roy so no poling but it might be time to break out a canoe and the pole again!
 
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Looks like something handy to have. Thank you for posting. We certainly could use something similar in the swamps. I also sometimes use the handle end of the paddle to grab things (like tangled lures) out of tree branches, or at least bend the branch down far enough to get it.
 
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Looks like something handy to have. Thank you for posting. We certainly could use something similar in the swamps. I also sometimes use the handle end of the paddle to grab things (like tangled lures) out of tree branches, or at least bend the branch down far enough to get it.

We don’t use any of our tee grip paddles these days, and the tees and duck head bills on those short poles are used for that sort of thing, or sometimes for hooking onto a friend’s canoe during a floating muckle up. In the decked canoes that tee or bill is handy to grab things slid far under the deck. And of course push pole, hiking staff, tarp pole and raccoon whacker.

We have multiple coat racks and hat racks around the house with those duck head “hooks”, and a lot of friends have them as well. I did not carve any of those duck heads. Years ago I read an article in the paper about a local wood working shop that was making life size wood ducks and geese. They had a “master carver” machine, essentially a pointing rig that ran a dozen or so automatic carving stations, replicating whatever was under the pointer.

I wanted to see that machine, and had a motive beyond mere curiosity. As I suspected they had buckets of imperfectly carved duck heads, probably destined for the trash or woodstove.

Some of them needed a little sanding or file work, but fifty cents apiece seemed like a bargain to me, and I bought all of their rejects.


EDIT: Beating Conk to it that pointing rig is called a Pantograph, or Carving Duplicator.

Only 8K and you can carve a dozen gun stocks (or paddles?) at a time

https://www.ebay.com/i/151372457228?chn=ps
 
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Nice poles Mike.

Those 5 and 6 foot poles do come in multi-functional handy on trips. More so because they fit on the spray cover or back deck. None of our real setting poles are take-aparts, and having a 14’ pole in the canoe would be plumb stupid for someone who doesn’t actually stand and pole.

P2160519 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I wish I could remember the name of the woodshop with the master carver, I’d love to stop by again for a fresh supply of pre-carved duck and goose heads. We have a lot of stuff around made from those duck head rejects and I’d like to make a couple more short poles as gifts. And some more hat racks

PC311513 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Winter snow clothes drying hooks by the wood stove. Even with 7 duck bill hooks those racks get crowded with wet snowy clothes.

PC311516 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

And sundry clothes hook bars, some wood burned fancier than others

PC311517 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr
 
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