In today's world of shallow water skiffs there is an arsenal of necessary fishing equipment typically found onboard, with one of the most important being a push pole. Without this critical item one would find themselves at an incredible disadvantage on the flats and at the mercy of the tide and wind. Trolling motors, although useful in some situations, are typically too noisy, spook fish, and can't operate in water as shallow as fish can go. Poling offers skiff based anglers the stealth needed to sneak up on wary fish and the ability to hold in places that fish travel through. Push poles come in an endless variety of sizes, materials, and lengths with the most critical features being weight and flex.
Recently, I got the opportunity to demo the new push pole from Loop tackle. Although new to the push pole game, Loop has designed one of the lightest and strongest push poles on the market. Through rigorous product development and testing Loop has produced an incredible fishing tool made from high quality carbon fiber that is feather light yet rigid enough to hold a larger skiff into the wind and current. This push pole is sectional and built to very tight specifications. It incorporates a ridged scrim surface that provides an unparalleled grip, even when wet! The joints are bonded using a proprietary process that guarantees a strong, sealed joint. The ferrules that connect the five-foot sections are made from graphite which makes for a lightweight connection that flexes evenly with the rest of the pole.
While many people are opposed to multi-piece push poles because of weak connections and water intrusion issues I have not had any of these problems arise after heavy use for 5 months. The Loop pole weighs 3.2 ounces per foot, with a 21' pole weighing roughly 4 lbs! The unique L foot pushes very well in marl and soft muddy bottom, which unplugs much better than the typical paddle versions out there. Both the foot and point are made from solid nylon plastic, a durable product that holds up to razor sharp oysters and coral.
Loop is an innovator of cutting edge fly fishing equipment and this new push pole is a great compliment to their current product line. This product can be found on the Carbon Marine web store at www.carbonmarine.com. The founder of Carbon Marine, Joe Welbourn, is currently distributing this product for Loop and will gladly help out with assembly, instruction, and delivery. Do yourself a favor and pick up one of these bad boys, your arms will thank you for it.