Flatwater poling

I tried out my closet-pole pole for the first time yesterday in the shallow bits near the shore of our local lake. Canoe was our trusty Morningstar RX with the dog in the bow seat. A few observations:

  • Standing up wasn’t hard, but it’s going to take a while to get used to walking forward and aft.

  • If you reach forward to fend off the bow while standing in the stern, you move the stern. That’s why you walk. :wink:

  • Visibility is vastly improved over sitting. It’s much easier to see the rocks and other underwater features.

  • The pole was suprisingly effective as a paddle, especially when used as a double-blade with a sliding stroke(low hand to center).

  • The couple on the new stand-up paddleboards looked very puzzled as I went past.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the noise of the pole whacking on the rocks, which is probably also bad for fishing. But I’ll certainly do more poling, and now I’m tempted to add a stand-up paddle to my quiver. Standing just seems to make more sense for exploring shallows.

I didn’t have to do much "walking,"
though I would slide forward or back between thwarts. Or, I would pivot on one foot, swinging my body around it.

As you get used to vectoring force, you may be able to avoid unwanted veering without moving. Has to do both with where the pole end is placed on the bottom, and with how close or far from the axis of your body you hold the pole to apply force. With the arms out somewhat to the side, you can apply force to points under the canoe.

Is your wood pole set up so you can use either end on the river bottom?

Save walking for later.
For now - try moving in short hops. Feet spread apart, two-footed hops - facing the end of the boat.

As for the need to move around…on flat water, you shouldn’t need to do much moving once you’ve determined where the boat trims best. If you are fairly centered in the boat (even 1-2 feet behind center), you should be able to control both ends from one location. To dodge obstacles - try heeling the boat away from your desired direction of travel, while either planting the pole or doing a sweep stroke on the low side.

It’s a 12’ closet pole with blunt metal caps(copper pipe caps)on both ends.