More aluminum canoe pole Q's

Okay - now I’ve read here some comments about wrapping aluminum poles in waterproof plastic tape for insulation. Is this like plastic packing tape that I might find at an office supply store, or is it something else?


Would it just be easier to wear paddling gloves? That might keep me from drawing blood from my knuckles again - hmmm…

If I leave the pole bare, should I rough it up for better grip?

decisions decisions
not sure on the tape, I think it’s electrical. As far as roughing up the pole, that’s your call. Personally when I really get “in the zone”, I throw the pole forward with my lower hand at the end of the push, and roughing up the pole would traumatize my baby soft hands ;-). Others don’t like this technique, but whatever works is…whatever works. Never had grip issues with the wood or aluminum, barehanded, sealskinz or 3mm neoprene, except when they get iced up.

Man, haven’t poled for a couple weeks. Thinking about that “in the zone” thing is making me miss it. After work next week…

Thnx Mat
I’m leaning toward some kind of paddling glove, I think. Yesterday, I left some knuckle skin on the shrubbery where I had to graze the bank to get up a narrow chute. The KISS thing again…

some kind of vinyl marking tape
Might be electrical tape?

Every time I see it I think of the gooey mess that electrical tape turns into when you leave it in the sun. Yech!

I use the bare aluminum pole unmodified. My hands slip sometimes so I bought some paddle wax for a better grip. Havn’t tried it yet. I wear light neoprene paddling gloves if it’s cold but other folks seem more bothered by a cold pole than I am.

Tommy, you need one of those
1.5" dia. mongo poles like mine. Nice grip. Ed Hayden showed me his 1.125" 2 piece pole at the Shepaug gathering. Nice pole, love the delrin ends, but I think my hands would cramp after awhile with that diameter.

Actually Matt
1.125" has been scientifically proven to be the perfect grip diameter.

By scientists. Got real white coats, test tubes, everything.

No foolin’.

So you’d best get to swedging those over blown mongo grip poles of yours down to the One True Size before the surgeon general issues a warning.


No foolin’.

ya’ forgot one thing
That study was done in 2006. I’m accounting for inflation, growth hormones in our milk and meat, and miracle gro. Well, time to go sailing :-). I think the tubing for the wheel on BlueMoon is 1.125"…

Almost always wear gloves

See the gloves, in this case, just leather-faced, fabric-backed gloves from Lowes or the like.

See the pole wrapped with yellow electrical tape in a barber pole pattern. I wrapped the pole because I was concerned about dropping them out of the boat while unassembeled. They’d sink, and I thought the yellow tape would make them more visible and easier to find. I think the tape might improve the grip a little. This year, p-netters clued me in to squirting some foam in the open pole ends, so I no longer worry about them sinking.

See the MRE and how I have moved into the bow without having to jump a thwart. Must’ve been moving downriver slower than the current. Is that what “snubbing” is?

See the “flag” of water coming off the pole. Kinda neat that the camera caught that.

Gloves: almost everything out there on the river is either rough or muddy. I started wearing the gloves one day when it was cold, liked being gloved and pretty much use em all the time now. In winter, for poling, I use the knit gloves with a latex coating on the front. Very grippy! This time of year, it is usually some kind of leather. I cut my hand on some rocks or something else in a river, but have not cut them again since I started wearing gloves.

Lots of reasons gloves area a plus: rocks, muddy everthing, brambles, PI, fences, and the occasional grocery cart in the river. If you go with leather, get white ones. The tan gloves will leave you with dreaded orange hands!


That’s the ticket…

Yup, gloves
I’ve never taped or roughed up my pole, and I’ve never had an issue, with gloves or without. Actually, I take that back…one of my pairs of neoprene gloves gave me hardly any grip. Be sure to get a glove with some type of tacky surface. In the summer, I use nylon and leather fingerless gloves from NRS. Good grip! In the summer, many racers use those red-dot cotton gloves you can get at farm supply stores.


Neoprene gloves get destroyed
if I use them for polling.

if it is cold enough I’ll use some fleece glove with some kind of fake-leather on the palm and inside of the fingers. Then you have to work at keeping one end of the pole dry.

But certainly try out neo gloves and see if they work for you. But that’s a topic for next winter. Well, Maryland-winter. In Idaho it might be a topic about, what? September? It’s June now, and I think those red dot gloves are on sale near you!