Question for polers

Great to see people discussing poling. I developed an interest in poling largely in exclusion, and I’m very happy to find others who are practicing and discussing the art. I’m a relatively infrequent visitor on these boards, so I apologize if this question has come up before. My question is about pole tips or “shoes.”

A pointed tip suffices for the shallow, rocky streams in central Pennsylvania, where I live. My main pole is a 12’ octagonally-planed piece of white ash with a B.G. Hooke bronze tip: (Not sure that I’d buy this tip a second time now that I’m aware of less expensive options, but I’ll admit that I’m mighty pleased with it.) This tip is great for the prevailing rocky conditions in my area, but pretty well useless in softer conditions, like the silty streams or weedy flowages of the North Country, where I spend a lot of my paddling/poling time. In these conditions, the pointed tip simply sinks in.

I’ve seen some old pictures of broad poling shoes that I assume are meant for softer conditions. Has anyone figured out a way to replicate these broad shoes, or a technique for poling in softer/siltier streams?

nothing good

– Last Updated: Jul-21-12 7:32 AM EST –

coming from me. I poled in mud a few times. Ended up using my 1.5" diameter home depot closet rod with the copper end cap on it. Couldn't push hard, still ended up with mud and leaves in the boat and in my hair.
Hopefully DougD or someone will mention more detail of what I think they call the "mudfoot", which I think is a piece of plastic, but which didn't sound too much better than what I did.

found it!!

push pole heads
Look for duck hunting equipment suppliers such as Cabelas

Sometimes I compensate by pushing the
pole into the leaves or muck just enough that it gets purchase like a canoe paddle. Then I don’t push down through the pole, but lever it like a paddle to move the boat.

With a light aluminum pole, one can also work it like a kayak paddle, just taking purchase on the water.

Gator Foot
That “Gator Foot Push Pole Head” looks about right, but I don’t much like the idea of plastic. Has anyone tried one?