Commercial Salmon Trolling Forum

Wooden poles

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Wooden poles

Postby DWL » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:11 pm

My boat came with wooden poles that hadn't been maintained in a decade. I have to chop a foot or so off either end due to punky wood. The rest of the wood seems good but there a few cracks running short lengths of the pull. Should I fill them with west systems and wood flour before I oil the wood?
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby Furuno » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:33 am

Best thing to do with those old wood poles is to cut em up and burn in your wood stove. They're gonna cost you a lot of money when one breaks in the middle of the season.
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby DWL » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:24 pm

Too broke to not rock them......
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby Robot » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:41 pm

I've got wooden poles on my boat still. I think they are great! (Granted, I am in the same boat as you, not enough cash to turn them into aluminum) mine are 8 years old and have been maintained a little better by the sounds of it. Like furuno said though, bad poles can cost a guy a lot!
But! on the topic of the cracks you see running lengthwise along the poles. That is what they do naturally and I believe that it is more common in poles that have been chopped down green and then dried out laying down vs. poles that were 'ringbarked' and then left to dry standing up. Mine have lengthwise cracks and I oil them up with a bit of 'boat soup' every now and then without anything filling up the cracks and they do just fine. (again, these are still pretty good poles)
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby mydona » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:49 am

Wooden poles will rot fastest at the clamp collars for your rigging. If the ends are bad then they are most likely rotten else where. In Southeast AK, I find a old logging clear cut with thick regrowth and harvest my own when the sap is down in the winter or before spring time budding. The cracks (checking) can be minimized by sealing the ends with wax, antifreeze, or timber beam sealer while drying on a level rack and rolling often to ensure they dry straight. The checking shouldn't harm the strength of the poles if you keep the moisture out. Oil several times before using them. I like linseed oil mixed with the creosote from (burning those old poles) in the stove pipe of your wood stove.
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby Crawfish » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:14 am

There is nothing wrong with wood poles. I think they fish better than aluminum but that's for another conversation. If you have lateral cracks running with the grain you can shore them up with stainless steel banding or even hose clamps will work. Turpentine , boiled linseed and lamp black for oiling them. If you can get some Humboldt deck oil to throw in the mix it will help also. Make sure you oil the cracks very well as this is where you will have issues. It's best to heat the oil up before oiling. I currently have metal poles which are less maintenance intensive but I would have no reservations to run good wood poles. I have ran wood poles for decades and never had one break on the water . But I did maintain them. If you break a pole you can patch them with rolled tin and wet patch for a temporary repair. No big deal.
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby DWL » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:23 pm

I filled the larger cracks with west system and wood flour sanded smooth and have put about 4 coats of Humboldt deck oil on them so far i will probably add about 10 coats over the next few days to get them thoroughly saturated. I will be adding a third collar between the cricket and the fixed forward stay for extra support. I think they should work out fine. I trimmed the rotten bottom sections and they now have nice solid heart wood at the base.
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby Salty » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:57 pm

Be sure you have lined up backups. It used to be that processors stocked wooden poles. I am not sure they still do. Be sure to check around and find some near where you will be fishing or harvest and prepare at least a couple for the season. Scrambling to find one in the middle of the opening will cost you more than a new set of Aluminum. Fortunately, the last time I broke one was the day before a 10 day closure. Took me all ten days to get the new Aluminum ones built and rigged.
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby Crawfish » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:58 am

If your concerned you may have failure and won't be able to get parts in town. You might grab a roll of flashing to wrap one up if you break it. I have seen them done with glass as well. These patches were never done below the cross tree if that was the case you might have to replace instead of repairing the pole.
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby DWL » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:26 pm

I have a set of spares to put on if need be. Roughly what would a set of 28-30' aluminum sticks with snooters cost?
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby Robot » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:27 pm

Thanks to a great tax return this year I decided to upgrade my poles (not to mention the re-wire) to aluminum.
Here in Ketchikan for a pair of 32 ft poles with rigid forestays, material and labor, around $2500.
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Re: Wooden poles

Postby Dave Koester » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:15 pm

I am replacing wooden poles in Bellingham and should have a number by the end of next week on Aluminum poles...30' I will let you know the cost when I get it the estimate
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