Shrimp Pole Evolution

Advanced materials, new methods, the latest technological advances, scientific research; they all contribute to the constant evolution of sport fishing as we know it. But what about an activity as simple as recreational shrimping, is it too undergoing constant evolution? Though shrimp baiting may not be as dynamic as sport fishing, it is still constantly evolving. Over the years even the simplest, most basic of piece of equipment used in recreational shrimping, the shrimp pole, has evolved.

   My family and I started shrimp baiting just over ten years ago. Back then most folks went to the fishing tackle store and bought heavy duty bamboo to use as shrimp poles. While bamboo poles were cheap they had their fair share of shortfalls. The poles were usually only available in 10 to 12-foot lengths limiting your shrimping to shallow water. The base of the poles may be as much as 2 1/2-inches in diameter and the tops may be as thin as an 1/2-inch.  While we would cut the base of the poles at a sharp angle in order to make them easier to drive them into the mud, the lighter weight tops would still break fairly easily while driving the poles in.  Since the poles were mostly hollow, when you would pull the poles and place them back in the boat they were usually full of mud that was sure to vibrate out all over the boat on the ride back to the landing. The hollow wooden poles were also quite buoyant, as a matter of fact they were too buoyant. As the tide would come in around the bamboo poles it was quite common for these poles pop/float up and since they were brown in color it was almost impossible to find them after dark.

   Some years later we started shopping at hardware stores for our poles as we traded out our bamboo for PVC. The PVC was also cheap, it was obviously available in longer lengths, it was flexible, and easy to spot at night; however, it also proved to have it’s  fair share of shortfalls. The PVC presented the same messy problem as the bamboo with mud getting packed inside the pipe and falling