Beginner’s Guide To Pole Fishing, Part 3b – Elasticating Your Pole (2 of 2)

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Beginner’s Guide To Pole Fishing, Part 3b – Elasticating Your Pole (2 of 2). Hello all fishing lovers, Today’s post is “Beginner’s Guide To Pole Fishing, Part 3b – Elasticating Your Pole (2 of 2)”. i hope that this post is useful for you, all fishing lovers.

Beginner’s Guide To Pole Fishing, Part 3b – Elasticating Your Pole (2 of 2)

Fitting the Bush

There are two ways to approach this.
  1. First is to cut the tip of the topkit back to the diameter or length you want and then go in search of a bush to fit.
  2. The other is to find a bush that will accept your chosen elastic and cut the tip back to accommodate it. 
Given the scenario I described earlier with match and power kits for your pole you may need to adopt both methods in getting all your topkits kits to the same length.

Let me assume that you wish to have a certain elastic in your match kit and have sourced a bush of the right diameter to accommodate this. Offer the bush up to the topkit and find the point on, presumably the number one section, where the bush looks like it will fit. Now cut the section around 2-3 inches above that point. You can cut bits off but not stick them back on. I detail how to cut carbon in section 3a of this guide.

If you have an external bush the tip should go into the bush loosely, an external will not fit in at all. Now remove roughly an inch of tip at a time, or less when getting close, until you get a snug fit of either internal or external bush.

You can, if you wish, use a small drop of superglue to stick the bush in place but I have never found this necessary.

Fitting the Bung

 Examples of three types of bung. 
The top is a winder bung showing the elastic attached by way of a loop in the elastic and a cow hitch.  Middle is a puller bung. 
Bottom a non-winder bung. 

I’ll mention side pullers later.

All bungs except pullers are supplied with an extractor rod.  This is used to pull the bung out of the topkit after it is fitted and during the fitting process.  Puller bungs as you can see from the picture have a rod fixed to them permanently.

Like cutting the topkit back this is a job not to be rushed. Take it one stage at a time and don’t be tempted to try and go for it in one cut.

The end product will be a bung that gets pulled into the butt of the topkit by the elastic far enough not to foul the male number four section when inserted but still within reach of the extractor rod.  In the case of a puller bung the rod needs to protrude slightly from the butt so you can grasp the bead and pull the elastic.  Better it sticks out too far than disappearing up the pole to start with.  Final adjustments can be made later.

You need to buy a bung that is approximately the right size, slightly oversized, for the butt end of your topkit.   It should have a small amount protruding from the bottom of the section when first inserted.  Insert the bung into the end of the topkit and with a pen mark where it meets the carbon.   

Gently cut round the bung at the marked point, most have concentric rings or ridges to help you. Once cut offer the bung again and see how far it will go into the topkit. You will find it goes a very short distance. Now trim another ring off the bung and fit again. Keep repeating this until the bung will go far enough in so as not to foul the number four section when it is inserted but still within reach of the extractor rod.  

When trying the bung for fit push it firmly up the section with the extractor rod. Not too tight but comfortably snug. If you are not sure leave the final cut until you have fitted the elastic even if this means that for now the number four cannot be fully inserted.

When you are happy with the fit remove the bung and place to one side.
Cow Hitch Knot
I refer occasionally to a knot I know as the cow hitch.  It is worth showing here how that knot is formed.



Threading the elastic

I always look to fit the bung first as it is easier to get the right length of elastic with that in place.

Depending on the length of the topkit and the length of the diamond eye threader you may have to play around with either threading each section of the topkit separately (take apart) or telescoping the sections together if the threader is too short to do the lot in one go.

You may wonder why not just poke the elastic through the topkit, why use a threader? Elastics have a tendency, particularly light ones, of sticking to the inside wall of the topkit. So a lot easier and less frustrating to use the threader.

To attach a winder bung or bung without a winder and with the elastic through the topkit tie a loop in the bung end of the elastic. Use a cow hitch type loop to attach the bung at the bottom of the winder or the top of an ordinary bung, or insert the loop into the bung’s connector. You can take a few turns of elastic around the winder if you wish at this point.

If using a puller bung thread the elastic through the hollow rod of the bung and then through a bead. Tie a knot in the elastic big enough so it cannot pull through the bead under tension. With a round bead I will tie a loop in the end of the elastic, pull this through the bead with the threader and trap the bead in a cow hitch pulled tight. 

Pull the elastic from the tip of the pole and seat the bung into the base of the topkit. With the topkit at full length keep pulling the elastic until it bottoms out, or nearly so. Gently release the elastic back into the pole.

I like to set my elastic so it just creeps back into the pole before the attached connector or dacron butts up to the bush. To do this I pull a few inches of elastic out and feel the tension, letting the elastic slide back in a few times until I am happy I know where I want the connector tied on. I mark an inch or two above this point with a marker pen. I can now release the elastic knowing I can find that mark again.

Get a disgorger or cocktail stick and then pull the elastic out so that the mark is now 18 inches or so outside the pole. Form a cow hitch around the disgorger/cocktail stick and let this butt up against the bush. The elastic will tighten and not retract back into the pole. You can now safely cut the elastic at the mark and not have it spring back into the pole.  This makes fitting  a connector or dacron a lot easier.  You can also use a clothes peg with a strong spring to do the same job. 


As described, a disgorger used to prevent the elastic
outside the pole being pulled back in while working on it. 
When done the knot slides off and disappears. 
Side Puller
You will need to start the threader off through the side puller hole and up out of the tip.  You may want to put the elastic through a bead and tie a knot as with the puller bung first then put the other end of the elastic in the eye of the threader.  This will prevent you pulling the elastic all the way through and having to start again.  Or again, grip the elastic with a clothes peg.

Attaching a Connector
Remove the larger collar from the connector and slide this onto the elastic – right way round. Then pass the elastic through the hole in the connector and tie the doubled elastic into a knot. I use a figure of eight. Moisten the knot and tighten up to the connector. Cut off the spare elastic and slide the collar onto the connector. Remove the disgorger/cocktail stick from the elstic and everything should spring back into place with the connector snug to the bush.

One small adjustment I make to my connectors is to cut the end off of the collar with a sharp knife. You will find that many collars have the end that is going to butt up to the bush will have a shoulder making a smaller hole than the other end. I find this can restrict the knot and when playing larger fish even pull the collar off. So I cut the shoulder off to allow the knot to move freely.

Attaching a Dacron
Best thing I can do here is to point you to a video demonstration. This Alan Scotthorne video shows this and how to attach your rig.

That should be your topkit elasticated.

You should not have to do much with the elastic apart from checking it for wear.  You would normally notice any deterioration or wear each time you fist a rig on.  It is worth just looking at the last few inches of elastic every now and then to check it is OK.

If the elastic does show signs of wear or is deteriorating then there are two options.  You may need to replace the whole elastic.  If though you have wound a few turns onto a winder bung you should be able to undo these and then re-fit the connector/dacron.  This will remove the worn section of elastic.

Because I change elastics Autumn and Spring for strengths applicable for Summer and Winter I just replace the whole lot at those times.

When you do change elastics it is worth flushing the topkit with warm, soapy water to remove any dirt that may have got in.  Remove the elastic and bung and either suck the water up from the tip end and let it drain out or pour the water down from the butt end. 


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