Pole and hoop material
I have looked for pole and hoop material without success for several years. Obviously, it is available as there are builders here in Alaska that use other than bits and pieces of poles and nets that have been scavenged, but I sure canít find the stuff. I have called several metal supply places here in South Central without success. If you know of a place where this material might be bought at reasonable prices in different sections of the state, it would be nice to know who and where they are, as I am sure there are others in locations around the state that would be interested as well. Some of us just like to build, or repair our own equipment, or experiment and save a buck in the process.
I know that B&J, Mountain View Sports, and Donalson Net Loft in Anchorage have the net bags and other fixtures, but even they tell me they donít know where to get the material for the poles or hoops. Half inch half hard copper tubing will work for the hoop, but it is heavy, and that still leaves one without suitable material that I have been able to find for the pole.
Valley Trash and proud of it.
As mentioned in another post, I use antenna pole from Frigid North. It's the exact diameter needed to fit standard hoop brackets and it's strong enough to handle the Copper as well as boat dipping. I would not use it for sweeping, though, as it's too heavy for that.
I've also got a long pole made out of aircraft-grade aluminum tubing. It is much lighter than the antenna pole and has served us well at the Copper where extra reach was needed. I've fitted it with a curled leverage bar scavenged off of an old weed-eater. The curved portion also functions as a stand that can be placed under your legs for fishnapping (we do some of our best king catching while asleep). See attachment.
Check this page for local suppliers of aircraft-grade aluminum tubing.
This link will help you configure the diameter, thickness, grade, etc:
There is plenty of suitable material, but it depends on what your application is.
For the Kenai I used 1/2" conduit and a closet rod for the pole. I don't recall what I paid for the marerials, but it wasn't too much. It may not be the lightest net, but it'll catch fish. As I recall I got the net bag from B&J.
When I dipped the copper, I got a large landing net from Costco, and got a long fiberglass pole from Mountain view sports. I'd originally used a piece of conduit and welded in an adapter section, but it was way too heavy.
Keep your eyes peeled on Craigs list. I'm sure there will be some folks that don't want to deal with storing a net for the winter, and maybe they found dipping is harder then they thought so they want to get out of it, or they're moving.
lightweight hoop and pole
I made a really lightweight one last year with scrap materials and the head from a landing net. For the hoop I used a scrap piece of fiber optic cable that I inserted into a piece of scrap HDPE piping like is used for in-floor radiant heating systems. I did this to satisfy F&G's ridgid requirement.
I then bought a 15" aluminum pole for $1 from Habitat for Humanity's "Re-store" off of International Airport Rd. in Anchorage. The entire thing weighs maybe 8lbs.
This is the one my kids use and they do very well with it.
I also got a 15' piece of aluminum cable from the Re-store for $1 that could be used inside the plastic tubing. I still have the cable in my back yard if you'd like to try and make one using this method.