Randomly searching around eBay as you do, i discovered a place in Melbourne selling Cheap 8m long squid poles. They advertise them as pickup only, and a search of the seller name found me the store, a fishing shop in Dandenong. On eBay, its 2 for $26.50 with pickup, curious about the quality of the poles, i chose to not buy.
The shop had been mentioned to me in the past as a source of cheap poles, but not as cheap as these ones are now.
I was driving past the shop the other weekend and decided to pop in and check them out, to discover they were $10 a pole in store.
So, what do you get, a medium duty 8m squid pole, it tapers quickly in a couple of legs, the top section is very thin, and ends with a very small eyelet/loop. It has some rope hooks built into the main outer pole/body. You do get what you pay for, and the build / material does feel cheaper than a number of other poles I own, but then again, its a $10 pole.
I used this 8m $10 pole at the Mt Dandenong activation last weekend and it worked as it should, I had not pre-prepared Ie checked with any real effort, and discovered the top section eyelet was smaller than my normal 7m pole, and as such, my (medium duty) hook up wire “i usually thread this and set up as an inverted V style” didn’t easily fit/thread into the eyelet, though it just meant the ~12.5m wire was setup as a sloper with the wire ending at the top of the pole.
This wire setup put a little more strain on the pole end, however, even with its cheap feel and light/thin last section, it worked with no issue. The pole really only bent at this last thin ~80cm section, and to support a dipole/centre, the next section down would easily do this. Once I get my Unicorn DX Wire setup, the thinner and lighter wire won’t worry this new pole.
I ended up buying 2, since they were so cheap. ON handing over my money, the shop person advised me they had no returns or warranty, i smiled inside knowing Australian consumer law 😀
They were on a “Clearance Rack” area, however it appeared they had 30-40 still available when I was there the other week.
If you wanted a cheap Squid pole for antenna supports / to try this SOTA caper, you could do a lot worse than this $10 investment.
No connection with the below. They work, but longevity may be questionable. Im prepared to risk my $10!
Shop 6 175-177 Cheltenham Rd,
Dandenong, Victoria 3175