The simple pool noodle finds dozens of uses in the angling world.
It’s said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Sometimes however the simple act of observation can bring about innovation and application, especially in the world of fishing.
We recently received a pretty cool tip via email from The Fisherman subscriber Edwin Smith with a corresponding photo. “Just a pool noodle,” Edwin noted, “but it safely keeps snag treble hooks from doing any harm.”
My introduction to these tubular pieces of polyethylene foam came via my wife, Michele. She asked me to pick one up for her so she could cut them to fit inside a pair of tall boots, to keep the shaft of the boot from collapsing. After staring at the multicolored pool floats in the store, I ended up buying one for myself to use for keeping leadered rigs; the hooks placed in the upper rim, the leaders down into the hollowed out portion.
“Yep, they are commonly used as fast plug storage, fitted around the rim of Canal baskets,” said New England edition managing editor Dave Anderson, adding “Jab the hook in and leave it.” Dave added that the pool floats are great for floating portable bait cars, while noting “I use one to protect my 11-footer when I transport it – stuck out the middle sliding window of my truck.
“They work great around the T-top of a center console for rod protection, added Long Island edition managing editor Matthew Broderick. “Also I’ve used them in the window of my cap on the sharp edge so I can run larger rods inside without damaging them.”
As Edwin advised in his email to simply slice a 2-inch piece of pool float and put a razor cut lengthwise to slide on and off. Sure, while the “snag and drop” method of working over a bunker school for jumbo striped bass may have gone to the wayside with our new circle hook regulations, for folks snagging bunker to redeploy as bait the old snag rig is still a valuable tool. A simple pool float can assist in safely storing these heavily-weighted trebles.
Of course, a length of pool noodle can also work well as padding for a makeshift roof rack. You can run straps through the hollowed out middle, from one end to the other, to cinch to the roof of a vehicle for laying a kayak or rods on top. A long slice from one end to the other also gives you a soft cushion around a 3/4- to 1-1/2-inch width stainless pipe should you need it, taped back together with Gorilla Tape.
Are you a bucket fisherman who prefers to carry bait, tackle and sand spikes to the beach for a little soak time in the surf? A few pieces of pool noodle can be secured to the top of your 5-gallon industrial pails to make a nice cushioned seat (I’d put that up against one of the $100 custom, deluxe fishing buckets any day!)
I’ve also seen folks using sections of pool noodle zip-tied to the yoke of their fishing nets to give some buoyancy should they lose their grip. If you’ve ever watched a $50 landing net disappear into the depths because you were snapping photos of the fish instead of helping the skipper with the landing, you’ll understand. Again, sorry about that Capt. Erwin!
Put a simple, ordinary, everyday item down in front of a hardcore angler long enough and I’m sure the mental machinery will start churning. Michele, for example, continues to lose hair scrunchies (keeping rod tips from getting twisted); if she only knew. And to this day I still think about how “Crazy” Alberto Knie must have been staring at a paper clip before the Tactical Anglers clip was born.
I can only imagine what that crazy noodle could devise when presented with a pool noodle!
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