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Basic Guide to Elasticating a Fishing Pole













How to fit a pole with elastic

The easiest way to get a pole elasticated is to take it to a local tackle shop and ask the sales people in the shop if they can do it for you.

It is also possible to buy poles with the top sections ready elasticated for different types of fishing. i.e.. match, pleasure or carp fishing. The information on this page is for those who have never fished with a pole and want to know how to fit elastic themselves.


This article will give you the basic details of getting a pole ready for the elastic, the various parts needed and how to go about doing it yourself.

What is 'elasticating a pole'.

This means a length of elastic is threaded through the top one, two or three sections of a pole. The anglers pole float rig is then attached to the elastic which acts as a buffer and stops the rig line from breaking when you hook into a fish and helps to tire the fish when you are playing it.


Pole elastic comes in different strengths and thicknesses with solid and hollow elastics also available. Elastics are graded in strength by number, from number 1 to 20 plus. The higher the number the thicker and stronger the elastic.

The size of elastic is chosen depending on what fish will be targeted.

A fine number one elastic which is the thinnest and can be used for small fish such as gudgeon and bleak. For general pleasure fishing where silverfish are the main target a solid elastic number 6 to 8 is good to start with. Fishing for bigger fish such as carp calls for a number 10 to 20 or higher.


Items you will need to fit a pole elastic:

junior hacksaw
fine needle file
diamond eye pole threader
PTFE pole bush  (PTFE is a synthetic material that has very low frictional properties)
pole bung
line connecter
pencil or pen

Fitting a Pole Bush

To begin with, choose the elastic you will be using and a PTFE pole bush that the elastic fits through smoothly; this can be an internal or external bush. Most anglers prefer internal bushes for light elastics and external for heavier elastics. The choice is personal.

The tip of your pole will no doubt be too small for the bush so we need to cut it back for the bush to fit correctly. If fitting an elastic to a pole for carp fishing this will mean using a thicker stronger elastic. You may find the top pole section is too thin for the elastic and you might need to discard it altogether and use the next section.


Some anglers advise using a hacksaw to cut back a pole tip for fitting a bush. I personally use a fine three sided needle file to cut the pole tip because using a hacksaw or other tool could split or splinter the pole.


Looking at the diameter of the bush, judge where it will fit on the pole tip and cut away the excess. Check that the bush fits and if not cut away small sections of the pole at a time and keep trying the bush until it fits comfortably inside or over the pole depending on the type of bush. It needs to be a snug fit, not too tight and not too slack.

When you have cut the pole use a half moon fine needle file and gently smooth the inside and outside of the pole tip to tidy it up and remove any burrs

Fitting an internal pole bush, half insert it into the pole tip and dab the tiniest amount of superglue onto it then push it fully home. Wipe away any excess glue. Do the same when fitting an external bush; start to push it onto the pole tip and dab a tiny amount of superglue onto the pole before pushing it fully home and wiping away any excess glue.

Fitting a Pole Bung

Pole bungs are usually one size and need to be cut down to fit the pole. There are different types of pole bung, some that you tie your elastic to direct and others that incorporate a winder that you can use to wrap the elastic round to tension it. Whichever bung you choose the fitting is the same. The bung needs to fit inside the pole section without impeding the next section that it is pushed into it.
Place the bung in the end of last section of your 'top kit' and mark it at the point where it protrudes. Using a junior hacksaw, cut through the bung about a centimetre away from the mark reducing the diameter. The bung should now fit approximately 6 inches (15 cm) inside the pole section.
Remove the bung and place to one side until the elastic has been threaded through the top kit.

Fitting a Pole Elastic


Taking the top kit section thread the diamond eye pole threader through it from the pole tip until it comes out the other end.
Pull a couple of inches (5cm) of elastic through the diamond eye of the wire threader and pull the threader back through the top kit.

Remove the pole threader and tie the elastic to the bung. If using a bung with a winder, after you have tied the elastic to it wind a few turns of elastic onto it and push the bung into the pole. At the other end pull the slack elastic through until taught. Now give the elastic a few good pulls to settle the bung.
Now you need to tie on the line connector. It needs to be attached so that the tension of the elastic pulls it back smoothly so that it is taught against the pole bush. To do this, take hold of the elastic at the pole tip and by pulling it out from the pole decide at what point to tie the connecter.

That's it, all done. Pole elasticated and ready for fishing.


Tip: Accidents happen so it’s a good idea to carry some spare stonfo's in your tackle box in case your elastic snaps while you are fishing.



Pole Elastic Guide.


Elastic size

Pole Sections

Rig Line

Suitable for Species

No 1 - No 3

Top section

0.06 – 0.08mm

up to 1lb 12ox

small fish, gudgeon, bleak

No 4 - No 6

Top 2 sections

0.08 – 0.10mm

up to 2lbs 6oz

silverfish, roach, rudd, perch, skimmers

No 7 - No 10

Top 2 or 3 sections

0.10 – 0.12mm

up to 3lbs 4oz

silverfish, roach, rudd, perch, skimmers, small chub, small carp and tench

No 10 - No 14

Top 3 or power kit

0.12 – 0.14mm

up to 4lbs 12oz

Carp, chub, tench, bream

No 14 - No 20

power kit

0.14 – 0.18mm

up to 7lbs 12oz

Carp, chub, tench, bream

No 20 plus

power kit

0.18 and above

8lb and over

Big carp or fishing near reeds or snaggy areas

Top section
This is the end section (number one) the thinnest and generally discarded unless fitted with a light elastic and used for gudgeon or bleak bashing on canals.

Top 2 or Top 3 these are sometimes referred to as Match Kits

Power Kits
Power kits are a 2 piece kit made up for carp fishing and fitted with stronger elastics up to 20 plus


Note: This charts is for general guidance only




Article and images by Jim Boswell






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