Pole features
A pole can be made of aluminum pipes, plastic tubes, fiber glass,carbon.
The most convenient and not too expensive is the fishing pole. There are two kinds, the telescopic ones and the put-over ones, and two materials, fiber glass and carbon.
With the telescopic pole, the sections can collapse each inside the bigger one next below.
With the put-over pole, one section is set over the outside of the one next under, so it cannot collapse.
The fiber glass poles are heavier than the carbon ones. They are also very flexible. It's limited to use under 4m length.
The carbon poles are usually made lighter. Sometimes, the wall thickness is so thin than the pole is not as stiff as expected, and it is also more fragile. Because of that, such thin poles are easy to crash, just by pressing it too strongly in the hand. A heavier put-over carbon pole is more suitable for pole photography.
Available now are composite carbon/glass poles which are  convenient to use up to 6m at reasonable price.


About the fishing poles
When short, less than 3m, they are called rods; usually when length is between 3 and 6m they are called poles; when length exceeds 7m, they are called long poles.
Fishing with long poles is a fishing technique which has been tuned by fishermen in North of France near Roubaix city. This particular technique is known as "La Roubaisienne"or "pole fishing". It needs a put-over long pole, and the pull is moderated with an elastic running through the last sections. There are no eyelets outside the pole.
Mainly used for fish such as carp,tench, perch, crappies, these poles are often named "carp poles". However, there are also in the catalogs another "carp poles" category which are shorter with eyelets outside.
Italian fishermen have usually longer rods than other fishermen, because they practiced soon the Roubaisienne technique. It is now well known in Belgium, Germany Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands.
So it is mainly in these countries where long poles can be easily purchased.
Long poles are not designed to be rigid under a load. Flexibility is variable. For pole photography too much flexibility will make the pole tricky to hold when in vertical position as the load will be continuously moving. Get it in quiet position is almost impossible.
The experience shows that when moving along the pole, the maximum load is reached when the load is still on the ground when the pole is held at 1,5m in its middle and the toe kept on the floor.
Length of pole and possible elevation
This depends of the use you intend. Whatever is your choice, the tip of the pole will be discarded where diameter is lower than 8 to 10 mm. Thus about 1,5m are discarded.
The forecast elevation can be calculated as follows:
without belt-pouch    elevation  =  length  - 1,5m
with the belt-pouch   elevation  =  length  - 0,7m
For photography 8 to11m are convenient pole lengths.


It is a good practice to tape the bottom end of each section to avoid some longitudinal cracks. The good quality poles are made thicker at these locations.
The toe of the lower section shall be reinforced outside. It can be a pipe which will fit and then pasted with epoxy glue. Or it can be fiberglass clothe rolled around and pasted with resin. More simple is to open and paste the plug, and get a wider one to replace.

Purchase considerations

Section length varies from 1,4m up to almost 2m depending on the trademarks. Shorter ones are more convenient to carry. Furthermore, a greater number of sections gives the pole more stiffness because there is double thickness at each joint and it also prevents each section to become oval when bending.
The carbon quality and thickness are variable. Avoid those which seems soft under finger pressure. Cheap poles under 6m are often black fiberglass, but there is no information on it.


My actual poles
All my long poles are put-over type, carbon made.
A SERT 9m pole has been crushed. It is a good one. A Vercelli 9.5m is still used but more fragile than the SERT. Its section is164cm long.
Last is a Roubaisienne Sensas X40 11m pole. Usable length is 9,4m in 8 sections, the 8th one has been cut at Ø9mm (external). It holds 600g including the whole cradle and photographic gear. The toe diameter is Ø46mm.
I also shortened 4cm at the toe of the bottom section so the package is 146cm long.
Bearing the pole
The long pole is set in a belt-pouch.
This is easy to make. It shall be resistant because you will use it a lot and for many times.
A 9m long pole weights about 800g.
 A 11m long pole weights about 1300g.