How does a spear pole work?
Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Bruce
Before you buy one, it’s best to know how a spear pole works before shopping. A good starting question is what parts of the pole makes the spear go more or less straight? The basic idea is that there are two forces on the “pole shaft” of the stick: forward force – which wants to push the stick forward. Friction with the water – which wants to pull it backward.
It turns out these two things are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction if you do everything right. So for example, if your spear angle is too far forwards, your forward force will be bigger than your friction and you’ll end up shooting off to the side instead of where you were aiming! But there is more to it. It turns out that the further away from the spearhead (where you hold onto) you are, the “easier” it is to move forwards. So if you want your spear pole to be straight–you’ll need a lot of friction in the water and a good angle at which you’re aiming where both the forward force and friction balance each other out.
However, if you want your spear pole to curve in some direction when it hits something, then things get weird. While this might seem simple on paper: just add extra weight near the end–it’s not quite so easy when there’s buoyant water involved! It turns much more complicated than that because when an object has extra mass, by Newton’s third law, it also has extra momentum! This means you need to slow down the shaft of the stick in order for this extra mass to not make your spear explode outwards towards the water. Luckily, there are several ways you can do this depending on how much friction you want/need which will be explained next.
A graph showing some trajectories. The red lines show where a single pivot point at the end of the pole would take
Pole spears usually have some kind of fulcrum or pivot near their head that allows for them to bend while still being able to transfer energy up and down the pole. The more parts there are between the tip and base, generally speaking, the more force is lost while transferring energy up and down the pole. So if you had no fulcrum at all, your spear would only be able to go “up and down” not left or right by itself–the extra mass of your spear will be dead weight on the tip.
However, if there is some kind of pivot point closer to the base where most of the force can act more than it can further away from the fulcrum, then you’ll have more possibilities for how your spear can move. To understand this better–think about two polearms: one with a long handle and one with a short handle.
The long handled polearm will be more rigid but harder to manoeuvre around single enemies while the shorter handed version has less range but easier handling.
In Medieval times, polearms were used against mostly single enemies. Even though this is not the case in lion fish spearfishing–we can still use these ideas to help us understand how different pivot points on the shaft affect the performance of our spears.
How do you set up a pole spear?
Now that we know a bit more about how pole spears work, let’s talk about the best ways to set one up. First off–there’s several different kinds of poles:
Poles with no fulcrum Pole spears can be made without any kind of fulcrum but these only allow the spear to move forwards and backwards so it is difficult to aim perfectly straight or curve left or right.
Single-pivot and double-pivot poles Single pivot and double pivot poles work similarly to medieval pole arms: their longer length makes them great for greater range but harder to use single handedly. One important difference between single and double pivots is that there will always be at least an extra weight close enough to the tip where it can affect the movement of the spear. This is not that big of an effect though, so single-pivot spears are usually more common.
Pole spears with at least one fulcrum Pole spears which have their fulcrum closer to the tip are named after where their main fulcrum is located. A pole spear with its pivot point near its head would be called a “head” while a pole spear which has its main fulcrum near its base or midsection would be called a “base”.
Finally, there’s also pole spears with two pivots! These work in some ways like double-pivot spears but they still allow us to curve the end of the shaft sideways without having to drastically change our aim. These are often called “head-base” because their main fulcrum is near the end of the spear’s shaft.
How do you choose which pole spear to use?
Now that we know how different kinds of polearms work–we can pick out pole spears best for our situation! When trying to decide on whether or not you should use a single or double pivot, try thinking about what your main goal in fishing might be: if it’s long range accuracy then a single pivot would definitely help while if you just want maximum mobility then go with a double pivot instead!
Many base pole spears have their pivots located further back than other poles For people who aren’t experienced with hunting/fishing yet, I’d recommend using single pivot base pole spears. These are good for beginners because they don’t require you to adjust your aim much; once your spear is moving in a certain direction it’s not that easy to drastically change its course mid-flight (especially for inexperienced hunters like us).
If accuracy isn’t an issue, then why should I use base pole spears?
Base poles might be harder to control since you need room behind you, but if their whole end can curve sideways relatively easily then they’re definitely worth getting used to. You may already know this but fish move around a lot more than land prey so sometimes you might need to try and shoot them from odd angles. But even if they stay still–it’s always fun to curve your shot around them, don’t you agree?
That’s all for today! I hope this article helped you understand polearms a bit more and that it gave you some ideas for how to set one up.