This thread has been around a while. If you have not already, go to lacrosse monkey.com. They have an excellent selection of clearance poles. Basically , you can get a top of the line shaft from a few years back for a great price. They have December deals and usually let you pile all those onto your clearance purchase. They display the original cost on the site. For a starter long pole you can usually go by original price. Do this and you won't feel bad about cutting it down plus it will last. Great customer service as well.