When I was a kid we did all of our fishing with cane poles. The poles were probably about 12 feet long, but then I was only 6 or 7 years old so they seemed like they were as long as a football field. I remember clearly that it was a real pain to get through the woods and down to the pond with these poles. They would hang up on everything. I still have a cane pole that I use occasionally, but now I'm real up-town; I have a two-piece cane pole. The total length of my pole is about eight feet, and it is much easier to carry the two short sections through the woods. Pictured below: My two-piece cane pole.
To make a good cane pole, first you need to locate a stand of river cane. You will need to cut at least 2 canes. One cane should be about Half-Dollar size at the base, and the other one should be Quarter size at the base. You can use the canes green but they will be better if you set them up to dry for a few weeks. Pictured below: A nice stand of river cane.
Now comes the tricky part. You want to cut the canes so that the base part of the smaller cane will slide down into the top joint of the larger cane. This means cutting the top part off of the big cane, and the bottom part off of the smaller cane. The fit between the canes must be tight enough to hold the two canes together securely, but not so tight that you split the cane. If the fit is too loose a good fish may carry off the top of your pole. You can cut the canes so that you end up with any length pole that you want. I prefer a finished pole that is eight to ten feet long, but it's up to you. Pictured below: Two pieces of pole, pole joint about to be joined, and pole joint joined.
When you tie your line onto the pole I suggest that you tie the end of the line to the top joint of the bottom cane and then extend it up to make a second tie on the tip of the pole. This way if the tip of your pole breaks, or if the smaller cane is pulled out of the pole, you will still be able to save your hook and line, and maybe your fish.