A flirt pole is basically just a very large cat toy. It is a great way to exercise dogs in a relatively small area. Flirt poles can also be great stepping stones in getting a dog into lure coursing or interested in tugging.
I use a lunge whip with something tied on the end. You can buy a lunge whip at basically any tack shop or feed store; one whip should run you 10 to 15 dollars. No need to get anything fancy.
Koira is fine with just a lightweight plastic bag on the end, which makes it really easy for the whip to snap back and forth quickly. It makes the game more fun. I really end up using it just like I would a cat teaser toy too. Snap it back and forth, move it so they think they are about to get it, but get it out of their way too fast for them to grab. Of course, sometimes the dog moves too fast and catches it anyway!
Pallo required me to tie a toy on the end of the whip first, because the bag just wasn't interesting enough. We hadn't worked with a flirt pole in a long time though, so I think if we play regularly with it, I can get him on just a bag. I actually managed to remove the toy part way through our play session and he liked the bag okay. It is amazing how much difference even a lightweight toy makes. The entire contraption is way heavier and less agile when there is a toy on the end instead of the bag.
And I need to thank my friend Kay both for taking this awesome pictures and for letting us play with her flirt pole for a while. I know my dogs had a blast!