I think that resourcefulness is a great thing and that utilization of materials at hand is an admirable and sustainable proposition. But, many times we try to make-do with a material that is cheap and available with little thought regarding how much maintenance is going to be involved as a result of those few bad decisions.
I also think that a lot of people that have tried electric fencing and then later abandoned it – is a direct result of bad decisions with their line posts. I have said over and over that “steel is your enemy” with electric fencing. If you can keep steel completely out of your system you will ultimately be much better off. Yet, many people are still using steel t-posts or rebar types of steel posts – then they put on the cheapest plastic insulator that they can find. They complain about having shorts all the time and spending too much time looking for cracked or broken insulators.
By making the decision to use only non-conductive insulated line posts you will assure yourself of higher voltages, less maintenance and a system that will last you 30+ years without replacing parts, pieces and insulators.
I know you are probably thinking – “this guy sells composite posts, so what else would he say”, right? Well, believe me; I have been down both roads over the past 25+ years, so I am talking from experience and from trials and errors. I have also been invited to a lot of grass farms in a trouble shooting capacity. Many, many problems with electric fencing are ultimately traced back to a broken part on a steel post somewhere out there on the fence line. Do yourself a favor and think hard about your line posts!