I see the to use a gopro I would need the tripod adapter...but that small handle on the front side has to stay? can it be removed or it need to stay on to tighten the swivel?... just seems it would get in the way on a tight spot or between kelp/weeds?
Actually I think it may be okay. The knob is pretty much parallel with the pole itself when it's in the use position depending on how much angle you put on the camera. The know is pretty big though and I did think about getting a smaller one. I was hoping the GoPro knobs would work since they are the same thread size but they are too short. So it's off to the hardware store. But some type of screw is needed for sure.
As designed it has to stay. If you are handy you could modify it.
If you remove the small handle you could replace it with a smaller setscrew otherwise it would need to stay in place.