Does it have to be right below the handle, or can I install it farther down the pole?

It really should be as close to the handle as you can manage for two reasons:

  1. Many poles begin to taper in the lower portions of the shaft, and PoleClinometer must be installed where there’s no taper.
  2. To use your PoleClinometer slope meter you MUST let your pole hang vertically from a loose grip at the top of the handle with PoleClinometer in your line of sight. This gets very difficult when the sticker is placed far down the shaft from the handle (unless you have really long arms).

But if your pole just doesn’t have space for it right below the handle, then yes, you can usually get away with mounting it just below the side-hilling grip.