Most real-world tactical radio antennas are actually surprisingly thick and stiff, and often taper - that's the most annoying part to model in any scale or genre.
Over the years I've used plastic rod, but that tends to curve or sag, It also isn't very durable. Stretched sprue is good, and you can get a taper, but again not too durable.
For antennas on models you game with, I suggest thin wire inserted into fine drilled holes. Can be bent back to shape and reasonably easily replaced. Spring bases can be represented with small pieces of guitar string slipped over the wire.
Unless someone bends the laws of physics in the next 38,000 years, radio antennas work best in multiples of 1/4 of the wavelength. A 1/2 wave VHF vehicle antenna would be about 2.5m tall, and a 1/4 wave manpack set about 1.2m. UHF would be about half this. SHF - like your mobile phone - can be really small.
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