How to Run Fishing Lines Off Planer Boards

How to Run Fishing Lines Off Planer Boards
Typically a foot or so in length, a planer board is used to hold the position of a bait a certain distance from a fishing boat. An angler can use multiple planer board and line setups to distance and spread out lines, improving his chances of catching fish. The theory is that the more lines and lures you have in the water, the better your chances are. Planer boards are typically bright orange, red, yellow or white so that they can be easily seen by other boaters and anglers in the area. Some local and state regulations outline specifics for planer colors and may even require small flags to be attached to them for better visibility.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 7-foot or longer rod with matched reel
  • 20-lb. test monofilament fishing line
  • Barrel swivel
  • 20-lb. fluorocarbon leader
  • Lure
  • Scissors
Step 1
Rig your main 20-lb. test monofilament fishing line with a barrel swivel, fluorocarbon leader and lure. Use a uni knot to attach the main line and fluorocarbon leader to the barrel swivel as well as the leader to a lure.
Step 2
Tie the uni knot by passing the free end of the line through the eye of the barrel swivel so that 4 to 5 inches of line extends through the eye. Pull the free end up alongside the main line to form a double line. Turn the free end back toward the swivel to form a loop. Wrap the free end around the doubled line and through the loop four times. Moisten the knot, pull down tight and trim excess from the free end of the line with scissors.
Step 3
Start the boat and begin moving slowly through the water. Typically, 1 m.p.h. is a good speed to start with. Cast the lure out to the side or behind the boat and allow it to swim to the desired depth.
Step 4
Set the reel so that the drag will allow line to spool from the reel during an initial strike. Set the bait clicker so it is on. Attach the planer board to the line. The board typically has a snap on one end for attaching to the line and a quick release on the other. When a fish strikes the lure, the quick release disengages from the line and the board slides down to the swivel. This allows you to play the fish without the board's interference with the line or fish.
Step 5
Slide the planer board out along the line so that it touches the water. Continue to maneuver the boat and set additional lines and boards in the water if you like. Place rods in a rod holder on the boat with the rod tips up. Often the height of the rod tip determines the distance the planer board runs in the water from the boat.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.