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071013. I recently lost an OR12L board when the line came out of the clip while fishing for muskie. I looped around and despite that fact that it floats and is yellow, I could not find it! What would a good muskie rod type be for use with this planer board? Also, without a tattle system what does a strike look like if you just have the board out there? Does it drop back?

A. Sorry you lost the board, I have heard of stories of muskie eating the Off Shore OR12 Side Planer, but that is just stories-I think!

Any of your 7' muskie casting rods should be fine. It has to have enough backbone to handle the board and be able to handle the big lures used when fishing for them. When fishing suckers for them, you could use a little softer rod, but no reason to buy a rod specific to trolling.

The strike should be violent with artificial lures and could just be a subtle pulling back when using live bait. I have had a couple while walleye fishing on Green Bay that seemed like a big walleye until they got close to the boat, then all heck broke loose!

Q. 061713. What release do I use when trolling your OR12 Side Planers and using super line?

A. I am not a fan of super lines when trolling with boards; I prefer to use 10-15# mono. If you are using super lines, then I recommend the OR18 Snapper and even then, on rough days you should wrap the line around the Snapper. When putting the line in the back OR16 Clip, be sure to put the line behind the pin protruding through the middle of the pad. When reeling the board in with a fish on it, point the rod at the board until it is about 6' from the rod tip. Then lift the rod and be sure not to let the board back in the water because it will dive.

Q. 061413. My OR12 Side Planer keeps running back on me, what do you suggest?

A. Check the board for the ballast weight or possibly the foam is waterlogged (which should not happen). Swap the foam out with one of your other boards and see if that makes a difference as this will tell you for sure if it is the foam. We've only heard of this happening a couple of times.

Q. 061413. Can you run tadpoles off of OR12's with the tattle flag set up?

A. You should be able to run the #1 and #2 with the OR12TF Tattle Flag setup. As long as there is movement in the flag, it will show you if you have a fish. I have run big deep running cranks with the flag almost to the board, but still it showed the strike.

Q. 060713. I'm having issues with the clips on my OR12 planer boards with the tattle flag setup. On 5 of my 6 boards the OR16 clip pads are stuck together. This makes getting the line between them near impossible. Weak adhesive? I have also lost 3 nylon nuts. Please let me know if other customers are having the same issues and what can be done to resolve them. As far the overall performance of the boards, I have been very pleased as they pull true and put me on more fish!

A. The usual cause of the pads sticking is not putting something between them during long storage periods. I usually put a business card or something like that in mine. Best way to loosen them up is to torque them slightly sideways to break the friction loose.

Each board came with a screw and spare nut on each bracket to use to replace the ones you may lose. Make sure you check tightness prior to setting the board out each time as the instructions indicate. If you want to get a lock nut instead, they are 6 x 32 and available in stainless at most marine or hardware stores.

Q. 060313. Is it possible to use the OR34 Mini Planer Board for lure trolling by a land based angler from a beach? What is the largest lure I could troll with that?

A. As long as there is current, it will work. Small lures will work best like #7 shad raps as well as live bait with small weights works too.

Q. 052713. I have 9 (used to have 10) OR12 boards. I have one right board that runs significantly behind the remainder. I have the same releases/clips on each. I use the OR18 on the bracket. Can't seem to find out why; any suggestions?

A. Could you look at the floatation foam and see if it is beat up. Also, if it is an older board, check the lead ballast since
occasionally there were some differences in that weight since we had no control about the mix of the lead. We now use lead free material for the ballast and they are all dead on. Switch lead out with one of the other boards and see if that cures the problem.

Q. 030413. I have used your boards for years for walleye with good success. Last year I tried them with salmon, hooked up with a nice one, and the board became disengaged from the line and was ultimately lost. I purchased a new one and reading the instructions, there appears to be alternate clips to be attached to the back of the board for use with bigger fish. I plan on ordering the clips, but before I do, I have a question. On the instruction sheet, it shows the front clip attached to the bracket with a split ring (for faster trolling), and the back pigtail clip appears to be attached to near the bottom tail of the board.

Do any of your customers use the smallest size dipsy divers below your boards to achieve additional depth, or does the pull of the dipsy disrupt the performance of the boards?

A. To answer your first question, using the pigtail (or a snap swivel) will let the board slide down to a stop you put ahead of the lure. You do not want the board to go all the way to the fish or you will lose the fish. That swivel or pigtail goes on the board the same place the back clip is now. You simply remove the clip and put the swivel or pigtail on the split ring. We have had anglers use the small size dipsy, but we prefer to use the tadpole just because it is easier when you have a big spread out.

Q. 022413. Can you use a #7 shad rap with an OR34 Mini Planer Board?

A. The #7 Shad Rap will pull behind the mini. A lot of the guys have pulled more, but all you can do is try your bait and see how it performs. Tip: Put an OR16 (red) on the tail in place of the snap swivel and when you get a fish on, you give the rod a snap towards the motor to trip the OR10 (yellow) release on the bracket and the board will turn around and you can land the fish with less board resistance.

Q. 022013. I have a set of OR12's with the tattle flag kit that I use for walleye. I am thinking about going after some kokanee this summer using 6lb mono. Should I get a set of OR34's or just maybe take the tattle flag kit off of my OR12's, so I have the original lighter releases?

A. While the OR12 with the tattle flag will work, I think you would have a lot more fun with the OR34 on those small salmon. I have caught them this way and they are a blast! I would rig the OR34 with the OR10 yellow clip on the bracket in the light setting and then replace the back snap swivel with one of the red OR16's from your tattle flag boards. Now when you hook up on a fish, snap the rod towards the motor to release the yellow clip and the board will just be on the line like a bobber and you will get the full fight out of the fish.

Q. 021413. When running 3 boards on one side of the boat, to avoid tangles, should the inside board run the deepest back? And how should the rod holders be set up? Highest to lowest or the other way?

A. No, you can drop the inside board back and bring the outer board with the fish in and then let the inside board become the outside board.

Q. 121012. I guide for redfish and speckled trout in Louisiana. Would trolling with Off Shore planer boards work on open lakes for speckled trout? I do not know anything about using planers boards. I want to troll soft plastics, bandit crank baits, rattle traps, etc. What would help me get the 1/4 oz. jig heads down deeper? Nobody uses this method in South Louisiana. (I think the mini planers will work). The lakes are only 5' deep and the trout suspend as well as hang out on the bottom.

A. The OR34 Mini Planer would be perfect for this. Run the 1/4 oz. jigs about 30-40 feet behind the board and that will put you about 5' down.

Q. 120512. I am looking to order in line planer boards and would like some advice on your products. I will be trolling artificial lures for large striped bass on the Chesapeake Bay. Line weight will be 20 lb. test; lure weight would be 4 ounces max. Which of your products would you recommend for this application?

A. I have fished in your area and use the OR12 Side Planer. Four ounces in no problem with it and speeds up to 4 mph will work. I would put a snap swivel on the tail of the board instead of the release that comes with it to prevent losing the board.

Q. 110612. I was wondering if you could tell me which of your planer board releases would be best on Lake Erie walleye using braid?

A. I am assuming you are meaning the OR12 Side Planer. If so, the OR18 Snapper is the best. If you use the OR19 which is orange or OR16 (red) you need to wrap the line around the pads.

Q. 100912. On your OR34, you say light tackle, what range are you referring to?

A. We have used them on 4# on up. I've even trolled a streamer fly and split shot on that line for gil's and crappie. We have also used them on 5 colors of lead while speed trolling for steelhead on Lake Erie. They work a wide spectrum of presentations.

Q. 082712. I fish walleye in Lake Erie off the city of Erie, Pa in 60+ feet of water; my boat isn't right for big boards so. I would like to use the OR12 in line boards with 5 colors of lead core, 1 oz. weight, an 800 series reef runner and troll at 1.8-2.0 mph. I want to get down 48-52 feet. Will OR12 Side Planers work with this scenario and if I rig my board with an OR12TF Tattle Flag, will this set up work with this amount of pull?

A. To answer your first question, using 5 colors and 1 oz. with an 800 series reef runner will work. We are pulling 300' of copper wire for salmon and even adding a #2 Tadpole behind it and that is getting us down to 70+ feet.

Answer to your second question, about the using the OR12TF Tattle Flag upgrade, no. There are a lot of anglers pulling a full core and 3 oz. weights with various stick baits to fish the deep water of Lake Erie with Off Shore OR12 Side Planers.

Q. 052112. I have an OR12 that I started using again after a couple of years off and it seems to be riding high in the water on the front. There is no weight on the front slot ahead of the long weight on the bottom of the board, does the front slot need a weight also or am I just running too heavy of crank bait?

A. It is riding correctly. The front is supposed to be high so that it won't dive in big water. Do not add any weight to the board or you will find out what kind of bottom is in the area you are fishing! Lol!

Q. 050112. How much realistically can I drag behind an OR34 without sinking it? I would like to be able to run original floaters up to #7 shad raps.

Also, I would like to add a small chemical light with a small screw and P-clip. Would adding this to the OR34 affect performance?

A. You can run the #7's easily, even if you add weight and the board goes under while setting it, it will come back up and plane. I have never added a light to one, but it shouldn't have much of an effect.

Q. 031412. I'm new to planer boards and thought I'd give them a try. Cabela's has a combo (2 planer boards with OR19 releases and OR12TF Tattle Flag Upgrade Kits) that I would like to purchase. We troll for salmon and lake trout and use 65 lb. super line with mono or fluorocarbon leaders.

Are the OR19 releases suitable for super line or do I need the OR18's?
Can I use the OR18's with the Tattle Flag Kits? Do I really need the tattle flag kits?
If I wanted to use your OR20 Pro Weight system with 65 lb. super line, do I need OR18 releases for that as well?

A. Yes, you should have the OR18's for super line. They work great. My boards are set up this way. Do not use tattle flags for salmon fishing. The OR16's that come with the OR20 Pro Weight System will work fine for 65 lb. super line; make sure you put the line behind the pin protruding through the center of the pad.

Q. 022112. Do you have any light tackle trolling equipment that could be used while canoe fishing? I have a camp on a killer little lake that has a nice amount of walleye and big landlocked trout.

A. I think our OR34 Mini Planer would really fit the bill for your application. It is small, light and inexpensive.

Q. 022112. Was not aware OR34 board does not float. I was reading about putting foam on the board but I don't know how much and where foam should be placed so it does not affect running of board. Maybe split a pole float and glue on top of board? What you think?

A. The OR34 does float, just barely, but it is not an issue. We have pulled 1/4 oz. hot n tots and 1 ounce in lines with it. We have experimented with pieces of foam on both sides and really have not seen any difference in the way it runs. The biggest thing with the OR34 is to slowly let it out to make sure it is going to the side. Do not free spool it behind the boat.

Q. 021212. Can you use 15 lb. lead core trolling trout or will it just flat line?

A. We have used the OR34 Mini Planer with 5 colors of lead core for steelhead on Lake Erie, but with a full core it is too much weight to get out to the side very much.

Q. 020412. I fish Lake Erie for walleye & steelhead using full size dual planer boards with 30# braid line and the OR3 (white) full size planer board releases. The braid slips through the releases. Is this the wrong release or are the pads in need of being replaced?

A. First I would try putting a loop in the line, twisting it between your fingers and pinching the coil in the release. If this doesn't work for you, switch to the full size OR17 Medium Tension Planer Board Release (black) or the orange OR19 mini clip. Again, spinning a loop and pinching the coil is always a good way of using our releases with any of the super lines.

Q. 122711. I recently got very interested in fishing when I went out with my father's boss trolling for walleye using your OR12 Side Planers and I was hooked immediately. I run 6 poles (3 off both sides) and I have been visiting your website and will be upgrading my boards with the OR12TF Tattle Flag Kit. I have read a lot about these and from what I understand it sounds like people have the lines release from the clips when they have a fish? I was just wondering if that is the way they are supposed to work. I have personally had no problems other than having 2 tangle ups last season but I put it on operator error (new boat driver). When a fish hits my furthest board or my middle board, I have to determine whether I can get it to the side of the boat or if it's pulling hard enough, I'll play it out and go to the back of the boat with it. They have worked tremendously for me! I am nothing but a novice and had no problem feeding the family plenty of walleye. So long story short - should I be finding a tension where the strike would release my clip? I run 20# mono on 8 ½ foot rods with crawler harness. (A little overkill, but I don't lose fish!)

A. I don't release my boards when walleye fishing (it sounds like you are doing it the way I do) and I have the occasional tangle even after years of using them! Lol! Salmon anglers sometimes release the boards by putting a snap swivel on the tail and letting it slide down to a stop above the lure. Lead core guys will bring the boards in and remove it.

You have a good grasp of what fishing with Off Shore Side Planers is all about.

Q. 091311. I have two questions about the OR12 boards.

1. How many color changes of lead line will they pull without sinking?
2. Will the OR12TF Tattle Flag work with lead core line pulling salmon spoons, or is there too much weight pulling the flag back?

A. We pull a full core and even more with the OR12. Even if you stop the boat and the board sinks from the weight it will come back up once you start moving again. The tattle flags are not needed when pulling lead core. There is too much weight to hold the flag up.

Q. 062311. When using 2 boards on each side of the boat, which is the best way to position your rod holders to prevent line tangles? Which holder should go to the inside board?

A. Usually the farthest board out should have the rod towards the back of the boat. Closest rod is forward. This will allow you to turn without running over the board on the inside. Most anglers have it just the opposite! Why? I don't know. Try the inside forward and the outside board towards the stern and see how you like it.

Q. 061611. Last week I used the OR12 Side Planer from shore in moderate fast current on the Cottonwood River in MN. I was able to run line out almost to the opposite shore. It's a bit cumbersome to get the rig into the current but once there, we could hold any position in the river we wanted. Great fun! We caught one walleye, a small northern and three cats. Have you ever heard of such?

A. That is a great use for the Off Shore Side planer. Lots of guys do that in the south for cats and I have done it on the White River in Arkansas for stocked trout.

Q. 032311. I'm looking for a board for lake trout that range from 5 to 15 lbs. to use in Northern Ontario. I am planning on using two rods per side with two downrigger rods rigged with 8 to 10 lb. mono line.

I like the OR34's but I also like the tattle flag system which I understand is not compatible with this product.

The OR12's convert to the tattle flag system and would pull harder, but I'm afraid they will become too much drag (for the # mono) once a fish is on; even after it slides down to a weight for example.

What do you recommend for this application?

A. It sounds like you're going to be fishing quite close to the surface at that time of the year with shallow baits. If that is the case, the OR34 would work well for you. If you're putting on weights and pulling larger lures, the OR12 would be best. The OR12TF Tattle Flag Upgrade does make it easier to see and read the OR12.

How far back from the board to the lure are you planning on running? I like to bring the board in and remove it then finish fighting the fish to the net. It is not as difficult as it seems and you will get the hang of it after a few fish.

Q. 031811. I troll for trout in our lakes using 6ft light pole with 6-8 lb. line. What planer board and tadpole should I buy?

A. The OR36 1 (#1) Tadpole would probably be best for depth up to 25'; however, the 6-8 lb. line you're using could handle either the #1 or #2 (OR36 2). The OR34 Mini Planer would work best with the #1.

Q. 031011. I have never used planer boards before and I am not sure what I need. We fish for bass and walleye mostly but they do have stripers were we fish (Bull Shoals & Lake Arkansas). I am interested in the planer boards as well as the tadpoles. How do I determine whether I need right or left and what type of releases do you recommend for 10-20 lb. mono and fluorocarbon. How do the tadpoles work? What causes the release once a strike has occurred? Would a snag or bouncing on bottom cause a release?

A. Both the OR12 Side Planer and the OR34 Mini Planer will work for striper. We have several videos and articles on our website for even more info, but I will give you quick overview.

The OR34 works with live bait for stripers very well, just put the shad on with little or no weight and let it out slowly to the side. They are easily reversible from right to left.

The OR12 has been designed for salmon, walleye and striper when using heavier weights or larger crank baits. Again, you let the lure out to get to the desired depth and pinch it on the line. They are designated as Left and Right so you will need one for each side (or 2 for each side). You will not have to change releases on either product for most applications.

The Tadpoles trip when a fish pulls on the lure which is being run on a leader 1' to 4' behind the Tadpole. It will not trip if you bounce the Tadpole on the bottom, but if you snag the lure, it will. The line slides down from the bend in the Tadpole and releases the drag from the wide flat lip that makes it dive. If the fish gets loose, the Tadpole will reset and begin diving again. You should bring it in and check it though for clean lures or bitten off night crawlers.

This is pretty simple, but once you start fishing them you will find they are easy and catch fish.

Q. 030711. I just purchased 6 (3 rights and 3 lefts) of your OR12 Side Planers and was wondering on what type of rigging I should use for Lake Erie? I will most likely be trolling from 18 to 30 feet depths of water. Are they compatible with dipsy divers? If not, what do you recommend I use to obtain these depths? We usually use dipsy divers with small spoons. I would assume that nothing extra is needed using reef runner plugs, but my main question is concerning deeper depths and dipsy diver use.

A. Small divers can be run off the boards, but not much larger. We use the OR20 Pro Weight System with our lead free (OR20 Series) guppy weights, rigged as an in line weight to get down deep and our #2 (OR36 2) Tadpole with a spoon can get you about 30'. As far as changing the boards, my recommendation for Erie's big water is to change the front release to the OR18 Snapper. This is a clip designed for super lines and mono and holds in just about any water condition.

Q. 030311. Do your systems work for trout (3-6 lbs.)?

A. Our products will work in any trolling situation. There are no changes to the application whether you're on an inland lake, Great Lake or a high mountain lake. The key is to put the bait at the proper depth and speed. Our website explains many uses from the (OR20 Series) guppy snap weight, (OR36 Series) Tadpole or (OR12 Series) side planer. I don't know how you're planning on fishing, but without more knowledge of what you're trying to do, I am sure it will be covered on our website.

Q. 022411. I am considering the purchase of your OR12 Side Planer. Most of my trolling gear is rigged with 15 or 20 lb. power pro. Do I need to purchase the OR18 Adjustable Tension Snapper Releases, or will the standard releases supplied with the package work as well? I normally fish for brown, rainbows, and occasionally fresh water hybrid striped bass.

A. If you are not fishing on a huge lake like Ontario, you can probably get by with the orange OR19 that comes with the OR12 Side Planer. The OR16 (red) and OR19 have the same spring tension with the only difference is the pin in the center of the OR16. You can always put a wrap around the OR19 release on the bracket when using them with power pro as well; however, the OR18 Snapper is specifically designed for super line use.

Q. 021011. I am using the OR12 for the first time this spring on Lake Erie, I have some #0 dipsy divers which are 3.25 inches in diameter; are these to large to use with your OR12 planer board?

A. You are on the upper limit of what the OR12 will handle. Usually we stay with in line weights when using the side planer. Three ounce (OR20 3) Guppy weights or # 2 (OR36 2) Tadpoles will get you down to 30' with spinners. You're not going to gain much with the dipsy. Worst case is to try them and go from there.

Q. I am totally unfamiliar with planer boards but think they might suit my needs well. I have not found much information on planer boards for catfish. Your opinion and advice would be greatly appreciated.

My target species is the channel catfish between 5 -12 pounds. We currently do a lot of drifting in the wind with a drift sock off the side of the boat at speeds between .5 and 1.2 mph. On our 18 foot boat, we can drift 5 rods somewhat effectively. The problem is the lines tend to converge toward the center of the boat as we drift. Would planer boards work for this situation?

Our rig is 7 foot medium action rods running 20 - 30 pound mono with 1 oz pencil weights to drift the bottom. We run 18-24 inch leaders down to a 6/0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle hook with a 2 or 3 inch piece of cut shad. Our reservoirs are flood control with no current, only wind.

1. Would planers allow us to cover a larger area of water?
2. Which planers and clips would we use?
3. Would they work at the slower speeds mentioned above?
4. How would we use them?

A. All of your questions are YES. Anything you read on using Off Shore OR12 Side Planers for walleye will work for cats; there are some videos on the products and we are always working on more. You would fish them no different than you are now, with the amount of line out from the board to the bait being the same as from the boat to the bait now. You will have to guess how much line is in the air before it enters the water and subtract that from the board to bait distance.

Remember, with the boards out to the side, inside boards will let the bait drop down and the outside ones will lift up when turning. Everything else is easier to do than to talk about it. I would use the OR12's the way they come with the OR19 (orange) releases and the flag that comes with it. I don't think you will need tattle flags for cats, they usually bite pretty well.

Q. I'm looking to get OR31 planer boards and don't see them on any website. Can you supply them?

A. We have discontinued the OR31 because of a color conflict with our competitor. They are the same as the OR12, just without the flag. You need to drill a 1/16" hole 1" up from the end of the board and put the screw eye from the front. This is where you put the split ring and the orange OR19 clip that now comes with the OR12.

Q. I just bought one of your OR12 models and wanted to know about rigging bottom bouncers to them. Would you let your line out till the bouncer touches bottom and then clip your planer board to it and let it off to the side of the boat or what technique would you suggest?

A. Your method is good. Depending on the bottom structure, you may want to add some line, just like fishing it over the side without a board. Remember, when you turn the inside bouncer is going to go straight down so you may want to keep them up a little. Time on the water is the best teacher. Also, let the board out slowly so you don't lay the bouncer and the leader on the bottom.

Q. I just attended a fishing seminar by the captains of Best Chance Too. They talked of using your OR31 SST boards rigged with an OR19 orange release in a "fixed" release fashion so the board would not slide down the line on the reel in. I do not see the board style available on your site. How would you suggest I best match this setup?

A. I am glad they shared some of their fishing knowledge with you. The OR31 SST board is the same as the OR12 with the exception of the screw eye on the back of the board. This is about 1" from the bottom of the SST on the very end of the board. Keep the flag folded down and drill a 1/16" hole for the screw eye and you have the same board. We discontinued this product because of the conflict in color with one of our competitors.

Q. I'm interested in the OR34 Mini Planer Board. I have many of the standard boards for walleye. What is the size of the mini? I'm interested in using them for crappie. What modifications do people make for this type of fishing? I see that there is a snap swivel in the rear instead of a clip with a pad. Is this something that I would have to change? Or fish with the board sliding to the fish?

A. We designed the OR34 for crappie and the walleye anglers are using it. You should have to do nothing with the OR34 Mini, use it right out of the package for 95% of your fishing. The dimensions are 3" X 6" and it is reversible (each board serves as a left or a right, you choose).

Keep me posted on how you do with it and what techniques you're using please. We are looking for input.

Q. Do you make and sell counter weights for your planer boards. I'm guessing that is what the three holes in front are for? I'm using my OR12 planer boards with some bigger crankbaits and the board wants to ride with the front out of the water and not cut away from the boat. The counter weights would help prevent the front end from riding out of the water.

A. The design of the OR12 Side Planer is to ride high like it does to prevent it from diving. The holes in the front are for the tattle flag option for light biting fish so you can adjust its spring tension. We run Reef Runners along with other deep baits and while they don't go out as far as they would with just a stickbait, they still allow you to cover a wide path when trolling. If you hang anything from the front, I guarantee you will not be happy! The bow high is the nature of the beast and it is the best overall way to run the board with the least amount of problems.

Q. I've just purchased 2 of your OR12 Side Planers for muskie fishing. I'm looking at replacing the OR19 releases with your OR18 Snapper Releases as I'm trolling 80lb test Power Pro at about 3 - 5 mph with 10" inch, deep diving Jake crankbaits. I've already replaced the rear release with a pigtail. My question is, when I adjust the tension on the OR18 so that it is tight enough to hold the Power Pro, will it release the line when there's a strike?

A. I think the choice of going to the OR18 is the right one for your application. You should not have any problem holding that line with it and tripping should work also. You may have to snap the rod towards the boat motor to trip without a fish. It should not need any adjustments but do it slowly if you do.

Q. I was thinking about getting the OR34 Mini Planer Boards for fishing steelhead in rivers. My one question is, can I let out the desired length of line from my rod, engage the reel and let the board pull itself into my spread like the OR12 Side Planer boards will?

A. Yes, the OR34 works very similar to the OR12. It does not have a ballast weight so it won't pull out as hard as the OR12 but it still works on the same principal. I am assuming you're not using a big crank behind the board? Something like a 1/4 hotshot etc. would work well.

Q. I have 8 off your Off Shore OR12 Side Planer boards, snap weights, and numerous releases. I was wondering if you made some sort of an organizer for the boards in the boat. I was thinking of making one, but thought I would ask before I did.

A. We don't make an organizer; however, there are several on the market. Most are heavy material with sewn pockets. I have also used the Lindy marker holders on my boat for doing this. They are in a group of 3 and work quite well.

Q. My question is; I would like to set my OR12 boards up so I can use the OR12TF Tattle Flag with the OR18 Snapper Release. I've watched your video on You Tube and you were using a release on the rear of the board that had a pin in the back which allowed the release to slide down the line, Can you tell me if you sell a kit with this set up or is there a better way for me to do this? I want to use the flag for two reasons; to detect grass and we also get light biting fish such as lake trout and catfish while striper fishing.

A. The OR12TF Tattle Flag Upgrade Kit comes with the clips that have the pin in the center of the pad. The OR18 has to be purchased separately. Most striper guys do not use the tattle flag since stripers hit so hard; although, there isn't any reason not to if you think it would help you catch more fish. I think your plan would be great for the fish your after. You really should not need the OR18 and I would leave the original OR19 (orange) release on the front. That way, the board can break loose from the bracket and you can bring it in easier.

Q. I just bought an OR34 Mini Planer (first time for using planers) board to use on inland lakes and reservoirs in the Midwest. I plan on using it under certain conditions for walleye, bass, crappie, etc. I am using Power Pro 20 lb (6 lb diameter) and 30 lb (8 lb diameter). Having read many of the FAQ's in your website, I'm still confused. My question is, did I buy the correct board and do I need a different board release for the Power Pro line other than the one included with the OR34?

A. Thanks for purchasing our OR34. You should have no problems fishing with Power Pro and this planer. Keep in mind it is not designed to pull a lot of weight and by being so light it should pull ok with any line. Worst case is you go to the OR14 or the heaviest mini release we make; the OR19 which is orange.

Q. I have been learning to use your OR12 in line planers for 5 years now. It has been a terrific new experience for me and it has given me another seasonal dimension to my fishing. I use them mostly for walleye, but I also use them for trout and landlock salmon at the beginning of the year. I have recently discovered the torpedo diver, and in their text about this product they mention several times the combined use with the Off Shore OR12 Side Planer boards. However, they do not mention how much weight the boards are able to carry. Can you folks shed any light on this subject? Thanks for helping me become a better angler!

A. Thanks for the inquiry about using torpedo divers and OR12's. The smallest weight will work, but not at real slow speeds. It may sink when making turns, but it will return to the surface after a bit when you straighten the boat out.
I normally just run the torpedo just over the side and the planers out with another presentation.

Q. Last year I started trolling Lake Erie Central Basin with dipsy divers & spoons and could run 4 rods for 4 people. Could you recommend a planer board to run to the side with no mast that also works with dipsy divers?

A. I think the answer to your wanting to run more rods would be to use the Off Shore OR12 Side Planer with Jet Divers. This should allow you to get down the 25-40 feet you need to in the Central Basin of Lake Erie.

Q. In your opinion what is the best board for trolling for muskie with at least 4 boards out?

A. I would recommend our OR12 Side Planers for one, but if you're looking at running a mast and big boards, Riviera Trolling Systems makes a triple board that is second to none.

Q. I am interested in running your OR12 boards for walleye. I have a couple Shimano steelhead rods that I am using for trolling right now with medium fast action rated for 8-17 lb line and ¼ to 1 oz of weight. Can I legitimately use these rods with your boards and crankbaits? If not, what would you suggest?

A. Those rods would be good for boards. Almost any downrigger type rod is my recommendation, I prefer 7 1/2 feet because I am short and it makes it easier for me to set!

Q. I am from Yellowknife Northwest Territories and fish for lake trout every year. We go to the east arm on the Great Slave Lake and enjoy probably the best trophy lake trout fishing in North America. Not to brag but we probably put 60-80 fish in the boat a day ranging from 8-40 lbs but averaging on the 12-20lb range. We use ciscoes for bait fish in crippled herring rigs and a variety of spoons and fish between 10-30 ft of water using 2, 3, 4 oz slip weights in the early season. I bought a new boat this year and want to run 4 rods so I thought I would use your OR12 planer boards on the 2 outside rods. I do not know anybody else up here that uses the boards so I have no idea which board to buy, which clips I should use, as well as if I need the OR20 Pro Weight System, etc. I use 7 ft medium action ugly sticks with 15 lb mono line. Hoping you can recommend what to buy and how to best rig these using our ciscoe rigs.

A. I would love to catch fish like that! My best laker is about 22 lbs, so something like a 40 would be awesome. Yes, I would recommend the OR12 Side Planer board for your application. Fish the bait just like you do on the other rods and let the board slip down to the weight after the strike. You should not have to do any modifications to the OR12 for what you're fishing. Your rods are good, your line is correct and you should wear yourself out with 4 rods in the water!

Q. I just purchased an OR12L and OR12R to fish Lake Erie for walleye. How would I set up using jet divers size 20 & size 30 and reef runners? How much monofilament line and leader would I use? Will I need the jet divers to get to 20 or 30 feet, or will I just need the reef runner and maybe some weight?

A. You can set the jets just like they show on the package. They give you the amount of line for a given depth and if you're using reef runners, you can add a little more depth since the bait will take it a little further. Normally, I run small spoons of the jets, especially mini and micro Silver Streaks.

For leader length, it should be as long as you can get away with and still be able to land the fish when the jet is at the rod tip. I hope this helps.

Q. I am using the OR34 board for drift fishing. The problem I am having is that when I stop, the board sinks. How do I correct this?

A. The OR34 is not made to float on its own. If you want you can glue a piece of foam onto the board to specialize its use for your purpose.

Q. When using flashers and rebels on the OR12's, I keep having the problem with the line falling off. What am I doing wrong?

A. Slide the spring on the OR19 release into the heavy setting (toward the pads). You should not have any problems pulling the flashers and rebels that way.

Q. I use the OR16 red clips on the back of my boards with the OR12TF Tattle Flags and the OR14 black releases on the front so I can pop the line and let the board swing back when a fish is on. The problem I have had is that the little plastic tit that catches the line inside the pad of the OR16 red clip always gets a groove worn in it and eventually breaks off causing a possibility of losing a $50 board. (Not to mention that it makes it more difficult to get it off the line when a fish is on because the line gets stuck in the worn groove). What I have done to prevent this is to drill a small hole completely through the center of the clip where the tit is and cut down a finish nail so it sticks through one side of the clip and just into the other side, file the end smooth and glue into place, now I have a steel pin instead of the plastic tit. This much more durable. Can you upgrade your clips with a stainless pin?

A. The OR16 is not designed to have line slide through it. It is designed to keep the Pro Snap Weight from falling off. Your application is what is causing the problem and your cure is perfect. It would be too expensive to put a metal pin in each release for the few people that fish it that way. I am assuming your also using fire line that is really accelerating the wear. If you don't want the line to slide through the clip, you need to wrap the line once around the clip behind the pin.

Q. I recently purchased a set of OR12 planer boards & upgraded them with the OR12TF Tattle Flags. I had them out yesterday for the first time in calm water. The board seems to run front end high, back end low which caused it to porpoise when traveling through the water. We brought the board in to see if there was an adjustment & could not find one other than the possibility of maybe moving some of the weight into the small empty slot in the front of the board. I would sure like to see the run smoother & lower in the water. What do you suggest?

A. As you are obviously new to Off Shore Side planers, you are experiencing the "New Board" jitters (LOL). The theory of side planers is to run out to the side and impart some action to the bait being towed behind it. To have the board run flat like a boat would cause you problems and I do not even want you to think about. Do not put any weight in that front cavity or you will be cleaning mud off the nose of the board. The value of a nose high board will really come into play when you get in rough water and those anglers running the flat running competition are having problems with diving boards and catching fish. Please spend more time with the board (going fishing is always fun) and you will learn to read the board and catch a lot of fish.

Q. I recently purchased two of your planer boards with the intent to run a 5 and 7 color set up for salmon. I want the board to release from the line and slide down to the leader. Now I've been using yellow birds for many years with great success with this tactic by placing a large swivel in between the line and my 9 foot lead line.

My question is do you think this would be a wise choice in this application or should I be buying speed beads?

All opinions or thoughts toward lead core will be greatly helpful being as this will be my first season ever using it.

A. I think the large swivel would work fine for your application. A lot of anglers use a 50 foot lead for lead core, but I tend to agree with your line of thinking. The length of your leader is enough to let you still net the fish and that should be all you need. We have a couple of articles in our previous issues of the "Off Shore Release" on our website that may give you a little more information about using lead core.

Q. I'm trying to get my trolling program organized and have a question. When using crankbaits with different amounts of line out from the boards, how do I want to arrange my set-up? Shallowest on the extreme outside and deepest toward the inside?

A. I usually run the longest leads to the inside, but that can cause a problem when you get a fish on the outside. When I get a fish on the short lead, I drop the inside board back until I think I can clear the fish and then it becomes the outside board for the next time. I really don't think it is a big problem how you set them up, just remember the lead length for resetting when you get a fish.

Q. I have a pair of your OR12 boards and I put OR18 Snapper Releases on them for fire line. My question is if I want to add another release to the back of the board so it's easy to secure by just snapping instead of a swivel (slide down method) do I need another OR18 release can I get away with an OR19 for the back release?

A. The OR19 will work fine. I have never liked the way the boards ran with the OR18 Snapper on the back.

Q. Can you give me an "about" weight to use for keel weights when using in line OR12 Off Shore boards that have the OR12TF Tattle Flag upgrade installed on them with crawler harness traveling at approximately 1 mph for specific depths? Then how much line do I let out to obtain that depth before attaching the board? I would run the keel weight directly in front of my 3-4 foot crawler harness. 1 oz keel weight for every 10 foot of depth at 1 mph?

A. It is about 50%; i.e. 20 feet of line is 10 feet down.

Q. Last week I purchased 6 OR34 Mini Planer Boards for rigging my new boat. I have used OR12's with excellent success on friend's boats; but tried the minis after reading your tests. I tried one yesterday rigged with all the included equipment (yes, they were assembled correctly) and again today with just running the trailing line through the back hole (in hopes it might flare out the travel path). Using Rapala Countdowns, Berkley Frenzies with no added weights, differing wind angles, and boat speeds of 1-4 mph; I was never able to get the OR34 out more than 30 feet to the side even with 8.5' trolling rods and 150 feet of line out.

A. I am wondering why they won't run for you? We have done a lot of fishing with them and had no problem getting them out a reasonable distance. Not the distance out like the OR12, but plenty far enough for most conditions. Did you have your rods high like with the OR12? You might try them a little lower so as not to unload the board. The only "problem" is in setting the board; you have to let it out slowly, but it sounds like you have overcome that quirk of the OR34. Please keep me informed.

Q. I recently purchased two OR12L & OR12R planer boards with the OR17BWW release. We were trolling in fairly heavy waves for walleye on Lake Michigan and I could not keep the line from slipping out of the releases. We were only trolling with spinner rigs at a very slow speed but still had a lot of trouble. Can you help me out? When I could keep the boards on, they performed beautifully and I need to purchase at least 2 more but would rather not have this problem. Will the next size heavier release work?

A. I think you have some part numbers mixed up. The OR12 comes with 2 OR19 (orange) releases which are heavy tension. This is a new release for the boards in 2009 as they used to come with black OR14 releases.

You should have been able to fish just about any water with the OR19's. Some of the anglers are replacing the OR19 with the OR18 Snapper Release for an even more positive hold. The Snapper is especially good for those anglers using one of the super lines. I am not sure what release you have on, but the above ones should help your problem.

Q. I have invested in a couple of copper line reel and pole setups with the intent of using them with my OR12's. I checked through your Q&A section but didn't find the help I'm looking for.

Will my OR12's handle the copper line and if so, with how much line trailing in the water? My boards have the standard releases, are they adequate enough for the copper line? How heavy of a bait would I be able to use? I would appreciate any words of wisdom you could share with me on this subject.

A. Thanks for asking about the copper line on our OR12 Side Planers. I would recommend the OR19 (orange) release which became standard on the OR12's as of 2009. Give that a try and if you're not happy with those, I would suggest the OR18 Snapper Release. Best Chance Too uses them both ways and is pleased with the results. The more wire you put behind the board, the less it will go out to the side, but since your running 200 to 500 feet behind the boat that should not be a problem. Rig the boards with a snap swivel in place of the rear release just to be sure you don't lose the board.

Run anything you want on the wire and see what performs best.

Q. Thank you for the great products and all the information on your website. I have successfully used your OR12's on Lake Winnebago and the bay of Green Bay. I am also looking forward to using them on Lake Michigan for salmon and trout. One final question, when attaching lead core or copper to an OR12 board, can you attach the copper or lead core directly to the board? Thanks in advance for your help.

A. I have not had any problem putting lead core in the releases and I think Best Chance Too is doing the same with the copper. You may want to use the OR18 Snapper for the copper, but give it a try before you buy new clips.

Q. I am interested in purchasing a pair of your OR12's for deep sea and inshore fishing, specifically for striper and tuna. However, I am concerned about these boards not being large enough. For stripers, we typically pull a heavy umbrella rig rigged with 9" plastic shads and up to 6 oz of weight with 65 lb braid or a Mann's Stretch 25 or 30 plugs with 30 lb mono which can dive down to 25' & 30'. When fishing offshore for tuna, trolled baits are actually lighter, at most 1.5 to 3 oz and 65 lb braid. Are my concerns valid?

A. The OR12 will work with that application; we pull 14oz umbrella rigs for striper on the inland reservoirs with them.

Q. I don't have a shad friendly bait tank (yet) but plan to try planer boards for hybrids and stripers with shad crankbaits & maybe swim baits. Can I use the same size boards for these two species, and if so which model might you recommend? The hybrids at many lakes close by are running in the 6 lb category while my ultimate plan is to hit Cumberland for stripers.

A. You can use the OR12 planer for live bait and for pulling crankbaits. The new and considerably smaller OR34 would be best for live bait only.

Q. Is the lure depth affected by a planer board? If a lipped crankbait is supposed to run say 3'-6' when retrieved, will running it on a planer board increase or decrease this depth?

A. In regard to running a lipped crankbait off a planer board, it has no effect on the depth the lure will run.

Q. I have 4 of your OR12/OR31 Side Planers and use them on Lake Erie with much success. This summer I am going fishing in Wisconsin and want a smaller board to use for inland water walleye and small mouth. Will your new OR34 Mini Planer work for this application? What lines and terminal tackle are they rated for?

A. The OR34 Mini Planer board will work with lines from 6 lbs. on up. Lead core is not a problem and super lines will work with the OR10 release that comes as standard equipment or you can upgrade to the OR19 Adjustable Heavy Tension Planer Board Release.

We have pulled everything from 1/16 jigs to Deep Little Rippers and snap weights. We've even tested the OR34 Mini Planer on steelhead with 5 colors of lead and a spoon at 3 mph with good success.

Q. How much weight can the OR34 Mini Planer board pull?

A. We have used as much as 5 colors of lead core at 2.8 mph. We've also used snap weights up to 1 ½ ounces. The board will sink if there is no forward motion, but it will come up in line after you get moving.

Q. Can I use different releases on the OR34 Mini Planer board?

A. Yes, all of our half size planer board releases along with our OR16 clips can be exchanged out for the OR10 that comes as standard equipment on the OR34 Mini Planer board. All of these half size releases and clips will bolt right on.

Some anglers are using an additional release on the back and physically reel in the OR34 Mini Planer to within your arms reach and manually remove the board when fighting a fish just like they do with our OR12 and OR31 Side Planers.

I would recommend that you use the OR34 Mini Planer board as it comes in the package and then find your favorite method for your fishing conditions.

Q. How do I keep the OR34 from going all of the way down to the lure and the fish?

A. We recommend that you use an OR29 Speed Bead or some other stop 4 to 6 feet ahead of the lure to prevent that from happening.

Q. I live in Columbia, South Carolina and striper fish on Lake Murray using your OR12 Side Planers. I have wondered what type of line, mono vs braid, do you think is best due to the wide range of stretch between the two? How much effect on hook ups? I would also appreciate any tips on how to rig the leader size and length?

A. I am assuming that you are fishing live bait for stripers? I generally use 20 lb. P-Line or Suffix for my live bait fishing. I have not seen much of a difference with braids over that type of line. With circle hooks, you just let the fish go and he will hook himself. I rig with a small egg sinker on the line and then I tie a swivel to 4' of 15 lb. fluorocarbon line to my circle hook. Watch for frays and change it with the smallest nick.

When I am using Umbrella rigs, I like to use Power Pro line in the 50 lb. range. It will allow you to pull the rig out of most of the snags. I also invested in a Plug Knocker to help save my $30 U rigs!

The best tip I can give you is to fish as often as you can and pay attention to what caught your last fish.

Q. How much weight can the Off Shore Tackle in line side planer boards support for running snap weights?

A. I recommend staying under 3 ounces for walleye until you have some time on the boards. Heavier weights will sink the board but it will come up when you start moving forward.

Q. Can you run more than one line off of the in line boards?

A. No, in lines are meant to only run on one line per board. To run multiple lines off of a planer board, you would need to have a Riviera mast and dual or triple planer board system.

Q. Can diving disks be used on the leader end of the in line board instead of lead sinkers?

A. Yes, we use the smaller version of the Dipsey Diver for walleye.

Q. What controls how far out to the side of the boat the in line boards run?

A. The amount of line you let out will control the distance the board will run out to the side of the boat.

Q. What release do you recommend for pulling dipsey's off of dual planer boards?

A. I recommend using the OR17 Medium Tension Planer Board Release and they come in a 24 pack for salmon or the OR3 Light Tension Planer Board Release for walleye and this item comes in a 50 pack.

Q. Why don't you include the pigtail and speed bead in with each OR12L or OR12R Side Planer?

A. The Side Planers are ready to use as they come out of the package. There are about 20 different ways to rig them and we can't include every way to attach the boards or most anglers would have a lot of spare parts they don't need and/or complaining they were getting charged for items unnecessary to them. No matter how we do it, someone always want to have it different so we try to package our products the way MOST anglers would be using them. You can always use a good snap swivel if you don't want to purchase a pigtail or you can put a barrel swivel on the line instead of a speed bead.

Q. I am using the Side Planers with large baits and sometimes the boards do not seem to be running properly. What could be causing this?

A. Always make sure the release is mounted properly on the board. Make sure that you are letting out enough line so each board will be running back (not straight out to the side) about 60 degrees from the boat. Your rod should be as high as possible so you are not dragging any line in the water.

Q. I have used clips on planers for years. I have some of the first ones you guys sold. Anyway, I have had a few problems fighting big fish & the planer board. I would like to use a planer board and just send releases that release down the line when the fish hits. I have purchased a new set of your in line side planers and I want to use a short stiff rod on each side of my boat with the planers only on them. Then send a clip with my line on it. I do not want to use more than one line on each planer at a time. My question is, can this product run true with no drag from the lure on the back end of the planer?

A. I am assuming when you say big fish you mean large walleye? I have taken many walleye over 10# with our side planers and cannot say I have lost very many. That said, running the second line off the tow line would make the board tip over towards you and unload itself. If you were using a small lure, one that doesn't drag much, you could get by with it. I have run a second line as we show in our newspaper often, but only with the above mentioned lures. I feel you should go to the large size boards such as the Riviera dual boards for the application you want to use.

Q. Which would be the best boards for muskie fishing…..larger lures and higher speeds? I would be trolling with braided super line in 50# to 80#.

A. The best setup for you would be the Orange OR31. It has a heaver clip and the attachment on the back would allow the board to slide down towards the fish. It should work fine with the heavy line you're talking about. Remember, with all the heavy drag the big lure will be putting on the board it won't go out to the side as far as it will with walleye equipment.

Q. I am purchasing a set of planer boards and I need some clarification about the releases. I use 30lb PowerPro and I usually fish for walleye. Can I use the OR18 adjustable release for all fishing conditions or do you recommend having a variety?

A. The Snapper (OR18) would be the ticket for that application and for mono as well. You may have to tighten the screw in the bottom of the Snapper a little for the slippery PowerPro. Do it about 1/4 turn at a time.

Q. I've never used in line boards before. I want to pick up the OR12TF Tattle Flag Kit for walleye. Is there complete instructions included? I don't have a clue. Also I run 10# FireLine on everything; will the releases hold that small of diameter? My release for my downrigger does so I'm hoping for the same. Lastly, I was going to use the line counters on the Cabela's Whuppin' Sticks and they are 7 1/2 feet long with medium action. Any thoughts?

A. I think you will be happy with the OR12 or the OR31 (Orange) Side Planer. The tattle flag kit will work with your FireLine. You may want to add the OR18 (Snapper) on the tow board or wrap the FireLine as it shows in the directions included with both the boards and the upgrade kits. We have all the previous Off Shore Release newspaper articles online on this website. A lot of these articles are about using boards and tattle flags.
Your choice of rods will be good. I like a 7 1/2' rod myself.

Q. I recently purchased two of your planer boards with the tattle flag upgrade kit. I read the instructions very carefully and assembled the boards accordingly. I have used the boards once. I had trouble with the boards in my opinion not running correctly. They ran real low in the back with the front of the board almost out of the water. With the slanted portion of the board almost out of the water the board would in no way come close to running parallel with the boat. I was first running three colors of lead core line behind the board and figured that this might be the problem even though I had read you could run three colors without any problem. I completely removed the lead core and attached standard fishing line with a light pulling lure. Had the same problem with the back of the board down and the front way up. I know by the front of the board running this high that there is no way that the board will run even close to parallel with the boat. I do not expect it to run completely parallel with my boat but I really think it should do better than it does. About the best I can do is 15 feet out to the side of the boat. I have studied the board and tried to figure out why it wants to ride low in the back. There is the long slot in the board with the lead weight installed. In front of this is a smaller slot which contains no lead weight. I was wondering if adding lead to the front slot would bring the board down in the front. I think if more of the taper of the board was in contact with the water it would move the board farther out. Do you have any suggestions?

A. The board is running correctly, the nose high attitude is there by design to keep it from diving in rough water. If you put any weight in the small space you will have your hands full with the board diving. I think your problem is thinking the board will run parallel with the boat. It will run about 60 degrees back; the angle will be a little further with lead core and less with a small spinner and no weight. This is because of the increased drag.

We have some of the top anglers in the world fishing our products and there are many articles and videos showing the boards running well away from the boat and angled back. I cannot understand how you can only be getting 15' from the boat with yours. I personally have run a full core with a rotator for salmon and achieved more distance than that. I would like you to be happy with them and I am sure you will once you understand the mechanics of the Side Planer.

Q. I wanted to ask what planer boards and releases you would recommend for in line trolling for muskie? We use mostly 80lb braid with an occasional 65lb braid and "medium" diving 8"-12" crankbaits. Troll speed is around 3.5-4 mph. Any information on what products and how to do an initial set up would be greatly appreciated.

A. I would use the OR31 (orange) side planer. It comes with the OR19 release and I would give that a try but if it did not handle the size lure you're using then get the Snapper Release (OR18). I think the way the OR31 comes should work though.

Q. My buddy is getting started in walleye trolling and purchased four of your snapper releases for his Off Shore planer boards. The problem is, when the releases are tightened enough to hold on FireLine, they are very difficult to release.
Any suggestions? I have older snapper releases on older Off Shore boards and don't seem to have that problem.

A. We haven't made any changes on the Snappers.

Q. I use the OR12 (yellow) boards with flags. When I am pulling in average wind and pulling Bomber 24A's at 1.8-2 mph, the flags go down about ½ way when I troll and is hard to tell when a fish is on. You drag small fish for minutes without notice. Is there a way to remedy this? I use FireLine and usually have 125' to 180" out on the line counter depending on depth out of line. Is there a heavier or lighter spring?

A. As long as there is room for movement, the flags should show changes in drag on the lure. Watch them close as sometimes the flag will come up instead of going down with smaller fish. This is because they lower the drag from the big lipped cranks. I have noticed this more on Reef Runners than anything else.

Also, you might try removing the spring from the hole in the flag and putting it around the stem above the triangle where the flag is screwed into the board. Some anglers have also cut the spring at the bend and re-bent it, giving it even more tension.

Q. I have a pontoon and wanted to know if you have customers that utilize your product from a pontoon platform, and what kind of obstacles, or unique to pontoon situations they might have?

Also need to know if planer boards are good for shallow water walleye applications. I would be fishing in mainly 8-10ft depths?

Lastly can you run live bait rigs from behind the boards? I see a lot of articles but most of them refer to crankbaits and the like.

Any suggestions of product that would be best used, tips/tricks etc, would be much appreciated.

A. There is nothing different you have to do to fish using the Off Shore Side Planers from your pontoon boat. Rod holders would be nice. The water you're talking about is perfect for Off Shore Side Planers since you can stay away from those shallow fish with the pontoon. You may want to rig the boards with either one of the heavier tension releases or use the slip back method with a snap swivel in place of the rear clip. There are a lot of articles about rigging boards on our website. Keep the rods as vertical as possible to get the board further from the pontoon and go fishing. I run snap weights, in line weights and spinners all the time off the boards. Figure the depth you want to reach and clip it on the board.

Q. I tried using your OR12 Side Planers fishing for salmon on Lake Michigan with lead core line. The line at the planer is mono. I replaced the rear release with a snap swivel. I ran the line through the snap and the release to the rod.
I think the lead core line puts too much drag on the line. The release just will not hold. Any suggestions?

A. You are right about the small black OR14 release not being the one for lead core. We recommend the orange OR19 release or some anglers use the OR18 Snapper Release. I think if you change to either of these you will solve the problem of heavy lead core fishing.

Q. I'm interested in getting Off Shore planer boards, but I'm not sure how you would set it up. Do you use live bait with them or lures and is it made to go deep. I was looking at the OR12 with the flags. I fish for stripers, lake trout.

A. For your application, I think you would be best off using the orange OR31 Side Planer SST. They are set up to trip with big powerful fish like striper and also lakers. There is no flag on the OR31's, but it is not needed with the way those fish hit a lure.

I have run the OR31's for striper with live gizzards, blue runners and also with smaller umbrella rigs. Most of the striper anglers are switching to the OR31 orange board. You can add a flag to them if you want. Both boards are exactly the same with only the rigging being different for different applications. Instructions are included the packages.

Q. I bought a set (Left & Right) of your OR12 Side Planers for walleye fishing in Southern Ontario (Bay of Quinte) Canada. I have followed all instructions but am having a problem. The planers ride with the front end up too high and they do not pull out to the side of the boat.

There is a lead weight in a slot along the bottom of the planers below the styrofoam floatation material up to a partition in the slot; from the partition to the front of the board (approximately 2") there is no lead weight in the slot. Is this correct?

Any idea what I am doing wrong?

. The board is supposed to ride like that. By keeping the nose high you prevent it from diving when a wave pushes it under the water. If you are switching from the big boards to in line boards, you will not get the same distance out the side you do with the big boards. That is the nature of the in line planer board. After you use them, you will get comfortable with them and begin catching fish.

Q. I was wondering if you would sell me a set of 6 Off Shore planer boards, pre-rigged with the tattle flag and the adjustable clamp-down clips. I have looked into buying all of this separately; however, it gets very pricey and is a lot of work to set all of that up. Why don't you offer them that way "off-the-shelf"?

A. We do not specially make up the pre-rigging assemblies due to the fact that we need to stay within what our retailers sell and have available (which limits SKU's). Usually we have found that most anglers use the boards with different setups during different fishing adventures. So when they purchase the accessories, they still have all of the original equipment to use under different situations that would produce more fish for them. The boards were on the market long before the tattle flag system and then the OR18's came out so this is another reason for not packaging or specializing in setups. As the fishing venues change, we will be coming out with more options for the rigging and usage of the boards. The accessories allow the angler more of an adaptation to their needs at a particular time which may change by the hour of fishing and the conditions.

The cam action of the OR18's will not work with the tattle flag setup, only the OR16's. You can purchase the items separately for converting your boards over to tattle flag setup if you already have the OR16's.

Q. What is the main difference between the yellow and the orange Off Shore planer boards? We have been using a pair of orange OR31's for pulling half cords of lead core. My fishing buddy just purchased a second set of yellow boards for the second set of lead core and he said they looked the same. What's the difference?

A. Actually the boards are just a different color and how they are set up originally (i.e. releases/flags etc.). You need different releases to do different things with the boards; this is why we came out with the OR31's.

Q. I am interested in buying a planer board. From talking to people, yours is #1. My question is; I fish rivers in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. Are they capable of being used fishing from the bank and if so, what model should I purchase. It would be used for salmon and steelhead in the 5 to 50 lb. range. Also can I purchase one from you or a dealer?

. Thanks for asking about which model to purchase. I would recommend the OR31 for your application. The OR31 model will stay on the line while you fight the fish and it would be very unlikely to come off unless your line breaks. For your application, I would recommend using 20# line since you will not be able to retrieve the board should the line break. The best place to purchase our products would be from an area dealer or one of the big retailers like Cabela's, Scheel's or Gander Mountain. We do have them available on this website if you cannot get what you need at your local retailer.

Q. I live in Colorado so the primary fish is trout, but I also fish for salmon, pike, lake trout, walleye, striper etc. frequently. I use 10 lb. to 14 lb. mono the most. I troll plugs (to depths of 25ft.), spoons, spinners, etc. I can't tell from your web site the difference between the OR31 and the OR12. What board I should use for my varied fishing style?

A. I would recommend the OR12. The reason is that while both boards are the same size, the OR12 comes with a flag and can be read a little easier. You can rig the options (tattle flag, snapper, etc.) on either board. You will use the board to tell when you have a fish on so you can reel it in to take it off and then finish landing the fish.

For larger, more powerful fish like northerns and striper you rig the board with the snap swivel on the back and let it slide down to a designated stop ahead of the lure.

Don't let the boards intimidate you. A little trial and error and you will be writing me with new ways to run the Off Shore Side Planer!

Q. Can I use your boards for offshore salt water trolling? How about snap weights?

A. You can use both the snap weights and the boards in salt water. We use them for the FLW striper tour and when fishing in the Gulf. As with anything in salt water, care must be taken to wash all the salt water from the snap weights and the boards. I would recommend the OR31 Side Planer for your application.

Q. I was wondering if the OR31 planer board is suited for running lead core line. I want to run lead core line for walleye and have had some problems in the past in certain situations with the OR12 boards.

A. The OR31 will be fine for lead core as well as the OR12. Many of the guys are changing the release on the Side Planers to the OR18 Snapper Release when running lead core because it has a larger pad area and holds the lead core and FireLine. You may want to try the OR18 before you buy new boards just for lead core.

Q. I am trolling with 14 lb. x 6 FireLine and my boards are constantly coming off. I am looping the line. Do I need different clips?

A. Yes, you do need a different release for that thin FireLine. The standard release on the board is for mono in the 10 to 12 pound range. You need the OR19 (orange) release or the OR18 Snapper Release.

Q. I was recently at a fishing show trying to get a look at the new lead core/copper board that I heard you were coming out with. The ones at the show looked liked the same product that had been in production in 2006. Am I missing something?

A. What you are missing is the new board we came out with is now orange. The OR31 Side Planer SST comes without the flag and has an OR19 Heavy Tension Release along with a pigtail on the back for easy on and off application. The OR31 is the same size as the yellow OR12. We made the OR31 to answer requests from anglers that rigged the OR12 that way anyhow but changed the color to orange so it is still really visible, even without the flag. Anything that fits on the OR12 will fit on the OR31.

Q. I have wanted to purchase a planer board. I live in Texas and we troll a lot on our lakes as most people do elsewhere. We troll with deep diving lures and in lines as well as lead jigging lures. Will the Off Shore boards work in this situation? I was told by Bass Pro Shop that the Off Shore board comes in 2 sizes?

A. The Off Shore Side Planer comes in 2 models that are both the same size (not 2 different sizes). The OR12 is yellow that comes with a flag and 2 release system. The OR31 is orange and comes with a pigtail on the back along with one heavy tension release on the tow arm but does not have a flag. From your question, I think the OR31 is what you need.

Q. I have an OR12 planer with tattle flag; I can not properly hook up the tow line from boat to planer. The planer just lies sideways and it will not tow right. I have tried several connections and it will still not work. Everything is hooked up properly near as we can tell. I can't find anything in the instructions to hook up the main tow line. Please advise as to what we are doing wrong.

A. The OR12 is not meant to be attached to a tow line. It is for using in line with your fishing rod and lure.

Q. I have been running your in line planers for years; great product, love them. I spend a lot of my time on the Bay of Quinte in Ontario catching the monster eyes and your Off Shores have played a key part in that. I have one concern. I recently purchased 2 more sets of in line OR12's to go with the 2 sets I already have. My problem is that the new ones I just bought do not track the same as the previous sets. They do not pull as hard from the boat. It is impossible for them to run in a tight formation as they will not line up and run in one line as they should.

For example, today I was on very calm water (like a mirror); my older boards pulled right out almost to a perfect 45 degree angle from the boat and the newer ones I got were both lagging behind the older ones by roughly 30-40 feet. This was running with 75-175 feet of line out.

I have inspected all boards carefully and the only difference is that my older boards have a metal bracket that holds the front release and the newer ones have a plastic bracket. I have installed snapper releases (OR18's) on all board so that is not the issue. What am I doing wrong?

A. You are the only person that has ever mentioned the difference in the boards since we switched to the new bracket. At that time we also made some tooling changes in the board and changed the weight from hand poured to spinner molded due to difficulty in finding a hand pour company. The new lead is approximately 4 tenths of an ounce lighter.

We discontinued the metal brackets about 10 years ago and have been making the plastic brackets with no complaints. You might try adding a little bit (1/2 oz) of lead to the bottom of the board. Give that a try if you must have them running equally. From what I have heard about Quinte, you should have no problem realizing you have a fish on.

Q. Can I use dipsey or jet divers off of your side planer boards?

A. You can use jets up to size 40 and smaller dipsey's off the boards. They cannot be used with tattle flag's though.

Q. I picked up a pack of your yellow OR10 planer board releases to replace the releases on a couple of the Yellow Bird planer boards. On my initial attempt at using them, I couldn't keep the line in the release. It would pop out almost immediately. I was using 20# mono pulling a surface plug and/or spoon with a ½ oz weight. The spring was pushed up near the pinch pads. Am I doing something wrong or were these the wrong things to get for this purpose?

A. The OR10's are too light for that application, you need the black OR14's which are the next level up in tension. If you were fishing salmon or high speed, the orange OR19 would be your best choice.

Q. Can you use small divers off the side planers? If not, how do you achieve the 30'-40' depths?

A. You can use small divers and jets to reach those depths as well as using in line sinkers and the Off Shore Snap Weight System.

Q. Would it be possible or have you ever heard of anyone attaching the OR12 to a mast and running the release down the mast line with a shower curtain hook/quick clip?

What is the biggest (deepest) Jet Diver the OR12 can pull and do you know the effective depths of this rig?

A. You should not use an Off Shore Side Planer with a mast. It will not handle the weight of the tow line or several releases from the tow line. Riviera Trolling Systems makes a mast system for using multiple lines.
The OR12 will pull any size jet, you just will not get out to the side as far as you increase the size. As far as how deep the jet will run is up to the dive curve of the jet. That information should be on the Jet packaging or in the Crankbaits in Depth book which gives dive curves on many different kinds of jets, dipsey's and lures.

Q. I just don't understand how I am supposed to reel in a fish with three planer boards that have the tattle tail flag system on them? I mean, I have three boards running on the same side. But when a fish gets on, I reel it in and get all tangled up with the other boards or lines. So, what am I doing wrong?

A. When running multiple boards you have several ways to bring a fish in when he hits one of the outside boards.

1. Drop the inside boards back until they are far enough back to allow you to land the fish by bringing it in ahead of the other board(s). Best with long leads.

2. Reel in the inside board and set it in the motor well while you fight the other fish.

3. Let the fish pull the board back until he clears the rest of the boards. This is good when using short leads. Set the hook with a firm pull on the rod, not a BASS fishing jerk! Then let him pull it out of formation.

These are some of the methods we have used to help cut down on multiple boards.

Q. What I like to know is if there are diagrams on clipping the releases to the planer boards? Do you have to have a trolling mast to pull the boards so the line would release from the board all together? If I have a salmon on, how would you clip your board so you would not loose it? I would think when it pulls it down and under and it would be hard to get it up. What is the best way and what releases do I need and how do I clip them?

A. The OR12 and OR31 are in line boards, meaning they are meant to be attached to the fishing line. This website has articles on how to attach them to your line with several different methods. For salmon I would recommend the OR31 which has a slide back method for the hard fighting fish like striper, salmon and trout.

No mast is needed with in line planers.

Q. Which are the outside lines if using core? Is the full core put out first and then the half core next (on the same side) or vice versa? I can never remember how it is supposed to go to prevent tangles? Also, when trolling on Lake Michigan, I have a hard time keeping the board to stay clipped. I know that others use them with no problem. What am I doing wrong?

A. When setting out lead core, you want to set your shallowest running core out first, then follow it up with the deepest core. Set them up in a "V" pattern like a flock of geese would fly behind the boat. Therefore, when one of the outside rods goes off, it will clear over the top of the deeper stuff on the inside.

As for your boards tripping when others do not seem to have any problems, let me recommend upgrading to the OR18 Adjustable Snapper Release. The OR18 goes on the front of the board in place of the orange release. You can set this up so it does not trip until you release it at the boat.

Q. I purchased 2 yellow Off Shore in line planers last year. I am running #30 PowerPro braided line on my Daiwa Sealine level wind reels. This high quality braided line continues to slip through the pads of the release.

A. The instruction sheets are included with every Side Planer and explains the different types of releases for different applications. Your use of PowerPro is an application which requires a special release or at least wrapping the line around the release once. We have many top pro anglers using these products for all applications including salt water and muskie. My recommendation would be to add the OR18 Snapper Release to the bracket and use the pigtail on the back.

Q. I want to buy a set of planer boards and was wondering if you can suggest what boards to buy for walleye, salmon and lake trout (1 set for all three species) and also if you can run a dipsey diver off them.

A. Either board will work. We made the OR31 with a different attachment after hearing from a lot of salmon anglers. The boards are the same size and work the same. The OR12 has a flag and the OR31 doesn't, but a flag can be added if desired.