How to Rig a Planer Board for Trolling

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Planer boards are widely used for lake fishing. A planer board lets an angler cover a wide swath of water with multiple lines behind a trolling boat. Properly setting up the planer board and rigging the fishing lines will improve your chances of catching fish.

Items you will need

  • Planer board system (board, mast, cable, reel)

  • Planer board release clips

  • Fishing rods and fishing tackle

Install the planer board system near the front of the boat. Planer boards are typically controlled by a short mast with a reel to manage the board's line. You can mount a planer board on each side of the boat.

Begin fishing by slowing the boat down to trolling speed. Lower the planer board into the water and feed out 15-25 yards of line, allowing the board to angle away from the boat. Lock the planer board's reel to hold it in this position.

Bait a fishing line and drop it into the water. Feed out the line as far behind the boat as you want. Set the drag and put the rod in a holder. Grab the line and clip a loop of it into a line release clamp (a line release is a small spring-loaded clamp attached to a ring which can be opened and closed). Clip the ring onto the planer board line and let it drop into the water. The line release clip and the attached fishing line will slide down towards the planer board. Feed out more fishing line until the release clip is a few feet away from the planer board.

Repeat the previous step with additional fishing lines if desired. Feed each line out a few feet short of the previous one so the release clips are spaced a few feet apart along the planer board line.

Watch the rod tips for signs of a strike. Usually, the fishing line will be pulled out of the release clip and fall straight back behind the boat, keeping it from tangling with the other lines. For a smaller fish that does not pull the line free from the clip, grab the rod and give it a strong tug to release it.


  • While trolling with planer boards, avoid making sharp turns with the boat, which can cause the lines to tangle.


  • Vary the weights on the fishing lines so the lures run at different depths for greater coverage.