Just as downrigging allows you to control the depth of your lure presentation, planer rigging is a trolling technique that allows you to control the width of your lure presentation. This is especially effective when fishing for "boat-shy" game fish. Depending on the height of your planer mast, the planer (Otter Boat®) can achieve distances of up to 100 feet from the sides of your boat. Line releases holding your fishing line are attached and lowered down the planer tow line and away from your boat. When a fish takes your lure, it will pull your fishing line from the line release. An effective way to vary the depths of your lure presentation is to tie Big Jon® Mini Divers or Deep'R Diver® disks on the lines closest to your boat.
Step-By-Step Operation Of A Planer Rigger
Start by preparing two tow line retrieval lanyards made of a couple of shower curtain hangers and a couple of lengths of tow line cord. Then, with your fishing rods prepared with the lures of your choice and placed in your boat's rod holders, bring your boat to trolling speed and maintain that speed.
Place your Otter Boat® (planer) in the water. Take hold of the reel with one hand and loosen the clutch by turning the clutch knob counter-clockwise with the other hand. NOTE:
Big Jon's Otter Boat® is recommended as a good choice of planers because of it's ability to gain greater distance from your boat than the old fashion boards and skies. The Otter Boat® also performs better in rough water and doesn't stall when your boat is making a turn.
Let out the tow line by turning the planer rigger reel clockwise. Do this slowly so that the tow line stays tight and the Otter Boat® can plane out from the side of your boat. When the Otter Boat® has reached the distance from your boat that you desire, retighten the clutch knob securely. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other side of the boat.
Now, take your first fishing rod from the front rod holder and place your lure in the water. Let your lure out to the distance that you want it to run behind the boat. Reset your reel so it doesn't free-spool and place your rod back in the rod holder.
Take hold of the fishing line that you have just let out and attach a line release to it (A). (There are many styles of line releases on the market to choose from. We are showing the "Pinch Pad" style here). Then, use the retrieval lanyard to pull the planer board tow line within reach. Clip the line release hanger clip around the tow line and close the hanger clip (B). Then, let out the retrieval lanyard until the tow line has returned to it's normal position.
Remove your fishing rod from the rod holder and let out more fishing line. As you do this, the line release will slide down the tow line. Stop the first line just short of the Otter Boat®. (This line should be run with a shallow running lure). Now, set the drag and drag clicker on your fishing reel and place your fishing rod back in the rod holder closest to the front of the boat.
Now, take your second fishing rod from the rod holder and repeat step 4. On this fishing line, that is closer to the boat, you may choose to vary the depth of your lure presentation by using a Mini-Diver or Deep'R Diver® disk attached about 4 feet ahead of your lure. Now repeat steps 5 and 6 and place your fishing rod in the next rod holder back from the back from the first rod holder.

NOTE: Each successive fishing line added to the tow line should be placed below the previous fishing line to avoid tangling with other lines when a fish strikes and pulls the fishing line from the line release. Now, you are ready to repeat steps 4 through 7 on the other side of the boat.