Over the years I’ve used everything from yellowbirds to large mast and ski type planer boards. My current setup consists of both Church in-line planer boards and Offshore in-line planer boards. As many know there is the constant chatroom debate as to which board is better, which pulls harder and so on. This post is to settle how and when to use both boards in your spread.
First off I like to set my boards so they do not release no matter how large the fish. I’ve found it’s much easier to fight a fish with the board not released than released. A released board even if set to not slide down the line will eventually dig underwater on you when a big king goes berserk. Now you’re fighting the board under water and the fish, this can create slack in the line. Boards set to not release are surprisingly easy to reel in with a fish on, simply point the rod tip at the board and crank.
Now if you set your boards to not release you need to be aware of the ever present threat of tangles. When you are running more then one leadcore rod on boards per side of the boat, you need to set the leadcores with the shallowest running line furthest away from the boat. Do this so the shallow running leadcore can slide over your deep running leadcores set closest to the boat. With this setup you can run into a problem if you’re running all Church boards or all Offshore boards. If you run the same board type on all lines they will all plane identical. Now a 5 color on a board will plane further out to the side of the boat then a 10 color on the same board type. The 10 color will lag further behind from the added 5 colors of drag. If a fish takes the outside shallow running leadcore you can run into an issue getting the fish to clear the inside board. If the fish is under 10#’s this is a very real issue and often times you’ll be forced to reel in the inside board to avoid a tangle.
With my setup of Church boards on the inside and Offshores on the outside you’ll virtually eliminate the threat of a fish pulling one of the boards into the other. If you’ve used both the Church and the Offshore boards you’ll know that there is no debate as to which one pulls and planes wider to the side of the boat. The Church Board (I use the TX-22′s) pull much harder and wider to the side when compared to the Offshore boards. The Offshore boards do not pull as hard and will lag slightly behind the Church boards, this is a big plus!!! Run your Offshore boards on the outside lines with no more then 5 colors of lead. Use your Church boards with your 7-10 color rods, and 200-300ft Copper rods. With this setup the Offshore boards will lag slightly behind the Church boards even though they are dragging a lot less lead or copper. Now when a fish hits the outside board it will easily clear the inside board.
I like to use either the Offshore OR-18 or OR-16 releases. Both releases are designed to not release when a fish hits. I take off the factory installed release on both boards and use either release with a large split ring to connect to the board. The split ring allows the boards to track and ride up and down in the waves better. The TX-22 boards have a pin release on the back that does not need altering. The Offshore boards should be equipped with an OR-16 release on the back.
If you’d like to read more about fishing with Copper and Leadcore check out the below post.