View Full Version : Modifying the Opti planer boards ...

08-08-2017, 09:11 AM
The idea in large planer board operation is that the board has 2 attachment points that the fishing line connects to - a front attachment point where the line from the rod connects / and a rear attachment point where the line continues back to the bait being trolled thru the water ...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/M50M6Mxy01J1B6_qgRr1Ues3_tGZ74PLrYyLscoHi3K61sjSA2 8CZxVOsTtXb0EOnRP31zRNjvU3Ox0ew1_Hz6oCx2Uz1rBDHiTv iowJ3Kjy8c8CZvB2UpJ0WV4nWue8yPd0HvCbNA

This allows the planer board to "plane" away from the boat ... while dragging the bait behind (and directly in line with) the planer board ...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/y1PpxUMLWK6-i8L1v3gghz9plLAe9xRlA3UuPAUT383e6QWcVvwhHpwpTPeDeE zHPrAqSnyAv6z36A9nyQIFOpZkGj4zzs6BfPWkLm4hpLlks5QW Rzs1UOLvJTmYb-NN_kRSLlI9RQ

When a fish is detected, the operation is to "pop" the line from the front attachment point of the planer board with a swift jerk of the rod tip ... The planer board (now losing its "planing bite" in the water) will now turn backwards (being only attached now by the rear attachment point) and can then be allowed to float directly behind the boat where it could be retrieved without tangling into the other planer boards still in fishing formation ...

Once the planer board is directly behind the boat (with the fish hopefully still behind the board) - the board is reeled in and removed from the line completely - whereupon the trailing fish can now also be retrieved ... (Remember the boat never stops ... so the fish is being dragged behind the planer board during this whole process until the board is removed during retrieve) ...

We found some challenges in the Opti board trial run last week ...


Challenge #1 was the type of front clip release supplied with the Opti board ...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rP96DHl8OEbqvKA7wxrquMHuOiYZP3QipMJKSqYdkNvTSOILUt fo9YoBUGG_WX-pBdVpIIDvKwFIV_6aIMQs76eAYzURH5boyzZWzCnmnOOzmTOJk KjsB8Um3DTLayrlloVarmPUzA

This type release was very difficult to get the line to "pop" out of the release so the board would reverse (in order to "guide" the board behind the other planer boards in fishing formation and then be retrieved to the boat) ...

Challenge 2 was the type of rear clip release supplied with the Opti ...


If the line popped out of the rear release (as well as the front release) the board was no longer attached and would float away ... and have to be picked up on a subsequent trolling pass = inefficient ...

So Doug PM'ed one of our prominent board guys here at crappie.com (I'll let Doug comment on that) and was recommended to try the Offshore clip releases ...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/PL5RJLxMkW29jTnQiDkxVwcLDPAgc47csN49cuW_ULwYbf-UKG-fll5S905Grtw9cUsSFq59_4KB9rynjWnk_AFnS3iABVqRz_ReF smERmL8Xfm6lxef4DUJ-WnCqSPxD0BEwQ8txw

To replace the front release on the planer board = the black OR14 clip release is used (and conveniently even had holes that allowed easily attaching the OR14 to the front arm of the Opti planer board with a pop rivet) ...


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/afXP9x21oWNzuQ_8Lo8WMPzEWwM1RL6wPxMdt2OjKlvjBNtdIi uHf5Jz3LTi-kTqfqkLWvwvRcae1gbcLqxkp0IoHiUCKRBiAFQGAp6ay_6mC1s-iy4P1PRA8Obbqis0_FaO38NyEg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kNpYpDf19T5WUFXjxyFoiviGd1TyYJoMDlLPUui4wfgwkUFg4N 2HvNa4sE2BCe6GXlYKzGkmnPfb19FRq0yEJ0tjX57V54_wJPi1 Ji81e7yVc8nEiZrn_AZ3RihPpNaX5sTRQsWzA

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lp1OzsjtBe2_2_tVGOw45aA01m9QkhmoJh2X82zCdqaOyQ-Pawn8-NbeSJKo4bPSVRs7ZG_f3cY1rlZkHxL_legqWq2EjXgObq7o2eU Bk8JYQ_jd105y3g7uVLSLzcDQPMr35wYkzw

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qaweYbGuoiJ3alXmQDM50wngIPFZy53ckH0paq6G_u_oXkY2sQ 1jvEHpYp8CGqC_Ar4-qF7Ln-X31ZsBHi29Q28R9MFM0rFV0GI-YB0qgUvkByhF8PQ6aop15oLmOercjX8E_KENoQ

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/t5xm8VVGM-cd08j2-nfUFPwlpm0fuwCXK40pbHlLL2qrKXv-BINuIbEEcDSYRtdeBeJI6ElCLCuc7VlYZq1BLDPwdmMCOQQe3y tpgxOO2S8SFdMeVFkMi7R6Xfdg7xstc-uoBppG_A

To replace the rear release on the planer board = the red OR16 clip release is used. The OR16 has a "pin" in the clamp jaws so that the line can be situated in the clip jaws behind this "pin" to keep the board attached to the line during retrieve (thus eliminating the board floating away unattached) ...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WY1glEXlDbWAB9fl8wLi9SEivwyXHBZIKtVW9aUM35b8LxRyg5 E_am8qiOsxvJKv6FB02N8AsTBQwsTbSzpqtaSFHLjcy5Vzz3dF QWrHkqzB9nIsfdkojAembqBlAtiIOGcfQch99Q

These Offshore release clips should make the Opti board operation extremely more efficient during attaching and unattaching the boards to the fishing line ...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/oi9nsQiAO84gKe7pNUFwpbFYoDHPwh5Lb3sj6canOBh0tdtUo9 85iBWIy9fUav2canz008UjLzlk6O2LkYzpQALsF0MfgZXgQWEh J_K-92XkguBbg7yOeKRu7mYiq9N6w71p9MDlPQ

Now to finish up and wait for Doug to get 'em wet ...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/F1T1JrHNZeNRhcZ1DPUx33v2Uf8eKaS4oEx3tWeUM5ZKEMkrnt qHcIstFRkruvmTjOwj-5pcZ6TFIlGkg06Q7FUipshlL9hzQpDBPkTY1PncoxsBq5jsX34 TjFJxEnX6sFLe2N87vQ


08-08-2017, 09:43 AM
I see how you do now. The thermos has a special power that guides you. Lol nice job

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M R Dux
08-08-2017, 09:54 AM
A guy from Tennessee (tenncrappie), Chris, booked a snow goose hunt with me a few years back. During the hunt and away from the field, we talked crappie fishing and his love for crappie fishing using small planer boards. The next season we traded--him 2 men 2 days of snow goosin--me 2 days for Rickie and I fishing boards with Chris on Chickamaugua. We had a ball, caught a bunch of fish, and left with our heads full of new ideas. I had been playing around with several brands of mini factory boards and had actually modified some of them (and shared here) to work better in my applications. The board Chris was using (and making at the time) were quite a bit different than the others I owned.

I use Chris's boards a bunch during longline times and do well. Clients look at the set-up and shake their heads but are soon enjoying a new style of fishing that is easy to learn and very productive. While I was down in late winter with my left knee replacement, I watched every video YouTube had about fishing for crappie and walleyes with planer boards. Every video had information that I tried to make notes on or put back in my memory bank.

I had bought 10 of the Opti boards some time back but had only had so-so success running cranks behind them by myself. Running 4 boards with nobody with me was a Chinese fire drill at best. The other 6 boards had remained unopened. I broke them out recently and picked a cloudy day with some current (both big things when it comes to summer crappie bite on KY Lake) to get Jere (crp4570) and Rickie (rnvinc) out to guinea pig for me.

My set-up was 3 8-foot Pinnacle rods on each side, Okuma and Shakespeare line counter reels with 12 pound Trilene Big Game Solar Collector line, Opti factory boards, and Pico, Bomber, Arkie, Bandit, c55, etc cranks.

The thread Rickie linked to told about our trip. We had a great day but lost way more keeper crappie than we boated due to the issues Rickie mentioned with the boards not releasing. Any time you can be out a day with 2 of your best friends in the world is a great day, regardless.

Late last week I PMed wicklundrh and picked his brain about his board set-up for trolling for crappie and walleye. His replies were a wealth of information and greatly appreciated. I took his suggested set-up and modified it slightly to my application. Rickie completed the transformation on the boards yesterday in my shop while I was fleshing a 35 pound bobcat to mount. We'll see how it works later in the week but I have zero doubts that it will make our board fishing with cranks light years better than before.

Let me throw this out there: what we have done and accomplished has to be attributed to Slab and his vision for this site. I have learned so much from the members here and have tried to give back to others a tiny bit of what has been given to me. Rickie is my first cousin but more like a brother/best friend than a cousin. I am constantly amazed at his talents and how his mind is constantly looking for ways to make existing products better and easier to use.

Let me add the one more thing: When I ordered the releases off of eBay, I ordered the OR14 and OR16 which are made by a prominent company in the board industry. What I got were knock-offs of those releases that have no markings on them of the company that makes the OR releases. I decided to go ahead and use the knock-off releases. The "OR" is nowhere on those.

08-08-2017, 03:25 PM
... and can then be allowed to float directly behind the boat where it could be retrieved without tangling into the other planer boards still in fishing formation ...
For me while pulling jigs, I find a split ring on the rear connection allows the board to slide down the line (once snapped from the front connection). With the use of a bead in front of swivel, it stops the board from sliding into the fish. (pic on this thread: http://www.crappie.com/crappie/mississippi/285749-planer-boards-4.html#post2719047 ) No issues about bring it through the spread, and best part is no issues with leaving a planer board floating behind the boat for others to scoop up (problem around here).

.I had bought 10 of the Opti boards some time back but had only had so-so success running cranks behind them by myself. Running 4 boards with nobody with me was a Chinese fire drill at best. ...
With cranks, I much prefer a mast with very large planer boards. The mainline running to the planer boards is directly tied. I use a shower curtain ring with a clip (OR14 or similar). The shower curtain ring slides down the main line. I can run with 3 sets per a side. When a strike occurs, it mostly pops out of the clip, if not a sweeping jerk gets it out. You fight the fish directly, with the shower curtain ring and clip still attached to the main line (and it slides to the planer board). So if you get hit on outside line, after harvesting fish. You let out more line on the middle and inside, attach a new shower curtain ring to become the new inside. Here is a pic that might help you visualize (clip instead of rubber band):


08-08-2017, 05:06 PM
Good info guys! Let me know how things work out. I might have to make a trip down your way!

Sorry about the knock offs. Let me know if you need some good ones to try if you find issues with those. Remember the pop rivet trick if you run in to pin issues.

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M R Dux
08-08-2017, 05:15 PM
#1; Rickie didn't mean the board would completely release from the line. I use a barrel swivel and bead to keep the board from sliding all the way to the crank. The board releases from the front release but the pin in the #16 release keeps the board on the line from the reel to the crank.

#2; the set-up you show is the same we used on Lake Erie last July when trolling for walleyes with 300 feet of wire and 600 feet of braid line out.. I personally think all the gear involved to make that happen is over-kill to catch crappie. Of course, each to their own.

M R Dux
08-08-2017, 05:17 PM
Good info guys! Let me know how things work out. I might have to make a trip down your way!

Sorry about the knock offs. Let me know if you need some good ones to try if you find issues with those. Remember the pop rivet trick if you run in to pin issues.

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Thanks for all your help. The rivet trick is burned in my memory. We'll see how the knock-offs work. Either way, I'll be replacing them with the real things eventually.

You always have a spot in my Excel.

Countryboy N.C.
08-08-2017, 06:57 PM
I use them same release (the red ones) on my boards, pulling for big cats.....

08-08-2017, 09:23 PM
Country boy, if you start seeing your red OR 16 pins getting sawed off, shoot me a message and I'll give you a pro tip to fix it!

Doug, I might take you up on that. We might have to put on a seminar for some guys. Once they see it in action and understand it, they might see the fun in it. I love watching a tattle flag dance and a board go out of line!

A big benefit to it is that you can cover a much larger swath of water on one pass. Another is that you can position your trolling path outside of a weed edge and then run a bait right to it.

In Michigan, we have very clean water. The fish are boat scared so long line trolling isn't near as effective.

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08-11-2017, 08:28 PM
Great info guys thanks. Y'all need to come down to Weiss lake and try this out.

08-12-2017, 07:03 PM
You can adjust the tightness of the release by moving the spring inside the clip or vice versa adjust the release to be alittle looser to release the line easier also. Just a FYI for those that have never used these type releases on planer boards.