HI-Speed Wahoo Planer Set-up

planer2Planers have been around for many decades, but in January of 1992 I was showed a new planer made by The Old Salty Co., the #8 planer by Capt. Ron Schatman. That weekend we were headed to Bimini, Bahamas to fish a new high speed technique for wahoo using this planer.

We started trolling with two planers using a 35’ piece of 300 lb connected to the cleat of the boat, and a breakaway rubber band connected to a double snap swivel (see diagram). We pushed the trolling speed up to 17 knots and the planers never came out of the water, which was very impressive. Usually we troll with planers at a maximum speed of 7-8 knots, but these planers are different, they have a longer neck and a narrow body by design to go a higher speeds. We caught a 35 Lb wahoo after about an hour of trolling and a few minutes after that, we caught a 3/4 of another one thanks to a hungry shark. This technique proved to be very effective at high speeds, and at the end of the day we just put the whole gear, planers and all inside a 5 gallon bucket, which proved to be a lot easier to store than 48” boom downriggers. Since then, I’ve been using these planers in South America and the Caribbean and caught tuna, kingfish, dolphin and even sailfish and white marlin.

I call these kits the poor men’s downrigger because they retail for under $50.00 and most small boat owners can afford a pair of them.

Elias Rodriguez

Miami Fishing Supply, Inc.

2121 SW 27th Avenue

Miami, FL 33145 USA