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October 25, 2001

Automatic Planer Setter

One rubber band can eliminate the frustration of setting a planer.

I often use a very large planer when in green water looking for wahoo or deep tuna. I use a No. 12 planer, a two-speed Tiagra 50 or 80 with 130-pound test and 200 feet of wind-on leader. With this setup, I can set a tight drag and troll deep at a snappy 7 1/2 mph, my dead bait/lure combo's optimum speed. But I have always had a difficult time when the planer is uncooperative and won't set. I've even whacked people in the head when jerking on the rod as I try to set the planer. Worse, when the big planer does set, it nearly rips your arms off and takes two people to put it in the rod holder.
So I have found a simple solution to stop this problem. Simply slide a #64 rubber band over the planer so it holds the set ring back. You don't have to untie any lines. Simply hold open the rubber band and drop the planer down through it. The planer will drop in the water, set immediately, and cause no problems when a fish hits.

William Tyler
Richmond, Virginia