Rigging Corner

Ultimate Wind-on Planer Rig

Published December 20th, 2018

The Ultimate Wind-on Planer Rig

 What to Buy and How to Make it

windon planer rig, removable planer

Planer fishing is a tried and true method for trolling baits deep in the water column.  Many anglers utilize planers to troll for mackerel and wahoo, but few are rigging the planers so that they can be quickly detached from the leader.  Here’s a better way to planer fish, and this method can also be used for trolling leads.

Why use a detachable planer?  

A detachable planer allows you to reel the leader and fish all the way up to the rod tip.  It eliminates the necessity to hand line the fish up to the boat.  This is a major benefit, especially when dealing with larger fish like big mackerel or wahoo.  The drag pressure applied to a fish with the reel is far more consistent than the pressure you apply pulling a fish in by hand.  You can easily pull too hard by hand and pull a hook, or break a light leader if the fish makes a hard run.  If the fish darts towards the boat, it's harder to pull up the slack by hand safely than it is to reel up the slack.  Leadering by hand also risks physical injury.  Additionally, the leader has to be carefully managed when leadering in a fish by hand.  A 50-100 foot leader can present a hazard when laid on the deck or dragged behind the boat.  It can’t be easily stowed either, most people simply wrap it around the reel.  Gaffing a large fish while simultaneously leadering it isn’t for the faint of heart, and many fish are lost at this point. This technique is awesome, especially while Planer Fishing for Wahoo or Planer Fishing for Kingfish.  Having two free hands for a critical gaff shot can mean the difference between whether or not the fish makes it into the boat.  The extra rigging required for the wind-on planer rig is well worth it.  Try fishing a detachable planer and you’ll never go back.  Here’s how to make the rig.

Rigging the planer:


  • planer
  • long line clips (size small x2)
  • 200 lb mono
  • crimps (x2)

Crimp the long line clips to the planer as shown in the diagram.  Once you have the long line clips attached to the planer, you can make the leader section.

Rigging the Wind-on Leader:

  • Cut a 6’ section of 100# mono leader.  
  • Slide on 5 small, 100# aluminum crimps.  (small crimps will run through rod guides better)
  • Slide on a small high quality swivel (Spro ball bearing swivel)
  • Run the mono back through the crimps
  • Lay the planer with long line clips stretched out next to your leader.
  • Crimp your double line sections so they are aligned with your extended planer is shown in the diagram.
  • Crimp another swivel to the single line end of the leader.

Once you incorporate the inline bridle, add 40-80 feet of leader to the rig. It sometimes helps to use a swivel inline on the leader to prevent line twist, especially while fishing drone spoons. For shock leaders, 80 lb works for the first section but the last 30 feet to the bait should be no heavier than 60lb test. Kings and wahoo are leader shy, even on the troll. Try presenting a classic strip bait or drone spoon as a bait and you’ll definitely get some bites.

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