Planer boards are made in a wide variety of sizes because of the varying needs of anglers for specific species and circumstances. Selecting the right one for the job at hand is crucial.

Guide Zakk Royce said when first experimenting with planer boards, he had trouble finding boards that were big enough to handle the huge baits he often uses when targeting trophy catfish.

“The way the boards are made, I could only put so much weight in terms of bait and sinkers on the board and have them still work properly and be controlled,” he said. “Like anything else in my catfishing, I use planer boards to complete a specific task, to fish specific baits in a defined area. I actually developed my own line of planer boards so I’d have them large enough to get the job done.”

Justin Whiteside said stripers often prefer specific-sized baits based on the forage they’re following, and that influences the size of planer board he needs.

“One of the keys to planer board use is leaving a small footprint in terms of intrusion into a striper’s domain,” he said. “If I’m using a small gizzard shad, I don’t need or want a huge board. I want a light, small planer board that won’t disturb fish even in shallow, clear water. Match the board to the bait you’re using as well as to the size of fish you trying to catch.”