Home > Questions and Answers > Tattle Flags
Disclaimer: Our products may change over the years and therefore some questions may reflect past and/or current product changes. Instructions sheets are available on this site under the Instruction Sheets tab.

When new Questions and Answers are loaded onto this site, the newer ones will be placed directly below each category heading, which means that products may have changed during the years and older questions and answers that appear farther down, may not reflect the current versions of the product.

Question and Answer Categories are:


Q. 083113. I'm having a problem with my tattle flags not standing straight up or nearly straight up when I'm trolling with bottom bouncers.

I have 3 OR12L's, 6 OR12R's, 6 OR12TF's, and 6 OR18's. I'm making sure that I keep extra fishing line between the two snaps just like your videos.

I first tried using the lightest setting but it didn't work and then I proceeded to try all settings with the spring. I finally placed the spring connection to the strongest position (bottom) and my flags act as though I have weeds or a fish on it. Immediately they don't stand straight up but at least they are not totally down. I use 2 oz. and 3 oz. bottom bouncers trolling between 1 and 2 mph fishing Lake Erie for walleye.

A. With the OR12 Tattle Flags, the flag will not stand up straight with heavy weights but as long as there is room for them to move they will do their job. You can remove the spring from the base of the flag and hook it around the stem to get a little more tension on them. Ideally, they should be back about 30 degree's so that if the lure gets fouled, it will let the flag go straight up and tell you it is not pulling as it should.

Q. 060713. I'm having issues with the clips on my OR12 planer boards with the tattle flag setup. On 5 of my 6 boards the OR16 clip pads are stuck together. This makes getting the line between them near impossible. Weak adhesive? I have also lost 3 nylon nuts. Please let me know if other customers are having the same issues and what can be done to resolve them. As far the overall performance of the boards, I have been very pleased as they pull true and put me on more fish!

A. The usual cause of the pads sticking is not putting something between them during long storage periods. I usually put a business card or something like that in mine. Best way to loosen them up is to torque them slightly sideways to break the friction loose.

Each board came with a screw and spare nut on each bracket to use to replace the ones you may lose. Make sure you check tightness prior to setting the board out each time as the instructions indicate. If you want to get a lock nut instead, they are 6 x 32 and available in stainless at most marine or hardware stores.

Q. 043013. I am using your tattle flags for both walleye and salmon and love them! What is the diameter wire you use, as I am looking to upgrade the existing wires to handle the harder fighting king salmon? The heaviest I found was .062, will this work?

A. Wires are .035.

Q. 022013. I have a set of OR12's with the tattle flag kit that I use for walleye. I am thinking about going after some kokanee this summer using 6lb mono. Should I get a set of OR34's or just maybe take the tattle flag kit off of my OR12's, so I have the original lighter releases?

A. While the OR12 with the tattle flag will work, I think you would have a lot more fun with the OR34 on those small salmon. I have caught them this way and they are a blast! I would rig the OR34 with the OR10 yellow clip on the bracket in the light setting and then replace the back snap swivel with one of the red OR16's from your tattle flag boards. Now when you hook up on a fish, snap the rod towards the motor to release the yellow clip and the board will just be on the line like a bobber and you will get the full fight out of the fish.

Q. 082712. I fish walleye in Lake Erie off the city of Erie, Pa in 60+ feet of water; my boat isn't right for big boards so. I would like to use the OR12 in line boards with 5 colors of lead core, 1 oz. weight, an 800 series reef runner and troll at 1.8-2.0 mph. I want to get down 48-52 feet. Will OR12 Side Planers work with this scenario and if I rig my board with an OR12TF Tattle Flag, will this set up work with this amount of pull?

A. To answer your first question, using 5 colors and 1 oz. with an 800 series reef runner will work. We are pulling 300' of copper wire for salmon and even adding a #2 Tadpole behind it and that is getting us down to 70+ feet.

Answer to your second question, about the using the OR12TF Tattle Flag upgrade, no. There are a lot of anglers pulling a full core and 3 oz. weights with various stick baits to fish the deep water of Lake Erie with Off Shore OR12 Side Planers.

Q. 061412. I have an OR12 with the OR12TF Tattle Flag attached and am planning on using either the # 1 or # 2 OR36 Tadpoles behind the board with a rapala crank bait for some suspended walleye (in 30-50 ft. depth). Will the board work with the Tadpoles and the Tattle Flag set up, or do I need to take the Tattle Flag off and return to the OR12 to its original configuration?

A. I am assuming you're going to run rapala stick baits, not big lipped diving baits right? That Tadpole is not designed to work with diving baits. To get diving baits deeper, you want to put a 2-3 oz. guppy snap weight 20' ahead of the lure.
The tattle flag will work with the tadpole or the snap weight. You have to move the spring down on the board and as long as there is movement left in the flag it will be fine. The flag does not have to be all the way up, just be able to move down when a fish hits. We occasionally take the spring from the hole in the flag and wrap it around the stem of the flag above the triangle to get a little more tension for big, deep divers.

Q. I have one of your OR12's with the OR12TF Tattle Flag Upgrade installed on it. I have the spring set on the lightest setting you can but the flag does not go down to let me know when I have a fish on. I see that you said if you use tail dancers #11 it will take down the flag but it doesn't on my board.

A. I think your setting the spring too light. Put it in the bottom hole. If that doesn't work, take the wire out of the hole in the flag and put it around the stem of the flag and adjust the front hole position of the spring until you're happy with the performance. Remember to keep an eye on the spring when you have it around the stem as it may fall off when in the boat.

Q. Will your OR12TF Tattle Flag Upgrade Kit work on the Church Tackle "Walleye Board"?

A. No, our OR12TF is built for the OR12 and OR31 Off Shore Side Planers only.

Q. Why are the OR32 and OR33 Night Lights not designed for use with the tattle flag set up?

A. While fishing in the dark, you can't see the movement of the tattle flag so it won't aide in catching fish. The OR32 and OR33 Night Lights allow you to keep an eye on where your boards are running in the dark or low light conditions.

Q. I've never used in line boards before. I want to pick up the OR12TF Tattle Flag Kit for walleye. Is there complete instructions included? I don't have a clue. Also I run 10# FireLine on everything; will the releases hold that small of diameter? My release for my downrigger does so I'm hoping for the same. Lastly, I was going to use the line counters on the Cabela's Whuppin' Sticks and they are 7 1/2 feet long with medium action. Any thoughts?

A. I think you will be happy with the OR12 or the OR31 (orange) Side Planer. The tattle flag kit will work with your FireLine. You may want to add the OR18 (Snapper) on the tow board or wrap the FireLine as it shows in the directions included with both the boards and the upgrade kits. We have all the previous Off Shore Release newspaper articles online on this website that have a lot of articles about using boards and tattle flags.

Your choice of rods will be good. I like a 7 1/2' rod myself.

Q. I am thinking about purchasing your tattle flags for my Off Shore planer boards, but my only concern is that when I am pulling a plug like a Rapala Deep Tail Dancer 11, the pull of the lure will make the flag stay down all the time. Will the tattle flags work with hard pulling/deep diving crankbaits?

A. While the larger cranks may pull the flag back, as long as the flag still has the ability to move, it will tell you when there is a fish. We pull the Reef Runners and snap weights with the tattle flag setup.

Q. I use the yellow boards with flags; when I am pulling in average wind and pulling Bomber 24A's at 1.8-2 mph, the flags go down about ½ way when I troll and is hard to tell when a fish is on. With small fish you drag them for minutes without noticing.

Is there a way to remedy this? I use FireLine and usually have 125' to 180' out on the line counter depending on depth out of line is there a heavier or lighter spring?

. As long as there is room for movement, the flags should show changes in drag on the lure. Watch them close as sometimes the flag will come up instead of go down with smaller fish. This is because they lower the drag from the big lipped cranks. I have noticed this more on Reef Runners than anything else.

Also, you might try removing the spring from the hole in the flag and putting it around the stem above the triangle where the flag is screwed into the board. Some anglers have also cut the spring at the bend and re-bent it, giving it even more tension.

Q. I am running Off Shore in line planer boards with tattle tale flag kits installed. I find the flag stays down all the time when using deep diving crankbaits like Rapala Tail Dancer, deep husky jerk or deep reef runners to name a few. I have the spring set on the highest setting and the flag still stays down all the time. What am I doing wrong or is there a stronger spring available to prevent this but still detect a walleye being dragged along? Help!

. The tattle flag is usually associated with something that has a little less drag on the board as this is where the tattle flag shines. However, I have tried to increase the spring tension by removing the spring end from the hole and re-attaching the round end over the stem of the flag.

If you're going to be predominately using large cranks, you may try cutting the spring where it goes through the board and re-bending it for additional tension.

Q. I was wondering if you would sell me a set of 6 Off Shore planer boards, pre-rigged with the tattle flag and the adjustable clamp-down clips. I have looked into buying all of this separately but it gets very pricey and is a lot of work to set all of that up. Why don't you offer them that way "off-the-shelf"?

A. We do not specially make up the pre-rigging assemblies due to the fact that we need to stay within what our retailers sell and have available (which limits SKU's). Usually we have found that most anglers use the boards with different setups during different fishing adventures. So when they purchase the accessories, they still have all of the original equipment to use under different situations that would produce more fish for them. The boards were on the market long before the tattle flag system and then the OR18's came out so this is another reason for not packaging or specializing in setups. As the fishing venues change, we will be coming out with more options for the rigging and usage of the boards. The accessories allow the angler more of an adaptation to their needs at a particular time which may change by the hour of fishing and the conditions.

The cam action of the OR18's will not work with the tattle flag setup, only the OR16's. You can purchase the items separately for converting your boards over to tattle flag setup if you already have the OR16's.

Q. I just recently purchased a tattle flag system for my planer boards and was curious to know what happens if a big fish like a wiper or striper hits the lure on system?

A. When a big fish hits a board with a tattle flag, the flag goes down really fast!

With that said, it doesn't affect anything when using the tattle flag on those fish. We don't very often, but when fishing walleye in the striper lakes it does happen.

Q. I have 6 of your in line planer boards and have the tattle flag kits on all of them. I have problems with the flags going down when pulling # 7 or larger shad raps. I have tried moving the spring locations, lengthening the loop in the line between the clips but nothing seems to help. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Your products have worked great for me while pulling smaller cranks, I would just like to be able to expand the usefulness of your product.

A. My suggestion would to remove the spring from the hole in the flag and place it around the stem above the triangle where the flag is screwed into the board. This has done the trick for us in the past, we run Reef Runners with snap weights on the tattle flags, just not at high speeds. Also, the flag doesn't have to stick straight up when pulling larger baits, as long as there is movement in the flag, you can still tell if you had a fish.

Q. I just don't understand how I am supposed to reel in a fish with three planer boards that have the tattle flag system on them? I mean, I have three boards running on the same side, but when a fish gets on, I reel it in and get all tangled up with the other boards or lines. So, what am I doing wrong?

A. When running multiple boards you have several ways to bring a fish in when it hits one of the outside boards.

1. Drop the inside boards back until they are far enough back to allow you to land the fish by bringing it in ahead of the other board(s). (This is best with long leads).

2. Reel in the inside board and set it in the motor well while you fight the other fish.

3. Let the fish pull the board back until he clears the rest of the boards. (This is good when using short leads). Set the hook with a firm pull on the rod, not a BASS fishing jerk! Then let him pull it out of formation.

These are some of the methods we have used to help.

Q. It looks like the OR18 series clips are what you suggest for getting them to not slide when using lead core or FireLine. I would also like your suggestion for keeping springs from falling off.

A. No, we do not recommend using the OR18 Snapper Release as a drop back type of release. Not that it won't work that way, we designed it to hold FireLine and the pad gets frayed with the line being pulled out of the clip after awhile. Springs falling off are usually the result of storage or handling them in the boat. I lose mine when they get stuck in the carpet of my boat and I yank on them! I have not had a problem with this happening while in use.