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Do I Really Need Tattle Flags?

           By: Mark Romanack

     The Tattle Flag kits introduced by Off Shore Tackle more than a decade ago have become a “game changer” in the world of open water trolling. It amazes me how many anglers I encounter who have not yet adapted their boards to include Tattle Flags. The 98 cent question becomes are Tattle Flags really necessary?
For the angler after walleye, Off Shore Tackle Tattle Flags
are essential equipment. Not only do these spring loaded flag systems
make it easy to see bites, it helps anglers determine when they have snagged on floating weeds and other debris in the water.
     My answer is simple.... Tattle Flags are only necessary if you want to catch fish! Sarcasm comes naturally for me, but in this case Tattle Flags really are as good as advertised. Setting up your boards with spring loaded flag systems not only makes it easier to see when you’re getting a bite, it makes it obvious something is wrong even when your lure has hooked onto a piece of floating weed or other debris.
     Trolling is a game of numbers and to become an efficient troller requires having all your gear running at peak performance. Installing the original Tattle Flag kit or one of the new Economy Tattle Flag kits not only tells us when we are hooked up, it can even tell us when we have just missed a fish.


     It’s amazing how often when trolling with Tattle Flag kits I see the flag fold down them pop back up quickly before the board even moves. When a walleye or other fish strikes at  your lure but doesn’t get initially hooked, typically the Tattle Flag will telegraph that missed strike. If you react quickly, it’s even more amazing how often you can tease that fish into biting again and with more enthusiasm.
     When the Tattle Flag snaps down and then pops back up quickly, open the reel bail and let that board stall in the water while continuing to troll forward. After a few seconds flip the reel back into gear and watch what happens as the line pulls tight and that board starts to plane out again.
     Most of the time when that board begins to plane out, the flag will snap down and the board immediately starts rocketing backwards. Teasing fish into biting like this is highly effective and without the Tattle Flag kit in the first place, you would never know a bite occurred.

Tattle Flags are fully adjustable making
 them ideal for use with live bait rigs,
 crankbaits and even spoons fished
 on diving planers

                                        TATTLE FLAG KITS

Tattle Flag Kit
     There are two easy ways to get started fishing with Tattle Flags. The first is to purchase an after market Tattle Flag kit that comes complete with two OR16 Snap Weight clips, a new flag, the linkage arm, plus the spring and other necessary hardware to convert an OR12 board into a Tattle Flag board. It takes about five minutes and a pair of needle nose pliers to make the conversion.

                                                          ECONOMY TATTLE FLAG KITS

Economy Kit
     For anglers who already own OR12 boards another less expensive option is to purchase the Economy Tattle Flag kits. This kit only includes the necessary linkage wire, spring and hardware required to install a Tattle Flag  kit on boards that already have a flag and the necessary line releases. When Off Shore Tackle started factory supplying their boards with an OR19 release on the tow arm of the board and an OR16 Snap Weight Clip at the back of the board, the older Tattle Flag kits becomes somewhat outdated. Now anglers can upgrade their Off Shore boards to include Tattle Flags and save money in the process.

Tattle Flags work even when trolling
 deep diving crankbaits like this
 popular Reef Runner 800 series.

     Off Shore Tackle Side-Planers are the industry standard among in-line planer boards. By going a step further and adding Tattle Flags, the Side-Planer becomes the ultimate planer board hands down.

     Other manufacturers have copied the Off Shore Side-Planer and also the Tattle Flag kits. They say that imitation is a sincere form of flattery, but why not own and use the original. Off Shore Tackle is the Leader in Trolling Technology, always has been and continues to pioneer new and better ways to troll into the future.