An Engineer’s Take on our Plunger Lure Performance
(Be sure to watch the video!)
Ed Horstman is a friend of our lure maker and partner, Keith Posedel, and a friend of BFD. Ed drops by the shop occasionally, watches, observes and comments on what we are doing. Ed is an Aeronautical Engineer and a Naval Architect and shares volumes of stories about his professional time designing and testing airplanes, fighter jets, helicopters and watercraft for the U.S. Government. Ed is also the father of the Trimaran (Tri-Star) having sailed one of his creations in a race from California to Hawaii (he came in second.)
Having spent a lot of time on the water and having written books on Catamarans, Trimarans and hydrodynamics, we listen when Ed talks.
On a recent trip to Mexico, while testing a couple of new lure designs (an excuse to go marlin and tuna fishing), we experimented with trolling speeds while watching BFD plunger lures work. I asked El Capitan Luis of The Blue Marlin to kick up the speed so we could determine the Knots at which our lures started to look like a school of flying fish behind the boat, like most other lures I have fished with would do.
At 12 kt. our plungers just kept working faster, popping and smoking:
El Capitan and first mate Salvador (and me) were amazed that they were not skipping across the surface at that speed. The first thing I thought about was talking to Ed about this. It was an interesting lunch.
I showed Ed the “12kt. video” and asked him why these things would work at that fast speed? Ed took the 12” Plunger head in his hands, rolled it around on the table and watched it turn belly down -- top up. Then Ed looked at the oval saddles, set it back down and said “the ballast obviously helps keep it upright and the ovals provide stability.” Good enough for me. We did the ovals for silhouette purposes and just got lucky on the hydrodynamic stability ovals provide.
“I wrote a book on hydrodynamics. We could probably figure it out but it would be difficult to model without extensive testing.”
That isn’t in the budget, Ed!
“It wouldn’t take a lot to build a test tank to pump water through at various speeds for simulation.”
That isn’t in the budget either, Ed.
“You should have seen the simulation of the Viper Fighter Jet. We had it going at Mach 2 then kicked it up to Mach 2.5 and it was still stable so I had them change ‘Q’ which is the density of the air and …”