Sebile studies turbulence by putting lure shapes into a water flow tank. He injects dye into the flow to see the pattern of turbulence that forms around the lure. Observing little vortices or eddies forming around an elongated minnow shape led Sebile to invent his best selling and most famous lure, the Magic Swimmer. He built hinges into the lure right behind the location of the eddies. The result is a jointed swimbait that has an incredible fish catching wiggle without using a diving lip or paddle tail.
Turbulence can also affect the drag or friction on an object as it moves through the water. We find a classic example of this in nature with sharks. A shark’s sandpaper like skin is made from thousands of microscopic, teeth-like scales called denticles. As a shark moves through the water, denticles cause a very thin layer of turbulence along the skin. The surrounding water flows over this thin turbulent layer greatly reducing drag on the shark. This allows sharks to swim at faster speeds with less effort and energy than most other fish.
The Navy uses this same concept to reduce the drag on submarines and ship hulls. Sebile too was inspired by the shark’s skin and wanted to apply the same low drag effect on some of his lures. Applying submarine hull technology to fishing lures was not cost effective so Sebile had to find a different way. His solution was the Power Keel, a fin-like ridge that runs along the belly of his Bonga Jerk and Stick Shadd. The Power Keel creates a layer of turbulence along the belly so the lure essentially rides on a cushion of tubulence. The result is a lure that, “slides and moves … better than any other bait of its kind” according to Sebile. The Bonga Jerk and Stick Shadd will dart and glide with just the slightest twitch but will also remain stable at higher speeds than most other lures.If you look closely at Sebile lures you will notice they have profiles, shapes, unique curves, ridges and other characteristics not found on any other lure. Rest assured these are no gimmicks. They are engineered features intended to control one thing, turbulence. You may not think about turbulence when you cast a lure, but you can be glad Patrick Sebile does. For more information on Sebile lures visit www.sebileusa.com.
~ Paul MacInnis