CHAPTER 3 - The Secret of the Flying Lure

CHAPTER 3 - The Secret of the Flying Lure

CHAPTER 3

SO WHAT'S A FLYING LURE, AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

HOW IT ALL BEGAN...



It all began with a frustrating day on the water more than two decades ago. Alex Langer, a software designer and entrepreneur, was taking a weekend break from 12-hour days that had become his habit In the business world, to enjoy his other great passion - fishing.

The day before the fishing had been easy. Aggressive fish patrolling the edges of several floating islands rushed for any lure that dropped next to Ihe cover. But on this day, the bass had apparently pulled back into the security found deep under the cover. Langer knew the bass were there, and he believed that he could catch them, if only he could get a lure close to them - far underneath the islands. The floating islands or bogs were Impenetrable from above -- a situation not unlike a large dock floating directly on the water's surface, or a floating mass of vegetation, or a moored boat the kind of thing that all fishermen encounter on a fairly regular basis.

Langer certainly wasn't the first to be frustrated by impenetrable floating cover, and he wasn't likely the first to decide to try to find a way underneath that cover. He was just the first to succeed!

He hit upon the idea of building a totally new type of lure - one that works like an airplane under water. The first prototypes used pieces of aluminum from discarded soft drink cans! They showed promise, but they failed tc mimic the effortless swimming motion of a natural aquatic creature. Months went by as he tinkered with the idea in his spare time. Several t mes, he scrapped the whole design and started anew. He came to realize that external "wings" were impractical - they not only looked unnatural, but interfered with casting. Most importantly, hard materials felt unnatural to a fish and were more likely to be quickly spit out after the strike. The gliding action would have to result from the shape of the lure's body, and the balance of the lure would have to be such that it naturally fell Into the water pointed in the right direction for the planning surfaces to work.

He read up on air and hydrodynamics. He tinkered. He experimented. He succeededl The first prototype that had some resemblance to today's Flying Lure came out of his workshop several years later. As he watched the lure continue to swim forward effortlessly after hitting the water on the first cast, Langer knew he was on the right track.

It was at this point that his computer programming expertise proved invaluable. Based on that prototype, Langer devised a set of mathematical formulae to define and object's ability to glide underwater. Now he could punch lure-shape-variables into the computer and come up with differently shaped lures that would act in the right manner. This allowed him to easily experiment with lure profile, size and weight to test various designs for their "fish catching" abilities. What good, after all, is a lure that goes exactly where you want it, if the fish don't respond positively to it? The years of spare time research and development that Langer had invested in his idea began to pay off in heavy stringers. No thought had been given to turning it into a commercial venture. Langer's drive had been fueled only by his love of bass fishing and his stubborn desire to get his own lure into places where the bass had never seen an artificial lure. He can't put a finger on the exact time frame when the idea of combining his love of bass fishing, his entrepreneurial sprit and his self-taught lure designing skills took shape. But once it did, he applied the same energy to it that he had used to form several high-tech companies, and to develop his unique lure system.



FLYING LURES?

The company name was inspired by the design principles that give the product its unique action and abilities. The Flying Lure's ability to "swim" through the water is the result of the dynamic "foil" effect of its body shape. Incorporating the same basic principles that keep aircraft aloft, the lures are essentially small, low-speed "aquaplanes." As they move through the water, they actually lift; enabling them to "glide" underwater, just like an airplane wing develops lift in the air, enabling the craft to fly.

THE SECRET FORMULA

The formulas that were developed to build the modern Flying Lure are similar to those used in designing flexible, slow-speed, human-powered aircraft. Alex Langer's scientific background led him to experiment with many different kinds of materials, shapes and weighting schemes, and to engage in an exhaustive routine of controlled testing. This resulted in his development of a universal set of mathematical formulas that describe the behavior of the Flying Lure, or any submerged foil shape for that matter, in the water. The mathematical formulas allowed Alex to develop a computer program for design variations - different casting weights, body sizes, tail actions, etc.. without affecting the Flying Lure's ability to "soar" through the water! Every current and future mode! in the Flying Lure line-up will perform correctly, swimming naturally, FORWARD toward the fish, because of the accuracy of these formulas.