A timer located in the body of the unit determines the distance the Torpedo is fished. With the batteries connected and the timer set, the operator screws the rear, sealed, end cap up tight, and with a flick of the waterproof switch, the baits are on their way.
The Fishing Torpedo will tow 25 baits out at 80 metres a minutes (5 kilometers per hour), fast enough to avoid the crabs that plague the baits of kite and more conventional kontikis.
Graeme sells just the torpedo. The beach reel and 25 hook longline section we used was supplied by well known kite fishing manufacturer Paul's Fishing Kites.
Graeme has made up his own beach cart and trace holder/baitboard to make transporting and using the Fishing Torpedo a simple affair.
We tested the Fishing Torpedo off Waipu Cove in 'less than ideal' conditions. The weather man had predicted northerly winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour which, had they eventuated, would have produced a swell to fairly test Graeme's claims.
Typically, the big winds and swell never arrived, and the test was conducted with a strong offshore breeze. The hooks were baited and the Torpedo fired up, making easy work of the half-metre swell flopping onto the beach.
Going through the waves the Torpedo barely flinched, and took a short time to reach the 800 metre mark it had been set for.
While waiting for the one hour "soak time", Graeme explained the development process that had taken place, and said he had tried various designs, battery systems, motors and propellers in a test tank at his workshop.
A gearbox specialist by trade, Graeme had the technical knowledge to work through the various problems confronting such a device. Nothing has been left to chance, and the Fishing Torpedo comes with a 12 month warranty on the motor and batteries.
When it came time to retrieve the Torpedo, all was going well until the hook section became snagged on what we thought was the bottom, making heavy going of the job.
However, it turned out we had hooked another kontiki that had been lost a few days earlier when someone had taken advantage of the strong offshore breeze to run out a line attached to a large plastic bag filled with air.
It seemed that the bag had deflated, sunk to the bottom and been broken off. After a few hassles the line was eventually freed, and one snapper was the only reward for our efforts.
However, this was a trial of the machine rather than the fishing spot, and for my money it came through with flying colours.
This independent tackle test was written by Grant Dixon Editor of "New Zealand Fishing News"
Ref: Trolling motor powered fishing torpedo
Paul's Fishing Kites no longer stocks Challenger Torpedos. Contact the Manufacturer for more info on these products.