Great job Travis documenting the mechanics and joy of using a diving
In the early 80's we used them a lot to survey
new dive sites when running a 180ft liveaboard
in Micronesia, exploring all that atolls between Ponphei and Palau
Not to sensationalize but a caution on using them in high density shark locations.
Of course our interests were the reefs
and finding lots of animals
The sharks do react to the free diving
signals of fluttering near the surface and we did get a number of close, aggressive passes that left us shaken.
We then switched to a scuba
solution to be able to have more control.
Using a separate small signal line for giving (stop-start) speed , depth
and course directions ...... We lashed compensating weights to the poly line near the plane's bridal to lower tow angle and it balanced out quite well.
Also because of added resistance from SCUBA gear
we hooked on to the plane via crotch strap hooks to carry the load while steering
Once balanced and practiced... It worked well and we covered a lot of territory at about 50ft, without exciting the sharks.
Unfortunately, these days finding sharks in such numbers has become a rarity..... But this was how I found my first Silvertip at Orluk atoll in 1981.