In guiding the progression, development, and operation of wave energy converters (WECs) in a more efficient way, mathematical analysis and understanding of the dynamic process is essential. Mathematical WEC models, obtained either by numerical analysis or physical modelling, form the basis of most (model-based) energy maximising control strategies available in the literature, where experimental design and system identification methodology directly impact the resulting model. This study, using an experimental-based WEC model (which can be used for linear control design), investigates the dynamic behaviour of a WEC by analysing the dominant poles of the system, generated using fully nonlinear computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based numerical wave tank (NWT) experiments. The aim is to effectively track the dominant dynamics of the WEC, using different force-input amplitude levels in the NWT setup, and perform a comparison with the classical linear boundary-element-methods (BEM) equivalent methodology. Thus, the presented case studies are shown to agree with previously proposed model assessment of linear WEC models, based on a free-decay NWT setup. In addition, the representative WEC models determined as part of this study can be used for WEC controller design, either singly, or using a form of model/controller gain scheduling.