Sky Fishing

by Andy
(Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.A.)

Since I was a kid, I've been flying kites. Not every day, sometimes not even monthly, but over the years, once in a while.

Back in the sixties, my brother and I were avid fishermen so, using a rod and reel to fly kites seemed only common sense. I mean, what other handheld device is meant for controlling string going out and bringing string in? Not much has changed over the years, maybe just the set of rods and reels I use, perhaps the string. The feel is the same nonetheless.

With the slightest of breezes, with a simple wave of my rod, I can launch any of my kites, usually a 9' delta though properly tagged with a reward label in case stress beats test. Usually within minutes, using either my thumb dragging on the spool or setting the drag and clicker, the spool is near empty. Not to worry though for the heavy duty swivel near the end lets me just snap onto another reel. Sure one is plenty but 2 or even three is great if only to remind yourself that you can still do it. It might seem big when you start but how quick a 9' kite disappears can be amazing.

The fun, if fun is the word, is not the height but the feeling of sky fishing. Simply close you eyes and feel either the gentle tugs or the powerful jerks at the end of your line. Is battling the wind any less a sensation than that of hooking a big trout or even a Bonita? Of course we know that there will be neither gutting nor scaling come the end of the day but that's not so bad.

With those closed eyes and the feel of the rod, it is easy to lapse into memories of days gone by - which is one of the reasons I do it for sure. Yes, my kids like it, as they do fishing but not for the memories the feeling rekindles but for the memories they are making in the here and now. As for me, I am taken back to days on Grampa's boat fishing off the California coast. I close those eyes and I can imagine the others on the boat, some no longer here on earth with me. The sound of seagulls, the rumble of the boat's engine, the smell of salt water, the memories of being a child again and for just a while, all worries and stress are gone. Click, click, click as the line plays out or you reeling as the line slackens for just a second. It is an unbelievable feeling, especially if you have memories to affix.

I might be the only guy in town with 10 or 15 deep sea rods and reels who actually uses them regularly. One of them may even be one of the originals from back in the day. I doubt it, but many of them have the same kind of knob on the reels, that’s why I bought them I'm sure because that is one of the things I remember from those wonderful days of yesteryear.

Spend a few bucks and buy one or, if you already have one, just dust off that old Penn casting reel in the garage, cross the street to the neighborhood park, let out that line, close your eyes, and enjoy.

Comments for Sky Fishing

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

by: Bill

I definitely relate to your feelings about using the surf rod and reel - the sensation is as close to catching the big one as one can get without actually baiting up. Standing and holding a singing surf rod 400 miles from the nearest beach can get some double takes from passersby, though. Check out my description of this experience under the comments entitled: "My MBK Barn Door in Flight"

by: Tony Sangster

I recall some years back (longer than I care to stipulate!) making a fighter kite of ripstop/fibreglass rod and (waterproof) glue and going down with rod and reel to an alpine lake in the Snowy mountains of NSW. I flew this kite in and out of the water seemingly for hours (well away of course from any serious anglers).

After some days of this the leading edges of the kite were worn through presumably as the kite was dragged through shallow water on its way to suddenly shooting up out of the water.

All in all, an interesting experience of and lesson in aero and hydrodynamics.

Memory lane
by: Tim Parish

Thanks for all that - a good long post with hardly any spelling errors :-) I can recall doing something similar with fishing rods and kites, when I was younger. Like, soon after the wheel was invented... back then, I was just flying plastic sailed Diamonds with tie-tails. The classic Western kite.

I won't ask how many feet of line you get out, but just hope you're nowhere near an airport ;-)

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to YOUR Kite Making Stories!.

E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.

What's New!

  1. Gibson Girl - The Box Kite

    Oct 19, 16 07:00 AM

    A previously published page which gives some historical background to the so-called Gibson Girl box kite. Designed for military use, it's an old but impressive piece of kite technology...

    Read More



Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...


"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."


"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."


"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"


"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7