Tacking A Delta Kite For Fishing

by Nigel

Q:

I have a Delta fishing kite and would like to know of your ideas on tacking it to 90 degrees off the shore and still keep its stability. Some ideas I have read about suggest attaching a plastic bag to the bottom of the leading edge of one wing to create drag, or weighting an edge.

A:

Those are the 2 standard means of achieving a tack. Also, combining the 2 can produce an even more pronounced stable tack. Of course, over-doing 1 or both of these will result in a kite that just loops in one direction, losing height all the while!

The stiffness of the leading edge spars is another factor. But this is not convenient to change on a temporary basis. If your leading edge spars are easy to remove and replace, and you have spares, you could try filing one of them down to a smaller diameter near the middle. This will increase its flexibility hence unbalance the kite. Again, you would need to be careful and only remove a small amount of spar material at a time. A slightly silly suggestion I know, but it's something different, and it would certainly work to a degree!

Another thought - Sled kites with more than 2 keels are quite straight-forward to tack. It's a simple matter of adjusting the length of one of the outer bridle lines. The kite will turn away from the side with the shorter bridle line.

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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