Line, clip and winder questions

by Terry
(USA)

Q:

Hi! :-) I am new to kite flying but have done some research. I have just bought a new or like new 85" x 53" delta style kite. I happened across it at a flea market for just $13, but I think it's a good deal. It's of ripstop nylon sail and fiberglass rods, so I think it's a pretty good kite. I've seen other kites online that I would like to get, too - four of 'em, in fact! They all happen to be Skydog kites, which seem to be a good make.

So... I need to get some line and a clip to attach it to the keel and a winder. My questions...

1. What is the best weight line for this kite? I know I would like 500 feet. (It came with line, but I'm not sure about it, or attaching it to anything.)

2. Can you suggest a clip? My friend's kite came with a clip attached to one end of the line, and it works really well. I've seen some, and they all have a swivel feature, which might keep it from tangling?

3. I'm hoping I can get line with a clip all attached at one end, and already attached to and wound around a winder... maybe? (I have line and have tried to find out but don't know how to attach line, to the kite, winder or clip.)

4. I've seen 9", 10" and 11" winders. Which would be the best for the kite I have and the line that I'll be getting?

Thanks, if you can help! I have this kite, sitting here, and I can't use it. It's almost March, and I've been out flying my friend's kite a couple of times already. I'm ready to try it, but lack the knowledge and materials.


A:

I've numbered your questions, so here are some answers, in order...

1. That's a reasonable sized delta you have there, so 80 or 100 pound Dacron or Nylon would be a safe choice. In light winds that are just enough to get the kite up and away, you could get away with 50 pound line which would minimize the amount of sag.

Test the line that came with the kite by taking a short length, tying it to something solid and then seeing how much weight you can hang off it before it twangs apart :-) It will most probably snap at a knot - but that's realistic since a line in flight will usually snap at a fray or knot as well.

2. No. I actually don't have any experience with them, since I specialize in home-made kite designs which I fly using knots and Dacron line only.

3. Why not keep things simple, with a flat or circular solid winder. No moving parts in other words. Twisting and tangling is quite a minor issue with braided line that's 50 pound rated or higher. The line can be tied onto the winder any old way - as long as you are careful to never leave less than 4 or 5 turns on the winder while flying!

Does your kite have a hole or eyelet near the tip of the keel? If so, a simple line attachment would be to pass the flying line through, then secure with several Half Hitches. Check tightness before every flight though, since Half Hitches do tend to work loose over time!

Does your kite have a short line coming from the tip of the keel, with a knot near the end? If so, it's a simple matter to Lark's Head your flying line behind that knot near the tip of the keel. In order to Lark's Head, you first need to tie a Loop knot.

In the case of a keel with an eyelet or hole in it, another option is to convert it so you can just Lark's Head your flying line on. You need to permanently attach a short length of line from that hole in the keel, by using 3 Half Hitches and securing it with wood glue. Then put a small Loop knot near the end. From there, you can Lark's Head the flying line on when you are ready to fly.

That looks like a lot up there, but believe me - attaching and un-attaching a Lark's Head is simplicity itself, once everything else is done that first time!

4. It boils down to this, assuming you can fit all your line onto the winder.... Small winders are more convenient to stow and carry. Bigger ones are more convenient to fly with, since you can let out and wind in line quicker. It's up to you.

Hope this helps!

Tim P.

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