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.

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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 ;-)

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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