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Kite Line Strength vs Cost and Line Drag

Reels Spools Safety

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#1 Frank Crane

Frank Crane


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Posted 16 June 2014 - 02:00 PM

I have designed and tested my spools and reels for a couple of years and think my system would be ideal for KAP.  But none of my family have gotten into this photo game and we've only been flying deltas and regular kites.  So I don't know much about the line strength and equipment you generally need for photography.


Here are my questions:  How much line pull do you encounter under what wind conditions?  Do you have a method of testing the pounds of pull?  How much line do you usually play out?  During recovery or if the wind dies, how quickly do you need you get your kite back in hand?  What are the requirements for line strength?


In my kite flying I have rarely had more than 18 pounds pull, as tested using my fishing scales.  I try to fly with the smallest Spectra appropriate for the conditions.  So if I don't need 200 # line I find the 60 # line has less drag, especially when I have a half mile out.  I think that 60 # line would be a lot safer for the environment if my kite ever got away from me than would 200 # line.  Costs less, too. 


In a wind over 20 MPH and a large delta of 9 feet, I will exceed the 18 # pull, and I use my 100 # line.  With a half-mile of line to reel in, the spool gets literally tons of compressive force and never a problem.  I will soon need to satisfy myself that a camera up there would yield spectacular results but I must not get in trouble with FAA regulations so I will limit it to 1,000 feet.


By using a really good reel system, I never have to lay my line on the ground.  No tangles, no leaves and grass, no nicks.  Any of which could weaken my line.


I always wear one or two gloves because there is no safe way to hold Spectra with bare hand.


As soon as I have satisfied myself that I have good answers to all this I will be ready to set up a web site and photos of my stuff for you to take a look at.


Like to hear from you KAP veterans.  I am Frank Crane.

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