Kite flying line - Corde de retenue

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Author : Glenn Davison.  the book, “Kites in the Classroom.”
Good flying line is so strong it can be used for many years and attached to many kites. Braided, synthetic flying lines are the lines of choice today. Kites fly well when using synthetic lines such as Dacron polyester because of their low weight, smoothness and small diameter. Smooth line makes it comfortable to handle. When slackened, twisted line will kink, knot and tangle much more than braided line.

The diameter of the flying line needs to be as small as possible to create a minimum of drag from wind resistance. This is especially true for small, lightweight kites. At the same time, the flying line must be strong enough to hold a kite in a variety of wind conditions. Learn the best strength line to use with each of your kites. Kite line is available in strengths of 20, 30, 50, 80 pounds and more. A 30-pound line, for example, will break with a strain on it of more than 30 pounds. In addition, make certain the break strength is sufficient for the winds your kite will be up against on a given day.

Every knot tied in flying line creates a weak spot and reduces the break strength by 15 to 50 percent. Line that has been exposed to the sun for extended periods of time may no longer be reliable at its rated break strength.

Check the flying line for wear, knots or damage, especially near swivels where the greatest wear occurs. Replace badly soiled lines; particularly those damaged by oil or grease, as well as any worn swivels. Ensure that all connections are tight and secure.

Monofilament fishing line is a poor choice because it's hard to see, it can cut your hands, it doesn't hold a knot well, it stretches and it's prone to tangles. Never use metal wire because it conducts electricity.

A spool, reel, or winder makes it easy to let out the line and take it in. It's also a convenient way to store flying line and keep it free from tangles. Some people who use a spool, reel or winder say they enjoy added control and efficiency in handling the line when launching and recovering their kites. Some of these devices are simple to make, using everyday materials, from sticks, two pieces of wood or cardboard.

Regardless of what you wrap your flying single turn, the faster you can take line in or let it out. This maximizes your control over the kite when making quick and necessary flying adjustments or retrieving it from the sky.
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