Kite Line Fraying, when do you decide it's no longer safe

edited June 2011 in Safety
I was flying my levitation delta today and found a little bushy snag about 150 feet into my 500ft #200 dacron line. Buying a replacement line here in South Korea isn't an option unless I make a trip up to Seoul or ship it here. I'm leaving in just a few weeks and would rather avoid the shipping costs.

Photo of the damage here.

How do you decide when you no longer trust your kite line? Would I be better off cutting it, and using a joining knot to put it back together?


  • edited June 2011
    I think this might be a case for the butterfly knot. No need to cut the line, just tie the knot so the bushy part is in the loop.

    I can't tell from the photo how many of the strands are actually broken (if any) but it's better to play safe.
  • not certain of the exact effect but as far as I understand all knots add a point of weakness into the line. A 'good' knot will reduce the "strength" of the rope by 10 or 20%, a less 'good' knot will have a higher effect

    my 250lb line has a similar snag in it (as far as I can tell from your pic) and I figure it isnt weakening the line any more than the larks head at the kite - but I am also clear that 250lb is plenty for the kites I fly, and that sudden strong gusts arent a big problem round here, so my margin for error is healthy. Never yet broke a kite line (fingers crossed) but I know folk who do . . .
  • It doesn't look like any strands are broken, that's a good sign.

    And LittleSkink, that's a good point. I don't think it's weakening the line more than my knot at the connection point with the kite. Thanks for the link Dave, I'll keep it handy for the future.
  • edited June 2011
    Cut it and tie it back together. Over 30 years of flying, the Fisherman's Knot hasn't failed me yet. You can download a page of useful knots, including the Fisherman's Knot, from my website.
  • Broox that link is really helpful, and you have enough faith with the fisherman's knot to use a flowform 30 with it? I know you said it's never broken on you, but I'm curious to see if you've torture tested it too.
  • As a climber I have used the Fishermans knot in critical applications - I dont know how much it weakens the line but it is a very reliable and robust knot
  • edited June 2011
    According to Geoffrey Budworth in The Knot Book, the Fisherman's Knot has a breaking strain of 65%. Not the best, but stronger than the venerable Square or Reef Knot (45%), the Sheet Bend (50%), or the legendary Bowline (60%).

    Have I used it with a FF30? I don't know -- probably. But I would usually use stronger line with a FF30 than I would with a FF16, and not intentionally fly it in winds over about 15 mph. I enjoy my shoulder sockets. And ordinarily, I don't torture-test my lines -- I err on the side of caution. Pretty cheap insurance.
  • You could also try the blood knot:

    Very, very strong knot when properly made. I've flown many kites with lines that were 'accidentally' overpowered. No problemo whatsoevero.

Sign In or Register to comment.