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Author Topic: Line Sets  (Read 3715 times)
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iwannafly
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« on: October 04, 2009, 05:32 PM »

Can someone, anyone, or everyone please explain the rational behind having different line sets?

What difference does length and strength make under different wind conditions for the same kite?

Or different lengths and strengths for the same kite under the same wind condition?

Is there a benefit to flying with shorter and lighter line sets when learning tricks or are longer lines better?

Please, anyone, help me get the knots out of this subject. Wink
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RobB
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2009, 06:07 PM »

I think lines make a difference to some extent. You use longer, heavier lines for higher winds. It slows the kite, and also gives you the extra strength you need for the stronger pull. A lighter, shorter line is good for light winds, because it doesn't cause as much drag on the kite. I don't fly on shorter than 75' lines, unless I'm trying to fly in zero wind. I have also given up on my 50# lines, they can be snapped by a full size kite if you get a slight puff of wind. I found that Laser Pro Gold 90# is light enough for 1-2mph flying. I mainly use 90# for less than 10mph, and 150# for anything over. Length is really a preference, and for me it's kite by kite. Some kites fly better on 75'-85' lines, some fly better on 100'. The only lines I have that are over 100' are for my Hawaiian, and I think they are longer than 120'. Just a different style of flying, I couldn't picture doing many tricks on lines like that.
~Rob.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 06:15 PM by Must86 » Logged

Gardner
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2009, 06:28 PM »

Personally, I like to fly with 100-foot, 90-pound test lines in 8-10 mph winds with a standard kite, such as a QPro, Mantis, Exile or Widow Maker.  These kites will also preform well on lines 75 feet in length, 80 feet and 90 feet in lenth.  Where I fly, space is not a limiting factor.

If the wind is above 10 mph to say, 15 mph, I'll use 150-pound line for its added strength and to slow the speed of the kite.

If flying a vented in those conditions, and winds up to 20 mph, the additional strength is nessary since vernted kites are slightly heavier. Also, the length may be increased to 120 feet to increase drag and slow the kite's speed across the wind window.

Teams like the longer lines, I believe, because the greater length and slower kite speed permits members more time and distance to execute their patterns.

Trick flyers, on the other hand, like shorter lines  which allows them to execute  their routines in a rapid-fire preformance.  This is with a standard kite, of course.

For UL and SUL kites, lighter lines in the 50-70 pound range, and in mostly 50-60 foot lengths are used because winds are generally one to eight miles and hour.  Heavier lines would create too much drag.

I hope these observations give you a general idea of the need for different lines for different conditions.

Gardner
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2009, 06:45 PM »

Longer Lines = More Sky

More room to roam. Bigger window.

The sweet spot for tricks in the middle of the window is bigger.

Some of the best trick flyers I've ever seen regularly use 120'+ lines.

Very short lines, like 50', are useful when learning. You can see what your lines and the bridle are doing and stuff. I only use lines that short when flying in tight spaces (gave up on learning new things long ago).

75' is a good fit for the places I fly and some of my kites. The 7' kites fit OK on that length, Full size kites tend to feel constrained.

Thin lines don't handle as many wraps as normal or heavy lines. I don't fly 50# anymore.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2009, 06:48 PM »

I think Rob covers it well. I tend to perfer 50# lines in the lightest of winds but Rob is correct in a hard "puff" it can break. I would say only go to 35# indoors as even less then a " puff" can break it. I also like 100' over 85'. Over 120' for big kites or stacks. I like shanti over lpg. But when it comes brands everyone has their favorite.
IF your new to flying get better lines, it's money well spent.
Lastly, if you fly big pulling kites padded straps are well worth it.
my 2 cents
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Sine Metu!
JimB
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 07:41 PM »

I think the old Prism rule of thumb works well for learning tricks and general rec. flying:

50lb. X 50ft. for very light winds.

90lb. X 65ft. for most winds where weight and drag are not an issue, perhaps 3-15mph or so.

150lb. X 85ft. for winds that are threatening to break your 90lb. line set.

The above will get you started. By the time you need something else you will have an idea of what you want to do with kites and what line set lengths and weights would be most efficacious.

If you wanted a good serviceable 2 line set kit, again for recreational flying; I'd suggest 90lb. X 75ft., and 150lb. X 75ft. The added advantage here is that you would always be flying the same line length which would be a good thing for your muscle memory. I would guess that this is the way a number of experienced rec fliers roll, at least, here in the States.

Personally, I fly pretty non-standard lengths: 30ft. and 60ft. in 50, 90, 150lb., most of the time, due to field and wind constraints at my local field at the moment, but then; people who have flown with me would probably tell you that my style has more in common with messing about with Rubik's Cube than with actual kite flying.

The current trend seems to be towards longer line sets. It is quite common for fliers to do all their flying on 125ft. these days.

For competition flying you would need an array of lines ranging anywhere from 50lb. X 110ft. up to 300lb. - 500lb. X 125ft.Huh

And lastly; don't skimp on quality. The thinner slicker line is the way to go. Pay the extra for good line. It is worth it.

HTH
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 07:50 PM by JimB » Logged
jaybett
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2009, 12:57 AM »

Longer lines give more time to recover from mistakes.

I've found it helpful to have all my line sets the same length. It does help with muscle memory, in learning new tricks.

I've flown 50 pound lines in winds over 10mph, with no problems. I am using Laser Pro Gold. I wonder if that explains the difference in experiences? Or maybe the other posters have very strong puffs of wind.

Jay
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fidelio
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2009, 04:07 AM »

personally i fly 100ft 90lb line 95% of the time. my only deviation is when the wind is really strong i'll step up to 150lb and a longer 120ft since in stronger wind it's much harder to get slack in the line for tricks i end up flying figures, and the longer lines make flying figures better.

i've given up on lighter lines as they just seem to get tangled on everything; grass, fittings, shoes, wingtips, everything.

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RobB
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2009, 04:07 AM »

Longer lines give more time to recover from mistakes.

I've found it helpful to have all my line sets the same length. It does help with muscle memory, in learning new tricks.

I've flown 50 pound lines in winds over 10mph, with no problems. I am using Laser Pro Gold. I wonder if that explains the difference in experiences? Or maybe the other posters have very strong puffs of wind.

Jay
Hey Jay...
I think LPG must be the difference, or possibly using sleeving. There is no way Prism 50# lines would survive 10mph with a full size kite on the end. Maybe a Micron... The only 50# linesets I have are from Prism, and for some reason they don't believe in sleeving their 50# linesets. They almost always break at the knots. I figure that 90# LPG is just as thin as 50# Prism lines, so I just use the 90#. I was flying my Ozone yesterday in 1-2mph wind on 90# 75' LPG line quite easily.
~Rob.
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2009, 08:48 AM »

Some people are just harder on line than others. I know folks who break 90# regularly, so they use 150 for most flying.

Not only dependent on wind strength, but flying style and type of kite, too. Some folks are "yank & spank" to the core. Others go though a really physical learning period and find less abusive inputs as they get more sophisticated.

I'm not hard on my lines, and many of my favorite kites are light pulling. I prefer light wind. My aversion to 50# isn't so much about sheer strength, but a couple of other things. As I mentioned above, light line tends to bind up with fewer wraps than normal weight stuff. Really annoying. thin lines also tend wear out a lot faster. Worn lines break unexpectedly. And bind up even more.

Lighter lines may give a small benefit in keeping a SUL in the air in zero to low wind, but the benefit would mainly be with smaller kites. A full size SUL just isn't effected as much by the difference between 50 & 90# For a long time I few a 75# line that's no longer available. It seemed like a good compromise. More recently I've been using Shanti & LPG 90# pretty much regardless of the low wind conditions. The differences in drag multiply with longer lines, so zero wind on 120' 90# is quite a bit harder than with 75' 90#.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
jaybett
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 10:19 AM »

Longer lines give more time to recover from mistakes.

I've found it helpful to have all my line sets the same length. It does help with muscle memory, in learning new tricks.

I've flown 50 pound lines in winds over 10mph, with no problems. I am using Laser Pro Gold. I wonder if that explains the difference in experiences? Or maybe the other posters have very strong puffs of wind.

Jay
Hey Jay...
I think LPG must be the difference, or possibly using sleeving. There is no way Prism 50# lines would survive 10mph with a full size kite on the end. Maybe a Micron... The only 50# linesets I have are from Prism, and for some reason they don't believe in sleeving their 50# linesets. They almost always break at the knots. I figure that 90# LPG is just as thin as 50# Prism lines, so I just use the 90#. I was flying my Ozone yesterday in 1-2mph wind on 90# 75' LPG line quite easily.
~Rob.

Hmm....

My LPG 50# lines are sleeved. I use them for my SUL and UL kites. I've had the 50# line set for over two years, and have never snapped a line.

A local flier, who is much harder on his kites, also uses 50# line with no issues. He found it to be a good line for dealing with variable winds. He convinced me to try it, and the rest is history.

Jay
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JimB
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2009, 10:40 AM »

Some people think that it is better to use lines that are slightly heavy for conditions when tricking. The idea is that the line will hang down below the kite and avoid getting hung up. With some kites/conditions this may have some validity.

I used to be in the 90lb. for everything camp. Lately though, I have returned to using 50lb. for light winds. Seems to me that there is significantly less drag on the kite when the wind is really low. Enough so that any inconvenience that lighter line may cause is worth it.

But, as pointed out above, line quality plays a role as well. A good quality 90lb. line can be thinner and lighter than a lesser quality 50lb. line.

Line weight and diameter has a big effect on line performance but it is much less of an issue in mid or high winds. In fact you may want the extra drag on the kite under those conditions.





« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 01:57 AM by JimB » Logged
RonG
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2009, 06:24 PM »

Some people think that it is better to use lines that are slightly heavy for conditions when tricking. The idea is that the line will hang down below the kite and avoid getting hung up. With some kites/conditions this may have some validity.

I have always been of the opposite school, and use the lightest line I can possibly get away with.  Tricking on 90# line feels much, much better than on 150# or heavier.  Even 50# line feels good to me, assuming it's good stuff (LPG).

Not always the safest move (especially on the competition field), but a risk I'm usually willing to take.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 06:25 PM by RonG » Logged
JimB
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2009, 07:46 PM »

We are in agreement Ron. Use the lightest line you can get away with IMO.

Just mentioning the other as I've had a number of people mention it over the years. There have been a few occasions where I have changed to heavier line - the Prism Vapor will spin right through 50lb. line when flown in light wind for example - but overall I prefer to go light.

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anOldMan
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2009, 11:13 PM »

Given that this is the bigenners corner. I will assume two things:
you now have only one kite, probable a Standard,
you want a good over all line set.

My sugestion is to get a line set in the 90# range and as close to 85 feet as you can find. This will give you a large enough window to fly in, the kite will not be moving so fast that you don't have time to give inputs to the kite (unless you are in 15+ mph winds), and the line is strong enough that it would not break in flyable winds and heavy inputs.

This line set will get you started and when you begin to understand your style of flying and you get more kites (yes, more kites Grin), you will have a better idea about the lines to use. Wink 
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