Using a kite rig single handed by Paul Barnes
Occasionally we get requests on how to use a kite rig single handed, I have copied a reply to one of these requests so others may benefit from it.
I do not always have someone to go fishing with, and as the beach reel really requires another person to wind in the line, I have been wondering how to make the system a totally solo one.
I have seen second hand Penn Senator 9/0 reels for sale at between $150-200. If I bought one of those, I would still need a rod to go with it. What would you recommend? Also, would I still have a problem using a rod and reel, as it is necessary to
let out kite line when retrieving the dropper line (and hopefully the fish) and this must require 2 people also. What line should I use on the Penn reel, I would appreciate your comments.
I use the flexiwing single handed from either the beach reel or my penn 9/0 with no problems.
Single Handed Recovery with Beach Reel
Haul the line hand over hand while shuffling sideways up the beach until you have hauled about 80 meters of line in. Then take two or three strides forward while continuing to haul the line and begin to shuffle sideways back towards the reel while still
hauling the line and dropping it on the beach forward and clear of the first bit of line you hauled.
When you get back to the reel wrap the line around your hand an wind the 160 meters of line laying on the beach onto the reel. Repeat this until the three way shock cord is retrieved.
At this point release the ratchet on the reel and pull the drop line in to the bottle. While you are doing this the kite will lift the kite-line and drop-line from behind you as the mainline comes back off the reel and the kite gains altitude.
Put the bottle by the reel and put the ratchet back on. Then haul in the leader line and hook section while shuffling up the beach to stop the line falling into a heap. The line must be laid out straight and above the reach of the surf. Then do either
(A) Resetting or (B) Packing up
Get the chilly bin and bait, then walk along the hook section while removing fish and old baits and re-baiting the hooks if you are doing another set. Take the chilly bin back to the reel, release the ratchet and let the gear out for the next set.
Keep a little tension on the line to keep the mainline clear of the water until the hook section is 300 meters or more offshore to prevent the hook section tangling with the mainline.
Then, if there are no boats in the area allow the gear to run out freely. While the gear is setting freely or you are waiting to let it fish cut up the bait ready for the next set.
(B) Packing Up
If you are not doing another set get the chilly bin, hand spool and trace rack.
Then walk go along the hook section while removing fish and old baits from the hooks before unclipping the trace and putting in on the trace rack.
When you get to the end of the hook section wind it up from that end onto the hand spool, remove the float bottle and wind the dropline onto the hand spool and the airbourne mainline onto the beach reel.
I normally alternate between hauling down the dropline and mainline every 20 meters or so to avoid getting too much of either in a heap on the beach.
I would only advise you to get a Penn Senator if you are going to put spectra line on it, 50 - 80lbs spectra is incredibly good as a kite fishing mainline on a flexiwing rig. It is very light and allows you to fish in lighter winds and keep the mainline
clear of the water even when the kite is much further offshore.
Recovery with a Penn reel on a rod is the same as above except you wind the line directly onto the reel under load.
I use a light drag setting while recovering the dropline to prevent birds nests and this works out very well. Once the bottle is by the reel I simply tighten the drag to stop it running back out.
Short stout rods with ceramic eyes are best for kite fishing and a cheap fiberglass one is all you need.
Our kite fishing video shows the considerable benefits of putting the reel on backwards when kite fishing but this doesnŐt work as well on rods fitted with roller tips. Next time you are in the shop get rob to show you what I mean on the video.