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Installing a Leech Line Step by Step Tutorial

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This tutorial will show you how to install a leech line on most dual line kites.

Keep in mind that you do this at YOUR OWN RISK!! This tutorial is for reference purposes only and I can not/will not take any responsibility for damage incurred from this process. If you take your time, and follow the steps, you should have no problem installing this line on your kite.

What you'll need for this project:

-- 8-10feet of 30# spectra line (or Dacron, the smaller diameter the better)

-- a blunt tip needle

-- a lighter

-- a marker

-- needle nose pliers

-- a wash cloth (you may not need this, but have one handy:: you'll see)

-- patience

The leech line will be a single piece of spectra run through the length of the trailing edge (seen in pic 01).

(1.) Thread your spectra through your needle. Only pull out about 1/4 inch (seen in pic 02).

(2.) Use your lighter to burn the thread down to the needle, then quickly apply pressure to flatten the line to the eye of the needle (seen in pic 03). It needs to be as flat to the eye as possible so it doesn't snag on anything (really important when passing through the re-enforced standoff section).

(3.) Next, loosen your leading edge, and loosen the tail section to locate the openings to the trailing edge (seen in pic 04). We will be installing the left side first in this case (Afterwards you will repeat the same step on the right side, entering through the spine section). the kites sail will have to be loose to feed the line through.

(4.) Insert the needle into the trailing edge UNDER the stitching (seen in pic 05 and 06).

(5.) Next, start feeing the line through the trailing edge SLOWLY, by holding the base of the needle inside the trailing edge, while bunching up a small section (seen in pic 07), then pulling it straight (feeding it through) by pinching the tip of the needle with the opposite hand, and feeding the line into the edge (seen in pic 08).

(6.) Be careful around the standoffs (seen in pic 09)!! Most kites have a re-enforced patch for the standoffs that is stitched over or under the trailing edge fabric. Care must be taken on some kites to not pop this stitching.

You may run across too much resistance for your fingers to pull the eye of the needle through the beginning and end of this stitching -- this is where the needle nose pliers and a wash rag come in handy. Bunch up a section like described in step 5, but instead of using your finger to pinch the tip of the needle before you pull it through, take your cloth, and place it over the tip of the needle, then use pliers to pinch the tip, and give small tugs until the needle passes by the stitching of the re-enforced patch. This part can be extremely tricky on some kites, so be patient. If it just won't fit through, then your line may just be too thick, or your line may not be burnt flush enough to the eye of the needle, causing a snag. There's a couple of things that you can try. You can take the line out, and re-burn the line more flush to the eye of the needle. You can also try using a thinner needle (just make sure its a blunt tip).

Remember, you risk popping the stitching on this re-enforced patch, so BE CAREFUL, patient, and don't over do it. It may take some time to work it through. Just know kites limit. You "may" not be able to pass a line through this, it is not guaranteed that you can. On the kites I've tried (Quantum, and the Widow), the Quantum was pretty easy, and didn't require the pliers, but the Widow was more trying, requiring the pliers, and a little patience and care. But both made it through.

(7.) Once your line is fed through one side of your kite, pull about 1 foot of excess leech line out from the wingtip. Then pull the needle (snip it off if need be) off, attach it to the other side of the line, re-burn it, and repeat the process to the other side -- starting from the spine, and working your way to the other wingtip. Once it is fed through, you should have one solid piece of line running the entire length of the trailing edge. Congrats, your almost there. :)

(8.) Next, re-nock your leading edges and assemble your kite (pic 10).

(9.) Tie an overhand knot, creating a loop point on one side of the leech line (seen in pic 11). You may want to tie a few knots to make the knot larger so the nock will catch it when its pulled over the wingtip.

Now, nock that side of the leech line. Then go to the other side, and pull the line taught, then over the nock and mark the position where you will knot it with a marker(Note** The line should not be too tight as to distort the sail). Tie another series of overhand knots, and knock it over the wingtip.

(10.) Test the tension in the trailing edge (seen in pic 12). just pinch it as shown, and make sure both sides are more or less equal. If one side is way more tense than the other, then just 'over'-pinch as shown in the picture, close to the spine, on the side that is more tight to draw some line from the side that is looser, over to the side that is more tight, equaling the tension.

Endcaps (pic13) help in making sure both the leading edge tensioner and leech line stay in place and secure, and do not slip during flight. As well as provide some protection against wingtip line snags. You should test the tension on both sides every time you assemble your kite.

And thats about it. :D Enjoy your Leech line. :)














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  • 4 years later...

Haha hey buddy :-). Long time no talk ya? Been super busy being a new dad and all. Miss yall too. Haven't had much fly time in this year either. :-\ We moved to Silverton in the last year and are loving it. The wind is good and steady too, being a little further down the valley :-). Hopefully next spring, once the little girl is a bit older I can stretch my wings again :-)

Hope all is well with you John - - and if you're ever down around Silverton, be sure to hit me up!



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