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A decent line reel is essential for flying a kite to any height above a few tens of metres. Simple hand reels, such as those shown on the GEAR page suit many flyers. Remember to always wear stout gloves to reduce the risk of burns should the line slip through your fingers.
This project shows how an electric fencing reel was modified to include functions for paying out, cranking in, locking and braking in a controllable manner. It also includes a steel loop for tethering to a ground stake.
This project starts with a plastic Voss reel which is widely available. Although strong enough to deploy electric fencing wire where tensions are modest, it will flex under greater pressure. A useful feature of this reel is the cam lever which locks the spool by activating a spring-loaded plunger.