Sleeving Spectra Line


Sooner or Later

All Aerobatic Sport Kite flyers must know how to sleeve lines! 

Every sport kite flyer will eventually break a kite line or have someone with another kite cross their lines. We all know what happens next, down comes your sport kite and you now own two sets of short spectra lines. This is not a bad thing.

In the beginning there was one.

When we all began flying we were flying on one set of line. Some of us were lucky and received spectra lines with our kites others got nylon or dacron lines. Lines do not last forever. We were also shocked at the cost of a good set of spectra lines, usually over $30.00 with winder. As we develop our flying skills our lines generally shorten for more speed and response. Your 100 ft. lines that got cut in half just turned into two 50 ft. lines, this is a good thing if you can sleeve them yourself. Here is where you enter the next phase of sport kite flying.

Why we sleeve our lines.

Spectra lines must be sleeved when tying knots. Spectra line although extremely strong have a very low melting point, when tied in a knot the pressure will melt the lines. When a knot is tied in a line the breaking strength drops by up to 60%. Sleeving Spectra line will increase its knotted strength up to 60% of the line strength. This means you loose almost no line strength after sleeving.

Sleeving Your lines.

Sleeving is a length of hollow braided Dacron put on the ends of the line before it's tied. You can purchase line sets pre-sleeved or get a sleeving kit and do it yourself. After you've stretched your lines and made them equal length you're ready to sleeve them. Sleeving kits come with simple instruction and a sleeving tool. I will go through the basic steps here for you.

  • Begin by sleeving one end of each line. Be sure to put a different colour piece of sleeving on each line. Follow the instructions in the sleeving kit for applying the sleeving.
  • Insert the sleeving tool through your dacron sleeving. Pull the tool a few inches through the sleeving.
  • After the tool is inserted through the dacron take a lighter or match and heat seal the ends of the dacron for a clean looking sleeving job. The dacron will unravel otherwise.
  • Thread your Spectra line through the end of the sleeving tool now pull the tool back through the dacron sleeving bringing the kite line with it.
  • Your sleeving is now on your line, remove the sleeving tool.
  • Slide the sleeving towards the end of the line. Do not go to far or you will have to start over.
  • Tie a knot in the very end of your line.
  • Stretch the sleeving back up the line to be sure it is not bunched up.
  • Tie another knot at the end farthest from the end.
  • Bring these two knots together and make a loop as shown below.

You have now sleeved your line. Repeat the steps for your other line being sure to have the same colour sleeving on the ends of the same line. You will find that many people have their own method in the steps of sleeving. Results are generally the same with each method. Below is a quick method that skips the beginning knots. The final loop is always the same.


A set of lines broken, is not a broken set of lines.

It is two sets of short lines.




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