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Author Topic: Ball Bearing Line Reel  (Read 7534 times)

Offline John Tate

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Ball Bearing Line Reel
« on: November 02, 2016, 04:40:23 PM »
I received an email back in May from Hobby King listing the Sullivan 4" line reel for $4.75 plus shipping from Hong Kong . Now they do not list it any more. Anyway I remember many years ago the Norfolk Naval Base Hobby Shop had some kite flying line reels that were way better than we were using and they were cheaper. Long story made short; I looked online and found some Chinese kite flying line reels that I liked better and the price now is $2.75 each delivered to my front door. This reel is made of thick high impact composite. The reel diameter is 6.1". Then reel even has ball bearings. You know I had to buy 3 of them to play with.

Here is what the line reel looks like. The unit has a ball bearing roller that needs a little grease or oil. The metal triangle piece on the bottom right contains a plastic knob so it is easy to reel up your lines. The plastic body is tougher than our old control line reels.


Here is the line reel with the lines installed. A twist tie was used to retain the end of the flying lines. Note: the thumb and finger holes in the reel are designed for a small Chinese child. I can still insert my thumb and fingers in the holes only a little bit. A small picture hanger was used to hold onto the line connectors.


The new reel even comes with a fishing pole line guide for the kite string to exit the unit. I removed the fishing pole line guide.


You can cut a notch in the over hang section. This worked fine for me also. I am thinking of sawing off the over hang the next time. The piece of the over hang where the two screws are mounted will have to stay. That part covers where the ball bearings are installed.



To install a line connector hook or I used a small picture hanger. Drill though both sides of the reel with a #33 drill bit for the 4-40 flat head screw. Then drill a hole only on one side of the reel large enough to clear a phillips head screwdriver. A flat head screw was used so not to catch the lines being wrapped around the reel. I used a phillips head screwdriver for a counter sink for the screw (counter sink tool was too big).


Flat head screw is being installed to the hanger bracket.


Then a hole needs to be cut into the side of the line reel. A Dremel tool with a small cutting bit was used to grind out the opening. Then a picture hanger bracket was installed to hook the line connectors onto.


I found that Dexron transmission fluid works great to lube the ball bearings. Since the fluid is in a plastic container it should be fine to lubricate the ball bearings in the line reel. One drop of Dexron in four spots, (equal distance around the reel), in the gap there at the bearings. What a difference it makes. The line reel spins nice and free now. One reason to use the Dexron is because it does not absorb moisture. Bob Hubak told me that he used Synthetic grease. That is great also.


I got tired of losing those metal retaining reel clips at the flying field. So I went to the Dollar Store and purchased some Twist Ties. You can cut any length you need and wrap just about any thing we have.

I used this line reel this year at the Brodak Fly-In.
Bob Hudak came over to see what kind of line reel I was using in the pits. Of coarse I let Bob check it out. Next thing I knew Bob wanted me to send him an email with the website so he could get himself a few.

Since the Brodak Fly-In Bob sent me an email with a picture of how one of his club members modified the line reel his way with .032 wire bent to fit using 5/16 servo screws to hold. I liked what was done there. I never thought of it. I like to see how other modelers modify things. There is always a better way to do it.


So here is the link for the Chinese kite string reel.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Outdoor-Kite-Twisted-String-Line-Grip-Wheel-Winder-Tool-Reel-Ball-Bearing-Handle-/231870518062?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 01:13:53 PM by John Tate »

Offline dave siegler

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 10:54:52 AM »
just ordered 3. 
@ 2.69 each, shipping between thanksgiving and Christmas.
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Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2016, 11:18:29 AM »
I have four in my cart...looking around if I need anything else from the usual suspects on the e-BAY
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

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Offline Avaiojet

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 11:50:30 AM »
I see there are many different choices, sizes and prices.

Color also but color doesn't matter.

Oh my, decisions?  n~
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Offline Duke.Johnson

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 12:24:31 PM »
I found a bunch of them on ebay, but not for 2.75. I did find them for $6.75 and free shipping from the states. You have a link for the $2.75 reels, and how much the shipping was? One of these might work well for my free flight/tow line.
Thanks.

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2016, 01:10:27 PM »
I just clicked on the link he has posted and now have 2 coming my way.   Thanks for the info.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

Offline Duke.Johnson

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2016, 01:46:35 PM »
I missed the link at the bottom.  Thansks

Offline Bob Hudak

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2016, 05:45:32 PM »
John,
 Bout time you let everyone in on these reels. I got 4 off of Dabay, sent from China for a little over 11 bucks. I was tired of the cheezy inner plastic line retainer on the Sullivan nock off reels and the 6-8 dollar price. The coolest part of the kite reel you found is the hand crank not to mention the big size(6") spool. I cut the fishing eye line guide off of all mine with a dremel.
 Thanks for the idea, Bob
P.S. the bearings can get away from you when you take the fishing eye cover off for modifying if your not careful.
350838

Offline John Tate

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2016, 07:11:01 PM »
The line guide bracket was taking up too much room in my flight box. The line guide covers where the ball bearings are installed. You need to remove the two screws on the line guide. Be careful not to tilt the line reel over (so the ball bearing will not fall out). I place the line guide bracket on a Dremel saw and cut off the excess. Then reinstall the piece with the two screws.

Offline EddyR

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 04:43:22 PM »
I like them so I ordered four. ~^
Ed
Locust NC 40 miles from the Huntersville field

Offline Gerald Arana

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 06:16:38 PM »
I received an email back in May from Hobby King listing the Sullivan 4" line reel for $4.75 plus shipping from Hong Kong . Now they do not list it any more. Anyway I remember many years ago the Norfolk Naval Base Hobby Shop had some kite flying line reels that were way better than we were using and they were cheaper. Long story made short; I looked online and found some Chinese kite flying line reels that I liked better and the price now is $2.75 each delivered to my front door. This reel is made of thick high impact composite. The reel diameter is 6.1". Then reel even has ball bearings. You know I had to buy 3 of them to play with.

Here is what the line reel looks like. The unit has a ball bearing roller that needs a little grease or oil. The metal triangle piece on the bottom right contains a plastic knob so it is easy to reel up your lines. The plastic body is tougher than our old control line reels.


Here is the line reel with the lines installed. A twist tie was used to retain the end of the flying lines. Note: the thumb and finger holes in the reel are designed for a small Chinese child. I can still insert my thumb and fingers in the holes only a little bit. A small picture hanger was used to hold onto the line connectors.


The new reel even comes with a fishing pole line guide for the kite string to exit the unit. I removed the fishing pole line guide.


You can cut a notch in the over hang section. This worked fine for me also. I am thinking of sawing off the over hang the next time. The piece of the over hang where the two screws are mounted will have to stay. That part covers where the ball bearings are installed.



To install a line connector hook or I used a small picture hanger. Drill though both sides of the reel with a #33 drill bit for the 4-40 flat head screw. Then drill a hole only on one side of the reel large enough to clear a phillips head screwdriver. A flat head screw was used so not to catch the lines being wrapped around the reel. I used a phillips head screwdriver for a counter sink for the screw (counter sink tool was too big).


Flat head screw is being installed to the hanger bracket.


Then a hole needs to be cut into the side of the line reel. A Dremel tool with a small cutting bit was used to grind out the opening. Then a picture hanger bracket was installed to hook the line connectors onto.


I found that Dexron transmission fluid works great to lube the ball bearings. Since the fluid is in a plastic container it should be fine to lubricate the ball bearings in the line reel. One drop of Dexron in four spots, (equal distance around the reel), in the gap there at the bearings. What a difference it makes. The line reel spins nice and free now. One reason to use the Dexron is because it does not absorb moisture. Bob Hubak told me that he used Synthetic grease. That is great also.


I got tired of losing those metal retaining reel clips at the flying field. So I went to the Dollar Store and purchased some Twist Ties. You can cut any length you need and wrap just about any thing we have.

I used this line reel this year at the Brodak Fly-In.
Bob Hubak came over to see what kind of line reel I was using in the pits. Of coarse I let Bob check it out. Next thing I knew Bob wanted me to send him an email with the website so he could get himself a few.

Since the Brodak Fly-In Bob sent me an email with a picture of how one of his club members modified the line reel his way with .032 wire bent to fit using 5/16 servo screws to hold. I liked what was done there. I never thought of it. I like to see how other modelers modify things. There is always a better way to do it.


So here is the link for the Chinese kite string reel.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Outdoor-Kite-Twisted-String-Line-Grip-Wheel-Winder-Tool-Reel-Ball-Bearing-Handle-/231870518062?





Fantastic! Three clicks and I have 4 of them coming.

Thanks for the heads up, Jerry

Offline Allen Eshleman

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2016, 05:24:08 AM »
Thanks for the idea.  I just ordered three.

Offline Dennis Keeton

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2016, 08:13:38 PM »

Offline EddyR

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2016, 07:10:25 AM »
How about this one.http://www.ebay.com/itm/100m-Outdoor-Sports-White-Flying-Kite-String-Line-w-D-Shape-Winder-Board-Tools-/231857664150?tfrom=231870518062&tpos=top&ttype=price&talgo=undefined
 It is better than the popsicle stick I used in 1950 ~^
Ed
  I won the open kite event on Clearwater beach in 1973. News paper never mention me but put a picture of my daughters flying there small kite on front page. :##
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 06:18:33 AM by EddyR »
Locust NC 40 miles from the Huntersville field

Offline Gordon Van Tighem

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2016, 01:00:15 AM »
Great idea, 5 arrived today. Now to the oil and modifications.
G
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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2016, 10:16:03 AM »
Got my 2 reels yesterday.  A little larger than the SIG reels.   Also after modificatons they should be easier to use.   Need to order more.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

Online Lauri Malila

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2016, 10:09:54 AM »
John,

Could you please tell the inside dimensions of the reel? Groove depth and width, I mean.
It looks like a nice compact reel for free flight lines.

Lauri

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2016, 10:22:36 AM »
Over all dis. 6 inches.   3/4 inch thickness.  depth 3/4 inch.   I hope to document modifications I'm going to make, even though the line guide would be nice if the loop was bigger.  If you brouse the bay there are other versions and sizes.   This was the lowest priced one.  Also delivery takes a while.  Ordered on 11-15 and received on 12-9.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

Online Lauri Malila

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2016, 10:30:49 AM »
Thanks! L

Offline John Rist

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2016, 10:39:56 AM »
My 2 arrived today.  They are cool :)
John Rist
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Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2016, 11:58:34 AM »
Ordered 11 14

not delivered yet...but based on above hopefully soon

keep forgetting to order some SpiderWire
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Offline Gerald Arana

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2016, 09:19:42 AM »
Mine were on the porch this AM. Guess they came late last night .....or early today.

Now for the mods! I've got four tries to get it right! LOL!  Can't wait to use them (or it)  LL~ LL~ LL~

Jerry

Offline John Rist

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2016, 05:50:29 PM »
I have modified one of my line reels.  I cut off the line guide.  I lubed the ball bearings.  I cut an exit hole and made a hook for one end of the lines.  All this I copied from other great ones who did the how-to on this posting.  However I did add my own twist.  I made a wood plug to keep the lines from un-winding.  It is made from 3/4" plywood.  I sanded down the thickness, on a belt sander, until it was a press fit into the reel.  The reel has enough stiffness to hold the plug firmly.  Store the reel and line set in the baggy that the reel came and all is wonderful.   #^   #^   #^
John Rist
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Offline Gerald Arana

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2016, 06:40:01 PM »
Simple and elegant! I like it John. y1

I'm going to copy your idea!

Thank you for the pic's, Jerry

Online jim welch

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2016, 07:33:40 PM »
Here's my idea......simple piece of 1/16 wire attach line ends to one side/rubber band other side /wrap around reel and attach to the other end. Store wire on stub left of cut off bracket.
walaaw......jim
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Offline John Tate

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2016, 07:42:05 PM »
I really like all the ideas done here to make the reel more user friendly.

Offline Mike Lauerman

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2016, 03:14:40 PM »
Yes, the innovations! What would you expect from C/L modelers?
Appreciate the heads up on this one, I just ordered 2. (12/15/16) Thank you!
 
This ball bearing wonder surpassed my ideas of 'the perfect winder'... flying bud Doug Ellis used 20" bicycle rims for his solid lines, carried 3 with a shoulder strap to and from the car.

Offline John Rist

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2016, 02:42:05 PM »
I just finished modifying 4 reels for Charles (see picture).  I also just ordered 10 more to modify.  Just wondering if anyone is interested in buying modified reels?  Not sure what the price will be.  The big cost is shipping. 
John Rist
AMA 56277

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2016, 02:49:58 PM »
Ordered 11 14  2016

FedEx and UPS both delivered today...no ball bearing reels....poo

I know I know---- crap from China is a hit or miss deal on delivery times
E-bay estimated is way over due now

That said...I guess they will show up 24 Dec.. or 5 Jan

Not Biggie... too cold to fly and plenty of shop time to morph them as suggested above...
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2016, 09:16:07 PM »
Well when I ordered mine, they stated they might get here by December 28.  So it was fast delivery for mine.  Thing is what do I doe with all the reels I have already that have been modified to my specs.  Never mind, I usually break a few during a flying season.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

Offline Terry Caron

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2016, 11:56:24 AM »
Ordered 4 today - something to do in the shop after New Years.  ;)
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Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2016, 09:47:46 AM »
Well dang...seems my trepidation about the delivery was for naught

Today I am fussing about adapting the 4 line reels I have (now) with some of the great ideas in this thread

The package actually arrived a long while back ---- wife intercepted, wrapped, and set under the tree

Funny ...I should have suspected this...Last year near Xmas she intercepted a package from RSM and wrapped it... I was getting really aggravated cuz I NEEDED the fuel tank (one of several items)

When she noticed I was carping about a package missing, and fussing about if or if not to raise hell about. She asked what I was looking for... I told her...she went and got the gift wrapped Pkg and said it might already be here.  And it was and I had her stooge for me all the next morning..

Now back to adapting these pretty cool line reels... very rough until a drop or two of Air Tool Oil is added to the bearings

"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2016, 10:29:15 AM »
Makes me think back many years ago when my jig saw gave up the ghost.   Was in the middle of cutting some blocks for a plane.  I don't remember how long I was moping about the house and complaining, but the wife said look under the tree and have an early Christmas present.  It was the then brand new Dremel Jig Saw.  By the way this was on Christmas eve that year.  Guess that why I have kept her around all these years.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

Offline Jim Carter

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2016, 11:08:05 AM »
"Guess that why I have kept her around all these years."

Nah!!  'Dat 'aint da' reason!!  We all know it's "cheap'a 'ta keep'a" an' in truth .... 'I 'spose you do too!!   LL~ LL~

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2016, 11:33:32 AM »

I must apologise to John Tate and remove my way off topic thoughts I had written here yesterday

I really like the product John steered us to and I am modifying two more of them today

Thanks John and sorry for the HiJack

« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 11:32:50 AM by Fredvon4 »
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

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Offline badbill

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2017, 09:24:00 AM »
Has anyone thought of maybe cutting a notch in the side of the fishing pole line guide, and using it to direct the lines into the spool? Would that work?
Bill Davenport
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If some is good, and more is better, then too much is just right!

Online Lauri Malila

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2017, 10:16:04 AM »
I ordered a few of those reels and I think
they are completely crap as cl line reel. Unnecessarily large for easy rolling of lines by hand, and who would use the centre handle and crank for doing that?
But they are good small and cheap reels for my free flight lines, a bigger one would not fit into my pocket during towing.
For cl lines, I just wish there were a better quality version of the usual small Brodak/Sullivan/SIG reel. I do oil my lines and those reels get very brittle when in contact with turbine oil.
Thanks for the tip!

L

Offline badbill

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2017, 10:43:49 AM »
I ordered a few of those reels and I think
they are completely crap as cl line reel.

I haven't fixed up or tried mine yet, but hey- that's one vote against and a whole thread of others raving about it  y1 LOL...
Bill Davenport
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If some is good, and more is better, then too much is just right!

Offline Terry Caron

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2017, 10:54:53 AM »
Mine took ~3 weeks and, as mentioned, the handle is a bit small but useable.
I'm thinking of a divider ring around mid-spool to keep the 2 lines separate.
NACA member, Huntsville, AL
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Offline badbill

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2017, 05:51:53 PM »
Has anyone thought of maybe cutting a notch in the side of the fishing pole line guide, and using it to direct the lines into the spool? Would that work?

Well, I thought this over and decided no need to cut a notch, just put the lines through the fishing pole line guide and roll them up. Works great. Very nice. Going to do several more wind and unwind tests this weekend and then go ahead and set up all my lines on them.

Bill Davenport
AMA 28141


If some is good, and more is better, then too much is just right!

Offline badbill

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2017, 08:07:21 PM »
Well, I thought this over and decided no need to cut a notch, just put the lines through the fishing pole line guide and roll them up. Works great. Very nice. Going to do several more wind and unwind tests this weekend and then go ahead and set up all my lines on them.

I had half a dozen reel/unreel tests with these two line reels today, with the lines going through the fishing pole line guides. All successful, no unexpected tangles or kinks. Smooth and fast. Loaded up two sets of lines afterwards, will convert more this weekend!
Bill Davenport
AMA 28141


If some is good, and more is better, then too much is just right!

Offline rustler

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2017, 02:39:06 PM »
Just a thought - (don't know anything about kites) - I have some std. reels which take two lines. Good in that they keep each line separate.
Are there any of these reels for two-line kites? Couldn't find any myself.
Ian Russell.
[I can remember the schedule o.k., the problem is remembering what was the last manoeuvre I just flew!].

Offline John Rist

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2017, 05:10:17 PM »
Just a thought - (don't know anything about kites) - I have some std. reels which take two lines. Good in that they keep each line separate.
Are there any of these reels for two-line kites? Couldn't find any myself.

I fly kites and I have never seen one.   Most two line string sets do not use a reel.  Thy are wound with figure 8 pattern on a bog bone looking string holder.

http://intothewind.com/Item--i-1604
John Rist
AMA 56277

Online Lauri Malila

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2017, 01:59:35 PM »
As I wrote before, I'm still not very convinced with their quality. After a couple of days of flying under Californian sun, my reels allready start falling apart. Now I have small steel balls everywhere in my model box :)
I had some hopes because they take less space in luggage as my better reels but then, they need more protection to avoid cracks..
So, in free flight they are ok for storage of spare lines but not for serious use. L

Offline John Tate

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2017, 10:40:11 PM »
Lauri,
Sorry you are having trouble with the ball bearing reels. Did you over tighten the screws? Any kind of plastic does not take much compression before it will crack. I use the blue loctite and just snug the screws down. I have not had anything come loose yet.

Online Lauri Malila

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Re: Ball Bearing Line Reel
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2017, 11:54:04 PM »
Yes John, I was carefull with tightening, and also used loctite (#603). If you look closely at the picture I attached, you'll see that it has cracked first from the outer rim, where crank is attached, not much we can fo about it..
But I must admit that I wind 50m of line as quickly as I can, cl use is slightly different. L


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