Always with an eye for a bargain, back in November, I bought my self another kite bag. Well it wasn’t exactly a kite bag but a Ski Bag, but at £4.99 from Lidl’s, it was a bargain that was hard to let pass, particularly when 2m long kite bags are hard to come by and cost upward of £15.

Whilst transferring some of my longer kites to the bag a noticed that it has ‘D’ rings at either end of the handles. This set me thinking, why not make a reel bag that attaches to these rings and allows me to pack and carry my reels, spools and associated flying paraphernalia. So for a couple of days over the Christmas break I set to and this is the result.

The bag itself is made from PVC backed 600 nylon, which started out life as a car boot liner, again from Lidl’s, which I bought back in the early part of 2007 with the intention of using the fabric to make a couple of inflatable ladybirds (I never came across any cheap red ripstop).

With a couple of hours careful seam ripping the boot liner yielded a pair of 20mm webbing buckles, a number of lengths of 20mm webbing, several metres of edge binding (sufficient in fact to bind all the seams on the bag), and four pieces of 600 nylon. I estimate that to buy these as individual items would have cost me well over £20, but the liner originally cost me less than £4. An old set of knackered cycle panniers provided the 25mm webbing buckles, snap hooks and black webbing as well as the reflective tape.

The only new items in the bag were the 25mm red and the 50mm blue webbing which was left over from sewing my KAP harness, the elastic for the halo reels which is actually bra strap that I acquired when a local lingerie company closed down, and the only thing that was purposely bought for the project, a 3m length of continuous zip from Alan’s Alterations store on e-bay for £5.95; I still have 2m and 2 sliders left.

The finished bag measures 68cm x 25cm x 25cm (27″ x 10″ x 10″), and has a zipped pocket at the front which runs the length of the bag and is 12.5cm (5″) wide and 10cm (4″) deep, this leaves a full depth section at the rear of the bag to take the reels of my strato-spools. The pocket is of sufficient size to house a couple of dual and quad line sets with handles, as well as my gloves, KAP harness, sand anchor and other bits and bobs, including Little Ted (seen here on the left wearing his parachute and with Patch, checking the weather forecast on the Met Office website).

Inside the front of the bag and above the shelf created by the pocket I have added webbing straps to secure my ground spikes, and in the top, elastic to take four 150cm (6″) halo reels. On the rear of the bag a pair of snap hooks enable it to be attached to the kite bag, and the attachment of a broad shoulder strap.

Even with the halo reels, strato-spools and ground stakes in place there is still room in the top of the bag for up to four of my dumpy stuff bags which contain soft kites and inflatable line laundry.

After finishing the bag, I did not have much by way of leftovers from the car boot liner, but what I did have has gone to my scrap bag. All that went in the bin was a few trimmings, the waste thread from where the liner was disassembled and from trimming my sewing, and the bits of fabric from the panniers that weren’t worth saving.

Since making the bag, one extra that I am considering adding is an external pocket, containing an attached groundsheet for assembling kites on when the ground is damp or muddy. There is probably enough 600 Nylon left, plus I have the continuous zip for the pocket and a chunky open ended zip from an old coat hood for attaching the groundsheet, all I need is some waterproof fabric for the groundsheet itself.