How to Get a Line 40ft Up a Tree

There are more ways to get a line up into a tree than you can shake a stick at. I have tried several. A popular method is to use a slingshot with a lead sinker (or equivalent) and fishing line. This method will get your line higher than you really need it, but you then have to use the fishing line to haul up another line such as paracord. You could also use a compressed air device to launch a tennis ball tied to paracord. Professional arborists throw a pouch filled with metal pellets into a tree – or fire it up using an oversize slingshot.

The method I devised is simpler and will consistently get a line up over 40 feet without using anything that could be described as a weapon. Well, actually it does employ the kind of simple slingshot used by David to kill Goliath in the Bible – but it looks innocent enough.

My David and Goliath slingshot is a canvas pouch with two strings attached, one at each end, to create what looks like a very small hammock. One string is firmly tied to a four feet long pole. The other string is tied to the pole above the first string using a slip knot. A sand-filled party balloon tied to 100 feet or so of bricklayers twine is placed in the canvas pouch.

Facing the target tree, the pole, held at the bottom, is flipped as quickly as possible to the vertical position. Even my weak arms can get the tip of the pole moving at over 30 feet per second (I won’t bore you with the math). The pouch containing the sand balloon flips through 180 degrees at a speed of about 10 feet per second which adds to the speed at which the tip of the pole is moving.

As the tip of the pole reaches its highest point the slip knot releases from the pole and the balloon is launched in a trajectory which takes it more than 40 feet high and – hopefully – over a suitable branch. By hauling up a rope of known length I have measured my shots at easily 43 feet above ground.

It’s a quick, stealthy and reliable way of erecting temporary antennas in the field. The pole doubles as a trekking pole for hiking to the operating point and the David and Goliath slingshot folds away neatly for tucking into the smallest pocket in a backpack.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s