Yup, the launcher is anemic. The plan calls for a 12" loop of 3/32, and that's what I've been using. Gets 'em up there into thermal country, and that's more than enough for some seriously fun flying. I've built at least a dozen of them now. Lost count. All but two of them have been made with light 1/32" balsa flying surfaces. Average weight has been in the 1 1/2 grams range. Three went OOS, and there have been many long, lovely flights. No flutter. No exploding gliders. Yet.
I'm all for taking a design to its max potential, and I plan to keep experimenting with these five inch span marvels. For some good park flying with the kids, with minimal material and bench time invested, I haven't found anything that will match the original Tick. My nine year old grandson is now making his own. I'm pretty happy about that. Rich