Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fibers possess exceptional strength and stiffness combined with low density. Their use as reinforcements in polymer matrix composites has, however, been limited by poor fiber adhesion. In the present study, individual fibers of UHMW-PE (Allied-Signal SPECTRA-1000) were modified by direct implantation of N+, Ti+ and Ar+ ions, at energies between 30 and 100 KeV, to doses ranging between 1x1014 and lx1015 ions/cm2. Fiber tensile strength was generally unaffected by these irradiations. Single-fiber droplet pull-off tests using DGEBA Epoxy with m-PDA curing agent have shown that ion beam surface modification of the fibers can give an increase of over 300% in interfacial shear strength (ISS). The improvements were found to vary with dose but were relatively insensitive to implant species. TEM observation of transverse microtomed sections confirmed a substantial improvement in fiber-matrix adhesion for ion beam modified UHMW-PE composites.