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View Full Version : Cheap Poly Review: polygut, polylon, monogut


scotus
11-08-2005, 08:00 AM
I spent the last few months trying out poly strings for the first time.

I am not a frequent string breaker and an all Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex typically lasts me about 4 weeks when I play 3 times a week. Although I hit hard ground strokes with varying degrees of spin, I am a serve and volleyer, which means I don't spend much time hitting groundies, which keeps me from breaking my strings left and right.

Although I like PSGD a lot, there's one thing I don't like about it--excessive string movement. This is actually the only reason I decided to try polys in a hybrid setting.

So I tried Prince Polygut ($4.99), Gosen Polylon Ice ($2.99) and Ashaway Monogut ($3.99) in the main and PSGD in the cross. All these strings are 17 gauge.

I've tried each string twice, and here's my take.

String movement:
All three are superior to PSGD and hardly move. Polylon is the worst of the three, though.

Tension retension:
Here Polygut is the best. Very predictable and maintains tension throughout its life. Monogut loses its tension somewhat steadily but it's not that noticeable. In fact, Monogut will feel dead before it loses a lot of tension. Polylon is the worst in terms of initial tension loss, but once it settles, it maintains its tension very well.

Durability:
All three are about the same. I don't break the poly main. I either break the PSGD cross or have to replace the poly main because it feels dead. Strangely enough, I get a little less life out of the hybrid than from a full PSGD job.
Polylon: extremely durable but shreds the PSGD cross like crazy. Polylon takes the outer coating off the PSGD and exposes its soft core in no time. If it were possible to replace just the cross, Polylon would last twice over. Or if I could find a cross that plays as well as PSGD but lasts longer, Polylon would definitely be a contender.
Monogut: very easy on the cross but goes dead after 3 weeks.
Polygut: like polylon, it causes the PSGD cross to fray but not as badly as Polylon does. In a hybrid setting, this is the most durable of the three.
But all three lasts me about 3-4 weeks.

Ease on the arm:
I had to drop the tension by 5-10% on the main. Monogut is the best here, because you can drop the tension more and still keep the ball in play. Then comes Polylon, followed by Polygut. But from what I hear, these are some of the softest poly strings you can find.

Playability:
Here Monogut wins hands down. The best feel out of the three in everything: serves, groundies, volleys. I like Polylon next, followed by Polygut.

Conclusion:
My choice is Ashaway Monogut. I guess I prefer playability over durability (and the differences in durability, as you can see, are rather insignificant). But if I can find a cross that is more durable than PSGD 17 but plays just as well, then I would also consider going with Polylon, or maybe I would just string one of my racquets with Polylon and use it as a rally/practice racket.

BreakPoint
11-08-2005, 12:15 PM
Excellent review! Thanks! I wonder how Signum Pro Plasma Poly compares to these other three? I've tried the Monogut and the Polygut. I think I also prefer Monogut more. It has a crisper feel. I also seem to have more bite and more power with the Monogut. The Polygut feels more dead to me, and although it feels softer, it still feels harsher at the same time. Very odd.

ragnaROK
11-08-2005, 01:00 PM
Yeah my favorite cheap poly would have to Monogut too. The only problem is that it goes dead like in 3 weeks. But for the price what did you expect?

diredesire
11-08-2005, 01:05 PM
I spent the last few months trying out poly strings for the first time.

I am not a frequent string breaker and an all Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex typically lasts me about 4 weeks when I play 3 times a week. Although I hit hard ground strokes with varying degrees of spin, I am a serve and volleyer, which means I don't spend much time hitting groundies, which keeps me from breaking my strings left and right.

Although I like PSGD a lot, there's one thing I don't like about it--excessive string movement. This is actually the only reason I decided to try polys in a hybrid setting.

So I tried Prince Polygut ($4.99), Gosen Polylon Ice ($2.99) and Ashaway Monogut ($3.99) in the main and PSGD in the cross. All these strings are 17 gauge.

I've tried each string twice, and here's my take.

String movement:
All three are superior to PSGD and hardly move. Polylon is the worst of the three, though.

Tension retension:
Here Polygut is the best. Very predictable and maintains tension throughout its life. Monogut loses its tension somewhat steadily but it's not that noticeable. In fact, Monogut will feel dead before it loses a lot of tension. Polylon is the worst in terms of initial tension loss, but once it settles, it maintains its tension very well.

Durability:
All three are about the same. I don't break the poly main. I either break the PSGD cross or have to replace the poly main because it feels dead. Strangely enough, I get a little less life out of the hybrid than from a full PSGD job.
Polylon: extremely durable but shreds the PSGD cross like crazy. Polylon takes the outer coating off the PSGD and exposes its soft core in no time. If it were possible to replace just the cross, Polylon would last twice over. Or if I could find a cross that plays as well as PSGD but lasts longer, Polylon would definitely be a contender.
Monogut: very easy on the cross but goes dead after 3 weeks.
Polygut: like polylon, it causes the PSGD cross to fray but not as badly as Polylon does. In a hybrid setting, this is the most durable of the three.
But all three lasts me about 3-4 weeks.

Ease on the arm:
I had to drop the tension by 5-10% on the main. Monogut is the best here, because you can drop the tension more and still keep the ball in play. Then comes Polylon, followed by Polygut. But from what I hear, these are some of the softest poly strings you can find.

Playability:
Here Monogut wins hands down. The best feel out of the three in everything: serves, groundies, volleys. I like Polylon next, followed by Polygut.

Conclusion:
My choice is Ashaway Monogut. I guess I prefer playability over durability (and the differences in durability, as you can see, are rather insignificant). But if I can find a cross that is more durable than PSGD 17 but plays just as well, then I would also consider going with Polylon, or maybe I would just string one of my racquets with Polylon and use it as a rally/practice racket.

My suggestion is to try another cross, like you mentioned. PSG w/ DF isn't a very ideal cross, it's pretty stiff for a synthetic gut, and wears unevenly (as you mentioned, the outer shell tends to flake off in a cross with a durable string).

I would suggest
Ektelon Powerplay (aka Prince syn gut soft, located under the prince section at TW)
Prince Syn Gut ORIGINAL (crisp, nice all around string)
Forten Sweet 16 or 17, soft, and wont' detract or add too much from a job, it'll bring out the main string's characteristics well and wears evenly throughout it's life until it just snaps from thinning/wear.

Another suggestion is Ashaway syn gut, it's not coated to be smooth, but it plays fairly crisp. I really like this, but the above mentioned are probably your best bet(s) for cross strings.

CheapStrings
11-08-2005, 02:18 PM
Scotus, you could try 16 gauge PSGD for more durability. Since the mains contribute 80% of the feel and crosses are only 20% the difference in performance and feel should be fairly negligible.

scotus
11-08-2005, 05:40 PM
My suggestion is to try another cross, like you mentioned. PSG w/ DF isn't a very ideal cross, it's pretty stiff for a synthetic gut, and wears unevenly (as you mentioned, the outer shell tends to flake off in a cross with a durable string).

I would suggest
Ektelon Powerplay (aka Prince syn gut soft, located under the prince section at TW)
Prince Syn Gut ORIGINAL (crisp, nice all around string)
Forten Sweet 16 or 17, soft, and wont' detract or add too much from a job, it'll bring out the main string's characteristics well and wears evenly throughout it's life until it just snaps from thinning/wear.

Another suggestion is Ashaway syn gut, it's not coated to be smooth, but it plays fairly crisp. I really like this, but the above mentioned are probably your best bet(s) for cross strings.

Among the ones you recommend, it seems that Forten Sweet gets your vote of confidence. Am I right? Would Forten Sweet 16 last longer than 17 without diminishing playability?

scotus
11-08-2005, 05:43 PM
Scotus, you could try 16 gauge PSGD for more durability. Since the mains contribute 80% of the feel and crosses are only 20% the difference in performance and feel should be fairly negligible.

My guess is that 16 would last longer than 17 but not by much. Polylon would still tear off the outer coating of PSGD regardless of the gauge, wouldn't it?

diredesire
11-08-2005, 06:06 PM
Among the ones you recommend, it seems that Forten Sweet gets your vote of confidence. Am I right? Would Forten Sweet 16 last longer than 17 without diminishing playability?

I think all are excellent choices, it really depends on what you're trying to do with the string job.

The ektelon power play will help you soften up the job, it's similar to the forten sweet, IMO, the original syn gut will retain a crisp feel, and it'll wear fairly evenly, it's similar to the ashaway syn gut.

The forten sweet is a smooth string that stretches nicely and wears evenly. It thins out to the point where it snaps, and doesn't add too much to a string job (doesn't stiffen or soften it up TOO much) so i'd give it a try if you are looking to experiment. The thing is, all the strings mentioned are very inexpensive, so you'd be able to afford a set of each with no issues :)

The forten is a great bang for the buck string in a cross, i don't typically use it for full jobs.

scotus
11-09-2005, 07:56 AM
The Polygut feels more dead to me, and although it feels softer, it still feels harsher at the same time. Very odd.

I agree with your assessment. Couldn't have put it better myself.

barry
11-09-2005, 02:20 PM
Good report, I never liked the Polylon Ice string, but love the polylon. I use the 17 gauge Polylon for mains with Gosen Micro 16 gauge for crosses.
It last about 4 weeks, and plays great. TW sells the Polylon in 660' reels for 29.99 and the Gosen Micro 660' for 29.99, which comes out to be about 1.85 a stringing.
Really cheap, and plays awesome. Never have broken a string since switching. I tried many poly's synthetic guts, gut string, and nylons.
Decided to select a product which is cheap and lasts. Since the tennis ball is on the strings for about 3/1000 of a second, it doesn’t make since to spend a fortune on string. Tension is more important. It is all in what you get use too.

norcal
11-09-2005, 03:05 PM
I can't comment on the Monogut but here's my 2 cents on Polylon vs Polygut:

I have used the barry setup probably 40 times (polylon 17, sheep16) and the polygut 17/sheep 16 8 times now.

The polylon is definitely more durable. In 0 out of the 40 hybrids did the main break first(from the looks of the string I think I could get at least 50% more time if I replaced the cross). With the polygut in 6 out of 8 hybrids the main broke first.

However, since the cross was almost finished the difference in durability is not so big in practical terms.

Playability goes to polygut, as does tension retention.

scotus
11-09-2005, 04:59 PM
Good report, I never liked the Polylon Ice string, but love the polylon. I use the 17 gauge Polylon for mains with Gosen Micro 16 gauge for crosses.
It last about 4 weeks, and plays great. TW sells the Polylon in 660' reels for 29.99 and the Gosen Micro 660' for 29.99, which comes out to be about 1.85 a stringing.


Do you think Gosen Micro would be more durable than PSGD as a cross? Does its outer coat fray like PSGD?

barry
11-10-2005, 02:45 AM
Do you think Gosen Micro would be more durable than PSGD as a cross? Does its outer coat fray like PSGD?

The Gosen micro string for the crosses is softer than the PSGD and does not fray in my racket. The stiffness of the polylon keeps the mains in place which minimizes grinding, and the softer string on the crosses makes it a little easier on the arm / shoulder. I use 17 gauge polylon for the mains, and 16 gauge Gosen Micro for the crosses.
You might give it a shot, for me, minimal investment. You can also buy individual packs of the stuff from TW.

steve s
11-10-2005, 07:07 AM
The real question is does the polys play better than PSGD. Since they all go in 3-4 weeks. I did not care for polylon at all. Both monogut and polygut were very nice with polygut softer and monogut with a firmer feel.

How bad do PSGD move? Polys are just not great on the arm.

barry
11-10-2005, 09:40 AM
The real question is does the polys play better than PSGD. Since they all go in 3-4 weeks. I did not care for polylon at all. Both monogut and polygut were very nice with polygut softer and monogut with a firmer feel.

How bad do PSGD move? Polys are just not great on the arm.

My strings don't move at all, and keep tension for about 3 to 4 weeks. I think it has more to do with what tension you string the frame at, than the string used.

scotus
11-10-2005, 11:00 AM
The real question is does the polys play better than PSGD. Since they all go in 3-4 weeks. I did not care for polylon at all. Both monogut and polygut were very nice with polygut softer and monogut with a firmer feel.

How bad do PSGD move? Polys are just not great on the arm.

I would say Monogut/PSGD hybrid plays better than PSGD alone. Monogut gives me great control and spin. I can hit the ball deep, and I love it when my opponent thinks the ball is sailing long, but it just drops in at the last moment.

To me, Polygut felt very average in terms of playability and was the harshest on my arm out of the three. With Polygut, I had to string it 2 lbs higher than Monogut to keep the ball in play, and this 2-lb increase probably contributes to Polygut's being harsher than Monogut.

Polylon is a bit weird. It seems to lose a lot of tension initially. At first, I couldn't keep the ball in play with Polylon, so I just let it sit for a week and used it to hit against the wall while using racquets strung with other strings for match play. But after that, it settled in and began to play beautifully. It gave me more spin, playability and predictabililty than Polygut. I string Polylon 1 lb higher than Monogut.

The string movement of PSGD is quite extreme and I have to move them back into place after nearly every point, and when I choose to trade groundstrokes with someone who hits big strokes with heavy spin, the string movement drives me nuts.

goosala
11-10-2005, 03:36 PM
Try Wilson Stamina 17 or 18 in the crosses.

scotus
11-10-2005, 06:37 PM
Try Wilson Stamina 17 or 18 in the crosses.

Tell me what you like about it.