First time with natural gut

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Greg G, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hi guys,

    I've been using Dunlop Black Widow 17 full bed @ 51/49 on my Yonex 89T, and am quite happy with it. However I figured it would be nice to finally get around to trying natural gut (probably influenced by all the time spent on TT). I ordered 2 packs of Pacific Classic 16L, and 2 packs of Weisscannon Mosquito Bite.

    How should I string it for my first natural gut experience? Should I try a NG/poly hybrid, or string a full bed? And what tension should I start with? Am thinking 5 lbs over my poly tension.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
    #1
  2. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    After 35 years of playing tennis, I switched from syn gut to nat gut. 100% gut, no hybris stringing. Definitely a better feel for the ball. I play with a Prince EXO3 Red 105 strung at 57 lbs. Syn gut I strung at 55. Because I am 67 years old and hit very little topspin, I do not use poly. Too hard on the arm.
     
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  3. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    After Black Widow, hybrid with Mosquito Bite crosses will make easier transition. And more cost effective by far.
    By the way, for how long did you usually keep Black Widow in thr racquet (before cutting out or breaking)?
     
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  4. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I usually get about 10 hours on a full bed before I cut it out. I'm pretty happy with it, just want to satisfy my curiosity regarding nat gut. :)
     
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  5. kazamzaa

    kazamzaa Rookie

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    Both the full bed and the hybrid are great, but different. So my advice is to try both.
    LONGEVITY:
    Full bed of gut won't be suffering from tension loss.
    Hybrid won't suffer that bad from string to string friction.
    You will have to try which lasts for a longer period of time. For me it is the hybrid that lasts three times longer than full gut before it snaps.

    PLAYABILITY:
    Full bed means more power and more touch and feel.
    Hybrid means more spin. Also the string stay in place with the hybrid if you are picky about that.

    TENSIONS:
    With full gut you can shoot 5-7 lbs higher than your current full ppoly. Even then it's not uncomfortable or low powered.
    With the hybrid I have found a good place to start putting gut 2 - 4 lbs higher than poly. And the poly at approximately same tension as you're used to on 2 lbs lower.

    This has worked out well for me and bunch of my friends and teammates. Either way you can't go wrong. Unless you put a poly/gut hybrid instead of gut/poly.
     
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  6. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    I would suggest trying both. Start with full bed and just get a feel for the gut. Then try a hybrid and see how you like that. Just keep in mind that some of the lower cost guts are a bit stiffer than let's say a Wilson or Prince NG.
     
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  7. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I finally got around to trying it out! I strung it as a hybrid, Pacific Classic 16L mains @ 53, WC Mosquito Bite 18 @ 49. Coming from Black Widow 17 full bed @ 51/49.

    Initial impressions: not bad! Interesting. My previous experience with a poly main/syn gut hybrid was that it was too mushy for my taste, and I feared I would get the same feel. I was pleasantly surprised! The stringbed was not as crisp as the full bed BW, but it had a different feel- livelier. It was a bit more comfortable to the elbow, but not light years away from BW. Having said that, my elbow feels pretty good now (3 hours later). Didn't feel the need to ice up.

    Hitting with pace felt very plush, I understand now why some describe the feel as 'buttery'. Nice feeling. Some forehands got away from me, but I guess it can be attributed to the adjustment period. Spin was a bit lower compared to full bed BW, but not by much.

    I was surprised that my touch shots seemed much better. I was wondering if it was all psychological, but my drop shots and soft angles were all pretty good today.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
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  8. kazamzaa

    kazamzaa Rookie

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    Whoa! What? You have elbow issues? Icing it? Man you should have done this switch earlier. But better now than never.
    Anyway... the things you liked about this setup will get better as it ages. If you get durability issues you should try tonic ballfeel / MSV CoFocus 17 (or some other slick soft poly). That is my setup and I feel it is the best longevity setup of all. Plus the playability and comfort.
    I firmly believe that you are a convert.
     
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  9. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    If you want a real treat then try full bed (Babolat VS Team 17), mains at 57, crosses at 55 Lbs.
    Pre-strech it, wax it periodically to clean it, keep it in your locker and it should last you long enough (up to a month of playing daily, depending of how you hit).

    It would definetly help your tennis elbow and specifically in your situation you may want to go 52/50 Lbs.
     
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  10. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    Wilson Gut>Babolat
     
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  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    If you want a setup that lasts forever, try gut mains with multi crosses. You can redo the crosses a few times before the gut mains break.
     
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  12. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Will see how this gut/poly hybrid behaves as it breaks in. Would going to 17g from 16L on the NG give me a crisper feel?
     
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  13. kazamzaa

    kazamzaa Rookie

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    My English is bad, so I'm not sure what you mean by "crisp". But if it is like corn flakes "crisp", then I can't help you. Maybe there is no crisp setup available with gut/poly. Alu Rough could be. .. but I didn't like it because after few hours it felt dead and tinny.
    Crispness is more a property of poly mains. Some multis are crisp.
     
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  14. Slitch

    Slitch Rookie

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    Nice setup! The gut/MB setup is my backup plan if my wrist and/or elbow starts hurting again.
    Are you planning on restringing the MB after 15-20 hours and leaving the gut in?
     
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  15. lynnbart

    lynnbart Rookie

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    I just went through a set of Pacific Classic mains crossed with WC Black5Edge. It started out abit tinny and finally settled. The extra power is something I had to work around but the feel was very nice.

    The setup played fine for around 5 hours and the gut broke last night. It was nice but the cost factor just is too much for me. I need a little more time.
     
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  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    B5E is too sharp to use as a cross with gut.
     
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  17. lynnbart

    lynnbart Rookie

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    I was guessing that didn't help. I need to go back and look to see if I have any smooth poly around. I might have some Black Iontec that should make a better cross.
     
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    KCraig likes Iontec crosses with gut mains.
     
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  19. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    All my full bed gut broke on main, never on cross, is there any reason why multi crosses, which are not as soft as gut would make gut main last longer?
     
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  20. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    I would not suggest doing a full bed of gut or multi crosses. I think you will prefer the feel of 16g gut and then string at a slightly lower tension with 17g slippery poly in the cross.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
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  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not really sure why, but whenever I've used full natural gut I get about 12 hours of singles out of it. With gut mains, I've already gone through a set of Discho Microfibre crosses, cut it out and put in Genesis Thunder Blast crosses and those are about ready to bust as well. At that point, I could probably put another multi in but the gut is pretty frayed so I'll probably just cut it out. Yes, there is debate about just cutting out crosses on a string job, but it is my racket so I take all the potential risk associated with damaging the frame.
     
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  22. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Everyone who is serious about tennis should try a full natural gut setup at least once.

    On a related note, Mega Millions goes off at $114 mil tomorrow night; Powerball will be $165 mil on Wednesday. :)
     
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  23. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    I've done it a couple of times, and if done correctly, I highly doubt there is any real damage to the frame. The main reason why I don't do it regularly is that the tension is off a bit vs. a fresh string job.

    If I'm experimenting w/ different crosses, then that's OK, but if I'm playing a tournament/league match, the last thing I need it to be is doubting my strings. I'm enough of a mental mess on my own...
     
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  24. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    I didn't play. Curiously, I think 'statistically speaking', my odds of winning were about the same as if I did play...
     
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  25. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    This is a great summation of how to try gut out for the first time.

    I'm also glad to see the OP is liking the Gut/MB setup, it is a great one, I do the same with Pacific ToughGut 16L mains, at 52/49lb in my 18x20 midplus. It gets better with age.

    Sometimes when the experimentation or boredom bug hits me, I will mount the racquet, cut out the crosses, and try something new. Fresh crosses do play noticeably better for the first match or so, then depending on the cross, it either plateaus, degrades, or improves over time. Polys like ALU tend to degrade over time, while Mosquito Bite and MSV co-focus seem to get better with age. Then there are a bunch that are great fresh, and 'good enough' over time, which sometimes after much use hit a wonderful 'broken-in' groove (Luxilon Supersense had that effect for me).

    Full gut is also a nice treat everyone 'should' try at least once, but it is less durable overall than a hybrid, and when it does break it does hit the wallet hard. String savers are a wise investment when using full gut.
     
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  26. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Your Yonex appears to be very good set up for full bed trial (16x20 string bed, thin frame).
    Go as high tension as you're comfortable with.

    But from poly to full bed NG is very big transition. The bounce angle is so different
    you'll need some time to adjust it.
    So it's not a bad idea detour to hybrid path.

    You'll love it, especially if you have all court game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
    #26
  27. Triskadekaphilia

    Triskadekaphilia Rookie

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    Not everyone breaks full gut. I can go well over 6 months and 60 hours of play with 17 gauge gut full bed in a tight frame (prestige 18 / 20). it plays awesome 30 minutes from the first hit until it finally unravels completely or pops. Luckily I am not a string breaker so they say.

    Great thread btw
     
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  28. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    If by "crisp" we are talking firm, with less pocketing, then ToughGut is the most crisp gut of the Pacific line. It also happens to have the best durability compared to Classic or Prime. Prime has the most power and comfort. Classic is a solid performer all around.

    Thinner gauge gut should give you the "crisper" feel you are looking for, and/or increasing the tension a few pounds. Also, the various crosses you could try will influence the feel. Mosquito Bite is one of the softer polys out there, so it gives more of a comfort & pocketing feel. For crisp, you would want to up the tension or look at Silverstring, or another medium-stiffness poly. ALU will definitely give that firm, crisp feel, but at the cost of much comfort. WC Silverstring is a great one that is crisp without harshness.
     
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  29. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Powerball, a tax on people who are bad at math.
     
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  30. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    First time you use natural gut is the last time you'll use anything else.
     
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  31. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Not true for me.
     
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  32. acura9927

    acura9927 Semi-Pro

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    Me and my co worker always chip in and play the Mega Millions. We figure some idiot has to win it or it goes to billions.
     
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  33. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    In Feb. I saw an ad on powerball at over 200 mil. so I got a ticket $10.00 worth, This was the 1st time playing this, I did not check it till 2 weeks later, and I had 4 numbers + powerball. Missed the jackpot by one #, but... It was worth $10,000 minus taxes.
     
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  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Lucky dog!
     
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  35. Readers

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    If the the jackpot keep rolling, it will eventually reach the point where your expected return > 0, then it would not be irrational to buy it, although this almost never happen...
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
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  36. Readers

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    Interesting, maybe because the mutil are not as durable, so the gut is wearing out the mutil instead of having gut cross wear out the gut main? :confused:
     
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  37. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    That is what seems to be happening.
     
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  38. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. Same here, 18x20, last very long (AND playable until the end).
    It's an ideal value string for our set up.

    We just need all court game to compete against heavy-top-spin-power
    -baseliners from poly crowd. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
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  39. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I don't know if it's psychological (ooh im using natural gut), but it does seem to be getting better to hit with as it ages. More of the buttery feel, but without a loss of control. The stringbed seems to be biting into the ball more...my hitting partner noticed I was hitting a nice heavy ball, and I do see some ball fuzz on the strings.

    Now I play on clay/shell courts, which are intermittently watered down...should I worry about the moisture? It's not like I hit damp balls, but I suppose some water gets in there.
     
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  40. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    My Babolat VS Team 17 at 57 mains and 55 crosses, in 16X18 (to get more top spin, in order to prevent the balls from sailing long, due to its power), last average (I'd say a couple of weeks of playing daily with one racket, or up to 6 when using two frames alternatively).

    Secret is in pre streching it, good stringer, even waxing before feeding the gut through the grommets and afterwards periodically to clean it.
     
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  41. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't worry, especially since the newer ones are coated more (i.e. BT 7).

    I also wax my strings each couple of days to clean them, so that the dirt doesn't fray them prematurely when they move.

    But there is some loss of control, as opposed to say a hybrid, imho.
     
    #41
  42. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Oh this is a hybrid (pacific classic 16l with mosquito bite 18 cross).

    What wax do you use? Thanks!
     
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  43. Triskadekaphilia

    Triskadekaphilia Rookie

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    Keep working on all court game. It's the best way to win on the club level. Plus it's much more exciting than camping at the baseline and hitting the same shot.
     
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  44. Triskadekaphilia

    Triskadekaphilia Rookie

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    Agree. I like to wax when stringing gut. Never had to wax or clean strings after playing. Seems like a lot of work.

    I believe the closed pattern is really important for gut longevity. I have never put ng in an open frame but I know of other players who have premature popping with gut in open frames.

    I can get pretty good spin with gut in 18/20 frame. You may want to try it some time. You can go up a few pounds on tension to decrease the power.
     
    #44
  45. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Bow string wax: looks like a chap stick usually (and probably silicone based).

    That's the one I use most often, especially before feeding the strings through the grommets and when strung new.

    For cleaning periodically, lately I've been using any bow string wax (like a larger one, looks like a deodorant).
     
    #45
  46. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Thanks!

    Dunno, I liked moving from 18/20 to 16/18 in full bed natural gut. The extra top spin helps prevent the balls from sailing long.

    Not really want to go too much higher up then my current setup at 57 mains and 55 (LBs) crosses....
     
    #46
  47. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    The gut snapped while I was doing drills >.<

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TRUb_h5oWM&feature=player_detailpage#t=102s

    Does the break look fishy? Wasn't a shank... may have hit it high on the stringbed, but it broke at the knot?

    [​IMG]

    Which leads to my next question...do you guys drill with nat gut, or should i have a racquet with something cheaper on the main, like a syn gut?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
    #47
  48. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    I used full bed natural gut for everything, and yes, the breakage doesn't look normal, but are you 100% sure you did not shank?
     
    #48
  49. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Not on the last shot :) I did shank a few before the breakage, which may have done the damage. :???:

    Maybe I just got used to full poly, which I have never broken :p
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
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