Live by the Blade...Die by the Blade...

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by danbrenner, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    no one can answer that but you. and then let us know. Do you want to make it more HH balance? if so go for it. Those tensions sound really low. so yeah, bump em up to 50 and report back to us with your findings. Im using a 16x19 with no lead. And Lux 4g 125 at about 55, and its awesome. I have to say despite my love for other sharp edged polys, i played side by side the lux with another blade strung with MSV focus hex, and the 4g is way superior in feel. So 4g is my definite favorite poly as of now. I may just go to 50lbs on my next 4g string job. and may try a gut mains 4g cross hybrid.
     
    #51
  2. radtennisfan

    radtennisfan Rookie

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    I play with the dense pattern Blade 98 with natural gut strung at 60 lbs. The racket has improved my game tremendously.
     
    #52
  3. burn1986

    burn1986 Banned

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    Sweet, Nice write up.
     
    #53
  4. estigma2001

    estigma2001 Professional

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    yesterday i played 2 hours with my blade and i loved it nice and depth spin shots, good feel and touch i think now is time too lead up the head and try higher tensions by the way the control was ok.
    Question in the TW Blade 98 16x19 says balance 1 pts HL but mine says 6 pts HL?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
    #54
  5. ushynoti

    ushynoti Rookie

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    I just switched to the Blade 98 (16x19) and I have found this as well. I've actually had some good feel with normal full bed synthetic gut setups like Gosen OGSM at 54 lbs. (normally I use Luxilon full bed at 48 lbs). I tried Luxilon/Gosen OGSM at 48 lbs and was hitting balls just long a lot, and consistently the same distance long. What tension do you use and what string? Still playing around with it...
     
    #55
  6. ushynoti

    ushynoti Rookie

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    ..
    I've always gone with 4 1/2 grip on all my frames until the Blade. I was using the Wilson Prostaff 90 (Federer) frame with 4 1/2 and as good as it felt, sometimes it might have felt hard to change grips, but I never bought into the smaller grip size thing that people are going crazy over these days. A thicker grip just gives you more stability and I don't believe there is any proof to the whole "it gives me more wrist action" theory. I can move my wrist just as easily with a larger grip as a smaller one. Anyways, part of the reason I bought a smaller grip too was to allow me to sell it easier if necessary, because nobody seems to want to buy 4 1/2 or higher racquets these days. What do you like about the 4 1/2? I picked up one in 4 1/2 in the store and it felt awesome. I hate having this indecision about larger and smaller grips...
     
    #56
  7. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I've demoed a 98 16x19 with Luxilon 4g 1.25 (probably around 53-55 lbs if i had to guess, not sure though) That was a nice setup for it. My friend who uses the Blade 93 copied my previous string setup of 4g at 54 lbs... that racquet feels awesome! Another friend that owns a Blade 98 18x20 is using Luxilon Savage at 53 lbs, which feels much better to me than RPM blast did at the same tension. If you're looking for a hybrid and want some durability I'd go with Savage in the mains at 50 and a multi at 53 or 54 in the crosses... depending on the string. I personally like Wilson stamina as a cross with poly because as the poly starts to die the stamina becomes more lively, keeping power pretty constant throughout the setup.

    My current 58 lbs of tension feels good in the 104, but I've heard from other posters on here that it isn't as string-sensitive as other racquets in the blade line(all i've tried are luxilon poly setups between 54 and 58, so I dont feel informed enough to analyze)
     
    #57
  8. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I'm the tallest guy on my college team, so I've always needed a larger than average grip, and I'm not really a "spin doctor," so I don't buy into the "more wrist action thing either. I used to use a 4 5/8 grip in high school but I've since switched to a 4 1/2 with an overgrip... the grip is also a touch bigger than standard because I've added lead on every side of the handle :twisted:
     
    #58
  9. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Hey. The Wilson grips have a certain contour to them that allow for upsizing. This is especially true in te Blades and the ProSraffs. Not so much on the 6.1 lines and their other lines. Your palm should be full of racquet. It's that simple. When I fill my palm comfortably, I play better, with more confidence and precision. You can't worry about resale when it comes to tennis. And besides, plenty of people need 1/2 sizes. It's not like 5/8. Then you'd have an issue. But I love the shape if the Blade grips. They seem like they were tailor made for my hand. I'm glad you feel the same.
     
    #59
  10. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Must be before and after strings.
     
    #60
  11. estigma2001

    estigma2001 Professional

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    ok i just checked the wilson web site and also says 6 points HL
     
    #61
  12. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    I'm of the complete opposite of most of your views.

    Granted I only tried the Kblades 98 n 93 but both were perhaps some of the worst sticks I've ever tried. Them and the pure storm series.

    The K98 was hollow, tinny, unstable as a twig, horrible balance (k98) just 3 pts and the paint peeled off anywhere I place lead.

    The K93 was somewhat better but when compared to the Prestiges I felt the blades as a whole did not meet expectations.

    The new series seem to be better but the balance has gotten a lot worse at 2 & 6 pts respectively.
     
    #62
  13. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I understand where you're coming from... and in my opinion it is just the racquet's insane string sensitivity that causes this sensation. The first time I demoed the 93 I absolutely DESPISED IT because of the string setup it had in it (not entirely sure what it was, but my hunch is RPM blast.) I had a similar experience with the first blade 98 18x20 demo... the racquet felt like a rocket launcher that couldn't hold its ground... the 104 in stock form felt more stable and easy to control than the 98 did.

    But I've since tried some different setups and these frames feel awesome with the right string and tension. They all seem to handle poly strings like 4g and savage pretty well, especially at low-to-mid tensions (45-55 or so.) Tight multis in a Blade 93 is a nightmare from what I've heard. I've only tried 4 strings in the Blade 104, all polys (spiky black shark 17, 4g 125, 4g rough and Alu Power 16) It handled all of these strings pretty well... spiky black shark was by far the most spin-friendly (it was also at 50# of tension-- the lowest I've ever gone.) The regular 4g has the best overall combination of control and spin from my experience, so that's what I'm sticking with for the foreseeable future.
     
    #63
  14. ushynoti

    ushynoti Rookie

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    I have to agree that at least the Blade 16x19 is definitely very string sensitive, it can be a rocket launcher, and I don't know how, it's thin and seems like a low powered racquet, but compared to the Wilson Prostaff BLX 90 Federer frame, it's a huge difference in power. I have yet to find a good combination yet, tried Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power with Gosen OGSM and it feels amazing in the beginning strung at 48 lbs but once it goes dead, you can't keep balls in the court very easily. I think you need a string that will deaden the string bed to make the power manageable....
     
    #64
  15. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    I use a 16 x 19 blade. Try 4g 125. At 52-55 lbs. once you go lux, everything else sux. Lol. This is the perfect string for this racquet. Completely tones down the power, and gives you that open string pattern feel that most of us need. Just go for it. The 125 mm version.
     
    #65
  16. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    I've used many 18 x 20 frames and few are as troublesome as the blades. Stiff + tight pattern + light frame + low balance = crap!

    Personally the best setup for a 18 x 20 pattern frame has to be:

    1. A fairly heavy, head light frame. You need fast head speed and good plow through for such a dense pattern.

    2. High twistweight.

    3. Soft frame to cushion against stiff strings and increase dwell time.

    The blades seem to fit none of the criteria... The K98 had such a poor twistweight of 10.53 that when I played with my LM Rad MP 14.28
    it was like night and day, one reason why the LM Rad Mp was still available till 2012.
     
    #66
  17. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Bro. We tried to humor your negativity a few times now. Take your Wamashi ***. And spew some garbage on other peoples threads that actually feel like having a debate with your sorry self. There are plenty if great products on here that I hate, but I'm not gonna go and ***** about them on and on and on. Find something better to do. No one stick is everyone's cup of tea. Now beat it.
     
    #67
  18. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    I'm using 4g on my Blade 98 right now. It's brought my game up a level. Such a consistent stringbed. The 125 mind you. This string is underrated. And I'm glad to see that spin Meister Gasquet is using it in a full bed at 58lbs. And he hits the spinnyest loopyest shots in the biz. Behind Nadal of course. But my point is that he's using a full bed of 4g and there are so many people who don't rate 4g for spin. So he's a nice reason to shed that image.
     
    #68
  19. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I just bought the 98 Blade 16 x 19 and am really loving it! I am using lux alu rough at 50 lbs and it's just so nice and plush. This racket just feels right on everything, groundstrokes, volleys, overheads and serves. Rackets tend to feel real good on certain shots but not others, but this is just a great all around frame in my opinion. I'll be getting more of these. This one is a keeper for me.
     
    #69
  20. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Hey brother. Congratulations. It's my honest belief that the blade is the greatest racquet in the world. I have owned em all, and there is no other stick that is as solid feeling and only 11.3oz. And the 98 head size is perfect. This is out sword, weapon, and love. We are of the minority that have found "the one". So again i congratulate you. And please feel free to wax lyrical about it whenever you have something to share. Slice on.
     
    #70
  21. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    You got it Blade brother! Thanks for the thread.
     
    #71
  22. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I've recently bumped my 4g 125 tension up from 55 to 58... today was one of my first matches with the new tension and I must say that I was tearing up the opponents on returns in doubles... I played ad side and was hitting backhand returns that frequently jammed the opposing server if he tried to move in...I had great spin and felt very comfortable hitting hard and swinging fast to really make the ball dip.
     
    #72
  23. FogerRederer

    FogerRederer Rookie

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    Why is this thread rated 1 star? The Blade line is excellent!
     
    #73
  24. mrc

    mrc Rookie

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    I tried the recent blade 18x20 after going to a college match and half the players were using it. I found it to have a small sweet spot and hard for me to dial into. I quickly returned the demo and found it to be quite average. It was strung with Savage mains and NXT control X's.
     
    #74
  25. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    The sweet spot isn't massive on the 98, and that can also be magnified based upon string choice... it's also a crisp racquet regardless so if one dislikes a crisp feel then they are going to have some dislike for the racquet.
     
    #75
  26. reds17

    reds17 Rookie

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    Agreed, I really like the 4g string myself and have been using it on the last couple of restrings. The string really allows you to swing out with plenty of pace while still providing great control. Like you said, there definitely isn't a problem with being able to generate lots of spin, topspin or slice. l'm not a Blade user right now, but the 98 16x19 sounds like it would be right up my alley. Maybe will take it out for a demo sometime.
     
    #76
  27. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Random side question-- how is the Graphene radical pro?
     
    #77
  28. reds17

    reds17 Rookie

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    In my opinion it's a very solid racquet. One of the best features is it's very control-oriented, so you feel comfortable swinging fast and aggressively, allows you to really go for the kill when the opportunity is there. And on defense it provides more than enough pop to return the ball into your opponents back court to reset a rally if you get in trouble. Also lots of control and power on the Serve. Give it a try sometime.
     
    #78
  29. radtennisfan

    radtennisfan Rookie

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    I hit w the 6.1 95 16x18 today and it may be just as good as the blade.
     
    #79
  30. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I definitely will. I know a lot of players that use it and I've always been a fan of the line. I'll be curious to see how this new one hits, although also hoping it's not quite as good as my blade so I can avoid changing racquets :twisted:
     
    #80
  31. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    I have been using the 98 18/20 for about a year now! Solid stick! Has anyone else had issues with the sticks not feeling the same. I recently matched the balances and weights to one that I know I like, but I still find myself favoring certain sticks. Two of the racquets feel maneuverable with good pop, spin and feel. Whereas two of them feel a little more boardy, with less spin and pop, the sound off the racquet does not feel as awesome either. Maybe it's just in my head or a stringing difference. I used to use TB 17. Now I'm using TB 17 in mains and TB 17 soft in crosses 47/48, and find it has better pop, feel, and spin than just TB 17. With just TB 17 it was to loopy and stiff, now it has powerful spin
    . Does anybody else like TB or TB soft in the blade? I know a lot of players like 4g in the blade, but the $18 price tag turns me off. Plus always changing strings starts to mess with my head :)
     
    #81
  32. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    The Wilson quality control is notoriously crappy here on Talk tennis... it might be a case of that popping back up.
     
    #82
  33. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    I currently use the Dunlop 3 hundred which has 60 stiffness.
    Does anyone knows if I'll feel a lot of difference using the 16x19 blade?
     
    #83
  34. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Hey brother. Tell us what other differences the bump up in tension has made. I thought that lowering would give us more feel. Like to go to about 50lbs. But you have gone from 55 to 60. so my thinking may be off in regards to 4g? You said there were some immediate changes to the way it played? Thanks
     
    #84
  35. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    try the 16x19 to open up the bed. and or use gut in the mains with the 18x20 to really open that one up. gut mains and poly cross. the tighter patterns will fell like hitting with a boars with full poly
     
    #85
  36. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Thats a great stick. it just has more mass. so a little unwieldy for me. but its a great stick.
     
    #86
  37. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Hey brotha. of course youll feel a difference. The Blade has some more mass, and is stiffer. But hopefully you will enjoy that about it. Whenever someone approaches a stick with more mass, one has to give it some time, so to get used to the swing weight. It changes your swing slightly, but in a positive more textbook way. Your second or third outing with the racquet will be alot more natural. The Blade 98 16 x 19 is heaven for me and many of our TT faithful. Give it a try brotha.
     
    #87
  38. ringwraith

    ringwraith Rookie

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    Yep, I have the same issue although I use the blx blade. One has great pop and spin. The other has not so much pop, much less spin and completely different feel. The QC is unbelievable. If I didnt like the wilson feel so much I would be out in a jiffy (might still do).
     
    #88
  39. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Anyone still using the 16x19 blade? Anyone tried full poly in it?
     
    #89
  40. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    I thought many people use it..
     
    #90
  41. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Hey brotha. Just go back and read through the thread. Yes. Me personally, I am using and loving 4g 125 at about 55lbs. I'm just trying to figure out what tension will work best. My choices being 50-58. Gasquet is using a full set at 58 right now.
     
    #91
  42. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Nice. Sorry, should have read through the thread first. Are you using the 16x19?
     
    #92
  43. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Gasquet's reference tension with Luxilon BigBanger Original is 24/23kg, or roughly 53/51lbs. Maybe he changed strings this year, but last year that's what he used to use all the time.
     
    #93
  44. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    http://www.colinthestringer.com/pros-strings/
    This link will lead you to the current pros string choice and tensions. And as you can see, Gasquet has switched from Lux original, and is now using 4g125 at 58lbs. I am also loving my 4g.
     
    #94
  45. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Yes. The 16x19 is just right. It passes my Goldilocks test. I recommend that anyone who is considering it, give it a demo. It has taken my game up levels, and paired with a string like 4g 125, will hopefully do the same for you.
     
    #95
  46. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    That surprises me that he got higher in tension given that 4G is lower powered. Anyway, thanks for the link.
     
    #96
  47. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    I also want to point out to everyone reading this thread that's I am using a 4 1/2 size grip when I usually have used 4 3/8 so these grips run a little bit small and don't be afraid if you're doing a demo to demo two sizes to make sure
     
    #97
  48. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Using the 4 1/2 size grip has been the detrimental reason and helping my game and taking my game to a higher level so I can't stress enough try the different sizes and try to use the larger of the ones that you're able to use
     
    #98
  49. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I demoed it, and loved everything about it except that it had an abundance of power. However, it was strung with full multi so I think I'd really like it with poly. This racket has a great plush feel to it.
     
    #99
  50. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Throw some 4G in there brother and your troubles are over
     

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