A Smooth/Round Poly or Co Poly To Cross With Natural Gut

#1
I am looking for a Smooth/Round Poly or Co Poly to cross with Natural Gut being in mains.

The biggest factors I'm looking for is Play Duration, Durability, Control, Spin. More or less in that order. There are a few that I have researched that seem to fit the bill:

Tourna Black Zone
Lux 4G soft
Head Hawk/Touch
Alu Power Rough (in some opinions)
Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution

I'd love some opinions, any other options, actual game experience with them as well.

I'm not trying to buy more than a couple of packs to demo.

Side note, I'm a strong 4.0 with good pace with heavy spin on the serve. All around game. Using RF97S
 

Yoneyama

Professional
#2
I have used Nat Gut with Alu Power, Alu Power Rough, 4G Soft and regular 4G.

Any of the 4G's will win hands down in Play Duration and Durability. They hold tension fabulously. Just be very careful, even with them in a cross they can and will obliterate your wrist if you are at all sensitive to stiffness. I imagine this effect will be amplified with an RF97A. If you look up their stiffness on the Tennis Warehouse String Database they are off the charts. I loved how they played but I am not game to put them in again, as 4G and 4G alone caused me about half a years worth of horrible wrist pain.

Alu Power didn't seem to be too great with Nat Gut for me. It was really powerful and not great control or spin. Alu Power Rough is fantastic, better than 4G for spin and control. With a full stroke and heavy topspin your shots will take on a new level of pace and weight. However the Alu Power and Rough version loses tension a lot faster, and will turn the racquet into a trampoline.
 
#5
Really got to dive in a try them.
Play Duration, Durability, Control, Spin all differs per player and frame.
Looks like you have a nice list to start testing...and on a great path...
you are looking for a round super slick string with low string to string COF.
Check out the TW Database for a nice guide:
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/reporter2.php
I agree to try but correct me if I'm wrong, isn't the TWU string COF measured with the same string? The S2SCOF "may" be different with 2 different materials, ie gut with poly etc?
 

CopolyX

Hall of Fame
#6
Yes true but:
Hybrid Comparison. Gut mains seem to be the secret to achieving the slipperiest combination. Polyester is next and then nylon. However, the cross string seems not to be so specific — both nylon and polyester alternate in the list of slipperiest combinations (see Tables 1 and 2). This is contrary to the case in static friction where we found the gut mains and poly crosses to be universally the slipperiest combination.
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/slidingCOF.php

Also see feds frame...
 
#10
Try as many as you can, here are some of my personal recommendations:

Polytour Fire
Revolve
RPM series (Blast, Team, and Rough)
4G series (Soft, Rough, and regular)
Max Power and Rough
Hawk
I've heard good things about RPM team but does the shaped form cause the gut to break faster? Otherwise the tension maintenance seems very nice which I think people prefer Max Power in that department due to the round shape, but I'd be interested in your thoughts of RPM team since it is more accessible to purchase in most retailers.
 
#11
I have used Nat Gut with Alu Power, Alu Power Rough, 4G Soft and regular 4G.

Any of the 4G's will win hands down in Play Duration and Durability. They hold tension fabulously. Just be very careful, even with them in a cross they can and will obliterate your wrist if you are at all sensitive to stiffness. I imagine this effect will be amplified with an RF97A. If you look up their stiffness on the Tennis Warehouse String Database they are off the charts. I loved how they played but I am not game to put them in again, as 4G and 4G alone caused me about half a years worth of horrible wrist pain.

Alu Power didn't seem to be too great with Nat Gut for me. It was really powerful and not great control or spin. Alu Power Rough is fantastic, better than 4G for spin and control. With a full stroke and heavy topspin your shots will take on a new level of pace and weight. However the Alu Power and Rough version loses tension a lot faster, and will turn the racquet into a trampoline.
So what do you recommend?
 

El_Yotamo

Professional
#12
I've heard good things about RPM team but does the shaped form cause the gut to break faster? Otherwise the tension maintenance seems very nice which I think people prefer Max Power in that department due to the round shape, but I'd be interested in your thoughts of RPM team since it is more accessible to purchase in most retailers.
This isn't very well known, but the RPM series isn't really so "shaped", and they're all very unsharp. Unlike what the figure on the package would suggest, the cross-section of these strings lies between that of an octagon and that of a circle. Basically an octagonal cross-section with very strongly filleted edges. So basically, no, it will not tear through the gut like many shaped strings would.

In addition, RPM Team specifically is an amazing cross string, gives great feel and tension maintenance (as you mentioned) for the very stiff string that it is. The beauty is that it plays super stiff but doesn't feel like it at all (probably the coating combined with the possibly air bubbles, not confirmed if those are actually there).

I'll also say RPM Rough is one of my favorites as well due to it being simply slicker than nearly any other string I've tried. It also holds tension significantly better than the original Blast, likely due to the color not being black, and the texture increases sliding string-ball friction. Basically, if looking for spin, I'd recommend this one on the crosses 9/10 times.

However if longevity, playability duration, and feel are priorities, then RPM Team is a major candidate. Max Power (or Rough) and 4G (or soft or Rough) are also really great.

The rest of the strings I mentioned don't hold tension very well, with the exception of Polytour Fire which holds tension well but not quite as well as the strings I mentioned in this post and doesn't have quite the feel either. I will say one of my favorite set-ups is my "Ice-Fire" set-up of ALU Power Ice mains and Polytour Fire crosses. Great feel and playability, and gets me an extra amount of spin over just ALU Power Ice which is one of my favorite strings due to its just incredible and unique feel and balance of control, power, and spin. Pre-streched it also has good tension maintenance and plays nearly exactly the same as not pre-stretched.

Anyways, got a bit off topic there so sorry, but hope I helped.
 
#13
This isn't very well known, but the RPM series isn't really so "shaped", and they're all very unsharp. Unlike what the figure on the package would suggest, the cross-section of these strings lies between that of an octagon and that of a circle. Basically an octagonal cross-section with very strongly filleted edges. So basically, no, it will not tear through the gut like many shaped strings would.

In addition, RPM Team specifically is an amazing cross string, gives great feel and tension maintenance (as you mentioned) for the very stiff string that it is. The beauty is that it plays super stiff but doesn't feel like it at all (probably the coating combined with the possibly air bubbles, not confirmed if those are actually there).

I'll also say RPM Rough is one of my favorites as well due to it being simply slicker than nearly any other string I've tried. It also holds tension significantly better than the original Blast, likely due to the color not being black, and the texture increases sliding string-ball friction. Basically, if looking for spin, I'd recommend this one on the crosses 9/10 times.

However if longevity, playability duration, and feel are priorities, then RPM Team is a major candidate. Max Power (or Rough) and 4G (or soft or Rough) are also really great.

The rest of the strings I mentioned don't hold tension very well, with the exception of Polytour Fire which holds tension well but not quite as well as the strings I mentioned in this post and doesn't have quite the feel either. I will say one of my favorite set-ups is my "Ice-Fire" set-up of ALU Power Ice mains and Polytour Fire crosses. Great feel and playability, and gets me an extra amount of spin over just ALU Power Ice which is one of my favorite strings due to its just incredible and unique feel and balance of control, power, and spin. Pre-streched it also has good tension maintenance and plays nearly exactly the same as not pre-stretched.

Anyways, got a bit off topic there so sorry, but hope I helped.
Awesome, thanks for the thoughtful reply! Definitely going to try out Team in the near future. I'm really digging gut/poly right now (Max Power and Co-Focus coming in the mail this week) but my full bed poly string of choice is Tour Bite Soft because I'm very picky about "feel' in that I don't like the boardy feeling with some polyesters even if they objectively perform better. If RPM team has a decent enough feel as you say I may actually look into playing it full bed as well since I would assume that the playability duration would be much improved over the Tour Bite Soft thanks to the tension maintenance (I get about 8 hours with full bed Tour Bite Soft).
 

El_Yotamo

Professional
#14
Awesome, thanks for the thoughtful reply! Definitely going to try out Team in the near future. I'm really digging gut/poly right now (Max Power and Co-Focus coming in the mail this week) but my full bed poly string of choice is Tour Bite Soft because I'm very picky about "feel' in that I don't like the boardy feeling with some polyesters even if they objectively perform better. If RPM team has a decent enough feel as you say I may actually look into playing it full bed as well since I would assume that the playability duration would be much improved over the Tour Bite Soft thanks to the tension maintenance (I get about 8 hours with full bed Tour Bite Soft).
That's great, you can also try TB mains/RPM Team crosses if you want.
 
#17
A couple more that I'm thinking of, Cream, Tourna Big Hitter Silver, and Tier One Black Knight. I've crossed Cream with HDX once. The others I have not had any experience with. Anyone have playing experience with the others? How is the control, spin etc
 
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#18
I'll list the smooth polys I've tried as crosses for durability with VS Touch 16/ Klip Guru 17g/ Tonic + Ball Feel:

  1. Yonex Polytour Fire 1.20mm: My new fave, great playability duration, very good bite and good feel, although a bit stiff. Plays better when strung @ lower tension. The silicone lasts longer than I expected, better than the Resolve.
  2. Yonex Polytour Pro/Strike 1.20mm: Tied for 2nd. PTP feels deader, but surprisingly decent in power and plays well till the gut snaps. Strike is stiffest of the PolyTour I've tried, also maintains tension well. Spin for both is decent but can't beat PTF.
  3. Wilson Resolve 16L 1.25: Very good spin/bite, so so feel and average tension maintenance. The tension drop and muted feel makes is less fun to play with as it goes on. And the silicone coating wears off faster/
  4. Alu Power 16L 1.25: Stiff but playability is very good, with muted feel good bite. Tension drop is too great after 2 sets.
I've tried other smooth polys like Max Power, but those are my top 5 so far.
 
#19
Sardines, what didn't you like about Max Power? Is it too stiff? That Polytour Fire looks very interesting. What do you string that at and what's your racquet
 
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#20
I am looking for a Smooth/Round Poly or Co Poly to cross with Natural Gut being in mains.

The biggest factors I'm looking for is Play Duration, Durability, Control, Spin. More or less in that order. There are a few that I have researched that seem to fit the bill:

Tourna Black Zone
Lux 4G soft
Head Hawk/Touch
Alu Power Rough (in some opinions)
Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution

I'd love some opinions, any other options, actual game experience with them as well.

I'm not trying to buy more than a couple of packs to demo.

Side note, I'm a strong 4.0 with good pace with heavy spin on the serve. All around game. Using RF97S
just go with Alu. how can 90% of all pros using gut mains be wrong? mic drop.. lol. its so simple in this case. why complicate things. gut was meant for alu.
 
#21
@Moosch Max Power 18g was overly stiff. I tried lowering the tension by an additional 4lbs, but then the string behaved too erratically for me and my Playsight data showed pace, accuracy, spin drop. Now it's not that it's uncomfortable. It just didn't fit my game. I wish it did because it's cheap!
Max Power Rough 18g was softer. However, since I'm primarily looking for a cross that prolongs the gut life while maintaining viable playability, MPR was out.
Polytour Fire isn't perfect, but it works well in my 4 tries.
 
#22
Wilson Revolve works fine although I did notice a change over time.
My personal preference is Ashaway Monogut ZX. It has a hard smooth surface, does not die like poly, and absorbs more shock than poly.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#24
@Moosch Max Power 18g was overly stiff. I tried lowering the tension by an additional 4lbs, but then the string behaved too erratically for me and my Playsight data showed pace, accuracy, spin drop. Now it's not that it's uncomfortable. It just didn't fit my game. I wish it did because it's cheap!
Max Power Rough 18g was softer. However, since I'm primarily looking for a cross that prolongs the gut life while maintaining viable playability, MPR was out.
Polytour Fire isn't perfect, but it works well in my 4 tries.
How many hours of playability do you get out of Polytour Fire?
 
#26
How many hours of playability do you get out of Polytour Fire?
YPTF maintains 85-90% of optimal for at least 8-9 sets of 5.0-6.0 singles. This is playability, tension maintenance, spin. My stringameter shows a drop of 12lbs in the YPTF, and it shows as a true 17g @ 1.20mm. I'm probably on the 6th set of doubles now (I use fresh strings for singles and then use it for doubles once they are past prime) and it has pretty much frayed the gut, so I doubt I'd get another set out of it. Tension and spin are noticeable less.
just go with Alu. how can 90% of all pros using gut mains be wrong? mic drop.. lol. its so simple in this case. why complicate things. gut was meant for alu.
Well, I've used alu power and alu power rough for quite a few years, especially in college D1 and then later with gut when I could afford it. They are now too stiff for me and the tension drop is too much after a couple of sets. All pros know this and restring their racquet after every match. The top pros even change racquets after every ball change. I really don't care what the pros use, since I use what works for me. And there's nothing wrong with choosing based on price/performance comparisons.
 
#27
I haven't had the chance to try it yet myself, but I've heard a lot of great things about MSV Co. Focus, and it's very affordable as well.
 
#28
YPTF maintains 85-90% of optimal for at least 8-9 sets of 5.0-6.0 singles. This is playability, tension maintenance, spin. My stringameter shows a drop of 12lbs in the YPTF, and it shows as a true 17g @ 1.20mm. I'm probably on the 6th set of doubles now (I use fresh strings for singles and then use it for doubles once they are past prime) and it has pretty much frayed the gut, so I doubt I'd get another set out of it. Tension and spin are noticeable less.

Well, I've used alu power and alu power rough for quite a few years, especially in college D1 and then later with gut when I could afford it. They are now too stiff for me and the tension drop is too much after a couple of sets. All pros know this and restring their racquet after every match. The top pros even change racquets after every ball change. I really don't care what the pros use, since I use what works for me. And there's nothing wrong with choosing based on price/performance comparisons.
Ok You just sold me on it. Getting a reel of poly tour fire soon. I've been using PTP as cross for gut and it feels abit muted/mushy.
 
#31
My favorite cross for nat gut was Discho Iontec in salmon. I've recently run out of string in my reel, and I literally can't find a good backup as Mamba Tennis has gone out of business and I can't find Iontec anywhere. I've heard good things about mosquito bite, but I don't like thinner strings (1.24 is as low as I go).
 
#32
My favorite cross for nat gut was Discho Iontec in salmon. I've recently run out of string in my reel, and I literally can't find a good backup as Mamba Tennis has gone out of business and I can't find Iontec anywhere. I've heard good things about mosquito bite, but I don't like thinner strings (1.24 is as low as I go).
try advanced racquets....they should have it.
 
#36
My favorite cross for nat gut was Discho Iontec in salmon. I've recently run out of string in my reel, and I literally can't find a good backup as Mamba Tennis has gone out of business and I can't find Iontec anywhere. I've heard good things about mosquito bite, but I don't like thinner strings (1.24 is as low as I go).
You might like Kirsch PL Evolution or Topspin Cyber Blue.
 
#39
I am looking for a Smooth/Round Poly or Co Poly to cross with Natural Gut being in mains.

The biggest factors I'm looking for is Play Duration, Durability, Control, Spin. More or less in that order. There are a few that I have researched that seem to fit the bill:

Tourna Black Zone
Lux 4G soft
Head Hawk/Touch
Alu Power Rough (in some opinions)
Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution

I'd love some opinions, any other options, actual game experience with them as well.

I'm not trying to buy more than a couple of packs to demo.

Side note, I'm a strong 4.0 with good pace with heavy spin on the serve. All around game. Using RF97S
Moosch

Easy solution, go to the Spin to Win's thread started in 2015 "Gut Poly Hybrids". You will find about 55 pages of answers to your question
based on other players testing results. Plus, Spin to Win, own test results and recommendations. Happy reading.

Aloha
 
#40
Thanks Kramer, The gut/poly thread you're speaking of. I literally stumbled upon that yesterday. Great stuff in there and I haven't even scratched the surface. Already I see one of my strings that I'm looking for in Tourna Big Hitter Silver. Nothing on Black Knight. That will keep me busy for sure
 
#41
I've tried a bunch but with 1.30 gut mains, Revolve black 1.25, Hawk silver 1.25 or ALU Power soft are all excellent. Considerations like expense has Revolve winning in general. Hawk gives the firmest ride of those three, all strung up around 58/54# in RF and PS97's. Honorable mention to YPTP which is priced like Hawk. Lots of good ones, try them.
 

sredna42

Professional
#42
I am looking for a Smooth/Round Poly or Co Poly to cross with Natural Gut being in mains.

The biggest factors I'm looking for is Play Duration, Durability, Control, Spin. More or less in that order. There are a few that I have researched that seem to fit the bill:

Tourna Black Zone
Lux 4G soft
Head Hawk/Touch
Alu Power Rough (in some opinions)
Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution

I'd love some opinions, any other options, actual game experience with them as well.

I'm not trying to buy more than a couple of packs to demo.

Side note, I'm a strong 4.0 with good pace with heavy spin on the serve. All around game. Using RF97S
Head Hawk is an awful string IMO. I gave my other 2 sets away. Just a nothing string.

The single best string I have found as a cross for gut mains is hands down this one.
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Tecnifibre_Pro_Red_Code_Wax_17_String_/descpageACTFUSA-TPRCW17.html
it is durable, holds tension well, is great in a full bed too. Crisp yet not harsh.
The wax substance coating/impregnating it makes it perfect as a cross for gut as the gut can snapback perfectly with it.

The string nerds here probably know of much better options, but for me, I don't see the need to even try anything else anymore as a cross.
 
#44
Head Hawk is an awful string IMO. I gave my other 2 sets away. Just a nothing string.

The single best string I have found as a cross for gut mains is hands down this one.
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Tecnifibre_Pro_Red_Code_Wax_17_String_/descpageACTFUSA-TPRCW17.html
it is durable, holds tension well, is great in a full bed too. Crisp yet not harsh.
The wax substance coating/impregnating it makes it perfect as a cross for gut as the gut can snapback perfectly with it.
Haha I literally just asked for my racquet to be strung with the PRCW18 to try with VST16 at 52/58, at the suggestion of my stringer. I gave myself a month to try strings before I decide, so I'll stop tinkering too much and just get out and play. Will report back after a week.
 

sredna42

Professional
#45
@sredna42 how is the durability in that red code? Do you feel the string dying out before the gut breaks? How long does it last for you?
I hit a fair bit, nearly every day, and it lasts me a long time. Usually the gut will start to fray through after several weeks, but is still useable.
The PRCW, I don't notice much of a change at all to be honest. Maybe it does slightly lose its slippery waxy quality over time, but if that were the case, then my whole reel would be fcked once the packet was opened and it was exposed to air (if that is what you mean) but each restring is as good as the last.

To be fair,I don't think I hit with a huge amount of topspin in comparison to pure aero/SW grip baseliner types, I hit flattish, and end points quickly with poorly timed and ill thought out ventures to the net.
One coach who used one of my tecnifibres with this hybrid destroyed the gut in about a week, it looked chewed and fizzled out all through the hitting area, but he is open level, hits all day, and with insane spin and pace.

Same thing with my friend who used it in a Prince recently, he hits all day and is open level, and the gut lasted him a week. So a week is about what high level players can get from it before the gut breaks it seems.

But in neither case did the PRCW break. It only broke twice for me, once when it was in my bag, and both times it was on the outside of the frame where it looped from one grommet to the next, and I think that was my fault for having other stuff in my racquet bag hitting against the frames. I usually get it all cut out and redone once the gut loses too much tension and doesn't snapback and/or the ball starts flying on me or being a bit more unpredictable on volleys.

But that's just my experience, others may literally hate it and think it feels like cold vomit.

One other dumb idea I had was to spray the string job with silicon spray before a match. All I think that did was make the ball kind of smear off the face of the stringbed, reducing the ability of the gut to "grab" the ball and put spin on it. Because after awhile I realized it was definitely better without it, so yeah, don't ruin several expensive hybrid stringjobs with silicon spray like I did LOL.

I haven't used it much in a full bed, only once or twice in a Pure Drive, so can't really comment, though it did feel OK, but I can't directly compare because it wasn't in my usual frame. But I am getting one of my tecs strung with a full bed soon to use when it is rainy weather so will have an idea then.
 

sredna42

Professional
#46
Haha I literally just asked for my racquet to be strung with the PRCW18 to try with VST16 at 52/58, at the suggestion of my stringer. I gave myself a month to try strings before I decide, so I'll stop tinkering too much and just get out and play. Will report back after a week.
I think you will like it. I had the same stringjob at 56/53 IIRC and it was extremely good. But Vs Touch is too much $$$$ so I use klip legend usually.
 
#47
But in neither case did the PRCW break. It only broke twice for me, once when it was in my bag, and both times it was on the outside of the frame where it looped from one grommet to the next, and I think that was my fault for having other stuff in my racquet bag hitting against the frames. I usually get it all cut out and redone once the gut loses too much tension and doesn't snapback and/or the ball starts flying on me or being a bit more unpredictable on volleys.

One other dumb idea I had was to spray the string job with silicon spray before a match. All I think that did was make the ball kind of smear off the face of the stringbed, reducing the ability of the gut to "grab" the ball and put spin on it. Because after awhile I realized it was definitely better without it, so yeah, don't ruin several expensive hybrid stringjobs with silicon spray like I did LOL.
Interesting. It's precisely when the gut has worn the lubricant on the cross string that you apply the silicone spray. And make sure you use a dry type which is oil based and not water based, since you know gut and humidity don't mix. I've never found it too slippery and found it extends the life of the gut a little too.
Your post brings up an interesting point about PRCW, which is similar with Polytour Fire, how long that "wax" coating lasts. PTF's SIF is supposedly "infused" into the poly, and it lasts very long. I get over 12 sets and strings snap right back. Wilson Revolve's coating (UHMW) wore off after 5-6 sets, as did RPM Blast Rough's silicone coating. PRCW is the last "coated" smooth string I'm going to try before committing to a reel.

I think you will like it. I had the same stringjob at 56/53 IIRC and it was extremely good. But Vs Touch is too much $$$$ so I use klip legend usually.
I use VS for convenience, since it's easily available. I also use Klip Guru 16g and 17g, when I want a bit more feel of uncoated gut, like when I play on grass. They cost about the same for me. I hope the wax coating has similar durability to the SIF of PTF, and that the string isn't stiffer and deader than the PTF. The PTF is 70% more per reel. I mean it's really nothing since 660ft can string 37 racquets as a cross. LOL but still!
 
#48
if the gut mains last you longer than 10 hours, I would use a 17G stiff smooth round stiff copoly as a cross since stiff copoly holds tension better. try kb max power or lux 4G.
 
#49
Well, I'm all in with gut/poly. I bought more than I intended. But I can't wait to start.

I took a lot of thought into my choices, between this forum of opinions as well as others. Did many comparisons in Tennis Warehouse University as well.

I have 3 RF97s and am planning to keep at least one as my current full poly of CT 16g.

I'll be stringing one up now with gut and Head Hawk. My initial plan was to play out each one to it's fullest before trying another gut/poly. I'll be playing with my CT sporadically as well.

I'm wondering if stringing one at a time is the best way to go. Should I do two at a time? 3? I need some opinions.


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