Anyone move from gut/poly to full poly for financial reasons?

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
4.5-5.0 level player here, I play about 3-4 matches a month (USTA leagues, ultimate tennis) I realized that I play my best with fresh string jobs, so I make sure to get a racket re-strung before any competitive match. I get free stringing from my uncle, but it still costs me $25 a racket to string with gut/poly. So if i play 4 matches a month, that's $100 on strings. I don't need a fresh string job to practice, but I was initially drawn to gut because everyone said it was "playable" until it breaks, which is a vague statement because anything is "playable" until it breaks, but when playing a match you want that extra control/accuracy a fresh string job provides.

I feel like I could use a soft cheap poly like YPTP and call it a day. $4 a racket.

Thoughts?
 
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SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
Only problem with poly is it will lose tension and it’s way stiffer. If you can handle it, it will be cheaper in the long run.
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
If you have several racquets and you're able to cope with the launch angle changes etc. you could save the gut hybrids for your more serious matches?
 
You really don't want to play matches with something different that what you practice with. If you make the change to a full poly, I'd go down in tension by a good 5% to start with. If you need to adjust higher, then do it. But, I'd start low.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I am finding the opposite. I spend less with gut / poly than full poly. the setup lasts way longer. I was getting about 8 hours from full poly before it was shot. I get at least a month and a half out of my gut / poly setup.

I tell my buddies to ask for a set of gut or two around the holiday's as stocking stuffers, and Father's Day, and their birthday. Backfill with your own purchases and you are all set.

8 sets of gut across 2 racquets should get you through a year easily. I am using way less. Pair it with a cheap slick round poly of your choosing and that's it.

I have a full poly setup in my bag for rainy/wet days where I will leave the gut/poly racquets at home.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I am finding the opposite. I spend less with gut / poly than full poly. the setup lasts way longer. I was getting about 8 hours from full poly before it was shot. I get at least a month and a half out of my gut / poly setup.

I tell my buddies to ask for a set of gut or two around the holiday's as stocking stuffers, and Father's Day, and their birthday. Backfill with your own purchases and you are all set.

8 sets of gut across 2 racquets should get you through a year easily. I am using way less. Pair it with a cheap slick round poly of your choosing and that's it.

I have a full poly setup in my bag for rainy/wet days where I will leave the gut/poly racquets at home.
Are you playing competitive matches for 6 weeks with the same string job and no drop off in performance? I just find that unrealistic even with gut.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
I am finding the opposite. I spend less with gut / poly than full poly. the setup lasts way longer. I was getting about 8 hours from full poly before it was shot. I get at least a month and a half out of my gut / poly setup.

I tell my buddies to ask for a set of gut or two around the holiday's as stocking stuffers, and Father's Day, and their birthday. Backfill with your own purchases and you are all set.

8 sets of gut across 2 racquets should get you through a year easily. I am using way less. Pair it with a cheap slick round poly of your choosing and that's it.

I have a full poly setup in my bag for rainy/wet days where I will leave the gut/poly racquets at home.
Do you also cut the poly only out if it loses tension? I do it and I don’t wrap my frames, but it makes the stringbed last a lot longer. I understand the apprehension many have, you just have to do it right.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Do you also cut the poly only out if it loses tension? I do it and I don’t wrap my frames, but it makes the stringbed last a lot longer. I understand the apprehension many have, you just have to do it right.
No I don't. I know the topic is controversial so will not weigh in one way or the other but will say that for me personally, the setup is shot when the gut is shot.

If I am going to go through the effort to restring I want the whole thing fresh as there is nothing like hitting with a freshly strung racquet.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Are you playing competitive matches for 6 weeks with the same string job and no drop off in performance? I just find that unrealistic even with gut.
Yes, I play competitive matches (i.e. USTA) if that is what you are referring to as competitive matches as I am currently captaining 3 teams and have captained more concurrently in a season. I play a minimum of 5 matches a week (2 hours or so per match).

Let me ask you, have you played competitive matches with a gut/poly hybrid?

I am not saying the setup is for everyone. My son is is competitive junior tournament player and I would not put it in his racquet as it wouldn't last very long. However, for adult play/competition if that is what we are calling USTA tennis then why not give it a shot and see how it lasts for you. If not, OK, you are too hard on strings. However, just maybe you have found your next setup.

By the way the topic was on cost per setup and if you are as hard on strings as you are seeming to indicate you certainly are spending more on a full poly setup as that stuff would require even more frequent stringing than the 8 hours I get from full poly.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
Yes, I play competitive matches (i.e. USTA) if that is what you are referring to as competitive matches as I am currently captaining 3 teams and have captained more concurrently in a season. I play a minimum of 5 matches a week (2 hours or so per match).

Let me ask you, have you played competitive matches with a gut/poly hybrid?

I am not saying the setup is for everyone. My son is is competitive junior tournament player and I would not put it in his racquet as it wouldn't last very long. However, for adult play/competition if that is what we are calling USTA tennis then why not give it a shot and see how it lasts for you. If not, OK, you are too hard on strings. However, just maybe you have found your next setup.

By the way the topic was on cost per setup and if you are as hard on strings as you are seeming to indicate you certainly are spending more on a full poly setup as that stuff would require even more frequent stringing than the 8 hours I get from full poly.
What level do you play at ?

I use gut/poly now, but the issue is that I have to still re-string frequently because I notice the loss of precision/accuracy as the string bed ages.

I can get about 2 matches before I notice the loss of precision.

If im practicing then I don't really care, I play with whatever.

I know someone is coming in here to say I should be able to adjust to whatever...but I find that I win more matches with fresh strings and it's a more enjoyable experience playing a match and not spraying balls randomly.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
What level do you play at ?

I use gut/poly now, but the issue is that I have to still re-string frequently because I notice the loss of precision/accuracy as the string bed ages.

I can get about 2 matches before I notice the loss of precision.

If im practicing then I don't really care, I play with whatever.

I know someone is coming in here to say I should be able to adjust to whatever...but I find that I win more matches with fresh strings and it's a more enjoyable experience playing a match and not spraying balls randomly.
How do you measure objectively that 'loss of precision/accuracy'?
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
What level do you play at ?

I use gut/poly now, but the issue is that I have to still re-string frequently because I notice the loss of precision/accuracy as the string bed ages.

I can get about 2 matches before I notice the loss of precision.

If im practicing then I don't really care, I play with whatever.

I know someone is coming in here to say I should be able to adjust to whatever...but I find that I win more matches with fresh strings and it's a more enjoyable experience playing a match and not spraying balls randomly.
Yes, you have to dial in the setup. Perhaps the setup is not for you as you are a better player than I am. I am a 3.5 and captain and play on a 4.0 team as well. I also string for two 4.5 and multiple 4.0 players that play the setup until the gut snaps which is on the order of months. I don't have my log with me but certainly they are not coming back weekly for a restring. They do not complain about "loss of precision".

However, the original post was one of cost and as you indicate you like a fresh set of string I believe the cost of a gut/poly is at least on par with full poly if not less as for sure poly needs to be restrung frequently. If we assume your poly is $11 a set or 1/2 the price of a half set of gut ($22 + $3 for a cheap poly cross) I have no doubt you are stringing more than twice in the span that I restring.
 
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stapletonj

Hall of Fame
If you are restringing that often, a way to at least cut down the cost is to go with a cheaper gut and poly, like Klip and a smooth round generic in the crosses.
(I like yonex, but you can get a good smooth round poly for about 1/2 what the yonex costs.) That takes your cost down to $20.00.
If you are restringing that often, you could even take the cost down a little more by buying a reel of poly. That would probably take it down to $17 or $18...
 

Yamin

Professional
I was under the impression that gut is easy to break, which is why I've stayed away. Is this not the case? I see a lot of posts saying gut lasts forever recently. Is this more for flat players or doubles oriented games mostly? Or has gut always been pretty durable?

OP I think "playable until it breaks" for gut means it doesn't lose much of its properties or performance. Poly isn't "playable until it breaks" in comparison.

Anyway this question might as well be, do people use poly because they didn't want to spend the money on gut? I think there are plenty lol... Same as people who don't use alu power despite it being the best.
 
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LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I was under the impression that gut is easy to break, which is why I've stayed away. Is this not the case? I see a lot of posts saying gut lasts forever recently. Is this more for flat players or doubles oriented games mostly? Or has gut always been pretty durable?

OP I think "playable until it breaks" for gut means it doesn't lose much of its properties or performance. Poly isn't "playable until it breaks" in comparison.

Anyway this question might as well be, do people use poly because they didn't want to spend the money on gut? I think there are plenty lol... Same as people who don't use alu power despite it being the best.
There are racquets that are string eaters (Usually the spin effect racquets) and there are players that are string snappers and there are string snappers that play with string eating racquets. For any of these combinations I think any string is an issue and I do not think a gut/poly hybrid would make sense because then the longevity is not there and then the cost is prohibitive. I have posted before there is a 3.0 I string for that can't keep string in his racquet. He snaps string like crazy.

However, if one is not any of the above then gut is not any more prone to breakage. It can be ruined by getting wet so care must be taken in this regard.

Most of the guys I know use their gut/poly hybrids until they snap. Every once in a while they ask for a restring when the gut is still intact.
 

McLovin

Legend
I went from gut/poly to full poly about 2 years ago. Basically, when Pacific stopped selling in the US, my gut pipeline dried up. I tried BT7 again, as well as Klip, and just didn't care for them. I used YPTP for a few months, then got handed a couple sets of Laserfibre strings. Initially I didn't care for their Native Tour, but after breaking one of the other kinds on a shank, I had only the Native in my remaining frame. I picked it, suddenly loved it, and haven't looked back since.

My gut/poly setups would last me 12-14 hours, and I'd almost always cut them out as the poly (YPTP) would have lost too much tension at that point and my shots would start to fly long.

My full poly setups admittedly last much shorter...around 8-10 hours, but at $4 a job vs $18 (pre-pandemic I could score some BT7 for ~ $28 per pack), it's a no brainer, especially since I really didn't care much for the BT7.

@Yamin, to add to what @LOBALOT said about gut durability, also take into consideration playing surface and conditions. My gut/poly longevity was cut drastically short if I was visiting my parents in Florida. Then it was 2-4 hours in some cases...damn that clay & humidity!.

Just for your info, I play at the 4.5/5.0 level (not that it really matters much), and do play the occasional USTA league and tournament.
 
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Wheelz

Professional
I was under the impression that gut is easy to break, which is why I've stayed away. Is this not the case? I see a lot of posts saying gut lasts forever recently. Is this more for flat players or doubles oriented games mostly? Or has gut always been pretty durable?

OP I think "playable until it breaks" for gut means it doesn't lose much of its properties or performance. Poly isn't "playable until it breaks" in comparison.

Anyway this question might as well be, do people use poly because they didn't want to spend the money on gut? I think there are plenty lol... Same as people who don't use alu power despite it being the best.
Gut is very resilient. I only tried a couple of times the volkl gut which is double coated. Maybe the other models are not as durable.
 

Yamin

Professional
@Yamin, to add to what @LOBALOT said about gut durability, also take into consideration playing surface and conditions. My gut/poly longevity was cut drastically short if I was visiting my parents in Florida. Then it was 2-4 hours in some cases...damn that clay & humidity!.

Just for your info, I play at the 4.5/5.0 level (not that it really matters much), and do play the occasional USTA league and tournament.
This info is perfect. Thank you.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I went from gut/poly to full poly about 2 years ago. Basically, when Pacific stopped selling in the US, my gut pipeline dried up. I tried BT7 again, as well as Klip, and just didn't care for them. I used YPTP for a few months, then got handed a couple sets of Laserfibre strings. Initially I didn't care for their Native Tour, but after breaking one of the other kinds on a shank, I had only the Native in my remaining frame. I picked it, suddenly loved it, and haven't looked back since.

My gut/poly setups would last me 12-14 hours, and I'd almost always cut them out as the poly (YPTP) would have lost too much tension at that point and my shots would start to fly long.

My full poly setups admittedly last much shorter...around 8-10 hours, but at $4 a job vs $18 (pre-pandemic I could score some BT7 for ~ $28 per pack), it's a no brainer, especially since I really didn't care much for the BT7.

Just for your info, I play at the 4.5/5.0 level (not that it really matters much), and do play the occasional USTA league and tournament.
So in your experience gut/poly lasts 30% longer than full poly, but it cost 4.5x more. ($4 vs $18)

In my case it would be ($4 vs. $25)

Luxilon Gut is $22 a pack half set, and Max Power runs about $2.50 per string job if you buy it in a reel.

I don't really care if my poly goes dead a little quicker than gut/poly. Like I said before I re-string before every match, so I would just need to find a poly that can last me 2 hours, and from what you're saying it's definitely more than plausible
 

JustTennis76

Professional
I find gut/poly to be marginally cheaper in the long run compared to full poly. As a full poly player when I used cyclone, it would last me 8 to 10 hours for USTA matches at the 4.5 level whereas with gut/poly, I can still play for 40 hours plus and control the ball with better feel. Not to mention about the time wasted on frequent restring with full poly and the stress it can have on the rackets. Those are my $.02
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I find gut/poly to be marginally cheaper in the long run compared to full poly. As a full poly player when I used cyclone, it would last me 8 to 10 hours for USTA matches at the 4.5 level whereas with gut/poly, I can still play for 40 hours plus and control the ball with better feel. Not to mention about the time wasted on frequent restring with full poly and the stress it can have on the rackets. Those are my $.02
A lot of posters like yourself reinforce this idea that gut/poly is the unicorn set-up that doesn't suffer from any playability drop, however in reality I speak to other people and they say all strings lose tension. Even McLovin above stated that He only got 12-14 hours out of gut/poly (Im talking about playability drop, not string breakage) but you are somehow getting 40? Which I don't doubt but there is a big difference between the first hour and 40th hour of a string job regarding playability
 
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aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
How do you measure objectively that 'loss of precision/accuracy'?
Look dude no one is objectively measuring anything other than Tennis Warehouse when they bring out the actual playsight data. I hope you're not trying to be a smart alec here. How do you think most of us dial in tension and racket choice? It's done through trial and error obviously.

That's like asking someone how do you objectively know your poly has gone dead? You don't, it's obviously based on a feeling/sensation from the player.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I went from gut/poly to full poly about 2 years ago. Basically, when Pacific stopped selling in the US, my gut pipeline dried up. I tried BT7 again, as well as Klip, and just didn't care for them. I used YPTP for a few months, then got handed a couple sets of Laserfibre strings. Initially I didn't care for their Native Tour, but after breaking one of the other kinds on a shank, I had only the Native in my remaining frame. I picked it, suddenly loved it, and haven't looked back since.

My gut/poly setups would last me 12-14 hours, and I'd almost always cut them out as the poly (YPTP) would have lost too much tension at that point and my shots would start to fly long.

My full poly setups admittedly last much shorter...around 8-10 hours, but at $4 a job vs $18 (pre-pandemic I could score some BT7 for ~ $28 per pack), it's a no brainer, especially since I really didn't care much for the BT7.

@Yamin, to add to what @LOBALOT said about gut durability, also take into consideration playing surface and conditions. My gut/poly longevity was cut drastically short if I was visiting my parents in Florida. Then it was 2-4 hours in some cases...damn that clay & humidity!.

Just for your info, I play at the 4.5/5.0 level (not that it really matters much), and do play the occasional USTA league and tournament.
Just to piggyback here, It's not useless information to say what level you play at. I would think that a 3.5 player , and 5.0 player would have much different experiences with strings.

For example 3.5 player "I can use alu power until it breaks" that's not really useful advice for someone who is a 5.0 and is not particularly looking for the most durable string, and also the 5.0 player is hitting with much more spin & pace.

I find as gut/poly ages the launch angle gets higher, does that happen with full poly also?
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
If you have several racquets and you're able to cope with the launch angle changes etc. you could save the gut hybrids for your more serious matches?
This is a possible solution, I suppose I could have a "match" racket where I only use it during matches and a "practice" racket for any type of practice/warm-up. Same string of course.

If this were the case I think I could potentially get 3-4 matches out of a fresh string job which would lower costs a bit, right now I can get about 2 matches out of a fresh string job, but that's including 2-3 hours of warm-up before those matches. If I warm up with my "practice" racket I could squeeze a bit more mileage out "match" racket.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
4.5-5.0 level player here, I play about 3-4 matches a month (USTA leagues, ultimate tennis) I realized that I play my best with fresh string jobs, so I make sure to get a racket re-strung before any competitive match. I get free stringing from my uncle, but it still costs me $25 a racket to string with gut/poly. So if i play 4 matches a month, that's $100 on strings. I don't need a fresh string job to practice, but I was initially drawn to gut because everyone said it was "playable" until it breaks, which is a vague statement because anything is "playable" until it breaks, but when playing a match you want that extra control/accuracy a fresh string job provides.

I feel like I could use a soft cheap poly like YPTP and call it a day. $4 a racket.

Thoughts?
for me the cheapest setup is a full bed of poly, stringing it 4-8 lbs higher than i want, and either letting it sit in my bag, stepping on it carefully, or just dealing with the uncomfortable break-in period. then it settles at a tension i can enjoy for longer. i'm currently trying a multi/poly hybrid, which I like, and it seems to be lasting quite nicely in my 18x20....waiting to see how long it takes to start notching too heavily.

i've never tried gut myself, but my friend did....definitely not playable until it broke. his was a zig-zagging swirly mess with his strings stuck all kinds of out of position.

tbh if the only reason you're playing with gut is cause of what other people said, try testing how you like cheaper setups. if you're restringing before every match, you can probably do with a much cheaper multifilament, or go full poly. it doesn't hurt to try...not everyone needs to be playing with the setup the pros use! since your uncle is your stringer, consider also getting a reel when the string you like goes on sale.

p.s. get your uncle something nice for christmas or even consider paying him once in awhile...even if it's your own nephew, it's not easy stringing for someone 4 times a month for free! that's lost money he could earn from a paying customer, or even if he doesn't need the money, that's a lot in time spent alone.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
for me the cheapest setup is a full bed of poly, stringing it 4-8 lbs higher than i want, and either letting it sit in my bag, stepping on it carefully, or just dealing with the uncomfortable break-in period. then it settles at a tension i can enjoy for longer. i'm currently trying a multi/poly hybrid, which I like, and it seems to be lasting quite nicely in my 18x20....waiting to see how long it takes to start notching too heavily.

i've never tried gut myself, but my friend did....definitely not playable until it broke. his was a zig-zagging swirly mess with his strings stuck all kinds of out of position.

tbh if the only reason you're playing with gut is cause of what other people said, try testing how you like cheaper setups. if you're restringing before every match, you can probably do with a much cheaper multifilament, or go full poly. it doesn't hurt to try...not everyone needs to be playing with the setup the pros use! since your uncle is your stringer, consider also getting a reel when the string you like goes on sale.

p.s. get your uncle something nice for christmas or even consider paying him once in awhile...even if it's your own nephew, it's not easy stringing for someone 4 times a month for free! that's lost money he could earn from a paying customer, or even if he doesn't need the money, that's a lot in time spent alone.
Thanks for adding your thoughts, I will definitely see if I can get him a gift card or something next time I see him.
 

McLovin

Legend
Just to piggyback here, It's not useless information to say what level you play at. I would think that a 3.5 player , and 5.0 player would have much different experiences with strings.

For example 3.5 player "I can use alu power until it breaks" that's not really useful advice for someone who is a 5.0 and is not particularly looking for the most durable string, and also the 5.0 player is hitting with much more spin & pace.

I find as gut/poly ages the launch angle gets higher, does that happen with full poly also?
I guess I said “not that it matters” because I believe it’s more about racquet/string pattern and stroke. While I may play at the 4.5/5.0 level, my swing is much flatter than the guys I play against regularly. They’re in their 30s, I’m in my 50s. They swing harder, with semi and full western grips, while I’m stuck in an Eastern with an aging shoulder that prevents me from swinging out most of the time. I’m restringing their frames once a month because they’re breaking the string. I’m restringing mine once a month because I’m having issues controlling my shots.

To answer your question, I find the poly stops “snapping back” at a certain point, which likely affects launch angle slightly, but to me affects the amount of spin more. I don’t hit with a ton of spin to begin with, so losing any results in shots that were in by 2ft now being out by a foot.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I do not believe stringing above your desired tension and letting the strings drop tension is good idea as one is hitting with a stiff setup at first and then dead strings for the remainder of the time once tension has dropped. It simply means you are playing with dead poly that bagged out for an extended period at a lower tension. If one is going to do that they might as well prestretch the string and then install it at a tension they like to begin with. Either way any elasticity that existed is gone.

I am not saying gut / poly is a panacea as there are players it is not ideal for. However, I would say for some players it can be a really affordable and long lasting setup especially when compared to full poly. The trick is finding a poly cross that is slick and holds tension well and they are out there.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I guess I said “not that it matters” because I believe it’s more about racquet/string pattern and stroke. While I may play at the 4.5/5.0 level, my swing is much flatter than the guys I play against regularly. They’re in their 30s, I’m in my 50s. They swing harder, with semi and full western grips, while I’m stuck in an Eastern with an aging shoulder that prevents me from swinging out most of the time. I’m restringing their frames once a month because they’re breaking the string. I’m restringing mine once a month because I’m having issues controlling my shots.

To answer your question, I find the poly stops “snapping back” at a certain point, which likely affects launch angle slightly, but to me affects the amount of spin more. I don’t hit with a ton of spin to begin with, so losing any results in shots that were in by 2ft now being out by a foot.
I have the exact same experience as you. I play an eastern FH and one handed backhand, I never break strings, but have to re-string due to loss of control. I am a bit younger than you though (26) but my favorite player is Fed, so I guess im a bit old school in that regard.

So I guess you are right it does depend on the stroke.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I do not believe stringing above your desired tension and letting the strings drop tension is good idea as one is hitting with a stiff setup at first and then dead strings for the remainder of the time once tension has dropped. It simply means you are playing with dead poly that bagged out for an extended period at a lower tension. If one is going to do that they might as well prestretch the string and then install it at a tension they like to begin with. Either way any elasticity that existed is gone.

I am not saying gut / poly is a panacea as there are players it is not ideal for. However, I would say for some players it can be a really affordable and long lasting setup especially when compared to full poly. The trick is finding a poly cross that is slick and holds tension well and they are out there.
I agree here, I think it's best to play with the tension that's perfect right off the stringer so that way you have elasticity and control.

If you overshoot the tension by time you get to your preferred tension the strings have already lost elasticity.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
Gut breaks within a few hours. It is very costly. That is why few use it outside of ATP pros.
I need to restring gut after 5 days, max.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
Why stop at a new string job for a whole match and not do a fresh string job for every set?
I think it really depends what your goal is and finding the point of diminishing return.
I've always played my best with guy/poly and of course a fresh string job is much better than a very used string job for a match but I no longer use a newly strung frame for every match.
I play with gut/poly at the 5.0 level due to the comfort, feeling at impact, feedback/sound, power and spin.
The sweetspot on a gut/poly string job feels huge and is especially noticeable on volleys or serves on windy days. You can linear power almost anywhere on the stringbed compare to massive power loss and jarring with a full bed of poly.
Gut/poly is outstanding on serves, volleys, slices and drops whereas polys are slightly better at heavy ground strokes.
One string job lasts me around 16-18h mixed matches and practice. Hitting spin and flat on red clay.
When humidity is higher and clay is wet, durability goes down to 8-12h.

Some ideas:
* buy a couple more frames so you don't have to cut out gut and use it until it breaks
* use a frame for 2-3 matches and then demote it to practice. I find that gut/poly is perfect for 6h just like new especially if playing on hard court.
* try Babolat Tonic as a less expensive alternative

I play 5-6x a week.
I string around 25-30 times a year and stringing costs me as much as balls.
In addition to court costs, training costs, apparel & shoes, strings, balls, grips...strings are maybe <10-20% of overall costs for an intensive hobby.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
I do not believe stringing above your desired tension and letting the strings drop tension is good idea as one is hitting with a stiff setup at first and then dead strings for the remainder of the time once tension has dropped. It simply means you are playing with dead poly that bagged out for an extended period at a lower tension. If one is going to do that they might as well prestretch the string and then install it at a tension they like to begin with. Either way any elasticity that existed is gone.

I am not saying gut / poly is a panacea as there are players it is not ideal for. However, I would say for some players it can be a really affordable and long lasting setup especially when compared to full poly. The trick is finding a poly cross that is slick and holds tension well and they are out there.
For me, I find that strings settle into a lower tension quite quickly, and then do not actually go dead for awhile, but of course that depends on the string. obviously it's not ideal, but the point of this thread is cost savings, not performance. OP said he doesn't care if his poly goes more dead than gut/poly, he just wants it to last more than 2 hours, which a poly will certainly do.

Polys that hold tension well tend to be prestretched at factory (4G, Kirschbaum) or are quite stiff and dead without much elasticity to begin with (Ice Code), there's really not much difference IMO between freshly stringing a poly known for tension maintenance vs letting tension drop off on a more lively poly. A poly doesn't magically not go dead just cause it's in a hybrid with gut...the gut hides the deadness better, but if that works for you, a high quality multi can do well enough at half the cost.

I mean there's really only two options here to get cost down. A) replace gut with multi, B) play with full bed of poly (assuming you don't want to play with a full bed of multi). gotta pick your poison if finances are a priority. there's also less appealing options C) change to a racquet with a denser string pattern, and D) play until your strings break and put up with the lifespan changes, depending on how much money you can/can't afford.
 
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LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Gut breaks within a few hours. It is very costly. That is why few use it outside of ATP pros.
I need to restring gut after 5 days, max.
I find many that use gut and the cost can be more affordable for poly but I really think you have to be a better player to see the benefit.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
Today I had a doubles match, so I warmed up with my "practice" racket and then switched to my "match" one (same strings, but fresher) it played very well despite being strung 4 days ago and having already played a match with it. So I think maybe just using a specific racket for match play only will help me cut down on string jobs.

It's funny because you actually hit more balls in warm-up/practice than actual matches cause the points are shorter. Haha.
 

cortado

Professional
I bought a racquet off the auction site that came strung gut/poly. I've had it about 3 months, and the poly has only just started to be noticeably uncomfortable in the last 2 weeks.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
@FIRETennis hit the nail on the head. String longevity comes down to string pattern, player level, play style, and how hard you hit. Older guys that don’t hit that hard and/or use denser pattern racquets (18x20) will definitely get longer playability duration at the cost of power and/or spin. Everything is a compromise but gut/poly will definitely feel softer than full poly while the latter provides more spin, better ball pocketing, higher durability.
 

McLovin

Legend
@FIRETennis hit the nail on the head. String longevity comes down to string pattern, player level, play style, and how hard you hit. Older guys that don’t hit that hard and/or use denser pattern racquets (18x20) will definitely get longer playability duration at the cost of power and/or spin. Everything is a compromise but gut/poly will definitely feel softer than full poly while the latter provides more spin, better ball pocketing, higher durability.
I hate to get technical, but it was me who said that…
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I've selected Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.20 gauge to try as my first poly coming from Gut/Poly. Will let you guys know how it goes :)
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Your uncle is a saint. You are correct that cheap poly or a poly/syn gut hybrid is the cheapest way to fly if you always want to have fresh strings. Though I still play with NG hybrids sometimes just because they are awesome to play with.

I go through about 60-80 string jobs per year and am always looking for cheap string. Here's my cheat sheet of cheapest reels Tennis Warehouse sells.

 

Maloya

New User
I think in all sports money is the X factor.

in Formula 1, the teams with the most budget can invest the most in research and development, and invest the most in engines and chassis. these teams are often the best.

in regatta (sailing) the bigger boats are more expensive, and your faster, it is a simple logic.

in any sport, money is the key word.
i think in tennis too.

For my part, I played at some relatively good level, and I was playing natural gut / poly (after years of kevlar / s-gut).

but at one point, the financial aspect becomes important, and it happened to me to ask myself the question of the price / performance ratio

Is it worth the cost to pay a lot more for a little more performance?

between a natural gut / poly premium hybrid set which lasts 16 hours (half of which with dead poly) and a multi / poly hybrid which lasts 10-12 hours, but which will cost much less, the difference is quickly made.

of course, the multi / poly hybrid will be less efficient than nat gut / poly .. and again, at my level I am not 100% able to detect the enormous difference at the first balls. (with pro supex maxim touch or weiss explosiv or signum micronite, which are multi that cost less than $ 10!

a babolat tonic / kirschbaum max power costs me around 36-38 €. for two sets and lasts 14-15 hours each

a supex maxim touch / signum megaforce pro costs me € 12 for two sets and lasts me 10 hours each.

if we report the price of multi / poly hybrids, for the price of tonic / max power I can have 3 pro supex / megaforce games.

so, I have the choice between a total of 28-30 hours for 36-38 € with gut poly, or about 20% less performance for 60 hours of tennis with multi / poly, for 36 €.

if I switch to a "generic" brand like gutex / cyber power from PP, it drops even lower, and for around € 7 for two sets of hybrids, I can play around 16 hours in total !.

with a play time of 7 to 8 hours per hybrid of gutex / cyber power, I am for 38 € to approximately 10 hybrids. that is a total of 70 to 80 hours.

of course, a set of gutex / cyber power will not have the performance level of tonic / max power. but will not be zero either!
in my opinion, pro supex maxim touch / megaforce plays at 75-80% of the performance of gut / max power, and gutex / CP plays at 75-80% of the performance of maxim touch / megaforce.

but as I am very rarely at 100% of my physical performance, (most often at 50%, with problems like everyone's placement, timming, gesture), I then wonder why invest in a hybrid at 100 % if I am unable to be 100% me?

the conclusion is: I am not a professional. who needs to have everything 100% all the time. racket, shoes, game, physics, timming, and strings.

even if I use the pro rackets, with the pro strings, I would never be a pro.
 

Happi

Professional
@Maloya its your hobby, so use the gear that gives you most pleasure. String cost is just a little part of the overall cost, and there are much more expensive hobbies out there than tennis :)
 

Maloya

New User
@Maloya its your hobby, so use the gear that gives you most pleasure. String cost is just a little part of the overall cost, and there are much more expensive hobbies out there than tennis :)
exactly...

but as I often (almost always) see people asking for things cheaper, cheaper than alu power, cheaper than hyper-G, cheaper than natural gut, cheaper than x-one ...

people think (I think) that the more expensive things will be the better.

alas, maybe yes, for some. but there are so many cheaper things that make it better to play. (which cost next to nothing, like physical training, like positioning) far too often people think that with the most expensive equipment, used by great players, they will play just as well because they will the same material.

I think that this is often the problem for intermediate players who want to progress by being convinced that with better equipment (and again, very often more expensive does not mean better) they will play better !.

a lot of times people don't ask questions about pleasure, but about price, and performance (similar to other things they think are better because more expensive).

for years (2005-2006?) I stopped running behind performance in relation to the "rumors" of performance of things more upscale. I realized that very often (not to say all the time) it's almost all in the head!

I play with strings less than € 3 which play as well and sometimes better than others over € 20!

the only thing that makes the difference in my opinion is the full bed natural gut.

for me, when you look at the 10 most expensive poly strings, i'm ready to find 10 replacements at three times less expensive. when I look at the 10 most expensive multi strings, I am ready to find 10 replacements at half the price.

in the same way, I play in the same way with a babolat VS touch and a luxilon alu power, as with a signum gut cross (at 10.5 € for 6m) and a signum megaforce. the difference in performance, comfort and the rest isn't so noticeable that I don't think it's worth spending more. unless you do it just for the sake of snobbery and vanity.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Your uncle is a saint. You are correct that cheap poly or a poly/syn gut hybrid is the cheapest way to fly if you always want to have fresh strings. Though I still play with NG hybrids sometimes just because they are awesome to play with.

I go through about 60-80 string jobs per year and am always looking for cheap string. Here's my cheat sheet of cheapest reels Tennis Warehouse sells.

That is awesome! Thank you for assembling this.

A while back someone on here pointed out to me that the Topspin Reels (i,e. Cyber Flash) are 722' and thus actually you get more sets per reel so maybe you want to look at your cost breakdown for the Topspin strings from a reel perspective.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
stringing labor cost adds up though unless you string for yourself which is why gut/poly has outstanding value for its playability duration hence not requiring as much restringing. For me, it’s not so much the cost but the comfort/feel of hitting the ball with a setup that agrees with my arm. Premium strings can be expensive but are much cheaper than doctor’s visit/surgery or even just being able to play pain free. Disclaimer: I do not use gut poly…I opt for full bed low tension soft copoly for the spin/power/ball pocketing effect. I restring whenever string bed starts to hurt my arm or get bored and want to try new setup. I may be a string snob…
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I often wonder if there is an issue with confirmation bias in any of these assessments. The player knows tensions change with string bed aging and he knows how old his string bed is. So every bad shot on a new string bed is attributed to user error and every bad shot on an old string bed is attributed to the strings. Then there is the confidence issue, once you start to be convinced that an older string bed is less reliable.

I think an interesting study would be to blind players to the age of the string bed and look at their match results over several time frames. I suspect the match results would not be altered as dramatically as players feel.

Fortunately most of my competitive play comes in tournament doubles so I just re-string a frame prior to the tournament and use it through the tourney which is usually 2-3 matches. I'd probably suggest the OP have a "match racket" that he uses for at least 4 matches and nothing else. Then convert it to the practice racket and restring a practice racket to become the "match racket".
 
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