Best natural gut currently

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
A number of years ago I checked out the various natural gut options. I found that each had one negative or another.

However, once I found Pacific Tough Gut 16, I never looked back. It's been extremely consistent over the years in its playability, durability and tension holding. I string it in the mains with Gosen Micro 16 in the crosses.

Once I notice any type of fraying, I use the Babolat string savers. Note that I'm generally not a string breaker.

I just noticed that its not listed right now at TW. I hope this is just temporary. I still have a few sets left.
Did you ever compare ToughGut 16 to 16L?

I have only used ToughGut 16L, as I feel that I might lose too much spin going to 16...
 
Did you ever compare ToughGut 16 to 16L?

I have only used ToughGut 16L, as I feel that I might lose too much spin going to 16...
I believe I may have tried 16L and 17, but if so, that was a number of years ago and I don't recall my impression of them. I basically settled on 16 and have stuck with it.
 
Is natural guts on sale at TW ? seems like this is a great time to get them but I am afraid I might get addiction to it and have to call Nattyanonymous...
 
Hi all I have been hitting with the 1.30 version of Luxilon's Gut for the past 6 weeks now? I string at 61 lbs full bed in my DR 98 which seems to be a good tension. I have gone undefeated this season at the 5.0 level in my league. It start's off a bit crisp but settles in nicely. I think putting coconut oil on after hitting sessions makes a big difference and helps the strings snapback. I went a couple days without putting coconut oil and noticed a slight difference in the playability. With coconut oil my strings stay straight and i only have to move them a couple times over a 2 hour session. I play about 8-10 hours a week on hardcourts. I play a counter punching style with a 1HBH, think Suarez Navarro or Rochus. I get more than enough topspin and the durability is really impressive for a natural gut.

Also TW has it on sale for $22 a pack if you buy 3 this week!
 
I'm still struggling to find a tension for the Lux NG 1.30 that won't loosen up too much before the string breaks. I did 61 lbs in my DR 98 and now after 2 months it's a bit too loose for me to feel confident in a match playing with it. I play 3-4 times a week so I definitely got my money's worth, but I don't like cutting out unbroken gut. Haha. Going to try 63 lbs next time. Am i asking for too much or should I just be happy I'm getting 2 months out of NG? Lol.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I'm still struggling to find a tension for the Lux NG 1.30 that won't loosen up too much before the string breaks. I did 61 lbs in my DR 98 and now after 2 months it's a bit too loose for me to feel confident in a match playing with it. I play 3-4 times a week so I definitely got my money's worth, but I don't like cutting out unbroken gut. Haha. Going to try 63 lbs next time. Am i asking for too much or should I just be happy I'm getting 2 months out of NG? Lol.
Are you tracking the tension loss somehow?

I've been using RacquetTune to track my nat gut tension loss from the moment it is strung to when it sags out or breaks.

It's also a good way to know what your preferred playing tension is.

I've been experimenting with trying to "seat in" the knots a little bit before ever hitting with the racket, by carefully supporting the frame of the racket flat on my rug and carefully stepping on the strings. This drops the tension by a pound or so when fresh off the stringing machine.

I've also been experimenting with then leaving the gut in for a few weeks before ever hitting with it, so that it has experienced more tension drop before playing. That way it (hopefully) doesn't drop as much during the 20+ hours that I'm going to hit with it.

My theory is, the more I can get the tension dropped/stabilized before ever playing with it, the smaller the tension drop will be during my playing timeframe (a month or so).

Food for thought...
 
If you use an eCP, you can do either a 5% prestretch or you can also prestretch manually. If you use any CP stringer, you can also pull for longer periods at ref tension to remove static tension losses. NG stretches under tension. Pulling longer allows the string to stretch more but at ref tension. I don't bother with the % prestretch for other reasons.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
If you use an eCP, you can do either a 5% prestretch or you can also prestretch manually. If you use any CP stringer, you can also pull for longer periods at ref tension to remove static tension losses. NG stretches under tension. Pulling longer allows the string to stretch more but at ref tension. I don't bother with the % prestretch for other reasons.
I really need to invest in a stringing machine!

My stringer pre-stretches manually...
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
If you use an eCP, you can do either a 5% prestretch or you can also prestretch manually. If you use any CP stringer, you can also pull for longer periods at ref tension to remove static tension losses. NG stretches under tension. Pulling longer allows the string to stretch more but at ref tension. I don't bother with the % prestretch for other reasons.
Would there be any difference between one-piece and two-piece full-bed natural gut stringjobs, with regards to tension loss?
 
Are you tracking the tension loss somehow?

I've been using RacquetTune to track my nat gut tension loss from the moment it is strung to when it sags out or breaks.

It's also a good way to know what your preferred playing tension is.

I've been experimenting with trying to "seat in" the knots a little bit before ever hitting with the racket, by carefully supporting the frame of the racket flat on my rug and carefully stepping on the strings. This drops the tension by a pound or so when fresh off the stringing machine.

I've also been experimenting with then leaving the gut in for a few weeks before ever hitting with it, so that it has experienced more tension drop before playing. That way it (hopefully) doesn't drop as much during the 20+ hours that I'm going to hit with it.

My theory is, the more I can get the tension dropped/stabilized before ever playing with it, the smaller the tension drop will be during my playing timeframe (a month or so).

Food for thought...
I normally play with it right off the stringer, but I will try your suggestion and let it sit 24-48 hours before playing.

I had it strung at 61 lbs on a electronic stringing machine 2 months ago and right now the tension says 48.8 lbs on RacquetTune. However I did play with it right off the stringer and I played with it when it was lightly misting so i don't know if the moisture made the tension drop a bit.

So I will try 61 lbs again and let it sit a day or two before hitting with it, and I won't play with it in the rain anymore.
 
Ok I lied, I strung my other DR 98 at 63 lbs. Waited 24 hours and hit with it today. Really liked the extra control and it didn't feel stiff or anything compared to 61 lbs. This is Lux NG 1.30

I checked RacquetTune today on both of my rackets and the one that was just strung at 63 lbs yesterday read 62.2 lbs (very accurate i was shocked)

The racket I've been playing with for two months that was initially strung at 61 lbs read 48.0 lbs which is a bit on the looser side. I can still play with it, but every now and then I get one that sails long. I'm thinking my preferred range would be 53-55 lbs once everything is settled.

I'm just glad Lux NG was on sale recently so i can play around with tensions :)

Also I said earlier in this thread Lux NG needs to be strung looser than pre-BT7 gut (old wilson) 3-4 lbs, however I think you can string it at the same tension and be ok
 
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Hit for 2 hours today and RacquetTune is saying 60.0 lbs (initally strung at 63). It's holding up so far :) I have a match Wednesday so im hoping I can loosen it up a bit to 57-58 by hitting with it some more before then as it's still a bit stiff, but much better control than playing with my older racket which is at 48 lbs from the tension loss.

Strangely though I had one of my students use my old racket (the one I've hit with for the past 2-3 months and reads 48 lbs on RacquetTune with full bed Lux NG 1.30) and she loved it. I'm trying to convert her to natural gut in 2019 and see how her game does.
 
Racket reads 58.2 pounds after about 10 hours of play (LUX NG 1.30 initially strung at 63 lbs). I played my match today and won in straight sets. I like how the racket is playing at this tension. Hopefully 63 lbs is my magic number and i can play with this racket until it breaks ;)

After playing with Lux NG for some time now I can safely say Lux NG is very similar to the old wilson (pre-BT7) perhaps even better due to the extra spin, durability, ease of stringing & price, and for $22 a pack it's a no brainer. (if you got it on sale)
 
So i haven't played since the last time I posted here which was 4 days ago...I went out and hit today for 2 hours.

Came home and now the racket is reading 55.4 lbs on RacquetTune. I'm wondering what made the tension drop so much from 58.2 on Saturday,

Anyways It's still playable which is the main thing, my fear is if it drops below 50 lbs i have to start adjusting stuff for control.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
So i haven't played since the last time I posted here which was 4 days ago...I went out and hit today for 2 hours.

Came home and now the racket is reading 55.4 lbs on RacquetTune. I'm wondering what made the tension drop so much from 58.2 on Saturday,

Anyways It's still playable which is the main thing, my fear is if it drops below 50 lbs i have to start adjusting stuff for control.
That does seem like a big drop, considering you already had 10 hours on the string.

Same temp in your house as when you tested it before? (I've noticed changes in temp can have an effect on RacquetTune).
 
That does seem like a big drop, considering you already had 10 hours on the string.

Same temp in your house as when you tested it before? (I've noticed changes in temp can have an effect on RacquetTune).
I played 6 more hours and checked the tension today and now it's back to 58.2 lbs so maybe you're right about the temperature.
 
My rackets have been jumping back and forth a pound or two this winter!
I'm down to 54.9 lbs after hitting about 8 more hours since my last post. Starting to lose a bit of control. It's fine against some of my students, but when I hit against my hitting partner who is a strong 5.0 I don't feel as confident hitting out.

Initially strung on Dec 22, 2018 at 63 lbs, RacquetTune at 54.9 lbs after 25 hours.

I may need to go 66 lbs next time. The strings aren't even close to breaking.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
The strings aren't even close to breaking.
You could also consider installing a few string savers to "tighten up" the stringbed, since your strings aren't close to breaking. Might be a way to extend the life of your stringjob?

I play with lots of stringsavers preventatively from the get-go (the entire sweet spot), to keep the crosses from sawing through the mains. I really like the firmer feel that string savers give a full bed of gut...https://careers.upmc.com/jobs/3374582-acupuncturist
 
Played about 12 hours since my last post and now im down to 51.5 lbs and it's basically unplayable now cause of the tension loss, but still the strings aren't close to breaking. But it did last me a good while. So 63 lbs is not tight enough for me. I will try 68 lbs and see if it can settle at around 56-57 lbs after the tension loss.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Played about 12 hours since my last post and now im down to 51.5 lbs and it's basically unplayable now cause of the tension loss, but still the strings aren't close to breaking. But it did last me a good while. So 63 lbs is not tight enough for me. I will try 68 lbs and see if it can settle at around 56-57 lbs after the tension loss.
How many hours total did you get out of the strings?

For me (Lux 1.25), it seems like tension loss is a combination of playing with the strings, plus how long it's been since they were last strung. While nat gut retains tension well, it does very slowly decline over time, even without playing.

Mine seem to drop a couple of pounds in the week after stringing (no hitting), and then another couple of pounds the first couple of hours that I hit hard with them (I usually just practice serves for the first couple of hours, since I'm trying to break them in). From there, they very slowly lose tension (maybe 0.5 pounds per week) until they get too soft and I can't control anymore (like your scenario). That seems to be around 30 hours for my setup, spread across several weeks...
 
How many hours total did you get out of the strings?

For me (Lux 1.25), it seems like tension loss is a combination of playing with the strings, plus how long it's been since they were last strung. While nat gut retains tension well, it does very slowly decline over time, even without playing.

Mine seem to drop a couple of pounds in the week after stringing (no hitting), and then another couple of pounds the first couple of hours that I hit hard with them (I usually just practice serves for the first couple of hours, since I'm trying to break them in). From there, they very slowly lose tension (maybe 0.5 pounds per week) until they get too soft and I can't control anymore (like your scenario). That seems to be around 30 hours for my setup, spread across several weeks...
I get about 30 hours too then it gets too powerful (launch angle too high) however as I've gone up in tension it remains a bit more playable a few hours longer. For example at 61 lbs I could get 25 playable hours, 63 lbs 35, etc...

I'm getting my racquet strung at 66 lbs tomorrow and will see how long that holds up. I want to go as high as i can in tension without sacrificing durability, I believe somewhere between 68-71 lbs could get me a playable tension until the strings break, but I'm trying 66 first.
 
Keep us informed at the different tensions you string get at. My old stringer had gut analyzed many years ago. He told me, at that time, at what tension gut loses all the great properties at. I just cannot remember what tension he mentioned. I knew I would never string gut that high. It was close to 70 from what I can remember. He worked at a lab and did some testing on a few sets of gut at that time.
 
Keep us informed at the different tensions you string get at. My old stringer had gut analyzed many years ago. He told me, at that time, at what tension gut loses all the great properties at. I just cannot remember what tension he mentioned. I knew I would never string gut that high. It was close to 70 from what I can remember. He worked at a lab and did some testing on a few sets of gut at that time.
A lot of professionals use gut at very high tensions. 66 lbs is not THAT high
 
@aaron_h27 for a high-level player like you (5.0) you must be hitting pretty much harder and getting more mileage per unit of time than us people at the 4.0-4.5 level. Players your level would be changing strings at about 8 hours using polys. So I thought 25 hours at least for a 5.0 player is pretty good. To expect more is probably asking too much already from a gut. Stringing much higher would extend that stage where you wouldn't be too happy with the strings at the start as it would be too stiff. I don't know.
 
@aaron_h27 for a high-level player like you (5.0) you must be hitting pretty much harder and getting more mileage per unit of time than us people at the 4.0-4.5 level. Players your level would be changing strings at about 8 hours using polys. So I thought 25 hours at least for a 5.0 player is pretty good. To expect more is probably asking too much already from a gut. Stringing much higher would extend that stage where you wouldn't be too happy with the strings at the start as it would be too stiff. I don't know.
I thought that too about the strings being too stiff, but as im going up in tension it's not that much stiffer. For example 61 vs 63 lbs the difference was very minimal, I feel like all fresh stringjobs start out stiff then soften after a few hours anyway. I don't think 66 lbs will be too stiff. Plus it will drop to about 60 lbs after a few hits.
 
A lot of professionals use gut at very high tensions. 66 lbs is not THAT high
The point I was making is that at high tensions gut loses the properties of gut. Then it probably does not play as well as gut would normally play. I am not sure where I mentioned 66 as being high. Most new racquets the string ranges suggest tensions not over 60. I know the tension he mentioned was close to 70 or so, it may have been 72. If the characteristics of gut is lost at high tensions is it worth the money to buy gut instead of using another string that would have better playing characteristics than gut?
 
The point I was making is that at high tensions gut loses the properties of gut. Then it probably does not play as well as gut would normally play. I am not sure where I mentioned 66 as being high. Most new racquets the string ranges suggest tensions not over 60. I know the tension he mentioned was close to 70 or so, it may have been 72. If the characteristics of gut is lost at high tensions is it worth the money to buy gut instead of using another string that would have better playing characteristics than gut?
I don't think it loses the properties of gut though. Gut is still has more feel/more elastic/more power at high tensions than any synthetic string still

I'm moving from the DR 98 to 93P anyway so I'll be going back to 60 lbs and adjusting from there. 1.30 gauge Luxilon
 
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I don't think it loses the properties of gut though. Gut is still has more feel/more elastic/more power at high tensions than any synthetic string still

I'm moving from the DR 98 to 93P anyway so I'll be going back to 60 lbs and adjusting from there. 1.30 gauge Luxilon
I have my Dual VCore 330 at 62 lbs with gut mains. This guy was a scientist at a testing facility so I trust what he told me. What "high" tension number to you is max tension for gut? Just curious.
 
The only 'negative' of Tough Gut is that, on occasion, it can be extremely hard to find.
Apparently, Pacific is terminating US operations. I read on another website that they are officially out of the racket business; RIP Fischer. Their supply channels to the US appear to be drying up.

I am glad I stocked up on Babolat gut in 2017 and Lux Gut in 2018! (Even though I don't use it myself, folks I string for do)
 
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McLovin

Hall of Fame
Apparently, Pacific is terminating US operations. I read on another website that they are officially out of the racket business; RIP Fischer. Their supply channels to the US appear to be drying up.
To the best of my knowledge, here's the status:
  • Tom Parry left Pacific sometime near the end of 2018 (in fact, he's not even in the tennis business anymore)
  • Essentially, Tom Parry was Pacific USA
  • As such, there is currently no Pacific representation in the US
  • No word on if they're out of the racquet business, however:
    • I was given a contact at Pacific by @SFrazeur.
    • The person I contacted said orders could still be placed w/ Pacific in Germany
    • The caveat is (a) you'd need a VAT #, and (b) a minimum order of $1,500.
I do not have a VAT, nor do I plan on obtaining one. Additionally...I'm not ordering $1,500 worth of equipment. Time to stock up on X Force frames...
 
I do not know if Pacific, the main Germany company, is out of the racquet business. However, there is no more Pacific USA, LLC. I was an authorized Pacific USA dealer and there was not even notice given that Pacific USA was closing. When I contacted Pacific Germany I got a form reply about the $1500 minimum and VAT.
 
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