Gut/poly - what am I doing wrong?

stumpgrinder

New User
I've tried 5 different gut/poly setups and while I LOVE the feel and power and I am just not getting the spin when compared to full poly, and keep migrating back to full poly. From what I've read gut/poly has one of the highest spin potentials, so how can I get more out of it? By far the biggest difference I feel when switching is the initial "bite" of the poly and it keeps me coming back Any suggestions on tension or combination, or is it more just a swing speed thing?

Here's what I've tried all on Ai98:

-Prime 17/ TB 17 #55
-Classic 17 / TB soft 17 #55
-Classic 17 / TB soft 17 #45 (too low, strings moved bad)
-Classic 17 / YPTP 18 #50
-Classic 17 / YPTP 18 #55

Normal full poly setup is a full bed of the above or spiky black at #45-55. Any suggestions on unlocking the potential?
 

frank52

Semi-Pro
You might try stringing the gut mains at 55# and the poly crosses 3-6 pounds less.
My personal experience with gut/poly has been that it produces less spin than full poly or poly/syn gut.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Gut mains and poly crosses has one of the lowest string to string COF which makes for good snapback, but the STS COF alone is not all that contributes to spin potential. String to ball COF (how the string bites into the ball) has a lot to do with it too.
 
A friend of mine with $4.00 synthetic generates way more spin than I do, and I'm using gut/poly (for reasons other than spin generation). How dare he generate more spin with just $4.00 synthetic gut? Because, technique and skills.
 

stumpgrinder

New User
I typically do the crosses a few below the mains.

Most of us normal people here don't have Federer's technique and swing speed, I'm just looking to maximize the strokes I have right now. I do believe that the gut set up has huge spin potential and requires a faster, complete stroke to unleash it.

I was wondering if the crosses might be a factor here, are they too soft or too shaped?
 

ricardo

Hall of Fame
I've tried 5 different gut/poly setups and while I LOVE the feel and power and I am just not getting the spin when compared to full poly, and keep migrating back to full poly. From what I've read gut/poly has one of the highest spin potentials, so how can I get more out of it? By far the biggest difference I feel when switching is the initial "bite" of the poly and it keeps me coming back Any suggestions on tension or combination, or is it more just a swing speed thing?

Here's what I've tried all on Ai98:

-Prime 17/ TB 17 #55
-Classic 17 / TB soft 17 #55
-Classic 17 / TB soft 17 #45 (too low, strings moved bad)
-Classic 17 / YPTP 18 #50
-Classic 17 / YPTP 18 #55

Normal full poly setup is a full bed of the above or spiky black at #45-55. Any suggestions on unlocking the potential?
From what I've read gut/poly has one of the highest spin potentials, so how can I get more out of it?

Your interpretation of what you read is incorrect.

gut/poly does NOT have one of the highest spin potentials.
Gut/poly is the most slippery hybrid tested by TW but it does not mean it will generate the most spin.

To generate the most spin, do the following:
  1. Mains
    Use the most grippy mains (highest SB COF) you can find (i.e shaped/textured poly's)
  2. Crosses
    Use the most slippery crosses (lowest SS COF) you can find (i.e smooth/rounded poly's).
Use this as a guide:
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/reporter2.php
 

Nevarin

New User
My experience with gut/poly or even multi/poly is that one liking it depends alot on technique. Most of my friends who tried that setup quite honestly hated it, but they all have a more extreme grip and hit very differently from me. They love pure poly, all of them. It gives them more spin. On the other hand I don't dislike poly, but never saw a significant increase in spin, cause I hit differently.

I love gut/poly and multi/poly, but I have a similar stroke style to fed cause I started at 5 years old and extreme grips just weren't as common.
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
17,18 gauge isnt needed on a 16main racket. Try some 16g.

Anton recommeded 52lbs on the gut mains and 48 (i think) on the poly cross. His rf97 is a bit heavier than your ai so maybe even try 50 on the mains.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
I'm going through the same process right now. I use a 14X16 Warrior 100L and I've got gut/poly (tonic/revolve)@60/55 in one racquet and solinco tour bite 18/revolve 17 in my backup copy of the racket. I took both to the court today and it was obvious that the tour bite was able to produce significantly more backspin on drop shots and a decent amount more topspin on my forehands and serves. The further you go from a 90 degree racket face the more the tour bite was obviously producing better results. On the other hand, I dominated a doubles match Wednesday with the gut/poly combo because my return block backs/volley play and serve speed were obviously working better with the extra pop from the gut. I'm still on the fence but it appears I may have to play with the tour bite in singles and the gut in doubles.
 

MathieuR

Professional
I got the advise to use stringsavers to decrease gliding resistance of the gut-mains with poly-crosses. But that worked out pretty bad:
- Wilson string-savers completely blocked string-movement
- Babolat diminished string-movement.
(could be that the ss will improve string-life; but I removed them again)

Now I use silicon-oil, and this improves movement. (others use candle-wax as I understood)
 

fgs

Hall of Fame
first - i wouldn't use shaped/textured strings in my crosses with natty mains. of course, if you have enough cash to spill out, then it certainly is an option, but it will decrease durability and only with textured strings like the alu power you might eventually increase a little bit on the rpm's.

second - i often see a misconception regarding more or less spin, most associate spin with trajectory and height of ball bounce after impact. while this is certainly right, it still is not the complete equation. your aim should be a "heavy" ball not a high jumping "only" spinny" ball. these ones basically are just nice and wellcome sitters if you play with opponents that do know a thing or two about tennis (i'm not really familiar with ntrp ratings, but i would now assume that any 4.0 would regularly, that means more often than not, rip a winner or at least an error forcing shot off of those).
natty mains with ROUND poly crosses do more easily produce such "heavy" shots, obviously as also stated above, you have the technical means to be doing so.

now don't misunderstand - natty/poly is not a "universal" fix. depending on the stroking mechanics some might get along well with it, others might not and feel more comfortable with full poly or eventually a poly/poly hybrid.
 
I agree with your observations. I also see more spin from full poly than I get from gut/poly pretty much at any reasonable tension. It's noticably more spin and bite from the full poly bed. However, gut/poly is a close second, giving way more spin than any full bed of gut or nylon. The gut/poly is a pretty sweet stringbed tho (as long as you have a good poly cross) and keeps stable performance for a long time with no harshness or pain. I like to string the poly 10-20% lower than the gut main.

Presumably you are hitting the same, but maybe not...are you changing anything when you play with full poly? Sometimes I adjust my stroke to hit a little bit flatter with gut poly cause it does that stroke well.
 

stumpgrinder

New User
Thank you all for your responses. I guess I did get a little confused after reading the TWU on string to string friction, and I meant to say gut/poly can be one of the high(er) performing setups. I need to re-read it but I am still confused on ball to string "bite" and how much this adds - obviously a lot because you can feel the difference.

To me the gut/poly definitely hits a heavier ball, flatter trajectory, that really dives but requires a faster swing to get it. While poly has a more even arc shape to the ball. That extra bite is really helpful for me on spin serves, and low balls close to the net where you really need to whip it up and get it back down into the court quick.

I will try some slicker/stiffer crosses next. One thing I was a little shocked about was the time I strung the gut mains at 45 just to see - after one or two sessions the movement was extremely bad and left gaping holes in the bed when compared to the same combination just 10 lbs more at 55, which in some cases lasted me a couple months without that same result.
 

corners

Legend
Although gut/poly setups tested in the TW University lab have shown some of the lowest string-on-string coefficients measured, these setups have never been directly tested for spin potential. That is, while TWU has compared various poly strings with various natural guts, synthetic guts and multis in head-to-head tests where spin generation, rather than friction or some other metric supposed to correlate with spin generation, have been measured, gut/poly setups have never been included in those tests. So while the string-on-string friction coefficient data is highly suggestive of great spin potential, and the anecdotal reports of players seem to back that up, we don't have any experimental data that shows that these low friction characteristics actually produce more spin than a full poly setup.

In addition, to complicate things: gut/poly setups seem to launch the ball at a higher angle than full poly jobs do; higher launch angle tends to provoke the player into closing his racquet face slightly to compensate, and closing the face will produce more spin. So there is this confounding factor to consider. It could be that the players that really love the spin potential of gut/poly adjust in a spin-maximizing way to the high rebound angle while those used to full poly do not - for them, the high angle just sends the ball deeper than they would like.

One thing the COF data do not show is that gut/poly is alone among the setups tested by TWU in maintaining low friction characteristics for long periods of time. With full poly, notching of the mains and denting of the crosses quickly increases string-on-string friction as playing hours are logged, and this has been shown in the TWU lab. Spin potential then plummets, impact shock goes up (due to decreased dwell time that comes with mains that no longer slide freely) and strings are declared "dead." Conversely, gut/poly showed a tendency in the lab to actually get a little slipperier as it broke in. Anecdotal reports seem to back up this lab observation - many players have noted that gut/poly seems to maintain its high spin potential for the life of the job. This might be a more important characteristic than absolute spin generation for some players, especially when combined with slightly greater ball speed (+1-2 mph compared to full poly) and better touch.

As to main string-on-ball friction, there are some differences between the various guts on the market that show up in the TWU data. You could try one of the "grippier" ones, but I doubt it would make much difference.

Regarding tension, the tighter the gut mains the better. Gut returns more energy and stretches less at higher tension, and both promote speedy and timely snapback of the mains. The crosses must NOT be too tight, though, or they will provide too much resistance to the mains sliding tangentially. How tight is right will depend on your swingspeed. But I would think that one of the setups you've tried would have worked if gut/poly is for you.
 

mctennis

Legend
I normally do a few pounds less in my synthetic crosses vs my gut mains. I usually do 58# mains and 55# crosses. If I use poly crosses I can tell when they lose their tension more than if I use a multi or a synthetic gut as a cross. I have not been impressed with nearly all the polys I've tried. They basically die too quickly to me. Thus a waste of time and money to keep having to restring them.
 
It's all in the technique and strings will only make a slight difference in your play. If you got great technique, you can hit more spin with a cheap synthetic gut string.

However, like most who have use gut poly hybrid, go with at least lbs less tension for the poly cross to help with spin production.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
It's all in the technique and strings will only make a slight difference in your play. If you got great technique, you can hit more spin with a cheap synthetic gut string.
I disagree 100%. Strings are more important than the frame in most cases. I'd rank the order in effect on your game to be string>pattern>frame . The difference between a gut setup and a poly setup might be a full 10% in power generation, possibly more. Base line to base line you're looking at 78 feet, if you racket is suddenly 10% more powerful you miss the court by 7.8 feet. That's the fence on most courts. Some of us would be wildly inaccurate with just a 2% power differential. I do call into question when people say they can tell the difference in a couple of pounds of tension in a poly setup. 5 lbs makes a big difference in gut but very little in poly. I've also recently discovered the massive differential in spin generation as you close your racket face. Smooth strings like gut/syn gut slick poly do fine when the face is mostly open and you crush the ball into the pattern. The more you close the face to reduce launch angle or to apply backspin slice the more the shaped polys become massively more important. I could literally feel the ball sliding across the face of my racket while doing drop shots with gut/poly. Tour bite on the other hand ripped into the ball and produced massive spin.
 
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QuadCam

Professional
I wouldn't use TB or PTP as a cross with gut. You need a slicker poly cross to gain the true advantages of the gut/poly setup. It's all about letting the gut do its thing. The poly cross is just there to tame the power of the gut and alloe better sliding/snap back of the gut mains.

Try alu Power Soft, Prince XT, Co-Focus, or BlackZone. All are excellent crosses for a gut hybrid.

Also, the best gut I've used for one of these hybrid is Babolat VS Black Gut. The black gut has a special coating that gives it more bite on the ball.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
Although gut/poly setups tested in the TW University lab have shown some of the lowest string-on-string coefficients measured, these setups have never been directly tested for spin potential. That is, while TWU has compared various poly strings with various natural guts, synthetic guts and multis in head-to-head tests where spin generation, rather than friction or some other metric supposed to correlate with spin generation, have been measured, gut/poly setups have never been included in those tests. So while the string-on-string friction coefficient data is highly suggestive of great spin potential, and the anecdotal reports of players seem to back that up, we don't have any experimental data that shows that these low friction characteristics actually produce more spin than a full poly setup.

In addition, to complicate things: gut/poly setups seem to launch the ball at a higher angle than full poly jobs do; higher launch angle tends to provoke the player into closing his racquet face slightly to compensate, and closing the face will produce more spin. So there is this confounding factor to consider. It could be that the players that really love the spin potential of gut/poly adjust in a spin-maximizing way to the high rebound angle while those used to full poly do not - for them, the high angle just sends the ball deeper than they would like.

One thing the COF data do not show is that gut/poly is alone among the setups tested by TWU in maintaining low friction characteristics for long periods of time. With full poly, notching of the mains and denting of the crosses quickly increases string-on-string friction as playing hours are logged, and this has been shown in the TWU lab. Spin potential then plummets, impact shock goes up (due to decreased dwell time that comes with mains that no longer slide freely) and strings are declared "dead." Conversely, gut/poly showed a tendency in the lab to actually get a little slipperier as it broke in. Anecdotal reports seem to back up this lab observation - many players have noted that gut/poly seems to maintain its high spin potential for the life of the job. This might be a more important characteristic than absolute spin generation for some players, especially when combined with slightly greater ball speed (+1-2 mph compared to full poly) and better touch.

As to main string-on-ball friction, there are some differences between the various guts on the market that show up in the TWU data. You could try one of the "grippier" ones, but I doubt it would make much difference.

Regarding tension, the tighter the gut mains the better. Gut returns more energy and stretches less at higher tension, and both promote speedy and timely snapback of the mains. The crosses must NOT be too tight, though, or they will provide too much resistance to the mains sliding tangentially. How tight is right will depend on your swingspeed. But I would think that one of the setups you've tried would have worked if gut/poly is for you.
@LOBALOT this is a good one.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
@LOBALOT this is a good one.
@aaron_h27 I think we talked about this. Where does it say what was the cross string, what was the diameter in comparison to the gut main, what was the tension in comparison as all this impacts launch angle, even how many mains and crosses are in the racquet being referenced. What I see stated is "gut/poly seem to launch the ball at a higher angle". I don't see any facts around what the specific case and no figures to back this up. I also see references to it producing more spin which is favorable to gut/poly and lasting longer which both would be benefits to gut/poly but again if I am arguing no facts on the one item in reading I see no facts related to the other.

Moreover, I could make these same complaints related to launch angle with poly/poly by simply having a large differential between main and cross tension and complain that poly/poly setups "seem to have higher launch angles".

This post has zero facts in it.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
@aaron_h27 I think we talked about this. Where does it say what was the cross string, what was the diameter in comparison to the gut main, what was the tension in comparison as all this impacts launch angle, even how many mains and crosses are in the racquet being referenced. What I see stated is "gut/poly seem to launch the ball at a higher angle". I don't see any facts around what the specific case and no figures to back this up. I also see references to it producing more spin which is favorable to gut/poly and lasting longer which both would be benefits to gut/poly but again if I am arguing no facts on the one item in reading I see no facts related to the other.

Moreover, I could make these same complaints related to launch angle with poly/poly by simply having a large differential between main and cross tension and complain that poly/poly setups "seem to have higher launch angles".

This post has zero facts in it.
I think the post makes sense if you have context and are familiar with the terms, but ill try to break it down the best I understand it and also more importantly how I've experienced it on the court.

1. Stiffer strings have lower launch angles & less power

" Stiffness: The most important property. Higher numbers are stiffer. Stiffer strings reduce the trampoline effect, crush the energy out of the ball, and hit a slower shot. However, because the rebound from the racquet is slower, you can swing faster and the net result might be a faster shot."


Typical gut poly/hybrid

Wilson Natural Gut 16 - 89 lbs/in
Luxilon 4g 16L - 259 lbs/in

combined stiffness rating : 174 lbs/in

Typical full poly jobs
Solicno Hyper-G 1.20 - 195 lbs/in
Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.20 - 187 lbs/in
Kirshbaum Max Power 1.20 - 222 lbs/in

All stiffer than gut/poly.

2. Polyester's increase in friction as you play with them

"On the other side of the coin, increasing static and/or sliding coefficients of friction will decrease the amount and efficiency of the sideways main string movement and snap back. This, in turn, decreases spin, lowers launch angle, and stiffens the stringbed parallel to the strings. This is perceived as a loss of power and spin as well as an increase in stiffness, harshness, and pain, especially if the player starts swinging even faster to compensate"


That's why full poly generally has a lower launch angle than gut/poly.

Please tell me what you disagree with?
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I think the post makes sense if you have context and are familiar with the terms, but ill try to break it down the best I understand it and also more importantly how I've experienced it on the court.

1. Stiffer strings have lower launch angles & less power

" Stiffness: The most important property. Higher numbers are stiffer. Stiffer strings reduce the trampoline effect, crush the energy out of the ball, and hit a slower shot. However, because the rebound from the racquet is slower, you can swing faster and the net result might be a faster shot."


Typical gut poly/hybrid

Wilson Natural Gut 16 - 89 lbs/in
Luxilon 4g 16L - 259 lbs/in

combined stiffness rating : 174 lbs/in

Typical full poly jobs
Solicno Hyper-G 1.20 - 195 lbs/in
Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.20 - 187 lbs/in
Kirshbaum Max Power 1.20 - 222 lbs/in

All stiffer than gut/poly.

2. Polyester's increase in friction as you play with them

"On the other side of the coin, increasing static and/or sliding coefficients of friction will decrease the amount and efficiency of the sideways main string movement and snap back. This, in turn, decreases spin, lowers launch angle, and stiffens the stringbed parallel to the strings. This is perceived as a loss of power and spin as well as an increase in stiffness, harshness, and pain, especially if the player starts swinging even faster to compensate"


That's why full poly generally has a lower launch angle than gut/poly.

Please tell me what you disagree with?
I saw you try to head down this path yesterday. Tension plays a factor as well and the differential in tension as well and the number of crosses and mains as well. You can't just point to string stiffness numbers but ignore the other. None of these factors were discussed in your post. You don't need to simplify for me. I get it and again the post lacked any specifics related to stiffness or any of these factors that impact the performance of a racquet and it's string setup.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I saw you try to head down this path yesterday. Tension plays a factor as well and the differential in tension as well and the number of crosses and mains as well. You can't just point to string stiffness numbers but ignore the other. None of these factors were discussed in your post. You don't need to simplify for me. I get it and again the post lacked any specifics related to stiffness or any of these factors that impact the performance of a racquet and it's string setup.
" It is apparent in Figure 4 that of all the strings measured that the polyester strings are as stiff or stiffer longitudinally at any tension compared to the nylon strings.


Nylon is stiffer than gut.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
" It is apparent in Figure 4 that of all the strings measured that the polyester strings are as stiff or stiffer longitudinally at any tension compared to the nylon strings.

So you are now talking about Nylon strings????

Man, you are all over the place. You point me to a thread with no specifics so I point that out and then you pull a thread about Nylon string dying in a discussion about gut/poly?
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
" It is apparent in Figure 4 that of all the strings measured that the polyester strings are as stiff or stiffer longitudinally at any tension compared to the nylon strings.


Nylon is stiffer than gut.
And in most cases it doesn't hold tension as well.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
So you are now talking about Nylon strings????

Man, you are all over the place. You point me to a thread with no specifics so I point that out and then you pull a thread about Nylon string dying in a discussion about gut/poly?
The study is literally talking about how polyester strings are stiffer than softer counterparts (nylon) at any tension after you said tension needed to be factored into the discussion.

Nylon is stiffer than gut...you can't put two and two together?
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
And in most cases it doesn't hold tension as well.
" But still, even after losing 20-35 lbs before you have played a game, stiffer polyester strings can produce a stiffer stringbed than softer nylon strings that lose only a few pounds "

 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Yes I can. First, a study would have specifics and there certainly wasn't any math in it including 2+2, material, number of mains or crosses or tension. So certainly I can identify 2+2 but it is apparent you have issues with that.

About an hour ago when some guy posted I was wasting my time with you as you had difficulty assembling a logical thought. My mistake was not listening to him.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
Have a nice day, you don't like facts then so be it.

Love how you have a rebuttal for everything but nothing to back it up. Your whole opinion hasn't been backed by anything. I atleast posted evidence to support my opinions . You just have opinions, but im the one who can't assemble a logical thought?
 
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