If ATP pros use Gut/Poly, why do rec 3.5 and 4.0 players use Poly/Poly ?

socallefty

Legend
Rec players use poly because they ask the local stringer or their group drills coach what everyone uses or what they should use and these days, the answer is often some kind of fullbed poly. I don’t know why stringers do this because it is unsuitable for lower levels of play, it causes injuries making players take breaks from tennis and string less per year, players come back to restring less because poly doesn’t break or move with lower level shots for a long time, poly is cheaper with presumably lower profit margins etc. Why treat your customers this way?

Or the player asks a friend and his friend says poly is great because it doesn’t break or move - while wearing an elbow brace and blaming their racquet for causing their elbow pain.
 
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Bambooman

Professional
I get how gut mains are the source of feel and power but aren't most poly strings specifically designed to grab the ball and snap back when they are in a main configuration?

It seems counterintuitive to use a hybrid in the typical fashion of gut mains and poly crosses.
 

antony

Professional
I get how gut mains are the source of feel and power but aren't most poly strings specifically designed to grab the ball and snap back when they are in a main configuration?

It seems counterintuitive to use a hybrid in the typical fashion of gut mains and poly crosses.
This is what I'm being told:
Gut in the mains, your coach is quite frankly uninformed.

Advantages of each
Gut in mains:
Has better playability duration, better comfort, easier access to spin, easier power, higher launch angle and better feel.
Gut in crosses:
Has a lower launch angle and better control.

Disadvantages of each
Gut in mains: can break on mishits
Gut in crosses: playability duration is awful, due to the terrible string movement in the mains' range of motion. The poly mains will get stuck in place quickly which dramatically reduces the access to spin and decreases comfort. This setup is "a waste of natural gut" (as the stringers at P1 say, some of the best stringers in the world) as it decreases the playability duration of the best string in this regard (natural gut), which makes the stringjob not worth its high cost for rec players.

Polys advantage lies in their slickness which promotes string movement and spin and they can only perform that role in the crosses, not in the mains.
 

antony

Professional
Provides slick "railroad tracks" for the gut to move over.

Gut is actually tough af (think about butchering a set of ribs or a whole chicken) and lasts waaay longer than people who never play it seem to comprehend.
do you think 4g or 4g soft would be a better NG cross? I'm itching to buy a reel of some sort of 4G string
 

t_pac

Semi-Pro
Some of the companies sell a kind of second grade gut that you can use on the cross, since it doesn't have to be the same quality as the main. That is why it is half the price
I tried this with Signum Pro Cross gut.

Quality was terrible, wasn't even worth stringing tbh.
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
I think that rec users benefit from poly in a different way. It keeps the ball in the court by virtue of being dead. Doesn't even require snapback. Gives the player more control even on slow strokes. People prefer this to launching into the back fence.
Good point. I reach the same outcome by stringing gut very tight.
 

Bambooman

Professional
Provides slick "railroad tracks" for the gut to move over.

Gut is actually tough af (think about butchering a set of ribs or a whole chicken) and lasts waaay longer than people who never play it seem to comprehend.
Oh, I know. I do a lot of work with sinew which is essentially the same material.

I do get the slick tracks thought but still wonder about the shape of many poly strings used as a cross. Ridges and edges seem wasted if they slice up the ball rather than across it.

A shaped gut string left coarser and not round seems like a better idea if used as mains.
 

Nate7-5

Professional
I'm planning to try natural gut mains syn gut crosses at some point. My logic is this: with both full syn gut and nat gut/syn gut hybrid, the strings will move and get stuck out of place. If that will happen with both set-ups, I might as well benefit from natural gut mains. I don't want the power of full natural gut, I'd like the synthetic gut crosses there to reduce the power slightly.

After trying full bed uncoated natural gut for the first time, I much prefer gut crossed with AK Pro CX (we have a long thread about it on here). Its obviously not the final word in spin potential, but incredibly comfortable and durable.
 

Ferris

New User
I find the poly slices through the gut like a knife.
I never got more than 5 hours with gut/poly
If you are using a shaped poly it will cut through the gut quickly. I had HyperG and gut and the gut broke in a few hours so switched to 4G and now it lasts...more or less forever for me and I play heavy balls with lots of pace off both sides and big kick serves. I cut it out when the poly strings feel dead and that's quite a while. Since I switched to a smooth poly from a shaped poly the gut lasts a long time. Way better for me than full poly which someone mentioned....have the same half life of goldfish you win at the fair :) . Full poly for me lasted one or two sessions and I would notice a notable change in playability
 
If you are using a shaped poly it will cut through the gut quickly. I had HyperG and gut and the gut broke in a few hours so switched to 4G and now it lasts...more or less forever for me and I play heavy balls with lots of pace off both sides and big kick serves. I cut it out when the poly strings feel dead and that's quite a while. Since I switched to a smooth poly from a shaped poly the gut lasts a long time. Way better for me than full poly which someone mentioned....have the same half life of goldfish you win at the fair :) . Full poly for me lasted one or two sessions and I would notice a notable change in playability
And the only variation on that is that I would cut out just the smooth poly crosses and replace them, leaving the expensive gut, which usually has substantial additional lifetime left.
 

Ferris

New User
And the only variation on that is that I would cut out just the smooth poly crosses and replace them, leaving the expensive gut, which usually has substantial additional lifetime left.
Great idea....never thought to do that. I'm planning to bring my racquets to the stringer today and I'll see if they will do that.
 

Ferris

New User
I'm going to using this line on customers who *have* to play poly.

But, all seriousness aside, I say a natural gut hybrid is the best value in stringjobs if you live in a climate where you can reliably use it.

/Acey
This is my experience too. I went from poly/syn gut hybrid where I broke the syn gut strings very frequently to a full poly where the strings died too quickly. Both of those scenarios I was restringing about once a week while playing 4-5 times/week. So I was spending $100-$120/month on stringing. I was hesitant to try a poly/gut hybrid thinking it will cost me more but the strings last so much longer I save money. The poly/gut hybrid cost me $48 but I only restring now once every 6-8 weeks or so, whenever I feel the poly are really dead. And, someone else pointed out that I can swap out just the poly strings and I'll try that too.

Question though @AceyMan you mentioned "in a climate where you can reliably use it (gut)". I'm in Chicago and made the change to poly/gut in the summer, will cold weather affect gut? I always keep my racquets indoors either with me or while playing - 90% of the time I play indoors.
 

BretH

Semi-Pro
I'm planning to try natural gut mains syn gut crosses at some point. My logic is this: with both full syn gut and nat gut/syn gut hybrid, the strings will move and get stuck out of place. If that will happen with both set-ups, I might as well benefit from natural gut mains. I don't want the power of full natural gut, I'd like the synthetic gut crosses there to reduce the power slightly.
Then you give up a major benefit of gut mains and poly crosses: the gut slides over the poly and snaps back. Good spin and strings almost never need straightening. Plus I believe the low friction is one reason the gut lasts so long.
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
Question though @AceyMan you mentioned "in a climate where you can reliably use it (gut)".
My caveat is for places where there is frequent rain (or the threat thereof).

I don't have experience with gut & sub freezing temperatures so I don't know if it is or isn't a problem for the serosa.

Pehaps someone reading this has some wisdom on that specific concern.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
i would think that with the coated guts these days, they would be playable in all but the most hot/humid conditions. Ive found that cold temps simple stiffen strings/racquets but doesn’t really distort them.
 

guilhermefdc

Semi-Pro
I don‘t like what I feel when using gut or multis and much prefer the feel of muted polys - that is the main reason I use them.
I usually break strings in ~4 hours and I guess I’m fine regarding dead strings, but even if I didn’t, I’d rather just cut them out - more expensive than using gut, but way enjoyable for me.
 

Ferris

New User
So you use Luxilon 4G ?
Unfortunately, that stiffness rating is off the charts at 300+
Holy crap!
Yes, I use Luxilon 4G and gut. The gut offsets the stiffness quite a bit. The gut strings are the least stiff strings you can get so the full hybrid bed is middle of the pack for overall stiffness. There may be a way to check but my anecdata from feel says the poly/gut hybrid is significantly less stiff than the full bed of HpyerG I had used right before switching. Before HyperG I had a hybrid setup of 4G and syn gut and the 4G/gut is less stiff than that too.

You can look for a less stiff poly to try in a hybrid setup. Any non shaped poly with gut should give similar results relative to restringing costs. It was counter intuitive to me since the gut part of that equation is the most expensive option but they last much longer than a full poly or poly/syn gut setup.

I went with Luxilon 4G because it has the best tension maintenance of any poly string, or one of the best. I notice the tension loss on poly strings and I have to adjust to that so I wanted a string that lasted the longest for tension maintenance. It's all about tradeoffs and this setup seems to give me the best tradeoffs.
 

cortado

Professional
Then you give up a major benefit of gut mains and poly crosses: the gut slides over the poly and snaps back. Good spin and strings almost never need straightening. Plus I believe the low friction is one reason the gut lasts so long.
Yes that was my one concern, reduced durability of the gut due to friction of the syn crosses. My logic was that with syn crosses I never need to worry about 'dead' poly.
If I was going to have a 'back-up' full syn gut racquet in my bag, I might as well have some natural gut in there (if the strings are all going to move and stick anyway).
 

StringGuruMRT

Semi-Pro
Great idea....never thought to do that. I'm planning to bring my racquets to the stringer today and I'll see if they will do that.
You would be disappointed if you brought your racquet to me and asked for that. I don't understand why any self respecting stringer would agree to that. Besides the risk it could put the frame in, the amount of extra labor you need to do to just take out the crosses kills your efficiency. Also it would be very difficult to achieve a consistent stringbed doing this, and someone who would ask you to only string half of the racquet also seems like the kind of person who would blame the stringer if they play a bad match.
 

Ferris

New User
You would be disappointed if you brought your racquet to me and asked for that. I don't understand why any self respecting stringer would agree to that. Besides the risk it could put the frame in, the amount of extra labor you need to do to just take out the crosses kills your efficiency. Also it would be very difficult to achieve a consistent stringbed doing this, and someone who would ask you to only string half of the racquet also seems like the kind of person who would blame the stringer if they play a bad match.
Ha, dropped my racquets off yesterday and asked if they could do just the poly strings and they told me I am nuts :) ....all the things you said the stringer said. They are great too, after they talked about all those things I said that makes sense just pretend I didn't mention it and go ahead and restring it with the poly/gut hybrid. I trust they and you know what you are doing so we'll stick with the full bed replacement :)
 

StringGuruMRT

Semi-Pro
Ha, dropped my racquets off yesterday and asked if they could do just the poly strings and they told me I am nuts :) ....all the things you said the stringer said. They are great too, after they talked about all those things I said that makes sense just pretend I didn't mention it and go ahead and restring it with the poly/gut hybrid. I trust they and you know what you are doing so we'll stick with the full bed replacement :)
Good for them, and good for you for heeding their advice. A lot of bad advice gets passed around on these boards when it comes to stringing! Thankfully there are a lot of very professional, well educated stringers on here who help and keep people straight! But they can't catch them all!
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
I don‘t like what I feel when using gut or multis and much prefer the feel of muted polys - that is the main reason I use them.
I usually break strings in ~4 hours and I guess I’m fine regarding dead strings, but even if I didn’t, I’d rather just cut them out - more expensive than using gut, but way enjoyable for me.
I feel the same way. I enjoy the way low tension poly bends when the ball sinks into the string bed. Ball pocketing of multi or gut just cant compare to fullbed poly
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
You would be disappointed if you brought your racquet to me and asked for that. I don't understand why any self respecting stringer would agree to that. Besides the risk it could put the frame in, the amount of extra labor you need to do to just take out the crosses kills your efficiency. Also it would be very difficult to achieve a consistent stringbed doing this, and someone who would ask you to only string half of the racquet also seems like the kind of person who would blame the stringer if they play a bad match.
What's so bad about it? No harm to racket. Remove cross is in the same exact state as just finishing doing the new mains.
The problem is once you flip it over, the notches are often more than half way through anyway. Not much life left in the gut to warrant the new poly cross.
 

AVSH

Rookie
What's so bad about it? No harm to racket. Remove cross is in the same exact state as just finishing doing the new mains.
The problem is once you flip it over, the notches are often more than half way through anyway. Not much life left in the gut to warrant the new poly cross.
You clamp the racket down to the machine and cut the cross out. Tension is released. Now you pull out all the crosses, and carefully cut off the knots. All this time the frame is being pulled vertically and horizontally in an uneven tension because you havent strung the mains. Because of that you are putting the racket in stress at awkward areas. Now you've spent more time undoing all those strings and knot rather than just redoing the mains. Now you start doing the cross and it may or may not already have notches on it. Its at a lower tension than original and will probably go dead or read soon anyway. Just dont it. Manufactures have their reccomneded tie off knots for this sort of stuff. As well as rules like string from the top to the bottom rather than bottom to top cuz this also places uneven stress on the frame. Not worth it
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
You clamp the racket down to the machine and cut the cross out. Tension is released. Now you pull out all the crosses, and carefully cut off the knots. All this time the frame is being pulled vertically and horizontally in an uneven tension because you havent strung the mains. Because of that you are putting the racket in stress at awkward areas. Now you've spent more time undoing all those strings and knot rather than just redoing the mains. Now you start doing the cross and it may or may not already have notches on it. Its at a lower tension than original and will probably go dead or read soon anyway. Just dont it. Manufactures have their reccomneded tie off knots for this sort of stuff. As well as rules like string from the top to the bottom rather than bottom to top cuz this also places uneven stress on the frame. Not worth it
What are you talking about? It takes 2 minutes to cut off the crosses. At that point the racket is in the exact same state as when you strung it. Mains are done, and now time for crosses.
I've done it and it works with zero issue. Basic common sense.
 

AVSH

Rookie
What are you talking about? It takes 2 minutes to cut off the crosses. At that point the racket is in the exact same state as when you strung it. Mains are done, and now time for crosses.
I've done it and it works with zero issue. Basic common sense.
Cool, warp your racket what do I care
 

Vicious49

Hall of Fame
After reading through this thread ive decided to give gut/poly a try. I normally string poly or multi/poly at 48#. If im doing gut/poly, what tension should i go for the gut mains and the poly crosses?
 

MikhailT

Rookie
so if I break the multi mains in 5 hours, what lifespan duration can I expect from gut mains? Playing on clay only does not help the durability I guess?
 

Keizer

Hall of Fame
Rec players use poly because they ask the local stringer or their group drills coach what everyone uses or what they should use and these days, the answer is often some kind of fullbed poly. I don’t know why stringers do this because it is unsuitable for lower levels of play, it causes injuries making players take breaks from tennis and string less per year, players come back to restring less because poly doesn’t break or move with lower level shots for a long time, poly is cheaper with presumably lower profit margins etc. Why treat your customers this way?

Or the player asks a friend and his friend says poly is great because it doesn’t break or move - while wearing an elbow brace and blaming their racquet for causing their elbow pain.
It's this. People don't know sh*t about strings. I don't even think many rec players could tell you the benefits you get from using a poly vs a multi or vice-versa. In fact, I don't think most Big 3 fans could tell you what strings they were using. They're just fixated on the racquets.

Poly is big in rec leagues because stringers/coaches push polys to all their customers regardless of playstyle. I once played in an academy when I was younger and was told to use Pro Hurricane Tour by my coaches when I was 13 even though I was, and am, a flat hitter who doesn't really break strings. People need to reduce the time they spend researching racquets and focus more on picking the right string for their playstyle, level, and arm health.
 

AVSH

Rookie
After reading through this thread ive decided to give gut/poly a try. I normally string poly or multi/poly at 48#. If im doing gut/poly, what tension should i go for the gut mains and the poly crosses?
I’d say keep it at 48. Don’t want to change too many variables at once. If 48 is what Youre used it’s a home base for you to reference. I feel gut to be more elastic and powerful than multi so I go higher but that’s after starting somewhere and tweaking
 

AVSH

Rookie
so if I break the multi mains in 5 hours, what lifespan duration can I expect from gut mains? Playing on clay only does not help the durability I guess?
Hard to know without knowing your playing style and racket of choice. Moisture is enemy of gut so that can impact lifespan. If Youre playing against a heavy ball on clay and or hard it’s true clay would give a higher bounce than hard but not sure how it would impact lifespan directly, maybe someone else knows more on this. In my experience stringing and playing, gut last longer than multi when crossed with a poly. But that’s using LXN gut in a thick gauge and round or rough polys, Not shape and strung on a PS 13
 

MikhailT

Rookie
Hard to know without knowing your playing style and racket of choice. Moisture is enemy of gut so that can impact lifespan. If Youre playing against a heavy ball on clay and or hard it’s true clay would give a higher bounce than hard but not sure how it would impact lifespan directly, maybe someone else knows more on this. In my experience stringing and playing, gut last longer than multi when crossed with a poly. But that’s using LXN gut in a thick gauge and round or rough polys, Not shape and strung on a PS 13
in my experience the clay will get between the multifilament fibers, which increases string-to-string friction which wears the strings down quicker and also leads to the string bed locking eventually. Just wondering, if something like that happens with gut
 

AVSH

Rookie
in my experience the clay will get between the multifilament fibers, which increases string-to-string friction which wears the strings down quicker and also leads to the string bed locking eventually. Just wondering, if something like that happens with gut
I guess something like that could happen. Never experienced it so idk... Playing on Green clay, that has never happened to me
 

taylor15

Hall of Fame
After reading through this thread ive decided to give gut/poly a try. I normally string poly or multi/poly at 48#. If im doing gut/poly, what tension should i go for the gut mains and the poly crosses?
I’m doing the same, partly bc of this thread and partly bc of the holics. I’m stringing NRG2 in my mains now at 54 and will keep the gut the same. Gut/Max Pwr at 54/50.
Which gut are you going to go with? I’m thinking Wilson or Luxilon
 

Ferris

New User
After reading through this thread ive decided to give gut/poly a try. I normally string poly or multi/poly at 48#. If im doing gut/poly, what tension should i go for the gut mains and the poly crosses?
Others have said this already but I'll concur. The conventional wisdom is to keep your poly the same so 48# and go a little higher on the gut since it's more flexible, 50-54# or something like that.

I was at 55# full poly in a Blade 98 (V8, V7 and CV versions) so a bit on the high side but I have a fast swing. After some experimenting lowering the tensions though I am at 48# poly and 52# in the gut in the V8 Blade and for me it's working well. It's a bit of some crazy logic maybe on how I got to the 48/52. The full bed of poly lost tension so fast I strung it a little higher thinking maybe it will be in the sweet spot for longer....when I went to the hybrid I thought the poly tension will be less of an issue since there is less of it so went with tensions I thought might be better for me. It feels good so either that worked or it is the placebo affect. Either way I am hitting it how i want and it feels great....YMMV.
 

silentkman

Professional
Well … let’s expand it, why don’t all atp pros use gut/poly?
I think poly is better short term for pros and that's all they want. they are getting much better spin etc. as somebody mentioned, they only need it for 30 minutes or so. as a older player, gut is perfection.
 

StringGuruMRT

Semi-Pro
It won't warp the racquet. Naysayers rarely try something to check their "facts".
Yeah on the latest TW podcast they had the lead string guy at Head, and he talked about how having hybrid string jobs stress the racquet unevenly, and lead to some deformation over time because the multi and mono strings hold tension differently, but cutting only the crosses out and not touching the mains is fine? Lets just forget about the fact that if you were taking the USRSA MRT exam and cut out only the crosses on broken strings, the tester would probably not let you continue with the rest practical exam and fail you on the spot. But that's OK, you do you boo... :rolleyes:
 

Bambooman

Professional
When you string a two piece the mains are in place and the crosses absent. If you remove the crosses of a finished frame, you go back to that stage.

Your whole exam scenario is silly. People are talking about stringing their own racquets or at least just asking a stringer to do this. Whether this allows you to pass some course is completely irrelevant.
 

StringGuruMRT

Semi-Pro
When you string a two piece the mains are in place and the crosses absent. If you remove the crosses of a finished frame, you go back to that stage.

Your whole exam scenario is silly. People are talking about stringing their own racquets or at least just asking a stringer to do this. Whether this allows you to pass some course is completely irrelevant.
When you properly string a two piece, you immediately go from the mains to the crosses. When you cut the crosses out, and the tension is released suddenly (not gradually when you pull tension), then sits there for 3-5 minutes while you gently remove the crosses, so not to burn the mains, and then carefully remove the knots . During that time the frame is under much longer distress than at any time during stringing.

The other side of it is, that stringbed is going to be a mess of uneven tension and stringbed stiffness. Players on these boards will stress over the difference in .035 grams between frames, but are ok with having stringbeds that have no chance of even being close to consistent.

But again... You do you boo.
 

Bambooman

Professional
The frame is supported during this time. Pretty sure some people have strung mains and paused for 5 minutes before doing crosses.

This is not just me. There's plenty of folks who do it with no problems.

Sounds like you may have cut out a lot of expensive gut for no reason, that you are desperate to justify.

But you do you boo.
 

Vicious49

Hall of Fame
I’m doing the same, partly bc of this thread and partly bc of the holics. I’m stringing NRG2 in my mains now at 54 and will keep the gut the same. Gut/Max Pwr at 54/50.
Which gut are you going to go with? I’m thinking Wilson or Luxilon
I was thinking Babolat VS or Wilson. I was going to string each UT with 1 and see which I preferred. So far I've only used multi on the mains of my VC95. I've kept the tension even on the multi and poly crosses because I wanted to lower the launch angle a bit anyways. If I was to do this on the UT where I wouldn't mind a bit higher launch angle I will probably go 52/48.

I guess the other question is - I usually go 17g with poly, multi, or syn gut. Should I stick with 17g on the gut or should I go with 16g to make it last longer? I'm thinking the 17g poly will go dead before I snap either 17 or 16g gut so it probably won't matter much.
 
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