In need of a soft string for my RF97 - Help PLS!!

SaaKha

Rookie
Want to take out my RF97 again after neglecting it and need string suggestions. Ik it’s a stiff racquet and some of you may suggest to just use a softer racquet but please just bare with me lol. I know NG is always an option but looking for something a little more price friendly. Would appreciate your help!
 

Addxyz

Professional
Want to take out my RF97 again after neglecting it and need string suggestions. Ik it’s a stiff racquet and some of you may suggest to just use a softer racquet but please just bare with me lol. I know NG is always an option but looking for something a little more price friendly. Would appreciate your help!
Champion's Choice.
 

brownbearfalling

Hall of Fame
Any multifilament should do the trick. I would recommend tourna quasi gut for the price/ performance. Haven’t tried the armor version but it is marketed as being more durable. NXT is my other favorite is you’re willing to spurge.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
1/ Remove the leather grip and replace it with a much lighter synthetic one.
2/ Open the trap door in the butt cap and insert Blue Tac equivalent in weight to the difference between the leather grip and the synthetic grip.

You might then find, you have an RF97 with the same specs but a much softer feel than the stock model. You may then find comfortable play-ability even with a Soft Co Poly string.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Want to take out my RF97 again after neglecting it and need string suggestions. Ik it’s a stiff racquet and some of you may suggest to just use a softer racquet but please just bare with me lol. I know NG is always an option but looking for something a little more price friendly. Would appreciate your help!
You don’t need to look for a soft string just a softer string bed. I’ve moved from the high 50s with Multi string to high 30s to low 40s with poly string and the poly strings feel softer and more arm friendly to me.


EDIT: The thinner the gauge the lower I tension the string because there is less material to resist stretching and I don’t want to over stretch the poly.
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
If you don't play on clay courts and aren't a spin monster, a gut/round poly hybrid can be very economical. I get 20-25 hours from gut/poly and I only pay around $22 per stringbed. When I was playing full poly beds, I had to cut out the strings every 8-10 hours because the tension loss got too high. Another benefit of gut/poly is that the longer lifespan means you preserve the lifespan of the racquet since you are re-stringing less frequently.

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SaaKha

Rookie
1/ Remove the leather grip and replace it with a much lighter synthetic one.
2/ Open the trap door in the butt cap and insert Blue Tac equivalent in weight to the difference between the leather grip and the synthetic grip.

You might then find, you have an RF97 with the same specs but a much softer feel than the stock model. You may then find comfortable play-ability even with a Soft Co Poly string.
wouldn’t a Wilson shock shied grip work the same, without the need of blue tac?
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
syn.gut.mains/smooth.poly.cross is the poor-mans champion choice!!
let the poly cross determine the tension (example poly.cross at 53lbs, would make 56.syn.gut.mains)
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
wouldn’t a Wilson shock shied grip work the same, without the need of blue tac?
It depends on the weight of the replacement grip. If it is close to the original leather grip then it is worth testing. If it isn't, then extra weight should be added at the handle end to retain the existing specs (esp. the Balance.)
 

Muppet

Legend
wouldn’t a Wilson shock shied grip work the same, without the need of blue tac?
If you replace the heavy leather grip with a lighter synthetic one and add the difference in weight inside the butt cap, you will shift the weight distribution down the handle. This will give the racquet a more lively recoil weight at the hoop.
 

warney

Rookie
Give Head Velocity a look.
This!
I have tried Velocity main/Cream cross in PD+ with success (toned down PD's stiffness). Because Velocity is low powered multi, you can use softer poly in cross (unless you want to go full bed).
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
If you don't play on clay courts and aren't a spin monster, a gut/round poly hybrid can be very economical. I get 20-25 hours from gut/poly and I only pay around $22 per stringbed. When I was playing full poly beds, I had to cut out the strings every 8-10 hours because the tension loss got too high. Another benefit of gut/poly is that the longer lifespan means you preserve the lifespan of the racquet since you are re-stringing less frequently.

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This is your answer.
 

topspin2000

New User
If you don't play on clay courts and aren't a spin monster, a gut/round poly hybrid can be very economical. I get 20-25 hours from gut/poly and I only pay around $22 per stringbed. When I was playing full poly beds, I had to cut out the strings every 8-10 hours because the tension loss got too high. Another benefit of gut/poly is that the longer lifespan means you preserve the lifespan of the racquet since you are re-stringing less frequently.

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How are you getting gut/poly combo for $22? Could you specify which brands/models you used, and at what tension? I assume gut is main, poly cross.
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
How are you getting gut/poly combo for $22? Could you specify which brands/models you used, and at what tension? I assume gut is main, poly cross.
Yep, gut mains and poly crosses. I got 4 packs Luxilon gut at $33 each during Black Friday, but Babolat Tonic goes for $36 and Klip goes for $30 so there are options. A pack of gut goes for 2 racquets in a hybrid, so the price per racquet is 16.50. I cross that with Wilson Revolve 16L which I think is around $10 a pack. I have a reel so the overall price is cheaper. So $5 for the poly plus $16.50 for the gut makes $21.50 per racquet.

In my Pro Staff 90 I string the gut at 49 lbs in the mains, and I prestretch the Revolve and string it at 46 lbs in the crosses. I add an extra 5 lbs on the tie offs.

In my RF97 I string the gut at 59 lbs in the mains, and I prestretch the Revolve and string it at 56 lbs in the crosses. I add an extra 5 lbs on the tie offs.

Avoiding wet conditions and clay courts, I get between 20 and 25 hours of court time with my playstyle. 4.5 level with an all-court game, extreme eastern forehand, and one handed backhand.

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topspin2000

New User
Yep, gut mains and poly crosses. I got 4 packs Luxilon gut at $33 each during Black Friday, but Babolat Tonic goes for $36 and Klip goes for $30 so there are options. A pack of gut goes for 2 racquets in a hybrid, so the price per racquet is 16.50. I cross that with Wilson Revolve 16L which I think is around $10 a pack. I have a reel so the overall price is cheaper. So $5 for the poly plus $16.50 for the gut makes $21.50 per racquet.

In my Pro Staff 90 I string the gut at 49 lbs in the mains, and I prestretch the Revolve and string it at 46 lbs in the crosses. I add an extra 5 lbs on the tie offs.

In my RF97 I string the gut at 59 lbs in the mains, and I prestretch the Revolve and string it at 56 lbs in the crosses. I add an extra 5 lbs on the tie offs.

Avoiding wet conditions and clay courts, I get between 20 and 25 hours of court time with my playstyle. 4.5 level with an all-court game, extreme eastern forehand, and one handed backhand.

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Thanks for the explanation. That's not bad at all. I have never tried gut before, thinking it is too expensive and is not durable. Hopefully gut/poly hybrid can last more than a few weeks.
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
Thanks for the explanation. That's not bad at all. I have never tried gut before, thinking it is too expensive and is not durable. Hopefully gut/poly hybrid can last more than a few weeks.
I hope it treats you as well as it has treated me. Just to reiterate, avoid clay courts as much as you can, and at all costs do not play on courts that are wet. Wet courts mean wet balls, and wet balls mean your natural gut won't survive past the 3 hour mark. Lastly do not use textured polys like ALU Power Rough or RPM Blast unless you are willing to pay for new strings every 10 hours. Rounded polys are essential for maximizing the lifespan of a gut/poly hybrid.

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albertobra

Hall of Fame
syn.gut.mains/smooth.poly.cross is the poor-mans champion choice!!
let the poly cross determine the tension (example poly.cross at 53lbs, would make 56.syn.gut.mains)
Ok, but what really makes me unconfortable with this setup is mains moving after short time playing. Isn't string moving an issue for you?
How about invert and put the SG on crosses and poly mains? Sure you gain stability. Is playability so different?
 
syn.gut.mains/smooth.poly.cross is the poor-mans champion choice!!
let the poly cross determine the tension (example poly.cross at 53lbs, would make 56.syn.gut.mains)
I'm trying the Syn gut mains and poly Cross route. What racquet do you use and what tensions?

I have a Prince warrior pro 100 and like higher tensions generally.
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
@albertobra @princemidplus

I let the racquet determine the better setup for it!
I use various racquets and I mess around with the setup, tensions,
I prefer/like a softer feel!!, sooo I let the poly string (whether its on the mains or the cross), determine my starting tension!, and I adjust the other string to it (all based on several consideration factors, such as the racquet head size, strings being used and/or string pattern 18/20, 16/19. etc),,
as a basic starting point though, I suggest you use the manufacturer racquet recommended tension range as your initial guide (most racquets have this written on them),

sg/poly setup = higher launch angle, feels better at impact, more power, good option on a thin frame racquet, or tight pattern racquet; BTW poly crosses have LOW FRICTION, allow good snapback of SG mains!!
poly/sg setup = lower launch angle, feels crisper at impact, lower power, good option on a thick frame racquet, or open pattern racquet
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
I would love for Rod Cross to do a Controlled experiment with Roger and the best Stringers and stringing machines on the planet over a period of several days.

String up dozens of racquets ... half of them at 27, half of them at 26.5.

Then get Roger to play with them using a scientifically rigorous testing regime to determine if he really can tell the difference between those two tensions.
 

topspin2000

New User
I hope it treats you as well as it has treated me. Just to reiterate, avoid clay courts as much as you can, and at all costs do not play on courts that are wet. Wet courts mean wet balls, and wet balls mean your natural gut won't survive past the 3 hour mark. Lastly do not use textured polys like ALU Power Rough or RPM Blast unless you are willing to pay for new strings every 10 hours. Rounded polys are essential for maximizing the lifespan of a gut/poly hybrid.

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Thank you for those tips. We don't have clay courts here where I live, so that's not a concern. Wet courts I will avoid, I usually do not play on them anyway. The tip about round poly is a good reminder. I will keep that in mind when hybriding with natural gut.
 

KYHacker

Professional
FWIW, I have been looking for a different setup with my RF97A. I just strung two of them with Lux 16g gut mains and BBO Rough crosses at 55/53. I had previously strung it with a FB of BBO Rough at 46, a FB of ProLine X at 48, a FB of ALU Power Ltd Ruby at 50, a FB of ALU Power Ltd Purple at 48, and a FB of Laserfibre JB Tour 100 at 50.

Proline X and JB Tour we’re far superior for consistency and control over the other FB poly setups.

I also strung one frame with NXT Max 15 at 58.

Strung bed firmness between all of these setups was actually VERY similar

NXT FB has the most power by a smidge. Followed closely by JB Tour 100, ALU Ruby, then BBO Rough, and the least power but best control from PLX. I think BBO would offer less power if strung at same tension as PLX.

I usually break multi’s in about 90 minutes and polys last me about 10 hours.

Surprisingly, I have about 5 hours on the NXT Max and have found it to be the more arm friendly of these setups with the best sweet spot. I am losing a little bit of spin and depth control, however, and so I won’t stick with it if I can get the Gut/poly combo to work.

Lux gut/BBO Rough is VERY good. Control is second only to PLX. Very different string bed feel. Much more feedback about how well I have hit each shot, and depth control is as good as PLX. Funny thing, though, sweet spot feels more defined, slightly smaller, and one or crosses lower in the stringbed. This may be the result of more feedback and being able to differentiate better, but the markings on the strings from balls show that I am hitting more toward the center with this setup. I usually hit 2 crosses up and 2 crosses over from center with FB poly (I hit heavy topspin with SW grip). Spin is equal to PLX and more than the other setups. My arm is definitely less fatigued with gut/poly setup, but still feel some strain the next day. I may try 52/50on the next go-round.

So far, best comfort has come from slick, round, and very stiff poly at a fairly low tension, multi at higher tension, and gut/poly at mid tension. Ultimately, the feel is FAR superior with the gut/poly setup. So, I will probably stay with that.

Your mileage may vary, though.
 

Dansan

Rookie
Klip legend 16 NG vs tourna 17 BZN. 58/55 lbs. I prefer it to champions choice. I've played maybe 15 hours with good playability still, although it will probably break within the next two sessions. But that's still nearly 20-25 hours of good performance. Fully poly for me lasts maybe 10 hours MAX before it's dead and playing like trash.
It's about $15 per string job (I have my own stringer).

Other than that, if you want to go cheaper, try Gosen OGSheep 16 vs Tourna 17 BZN. Dirt cheap syn gut hybrid.
 
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pvw_tf

Rookie
String up dozens of racquets ... half of them at 27, half of them at 26.5.
Then get Roger to play with them using a scientifically rigorous testing regime to determine if he really can tell the difference between those two tensions.
Yes they can, if the stringer is accurate in its tension. I have been testing with players and string jobs on a machine with different pulling speeds, same tension. And they could put it in order what they liked most. The slowest was the favorite, the fastests strung the least. Please note it were all full gut string jobs.

Peter
 

jered

Rookie
I use the RF97A and spent quite a bit of time experimenting. I've settled on Grapplesnake Alpha at 53lbs. I find it an extremely comfortable poly with good spin and control plus excellent feel. For context, I like a somewhat plush stringbed where you can feel the pocketing along with good access to spin. I also need it low powered because I tend to swing quite fast especially when I get nervous. Below are other setups I quite like:

- Ashaway Crossfire ZX hybrid @ 67/57 - super plush, nearly impossible to break.
- Luxilon BB Ace - crisp and comfortable poly, first 4 hours are magical
- Tecnifibre HDMX - multifilament with poly-like characteristics. Very easy on the arm
- Tecnifibre Multifeel - another multifilament that has decent spin and control and my main string for about a year.

I like the multifilaments but I shred them in 4-6 hours with my style of play. Alpha works for me up to about 12 hours before it needs to be cut out or snaps and it's a good price point. The Crossfire ZX hybrid is amazing and has a unique feel. It will last up to 50 hours or so! I just play best with a full bed of poly although I admit I haven't tried Champions Choice. Kinda afraid I'll like it too much. $$$
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Klip legend 16 NG vs tourna 17 BZN. 58/55 lbs. I prefer it to champions choice. I've played maybe 15 hours with good playability still, although it will probably break within the next two sessions. But that's still nearly 20-25 hours of good performance. Fully poly for me lasts maybe 10 hours MAX before it's dead and playing like trash.
It's about $15 per string job (I have my own stringer).

Other than that, if you want to go cheaper, try Gosen OGSheep 16 vs Tourna 17 BZN. Dirt cheap syn gut hybrid.
This is the deal with the the RF97 if looking for the best cost and playability.
Klip Legend 1.30/ BHBZ 1.25 58/55 (Pre Stretch Mains)
Been playing with the RF97 since it came out.
 

MaxY

New User
Klip legend 16 NG vs tourna 17 BZN. 58/55 lbs. I prefer it to champions choice. I've played maybe 15 hours with good playability still, although it will probably break within the next two sessions. But that's still nearly 20-25 hours of good performance. Fully poly for me lasts maybe 10 hours MAX before it's dead and playing like trash.
It's about $15 per string job (I have my own stringer).

Other than that, if you want to go cheaper, try Gosen OGSheep 16 vs Tourna 17 BZN. Dirt cheap syn gut hybrid.
Which string is Tourna 17 BZN?
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Which string is Tourna 17 BZN?
Tourna Big Hitter Black Zone. It is a poly that is on the softer side and has great tension maintenance. String is very slick and allows the Natural Gut to slide easily without chewing the string up prematurely. String bed doesn't lock up which can make it more taxing on the arm as well. Very reasonably priced.
 

MaxY

New User
Tourna Big Hitter Black Zone. It is a poly that is on the softer side and has great tension maintenance. String is very slick and allows the Natural Gut to slide easily without chewing the string up prematurely. String bed doesn't lock up which can make it more taxing on the arm as well. Very reasonably priced.
Thanks, appreciate it. Could only find Tourna Big Hitter Black on TW but it seems available on the European site.
 

Dansan

Rookie
This is the deal with the the RF97 if looking for the best cost and playability.
Klip Legend 1.30/ BHBZ 1.25 58/55 (Pre Stretch Mains)
Been playing with the RF97 since it came out.
I give you full credit on this setup. I picked it up from a post you made a while back - and so far I've really enjoyed it in my RF and that says a lot because I'm known to switch around a lot. I've stayed with it now for months and keep improving, so thank you for the tip back then !
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
Do you guys who use this hybrid just cut out the Poly crosses when they are done? Or do you to a full restring with fresh Gut and poly when the poly crosses are done?
I cut out the poly when the gut snaps and restring with fresh strings. I don't like the idea of keeping the poly when it's guaranteed to be anywhere between 20%-50% less than reference tension. I also worry about weaving natural gut across the poly since the poly might be more abrasive after 20 hours of hitting a ball.

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Geoff

Hall of Fame
When a string breaks it is always best to cut out all the strings and put in fresh mains and crosses. Back in the 70s it was not uncommon to patch one string. Nothing comes close to a fresh full bed of strings. Obviously this is not an epiphany!
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
I only ask this question because Gut tends to hold onto its play-ability for a lot longer than Poly does. Poly is usually gone in about 8 to 10 hours. But gut can last 24 hours or even longer. It seems to make sense to cut the Poly out after 8 hours, and if the gut looks good, just restring fresh Poly crosses. I imagine one would need to tie off the Poly crosses using one of the other Poly crosses as the anchor string to protect the gut from being nicked or snapped when removing the old Poly.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
I give you full credit on this setup. I picked it up from a post you made a while back - and so far I've really enjoyed it in my RF and that says a lot because I'm known to switch around a lot. I've stayed with it now for months and keep improving, so thank you for the tip back then !
Glad you like that setup. I went through 10-12 different poly cross strings before settling on BHBZ. The string being slick, having good tension maintenance, and low cost stopped my string search as well. It is really tough to find a poly string with a lower stiffness rating that has good tension maintenance. Great set up with any Gut main.
 

chuckos

New User
This is the deal with the the RF97 if looking for the best cost and playability.
Klip Legend 1.30/ BHBZ 1.25 58/55 (Pre Stretch Mains)
Been playing with the RF97 since it came out.
Hi, just wanted to clarify this...

Dansan said ... Klip legend 16 NG vs tourna 17 BZN. 58/55 lbs. is BZN the Black Zone? BHBZ is the Big Hitter? Might be best to just spell the names out for others. The Big Hitter seams textured where as Black Zone is smooth. If you can clarify, that would be great. Looking to try to this setup but wanted to make sure I get the right cross. Thanks.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Hi, just wanted to clarify this...

Dansan said ... Klip legend 16 NG vs tourna 17 BZN. 58/55 lbs. is BZN the Black Zone? BHBZ is the Big Hitter? Might be best to just spell the names out for others. The Big Hitter seams textured where as Black Zone is smooth. If you can clarify, that would be great. Looking to try to this setup but wanted to make sure I get the right cross. Thanks.
Tourna Big Hitter Black Zone (Smooth) BHBZ
Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 (7 Sided). BHB7
 

blai212

Professional
volkl cyclone tour 16g mains
signum pro poly plasma 17L crosses
VCT is one of the softest polys around so probably best to string it a few lbs tighter than your avg poly


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KYHacker

Professional
The more I hit with the Lux Gut/BBO Rough, the more that I like it. Very comfortable. BBO Rough tempers the power of the gut well, and I have almost 10 hours on a frame and nearly ZERO wear. Playability has actually improved at this point. Curious to where playability begins to decline. I do like Big Hitter Black Zone and ProLine X as alternative crosses, but I think this Lux combo is phenomenal, and I’m not normally a Luxilon fanboy.
 
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