Natural Gut/Poly Stringing

jhick

Hall of Fame
Hi,

I'm thinking about stringing my racquet with natural gut in the mains and poly in the crosses. I've never strung with real gut before. Any tips/suggestions? I've heard that gut kinks easier than other kinds of string. Is it best to pre-stretch the gut string to prevent this?

Thanks
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Manually pre stretch NG to remove coil memory. Machine pre stretch is sorta useless when pulling NG since it is so elastic. It does not lose much statically. Take your time pulling the string thru the grommets. That is where you can kink the string if you pull too fast. When weaving and pulling poly across NG mains, also take your time. You can easily burn the NG if pulling to fast. Some will say tie NG off on itself and poly on itself. I am not in that camp. Use any knot you are comfortable using. I prefer using the DHH on NG.
 
-make sure your clamps are clean before you start and clamp as light as you can (but without slippage)
-use a starting clamp as a backup when starting your mains (just as a precaution)
-use a diabolo if you have one
-careful not to kink the string, particularly around grommets
-be patient - let the NG stretch when pulling
-be gentle when tying knots
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
-make sure your clamps are clean before you start and clamp as light as you can (but without slippage)
-use a starting clamp as a backup when starting your mains (just as a precaution)
-use a diabolo if you have one
-careful not to kink the string, particularly around grommets
-be patient - let the NG stretch when pulling
-be gentle when tying knots
Sorry about my ignorance, but what is a diabolo?

If you're referring to the juggling toy, then my son has one. But I don't think that's what you mean.
 
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jhick

Hall of Fame
Also, no longer a chronic string breaker, mainly because I only play 1/2 times per week and am more of a flat hitter vs. in my youth, but should I consider string savers?
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
I would not use string savers the first time. If you are in love with the results, but are breaking way too often, you can try them.

You will need to be sure not to leave your stick in the car, in extreme heat or humidity or cold. NG is more fragile than mos tthink.

ALSO, be sure to string it tighter than you think you should (rule of thumb is 10% tighter, I go more like 12-15% tighter)
The elasticity is real.

BTW, consensus is to use a nice round smooth poly in the crosses. edged polys will saw through the mains quicker than you want.
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
I would not use string savers the first time. If you are in love with the results, but are breaking way too often, you can try them.

You will need to be sure not to leave your stick in the car, in extreme heat or humidity or cold. NG is more fragile than mos tthink.

ALSO, be sure to string it tighter than you think you should (rule of thumb is 10% tighter, I go more like 12-15% tighter)
The elasticity is real.

BTW, consensus is to use a nice round smooth poly in the crosses. edged polys will saw through the mains quicker than you want.
Thanks. I've heard/read about the weather playing a factor in the life of gut string, especially the humidity and not allowing the strings to get wet. I was thinking I'd string nat gut at 58 and poly at 48. I have Luxilon ALU power 125 which I believe is a rounded poly.
 

struggle

Legend
I go 60/56 in a 100 inch frame, 16x20. I could and perhaps should go lower on crosses.
I prestretch manually for coil memory and 10% machine prestretch.

No kinks is the key, IMO.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Sorry about my ignorance, but what is a diabolo?

If you're referring to the juggling toy, then my son has one. But I don't think that's what you mean.
A diabolo is an apparatus normally found on higher end machines. It is shaped like the juggling toy you reference, but is used to wrap the string around and then feed into the gripper jaws. It can be seen here:

 
Thanks. I've heard/read about the weather playing a factor in the life of gut string, especially the humidity and not allowing the strings to get wet. I was thinking I'd string nat gut at 58 and poly at 48. I have Luxilon ALU power 125 which I believe is a rounded poly.
Never get NG wet, even if hitting a slightly damp ball. I played with a freshly strung NG frame in a misting drizzle once and even though the gut had a coating on it, after about an hour it frayed all over the place and then snapped.
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
A diabolo is an apparatus normally found on higher end machines. It is shaped like the juggling toy you reference, but is used to wrap the string around and then feed into the gripper jaws. It can be seen here:

FWIW, I have a Klippermate drop weight stringer so diabolo does not apply.
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
I've been using NG for a long time now but when it comes to stringing NG, I leave it to the professional people to string my racquet with NG on my Alpha Ghost machine. I have a Alpha Ghost 2 stringing machine and it does have the diablo.
 

First Serve

Rookie
Never get NG wet, even if hitting a slightly damp ball. I played with a freshly strung NG frame in a misting drizzle once and even though the gut had a coating on it, after about an hour it frayed all over the place and then snapped.
Exactly! The precise failure mode of NG in damp weather, fraying which eventually leads to the string breaking.
 

Papa Mango

Semi-Pro
I've been using NG for a long time now but when it comes to stringing NG, I leave it to the professional people to string my racquet with NG on my Alpha Ghost machine. I have a Alpha Ghost 2 stringing machine and it does have the diablo.
Assuming by professional you mean the kid ;).
I never use the diablo especially for NG more opportunity for kink/unravelling.
Pull straight thru. No issues.
To reitrate, weave carefully don't get kinks or unravel the string.
If it's a humid day even if you leave the racket in the bag make sure you zip up the bag.
 
I agree that the diabolo does give more opportunity for kinks, but at the same time, it helps prevent ghosting from the gripper plates. So it's sorta a trade off. I find I get more ghosting from the gripper plates (w/o diabolo) than ghosted kinks from using the diabolo, so I prefer to use the diabolo. However, OP doesn't have a diabolo, so OP just needs to be careful when putting NG in the gripper plates. Could use the "business card" trick to help prevent that.
 

Papa Mango

Semi-Pro
I agree that the diabolo does give more opportunity for kinks, but at the same time, it helps prevent ghosting from the gripper plates. So it's sorta a trade off. I find I get more ghosting from the gripper plates (w/o diabolo) than ghosted kinks from using the diabolo, so I prefer to use the diabolo. However, OP doesn't have a diabolo, so OP just needs to be careful when putting NG in the gripper plates. Could use the "business card" trick to help prevent that.
Does ghosting effect durability?
oh, I see you are saying more opportunity for the string to kink at the ghosted part right?
 

Villain

Professional
FWIW, I have a Klippermate drop weight stringer so diabolo does not apply.
I have a Klippermate and I string NG all the time on it. I’m happy with the string jobs. I’m just a little more careful handling it to avoid getting kinks and I pull a little slower when weaving the crosses. Otherwise, fire away.
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
I have used the business card trick and it works quite well. The round gamma style(?) grippers dont have that problem. kind of a built in diablo.
 

struggle

Legend
No issues with my Gamma Linear gripper (with diablo) and NG.

Never had an issue with my eagnas either (no diablo).

No paper or business card trick used.

I also have often strung cheap (India) gut with no issues either (in the stringing process)
with either machine.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
The only things I do with natural gut are:

1. Be careful with new grommets. You may want to string up new grommets with a full set of something cheap for a day or two to break them in and then cut out and string the gut/poly hybrid as I have seen new grommets snap gut.

2. Take your time when stringing the gut mains so you don't kink the string. I don't have issues with diablo and kinking and would worry more about the tension head crushing the gut if I didn't use it.

3. Take your time when installing the poly cross especially fanning the crosses.

That is it. Good luck with the new setup and I hope it works well for you. I am really enjoying gut/poly and quite a few of my friends are as well.
 
Lots of good suggestions above,
and natural gut is great-- but do you really need it--
is it a good value/performance combination.

If you use poly in combination with the gut, the poly
will begin to deaden (if that's a word) in a relatively
few hours, while the gut will play the same (basically)
until it snaps. So, if you are willing to cut out perfectly
good/expensive gut- if price is no object- then, yes,
gut/poly great combination.

Also, you say you now hit relatively "flat". If that is so,
do you really need the poly? Consider using a full bed of NG,
you may like how it plays and it could last you months if
cared for properly- rather than weeks as a mix.

Another possibility is to use a synthethic gut- something
inexpensive to start with- (like Gossen OG-sheep micro)-
that you would not mind cutting out, to see if you really want to
make the full move to natural.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Lots of good suggestions above,
and natural gut is great-- but do you really need it--
is it a good value/performance combination.

If you use poly in combination with the gut, the poly
will begin to deaden (if that's a word) in a relatively
few hours, while the gut will play the same (basically)
until it snaps. So, if you are willing to cut out perfectly
good/expensive gut- if price is no object- then, yes,
gut/poly great combination.

Also, you say you now hit relatively "flat". If that is so,
do you really need the poly? Consider using a full bed of NG,
you may like how it plays and it could last you months if
cared for properly- rather than weeks as a mix.

Another possibility is to use a synthethic gut- something
inexpensive to start with- (like Gossen OG-sheep micro)-
that you would not mind cutting out, to see if you really want to
make the full move to natural.
As far as the poly going dead before the gut is done that is the case to some extent but I think it is also not true that gut does not lose any tension. For me, the gut main getting more lively and poly cross getting more dead compliment each other. As I am not a string breaker I find I actually restring the entire thing not when the poly is dead but actually when the gut starts getting too lively and I lose both control and spin.

As far as price it is an object for me with a son heading off to college. Moreover, I have been furloughed twice over the past year for a total of 4 months so the expense is important. I have done the math and actually with the longevity I get from a gut/poly hybrid I may be paying a bit more than with my prior setup but not as much as one would think. It is pretty close.

I actually, prefer the poly cross to gut for two reasons and the first is related to the prior paragraph:

1. A full set of gut is now $42. With a hybrid I have cut that expense roughly in half.
2. For me the gut performs better when it is not locked against itself in a full bed. I find for given tension a racquet with the mains free to move around plays less stiff than a locked stringbed. In addition, while my ground strokes are flat my serve is not I get pretty decent action on the ball. I get slightly less than full poly.

As far as OGSM I do agree folks should try various strings as we have seen on this message board there are a wide variety of string setups folks are using and lot of good options available today.
 

struggle

Legend
The poly cross going dead is less an issue with a NG main which maintains the liveliness
of the string bed (IMO).

Hell. i think you could start with a dead poly and be fine as long as its' tension is abit lower than
than main.
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
Also, you say you now hit relatively "flat". If that is so,
do you really need the poly? Consider using a full bed of NG,
you may like how it plays and it could last you months if
cared for properly- rather than weeks as a mix.
I generally hit flat when I'm the aggressor in order to take time away from my opponent when I'm inside the court. But when hitting a more neutral or defensive shot, I will hit spin. I'm just looking for an option to increase that spin. FYI...I'm switching to a racquet with a little more power that I've noticed is more prone to going long on those shots.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
Never get NG wet, even if hitting a slightly damp ball. I played with a freshly strung NG frame in a misting drizzle once and even though the gut had a coating on it, after about an hour it frayed all over the place and then snapped.
I strung one of my son's racquets with s-gut/poly for hitting when it's damp outside and told him not to hit with his gut/poly setup. He comes home from tennis in damp conditions with two racquets with snapped gut... teenagers...
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
I strung one of my son's racquets with s-gut/poly for hitting when it's damp outside and told him not to hit with his gut/poly setup. He comes home from tennis in damp conditions with two racquets with snapped gut... teenagers...
Expensive lesson hopefully learned.
 

struggle

Legend
I strung one of my son's racquets with s-gut/poly for hitting when it's damp outside and told him not to hit with his gut/poly setup. He comes home from tennis in damp conditions with two racquets with snapped gut... teenagers...
Try X-One Biphase or similar instead.
 

Papa Mango

Semi-Pro
I strung one of my son's racquets with s-gut/poly for hitting when it's damp outside and told him not to hit with his gut/poly setup. He comes home from tennis in damp conditions with two racquets with snapped gut... teenagers...
If its damp, I keep the gut racket in the bag tightly zipped up if I have other options. If the bag is open and moisture gets in, the gut usually breaks the next time even if I am playing on sunny/warm day.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
@struggle @jim e well, played last night and it never ceases to amaze me how much I forget. I guess I got off natural gut because I'm a cheap-o despite the fact that I have about 50 sets of natural gut here and there..... I loved the natural gut with MSV Focus Hex 1.18 at 56/52. It played great. The natural gut seemed to go through the ball like a hot knife through butter. The biggest thing I noticed was how well it felt at net. It boosted my confidence by a large margin.

I had never cared for Klip gut before, but this felt fantastic. I've got a ton of natural gut so I think I'm going to cut out the syn gut / TiMo and replace it with natural gut and MSV Hex.
 

FFo

New User
Just strung my first gut, wasn't big deal.
Feels good, some free power but I'm losing too much spin. Maybe it's the >1.35 Babolat tonic? Tension maintenance is great.
Maybe I'll try a 1.25 version if it helps, how's the durability with thinner gut?
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
@struggle @jim e - well re-discovered another aspect of natural gut yesterday. I strung my other two sticks with some Legend/MSV Hex. Ran up for a lob, took it off the bounce, and hit it on the top of the racket face (higher than intended to be sure). Boom bang bing snap. Gut broke at twelve o'clock. It had a good 25 minutes on it. :( Brought it home, cut it out and strung it back up. :)
 

jim e

Legend
@Rabbit , next time when string with gut, use a light lube like tri flow in the grommets. I place a small drop on a very small round microfiber brush, and that will lube a number of main string grommets on a racquet. You will have much less string breaks at the grommet from mis hit. With gut, you can shank a hit and not snap when you do that, but then later when next time you take racquet out of your bag, you find a snapped string that happened in the bag, but was caused by the previous outing mis hit. The lube does help. Only downside is need to clean machine clamps well when done. I use this on all gut string jobs.
 
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struggle

Legend
@struggle @jim e - well re-discovered another aspect of natural gut yesterday. I strung my other two sticks with some Legend/MSV Hex. Ran up for a lob, took it off the bounce, and hit it on the top of the racket face (higher than intended to be sure). Boom bang bing snap. Gut broke at twelve o'clock. It had a good 25 minutes on it. :( Brought it home, cut it out and strung it back up. :)
I just pulled one from the bag the other day. Snapped at T4/5. I had played it 4-5 times maybe. Likely from a mishit
but unsure. May try silicon trick, have never snapped one due to mishit before and i don't think these grommets are
shot yet.
 

struggle

Legend
@struggle @jim e - well re-discovered another aspect of natural gut yesterday. I strung my other two sticks with some Legend/MSV Hex. Ran up for a lob, took it off the bounce, and hit it on the top of the racket face (higher than intended to be sure). Boom bang bing snap. Gut broke at twelve o'clock. It had a good 25 minutes on it. :( Brought it home, cut it out and strung it back up. :)
I may go back in with some India Gut......if it snaps in the same place........ then I'll know.
(Although that stuff snaps randomly at times, may be hard to tell...)
 

struggle

Legend
I thought that needed emphasizing. :)
I've used it many times, actually often with good success......however there have been some failures.
I'm likely at ~80% satisfaction/success rate, so not terribly bad. It plays well enough when it holds up.
I've a handful of sets left, so this is putting it to good use. (along with cheap Pro's Pro Red Devil which
is not a bod poly at all for the price).
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I may go back in with some India Gut......if it snaps in the same place........ then I'll know.
(Although that stuff snaps randomly at times, may be hard to tell...)
Last week, one of my racquets was ready for a restring and knowing that we are heading into Spring I didn't want to string up another with VS knowing it could get wet when we head outside. Therefore, I had some NGW laying around so I strung it up with Cream in the crosses and went to our Tuesday drill and play. I got about 10 minutes out of it before "BOING"... The gut snapped at about 7 O'clock. I have no idea how it snapped there as I actually hit a decent shot in the middle of the racquet face.

I am not a string breaker at all and it has probably been 5 years since I snapped string. The stuff is awful.
 

struggle

Legend
Last week, one of my racquets was ready for a restring and knowing that we are heading into Spring I didn't want to string up another with VS knowing it could get wet when we head outside. Therefore, I had some NGW laying around so I strung it up with Cream in the crosses and went to our Tuesday drill and play. I got about 10 minutes out of it before "BOING"... The gut snapped at about 7 O'clock. I have no idea how it snapped there as I actually hit a decent shot in the middle of the racquet face.

I am not a string breaker at all and it has probably been 5 years since I snapped string. The stuff is awful.
It's not good when it breaks early, to be sure. It can't be truly trusted but it often works fine for me.

Having said that, it was "ok" when it was $10 per set but I won't be buying any more as it is now about the same as Klip
pricewise.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
It's not good when it breaks early, to be sure. It can't be truly trusted but it often works fine for me.

Having said that, it was "ok" when it was $10 per set but I won't be buying any more as it is now about the same as Klip
pricewise.
Even at $10 it is bad. $10 + $4 for the Cream is about $1.40 per Minute for the 10 minutes it lasted.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Are yonex frames the best for gut/poly jobs? I heard you can tie off poly on poly using a cross tie off compared to other rackets. Anyone know if this gives a better string job?
 
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