RF97A---Best Poly/Tension

Taveren

Semi-Pro
I have not tried low tension polys before but I cannot imagine slicing with it? Wont the trampoline effect be too much? One reason I decide to restring is when my slices become difficult to control though I am interested to try it out for FH and BH groundstrokes.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I was able to hit today for about a hour and a half and thought that 4G Soft played very nicely I this frame. This is the first time using this string and I really enjoyed it. Like you said, the ball pocketing is there and the level of power is high imho. The only time that I was able to use this frame, it had RPM Dual and it was fair. I would have to say I really enjoyed today's hitting session and the string worked very well for me. I'd agree that you have to trust your shot and commit because the ball can fly if you aren't careful, had it happen on a few slice returns I was coming in after.
A summary of my low tension experience:
THURS First 2 hours of training: really good spin, felt like it have more "give" to it, touch wasn't quite there.
FRI 1 hour individual: Still a bit erratic but my inside-out forehand and approaches felt really nice. Volleys were pretty good.
SAT Match play: Erratic, although serves were bigger.
SUN Hitting: The spin had noticeably dropped some once the string started notching
SUN match: Again serves were bigger, but groundstrokes-- especially my backhand, felt erratic. I normally hit that shot at a very high % and was missing a fair number of shots I normally execute. I got ticked off after getting broken in the second set, smacked a ball in disgust and snapped the strings(close to the sweetspot, so it wasn't a shank) :D So much for lower tensions being long-lasting. I got about 7 hours of play total out of them.\

I like some of the benefits of lower tension, but I think I'd be better off with something between 50 and 54 lbs in a relatively open 16x19 like the RF97.
 

Sardines

Professional
I use Cyclone Tour 18g or natural gut like VS17g at 46-54 mains with a 3-4lbs drop in the crosses, depending on conditions and court. With full Cyclone Tour 18g, I like the lower tension for the comfort and bite, and would recommend it for those seeking more spin/bite and comfort. For handsy net players, the low volley touch is quite difficult when you drop tension, requiring deft touch.
Full blooded drives have to be higher in the hitting zone or hit with more spin because of the looser string... but it protects my arm while producing good serves.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I have not tried low tension polys before but I cannot imagine slicing with it? Wont the trampoline effect be too much? One reason I decide to restring is when my slices become difficult to control though I am interested to try it out for FH and BH groundstrokes.
I think for more "drive" type slices, it's tough to use the low tensions, but for slices to keep yourself in a point (recovery shots) it can be helpful as it's easier to lift the ball.
 

Sardines

Professional
I have not tried low tension polys before but I cannot imagine slicing with it? Wont the trampoline effect be too much? One reason I decide to restring is when my slices become difficult to control though I am interested to try it out for FH and BH groundstrokes.
Not at all. With full poly, the low tension bite is very pronounced and allows excellent slice as groundies and also as approach shots. In fact, with approach shots, it's easier to get side spin as well.
I think for more "drive" type slices, it's tough to use the low tensions, but for slices to keep yourself in a point (recovery shots) it can be helpful as it's easier to lift the ball.
I hit flatter slice for and get extra spin for the same stroke, with full poly. Same for hybrid stringing.
 

Anton

Legend
I use Cyclone Tour 18g or natural gut like VS17g at 46-54 mains with a 3-4lbs drop in the crosses, depending on conditions and court. With full Cyclone Tour 18g, I like the lower tension for the comfort and bite, and would recommend it for those seeking more spin/bite and comfort. For handsy net players, the low volley touch is quite difficult when you drop tension, requiring deft touch.
Full blooded drives have to be higher in the hitting zone or hit with more spin because of the looser string... but it protects my arm while producing good serves.
18g in such open pattern? Probably Wouldn't even last 2 hours for me
 

SalSal

New User
Just got it strung with Diadem Solstice Power 17 @53/50 lbs, really curious how will that string behave in this frame.
 

veecee

Rookie
Just had my first hit with my RF97 strung with Ripspin 15G at 54lb. It was strung about a month ago so it's probably dropped in tension a little. The combo was surprisingly good! I managed to easily generate a very decent amount spin despite the thick gauge. Comfort was excellent with just the right amount of feel. The thicker gauge also tamed the power of the RF97 nicely. Overall I think Ripspin or Revolve (new version of Ripspin) is well worth a try!
 

MasturB

Legend
Of course it is. You should up the tension by about 6-10lbs to have ANY CHANCE in h*ll of having similar power levels and feels between 17.5mm/90sq.in and 21.5mm/97sq.in. Why don't people get these basic facts? :confused:
What about for electric machines?

I used to string my K90 at 45lbs on an Babs electric, with Topspin Cyberflash 17.

I tried 45 on the same machine with my RF97 and it was flying long a lot yesterday. I wasn't getting that trampoline hold on the ball that I'm used to. It was just deflecting off the stringbed. Are you suggesting I string it tighter? Because that generally hasn't worked out but I'm open to trying.
 
What about for electric machines?

I used to string my K90 at 45lbs on an Babs electric, with Topspin Cyberflash 17.

I tried 45 on the same machine with my RF97 and it was flying long a lot yesterday. I wasn't getting that trampoline hold on the ball that I'm used to. It was just deflecting off the stringbed. Are you suggesting I string it tighter? Because that generally hasn't worked out but I'm open to trying.
Machine doesn't matter, the fact still remains the same as I said. And why's that? Because what you really FEEL with a racquet is NOT pulling tension but the STRINGBED STIFFNESS. And stringbed stiffness increases whenever:
1) Pulling tension increases
2) Stiffness of the string used increases
3) String density of the racquet increases
4) Stiffness of the racquet increases

Just as an example, I get similar feel with 23kg mains tension on K90 & Prestige MP, but 26kg on a 102sq.in 16x19 Yonex which I now use.
 

MasturB

Legend
Machine doesn't matter, the fact still remains the same as I said. And why's that? Because what you really FEEL with a racquet is NOT pulling tension but the STRINGBED STIFFNESS. And stringbed stiffness increases whenever:
1) Pulling tension increases
2) Stiffness of the string used increases
3) String density of the racquet increases
4) Stiffness of the racquet increases

Just as an example, I get similar feel with 23kg mains tension on K90 & Prestige MP, but 26kg on a 102sq.in 16x19 Yonex which I now use.
I am aware of that.

Why I was asking because an electric machine generally pulls a few pounds tighter than a drop weight/crank.

So 45 on an electric may be closer to 52-53 on a drop weight/crank.

Electric does matter, I've strung thousands of rackets on both and the electric by far does pull it a few pounds tighter (and more accurate).
 

SalSal

New User
After having some slicy/spinny fun time with Diadem 17, now I have it strung with Babo RPM Blast 18 @55/53 and I really love it. Such an exquisite delivery of the ball to the destination.
 

Adam1985

New User
Hey, so I play with the RF97a. I went into the shop for a new racquet and ended up with it. I only realised afterwards that it's probably a terrible choice for someone who is still pretty new to tennis. That said, I've actually really enjoyed hitting with it and have won the only two matches I've played so far. I'm currently using Head Hawk strings at 55lbs tension. I quite like the strings (though I don't have many reference points!) but I've been feeling a tiny bit of elbow pain - nothing major and only after I've played a long time. But from my reading on here, I gather it might be due to the strings and I might be better off with something else... maybe synthetic gut? Could anyone recommend something, or let me know how I go about making the choice for my next re-string please? Thanks!
 

Taveren

Semi-Pro
@Adam1985 at this point your best bet is to find a good trustworthy stringer and you can work with him to find the most suitable string for you. Let him know your preferences and he can recommend some strings for you and it will be a journey for sure but it will help you identify what works for your game. And next time you will know what to look for in a string.

I would suggest to consider a hybrid setup.
 

Adam1985

New User
@Adam1985 at this point your best bet is to find a good trustworthy stringer and you can work with him to find the most suitable string for you. Let him know your preferences and he can recommend some strings for you and it will be a journey for sure but it will help you identify what works for your game. And next time you will know what to look for in a string.

I would suggest to consider a hybrid setup.
Cheers for the reply.

So hybrid would be something like the Head Hawks on the main strings (length ways) and then synthetic gut strings cross ways?

If that's right, I'll go and speak to the guy who did my first strings and see if he can do that!

When you get hybrids, do you get the two different strings strung at different tensions or the same?
 

Taveren

Semi-Pro
Cheers for the reply.

So hybrid would be something like the Head Hawks on the main strings (length ways) and then synthetic gut strings cross ways?

If that's right, I'll go and speak to the guy who did my first strings and see if he can do that!

When you get hybrids, do you get the two different strings strung at different tensions or the same?
I would suggest to start off with Poly mains for control and Synthetic Gut Cross for comfort but you can do it the other way around with the Synthetic Gut or Multifilament as the main for more feel and poly as cross for more snap back and spin potential. talk to your stringer which one he recommends for your game.

the softer string will normally be strung at a higher tension than the stiffer string to balance the string bed tension. Poly will be strung lower and Synthetic Gut strung a bit higher to even out. something like Poly at 50 and Synthetic Gut at 54.
 

gino

Hall of Fame
I would suggest to start off with Poly mains for control and Synthetic Gut Cross for comfort but you can do it the other way around with the Synthetic Gut or Multifilament as the main for more feel and poly as cross for more snap back and spin potential. talk to your stringer which one he recommends for your game.

the softer string will normally be strung at a higher tension than the stiffer string to balance the string bed tension. Poly will be strung lower and Synthetic Gut strung a bit higher to even out. something like Poly at 50 and Synthetic Gut at 54.
@Taveren have you used any Volkl strings in your RF97A?

If so, have you used Cyclone or Cyclone Tour, and at what gauge?

Thanks
 

Taveren

Semi-Pro
@Taveren have you used any Volkl strings in your RF97A?

If so, have you used Cyclone or Cyclone Tour, and at what gauge?

Thanks
Hi @gino unfortunately the only Volkl string I have tried is Cyclone 17ga but not on my RF97A, it was in a Babolat Pure Drive Roddick and at a very high tension that after a few minutes of rally I gave it back to my friend as it was really stiff.

A friend of mine owns this webstore http://www.seatennis.com/ (shameless plug) and he offers stringing services at very good pricing so aside from the close proximity to my place he is also one of my hitting partners. I ended up gravitating to the strings he offers such as Signum Pro, MSV, Weisscannon and Isospeed.
 

Adam1985

New User
I would suggest to start off with Poly mains for control and Synthetic Gut Cross for comfort but you can do it the other way around with the Synthetic Gut or Multifilament as the main for more feel and poly as cross for more snap back and spin potential. talk to your stringer which one he recommends for your game.

the softer string will normally be strung at a higher tension than the stiffer string to balance the string bed tension. Poly will be strung lower and Synthetic Gut strung a bit higher to even out. something like Poly at 50 and Synthetic Gut at 54.
I've actually really liked my all co-poly string set up, but the only issue is the mild elbow pain. Do you think that having the co-poly/synthetic gut mix will be easier on the elbow? Also, my current strings (the co-polys) are strung at 55lbs. So, seeing as I've enjoyed this set up, do you think I should keep the poly at 55 and then ask for the syn gut at a bit higher, like 57?
 
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coloskier

Legend
What do you do then? Replace both mains and crosses or just the poly?
Used to change out just the poly crosses, but then I found the string combo became a rocket launcher. After a month I just change out both. Occasionally you'll get a set of TBS that loses its tension very rapidly, so you have to cut it out anyway.
 

Taveren

Semi-Pro
I've actually really liked my all co-poly string set up, but the only issue is the mild elbow pain. Do you think that having the co-poly/synthetic gut mix will be easier on the elbow? Also, my current strings (the co-polys) are strung at 55lbs. So, seeing as I've enjoyed this set up, do you think I should keep the poly at 55 and then ask for the syn gut at a bit higher, like 57?
What poly are you using? Why do you like using a full poly setup? Depending on your answer and since confort seems to be an issue, you can either try full poly at low tension or try a hybrid setup.

Some polys are softer so you can string it at 55lbs and still feel plush specially when paired with certain frames but some are rather stiff and when strung at 55lbs will be too boardy. This is why I asked you to work with your stringer to figure out a good starting tension for you, then eventually you will figure out what really works for your game.

Also depending on your game your preferred string tension may vary, baseliner with spin would benefit with the low tension, net player with flat shots would benefit with higher tension for more control.
 

Adam1985

New User
What poly are you using? Why do you like using a full poly setup? Depending on your answer and since confort seems to be an issue, you can either try full poly at low tension or try a hybrid setup.

Some polys are softer so you can string it at 55lbs and still feel plush specially when paired with certain frames but some are rather stiff and when strung at 55lbs will be too boardy. This is why I asked you to work with your stringer to figure out a good starting tension for you, then eventually you will figure out what really works for your game.

Also depending on your game your preferred string tension may vary, baseliner with spin would benefit with the low tension, net player with flat shots would benefit with higher tension for more control.
I'm using Head Hawk, but can't remember exactly which ones. I'm pretty new to tennis (other than the odd hit with a friend) so don't have much frame of reference when it comes to thinking about the strings, but it certainly doesn't feel board-like.

What I like about the current setup is the control - I do feel I can angle my shots confidently and I also quite like that when I do get power it feels like it's due to good technique. I think my natural game is to rally from the baseline, look for weakness and then hit for a corner, but I would also like to become more aggressive in terms of moving forwards to the net.

Maybe the best option would be a slightly lower-strung set of the same strings first and then consider moving to the hybrid?

I would discuss all this with my stringer - as he does seem quite knowledgeable - but there's a bit of a language barrier (English/Thai)! Might go and see if we can figure it out anyway.
 
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Taveren

Semi-Pro
I'm using Head Hawk, but can't remember exactly which ones. I'm pretty new to tennis (other than the odd hit with a friend) so don't have much frame of reference when it comes to thinking about the strings, but it certainly doesn't feel board-like.

What I like about the current setup is the control - I do feel I can angle my shots confidently and I also quite like that when I do get power it feels like it's due to good technique. I think my natural game is to rally from the baseline, look for weakness and then hit for a corner, but I would also like to become more aggressive in terms of moving forwards to the net.

Maybe the best option would be a slightly lower-strung set of the same strings first and then consider moving to the hybrid?

I would discuss all this with my stringer - as he does seem quite knowledgeable - but there's a bit of a language barrier (English/Thai)! Might go and see if we can figure it out anyway.
It seems in your case lower tension poly is the way to go. Try to work it out with your stringer then, good luck :D
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Have tried allot of different set ups with the RF97. Gut/poly, poly/syn-gut, poly/ multi, poly/poly. Settled on multi/poly for the best playability at the best cost. NXT 1.30/ Weiss Cannon 1.25. 55/52
Gut/poly at 58/55 was the best.

Best playability and durability I had with all poly was Hyper G 1.25 in the 50-52 range but was harsh on the arm over time.
 
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smalahove

Hall of Fame
@smalahove - do you still use Tough Gut 16 in your RF97A? If so, what cross do you prefer with it? Thanks!
Sorry, sold those over a year ago, and been playing polys exclusively.
I'm trying gut/poly again with the Phantom Pro 100P, but I think I'm going for a more economical alternative with Tonic+ and Cyclone.
 

Biggles77

New User
You should try dropping the tension at least once to see if you like it. I have two of the red colored 97A's. One of them plays much stiffer than the other. I string that with Discho Iontec @35 lbs. The other I string at 42 lbs. With the Iontec string I find no loss of control at low tensions. I tried lower tensions with Head Sonic Pro and struggled with control, so your mileage may vary based on the string you use. I just received a couple of sets of RS Lyon 1.25 and I'm going to try those with similar tensions. From what I've read they handle low tensions well.

In general, I didn't like the frame at normal tensions in the 50-55 lbs range. I tried a cheap natural gut/Sonic Pro at 52/55 and didn't think much of it. Comfortable, but wasn't too impressed by the control. Champions choice is beyond what I'm comfortable spending on, although I did have it on a Blade 98 just the one time. Its a great setup if you can afford it. Durability is actually quite impressive.

I was lucky enough to snag a 300m reel of Discho Iontec before they stopped making them. But I'm looking around for an alternative once the reel runs out, and I'm hoping the RS will have similar characteristics.
 

stephenclown

Professional
Have tried allot of different set ups with the RF97. Gut/poly, poly/syn-gut, poly/ multi, poly/poly. Settled on multi/poly for the best playability at the best cost. NXT 1.30/ Weiss Cannon 1.25. 55/52
Gut/poly at 58/55 was the best.

Best playability and durability I had with all poly was Hyper G 1.25 in the 50-52 range but was harsh on the arm over time.
Nat gut poly is the best for the racquet I feel and as multi is a cheaper replacement I agree with your choice :) needs that soft main string due to the higher RA and heft. feels so smooth with the hybrid setup and arm friendly. Best thing about this combo is the way the frame plays, perfect balance of power, spin and feel.
 

Biggles77

New User
Played with RS Lyon 1.25 @35 on my RF today. My usual setup is Discho Iontec @35. The RS is definitely a superior string and plays really well at this tension. Plenty of spin, and some good pop as well. In fact it didn't feel like a low tension string bed. I could swing a lot more freely compared to the Discho. Helped my game just enough for me to beat my instructor for the first time. This string has some of that Lux crispness.

However, and I say this with some sadness, this setup turned out to be quite rough on my elbow. Haven't had elbow pain with the Discho in more than a year, but 1 hour into the RS and my elbow was hurting. I'm going to cut it out. I may be tempted to try it again at some point with tension dropped another 5 pounds or so, but I'm not convinced that will help.

Guess comfort will always come with some trade off.
 

leejayh

Rookie
The RF is really quite stiff. I have three string setups:
IsoSpeed Cream: 52/50
Volkl V-Star 17: 52/50
Babolat Tonic/ Max Power Rough: 57/51

All of these are pretty comfortable. Best spin comes from Volkl surprisingly.
All don't last particular long - with the Gut/Poly argueably lasting the longest.

Best feeling is probably Cream.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Hey, so I play with the RF97a. I went into the shop for a new racquet and ended up with it. I only realised afterwards that it's probably a terrible choice for someone who is still pretty new to tennis. That said, I've actually really enjoyed hitting with it and have won the only two matches I've played so far. I'm currently using Head Hawk strings at 55lbs tension. I quite like the strings (though I don't have many reference points!) but I've been feeling a tiny bit of elbow pain - nothing major and only after I've played a long time. But from my reading on here, I gather it might be due to the strings and I might be better off with something else... maybe synthetic gut? Could anyone recommend something, or let me know how I go about making the choice for my next re-string please? Thanks!
Wilson NXT 55lbs
 
My current set up in my RF97 is a hybrid of Klip natural gut at 57 with Tourna Black Zone crosses at 55, and it plays well.

I'm looking for a full bed of poly. I miss being able to hit my forehand as hard as I want with good control, but still want touch.

Thinking of Luxilon alu power rough at say 48. Or maybe RS Lyon. What do you think? What tension?

I used to play Luxilon in my Pro Staff 90 and really liked it. That set up sure made it fun to hit out on forehands.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
@Taveren have you used any Volkl strings in your RF97A?

If so, have you used Cyclone or Cyclone Tour, and at what gauge?

Thanks
Playing with Cyclone Tour 16g in my RF97’s now at 52lbs. Normally playing Gut/poly for events but the humidity and clay courts eat the natural gut here in the south. Have to go less expensive. Experimenting with some softer poly’s now. So far Cyclone Tour 16g is the best for my game. Hyper G 1.25 @ 50 -52 hits great off the ground and volleys but feels stiff on the serve.
 
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My setup is 26 kgs (57lbs) Gosen Polylon 16. To avoid the ball flying/too high launch angle. To supply the nescessary plowthrough, I have 3,5 grams at 12 and just about a gram at 6. And then the weight is offset by playing with just two regular overgrips and a thin Wilson sensation overgrip. Brings it in at about 356 grams and 32,5 cm balance. I like it.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
My current set up in my RF97 is a hybrid of Klip natural gut at 57 with Tourna Black Zone crosses at 55, and it plays well.

I'm looking for a full bed of poly. I miss being able to hit my forehand as hard as I want with good control, but still want touch.

Thinking of Luxilon alu power rough at say 48. Or maybe RS Lyon. What do you think? What tension?

I used to play Luxilon in my Pro Staff 90 and really liked it. That set up sure made it fun to hit out on forehands.
Played Luxilon Alu Power in the RF97 at 52 and it plays great for a few hours.
 
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My setup is 26 kgs (57lbs) Gosen Polylon 16. To avoid the ball flying/too high launch angle. To supply the nescessary plowthrough, I have 3,5 grams at 12 and just about a gram at 6. And then the weight is offset by playing with just two regular overgrips and a thin Wilson sensation overgrip. Brings it in at about 356 grams and 32,5 cm balance. I like it.
Interesting. Do you find that your ball is flatter and moves through the court better by adding the weight?
 
Interesting. Do you find that your ball is flatter and moves through the court better by adding the weight?
I believe the higher tension (and relatively thick string) gives a flatter trajectory. But then I feel that the racket needs a little more (swing-) weight to be stable and have enough power/plowthrough. I would say the two things combined makes it easier to hit flatter and with depth.
With the leather grip and overgrip, I would be pushing 370 grams this way. That is why I like the idea of using 2-3 overgrips instead of leather grip and overgrip.
Next time, I would even consider buying one grip size bigger (size 4) to compensate for the missing leather grip. That way, with a couple of over grips, and perhaps a little lead tape, it is easier to get to your desired spec.
 

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
After trying Hyper-G in my RF97A at 53 and having elbow issues (not sure if it was the Hyper-G or I was just playing too much) I tried some Wilson Nat Gut/Genesis Black Magic.

Loved the gut/poly but had to play in light rain for a tournament and the gut didn't last.

Restrung with my old string (Pro's Pro Black Out) at 48lbs and I'm kind of loving the string at the lower tension. Was getting more noticeable ball pocketing and spin and it just felt very comfortable.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
After trying Hyper-G in my RF97A at 53 and having elbow issues (not sure if it was the Hyper-G or I was just playing too much) I tried some Wilson Nat Gut/Genesis Black Magic.

Loved the gut/poly but had to play in light rain for a tournament and the gut didn't last.

Restrung with my old string (Pro's Pro Black Out) at 48lbs and I'm kind of loving the string at the lower tension. Was getting more noticeable ball pocketing and spin and it just felt very comfortable.
Anything over 50 in the RF97 with Hyper G or Tour Bite was too rough on the arm for me as well. Gut/poly plays the best but condition dependent in terms of durability. Hit yesterday at lunch for an hour and a half with VS Touch/4g and looks like very little wear and no noticeable tension loss from 57/54. ($28.00 a frame)
Trying Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 1.25 @ 50 after I break these strings. ($5.50 a frame)
Tough to find a substitute for the Gut/poly in the RF97.
Hyper G 1.25 @ 50 and Cyclone Tour 1.30 @ 52 have been the best poly options I have hit with in the RF97.
Playing with Hyper G 1.25 @ 52 in my stock PS97 frames and that’s where I am headed in terms of frames. Easier to hold serve and hitting the ball a ton off of the ground.
 
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USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
like your suggestion,
I got the new rf strung with babolat.origin 57lbs,, good feel, good pop, liking It so far..
The RF97 is a really a unique racquet in terms of what string plays well. A good multi at 55-57 hits great which for me is not the case with many Wilson frames. It plays great with Gut/poly but is a bit of a bear to figure out playing full poly.
 
My current set up in my RF97 is a hybrid of Klip natural gut at 57 with Tourna Black Zone crosses at 55, and it plays well.

I'm looking for a full bed of poly. I miss being able to hit my forehand as hard as I want with good control, but still want touch.

Thinking of Luxilon alu power rough at say 48. Or maybe RS Lyon. What do you think? What tension?

I used to play Luxilon in my Pro Staff 90 and really liked it. That set up sure made it fun to hit out on forehands.
The Rs Lyon plays great in the RF97A, less control than Max Power, but better power and comfort
 
Stringing up Cyclone 16. If I normally string BHB7 at 57, should I string Cyclone at that tension as well?

Also, how is the tension maintenance of Cyclone in the heat?

Thanks!!!!!!!!
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Hyper G 17 at 50 lbs is excellent in the RF97A.

Hyper G is one of those strings that I find do not have any of its characteristics enhanced by stringing higher; if anything it plays better at low tensions because you keep the spin but get a bit of a buff in power (which Hyper G very much lacks).
 
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