The gut/poly thread

FIRETennis

Professional
Moved my brother over to gut/poly after he experienced discomfort using a full bed of Luxilon 4G in a Speed 360 MP.

What's interesting is that he isn't wearing through gut/poly as quickly as he did full poly. He consistently broke Hyper G, Pro Line 2, and 4G in at most 18 hours.

Wilson Gut 16 mains and 4G Soft crosses lasted close to a month. Played really great, lots of spin, super plush pocketing.

Right now he's trying Wilson Gut 16 mains and Poly Tour Fire 125 crosses. It's garbo compared to the 4G Soft hybrid so far.
I enjoyed 4G Rough as a cross with gut. Much softer than regular 4G. Tried 4G Soft only in a full bed and felt that lacked spin.
Curious to try it in a gut/poly.
Have you tried Luxilon Element as a cross?
 

RFfan88

New User
Can anyone comment on whether razor code would go well as a cross with gut? I’ve got a reel of razor code and a half set of vs touch and wanted to test it out.
 

brady1212

New User
I am going to try out a gut/poly for the first time (never used natural gut before). Do you guys have a suggestion on tension? The hybrid will be Klip Legend 16g/Cream 16g. Recent strings that worked for me were Velocity/Cream 16g at 52 and 18g Tier One Firewire boost at 50. Using a Blade 98 16 x19, hard hitting 4.0 player.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
I am going to try out a gut/poly for the first time (never used natural gut before). Do you guys have a suggestion on tension? The hybrid will be Klip Legend 16g/Cream 16g. Recent strings that worked for me were Velocity/Cream 16g at 52 and 18g Tier One Firewire boost at 50. Using a Blade 98 16 x19, hard hitting 4.0 player.
Try 55/52 to start.
 

DEW

New User
I am a 57 yo with an upper 4.0 game but have shoulder and elbow issues. I play with a Volkl V sense 8 racquet and switched to full VS touch black coated at at around 60# last year after tennis elbow sidelined me. I don’t break strings very often but I would like a little more spin.
what would you recommend as a gut combo that is spin and arm friendly?
or should I stay in full gut?
 
I ordered a set of Champions Choice because I could get a great deal. So 1.30 Wilson gut with 1.25 ALU Rough. I'm probably going to use black 1.25 YPTP as the cross though, for its better tension maintenance and slickness in comparison to ALU Rough.

I'm getting it strung in a VCORE 95, which I usually string with VCT 1.20 red at 22kg/20.5kg (48.5lbs/45.2lbs).

What is your advice on tension with 1.30 Wilson gut mains & YPTP 1.25 crosses? I would like it to be at a power level not too far off from my usual setup. I don't mind going significantly higher in tension if you think that would be needed.
 

Papa Mango

Semi-Pro
I am a 57 yo with an upper 4.0 game but have shoulder and elbow issues. I play with a Volkl V sense 8 racquet and switched to full VS touch black coated at at around 60# last year after tennis elbow sidelined me. I don’t break strings very often but I would like a little more spin.
what would you recommend as a gut combo that is spin and arm friendly?
or should I stay in full gut?
If you have shoulder and elbow issues, I would recommend staying with full gut if they are chronic.
If you want to try a soft/arm friendly (depends on how bad it is for you) gut/poly set up. Then Gut/Yonex Polytour Air. String the crosses 10% below your gut tension.
Another option is IsoSpeed cream for the crosses. Same tension recommendation.
 

Papa Mango

Semi-Pro
I ordered a set of Champions Choice because I could get a great deal. So 1.30 Wilson gut with 1.25 ALU Rough. I'm probably going to use black 1.25 YPTP as the cross though, for its better tension maintenance and slickness in comparison to ALU Rough.

I'm getting it strung in a VCORE 95, which I usually string with VCT 1.20 red at 22kg/20.5kg (48.5lbs/45.2lbs).

What is your advice on tension with 1.30 Wilson gut mains & YPTP 1.25 crosses? I would like it to be at a power level not too far off from my usual setup. I don't mind going significantly higher in tension if you think that would be needed.
Since the VCore 95 is is a fairly low powered control oriented frame you don't need to go that high on the gut tension.
I would suggest 52-54lb on the gut mains and keep you cross tension as is.
 
Anyone ever gotten soreness in their elbow with gut/poly. I was using full poly but hurt my arm as I was messing around with tensions above 65lbs. Went to full gut at 62lbs but it just wasn't crisp enough on volleys. Then went back to gut/poly also at 62lbs (Wilsons Champions Choice), played with it for a two weeks and had not problems until today. Wasn't mishitting or anything like that. Just a slight pain and a little puffiness.
 

Robbymack

New User
Anyone ever gotten soreness in their elbow with gut/poly. I was using full poly but hurt my arm as I was messing around with tensions above 65lbs. Went to full gut at 62lbs but it just wasn't crisp enough on volleys. Then went back to gut/poly also at 62lbs (Wilsons Champions Choice), played with it for a two weeks and had not problems until today. Wasn't mishitting or anything like that. Just a slight pain and a little puffiness.
The thing with injuries is you need time for them to heal. Often that requires more rest than we think we need and often rest beyond where we start to feel “normal” again especially with overuse injuries like TE. The damage was done when you were hitting poly at a higher tension. The frustrating thing with TE is is doesn’t just go away with switching strings. You gotta give it ample rest and then maybe rethink the choice of stringing poly at 65 lbs.
 
Poly at 60 was great not some much at 65 . I’m over my poly experiment. I think that elbow was 2 months? Maybe 3 months ago? Just flared up one day, switched to full gut and rested it for a week. No issues till today.
 

Crashbaby

Rookie
Anyone ever gotten soreness in their elbow with gut/poly. I was using full poly but hurt my arm as I was messing around with tensions above 65lbs. Went to full gut at 62lbs but it just wasn't crisp enough on volleys. Then went back to gut/poly also at 62lbs (Wilsons Champions Choice), played with it for a two weeks and had not problems until today. Wasn't mishitting or anything like that. Just a slight pain and a little puffiness.
Sure have, Wilson champions choice in a SV95 strung at 53/50. Got so bad that every single backhand (one hander) was agony. That was few years ago. Got lessons from a coach and can now play with a full bed of poly tour strike in that racquet at 48 lbs pain free.
Strings definitely contribute greatly to arm health, but for me a few changes with the technique helped much more. Apart from the obvious of going down in tension and keeping the restrings regular as the poly cross still dies, how long has it been since you had a tune up from a coach?
 

DEW

New User
What are your thoughts on the Babolat VS -RPM Blast hybrid?

I would like more spin but have tennis elbow and weak shoulder. I am currently with full VS Touch
 
Sure have, Wilson champions choice in a SV95 strung at 53/50. Got so bad that every single backhand (one hander) was agony. That was few years ago. Got lessons from a coach and can now play with a full bed of poly tour strike in that racquet at 48 lbs pain free.
Strings definitely contribute greatly to arm health, but for me a few changes with the technique helped much more. Apart from the obvious of going down in tension and keeping the restrings regular as the poly cross still dies, how long has it been since you had a tune up from a coach?
I don't mean to sound arrogant but lately, I am only playing with a teaching pro so I know it wasn't a technique issue. We play together a few times a week for a year now. I pinged my strings and compared the full gut at 62lbs with the hybrid and the hybrid is notably higher - I wonder if I didn't string it at 65lbs :oops:. Def be lowering that tension.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
Even in a gut/poly, a stiff poly cross or a combination of stiff poly/high tension cross can be uncomfortable.
ALU Power / ALU Rough is good for about 4-6 hours in a hybrid then becomes even stiffer and uncomfortable. The pros that use that combo break or restring before.
Try a softer cross *and* lower the tension to about 50-52 lbs on the cross.
 
What are your thoughts on the Babolat VS -RPM Blast hybrid?

I would like more spin but have tennis elbow and weak shoulder. I am currently with full VS Touch
In my experience, most club players are not producing the racquet head speed to really notice a jump in spin with full poly vs full gut. I am sure someone is going to vehemently disagree but my personal experience with the teaching pro pretty much proves this. Again, personal experience, spin is primarily a function of technique, the poly being the icing on the cake. I will not deny that full poly has more control it just tanks out so fast, I hate it. I have to restring every 10 days max in the warmer parts of the year when I am playing 3-5 times a week. I also think that is undeniable that full gut has way more power....."easy" power on tap. This has been an issue with me tinkering with full gut however as I start to chase that drive on the ball and start flattening out too much. I had that flair up screwing around with full poly at high tensions, worked fine all summer but one day just popped off and it sucked. So I am unsure if I will ever use full poly again, maybe at 52lbs? For now, personally, I need to just pick a set up and stick to it.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Lower the tension and use softer strings. Experimenting above 60lbs with poly is a good way to end ones tennis for life. Can do irreparable harm to the elbow and wrist.
 
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USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Yeah I’ll never do poly that high again. I think if I do gut/poly again I’ll go 58/54.
Should be safer there and maybe lower the mains and crosses 2-3lbs if you still feel pain. Something that helped me was using a really slick poly cross that is on the softer side with good tension maintenance. Something like BHBZ.
10-12hrs and then I cut it out.
 
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Crashbaby

Rookie
Yeah that’s the whole thing I like about full gut, can let it go till it breaks with its amazing tension Holding abilities.
Lucky you on the hitting partner/coach. I only brought up technique as a possible, as I think many could avoid the equipment rabbit hole. Ruling that out should have been my first move when I had issues. The lowering of tension on the next hybrid or sticking with full gut sounds like a good plan. Let us know how it goes. Wishing you and everyone else here with pain free hitting. :)
 

FIRETennis

Professional
Yeah I’ll never do poly that high again. I think if I do gut/poly again I’ll go 58/54.
You also didn't mention what frame you use...
Imo that is still too high for arm comfort.
If you are working with a pro, why not go low tension and have him/her work with you adjusting technique to keep the ball in.
Speaking from experience, when I was playing at a lower level, I strung high and got injured because I felt I needed stiff racquet and high tension to keep the ball in play.
In reality, I had issues with technique and footwork that I was compensating for with high tension.
I now play with low tension ALU/Element (40-45lbs) or Gut/Element (55/50) in a Blade 98.
 

Soho78

New User
Anyone string both main and cross at the same tension? I’m thinking about trying it with Volkl V-Fuse at 54 in my Yonex Ezone 98 (2020)
 
You also didn't mention what frame you use...
Imo that is still too high for arm comfort.
If you are working with a pro, why not go low tension and have him/her work with you adjusting technique to keep the ball in.
Speaking from experience, when I was playing at a lower level, I strung high and got injured because I felt I needed stiff racquet and high tension to keep the ball in play.
In reality, I had issues with technique and footwork that I was compensating for with high tension.
I now play with low tension ALU/Element (40-45lbs) or Gut/Element (55/50) in a Blade 98.

I play with Head PT57a 16x19 - probably the most Flexible frame that can be found. RA54? I was fine with full poly at 60lbs, 65 and up not so much. I like the higher tension on volleys too. Which is also why I like the gut/poly, just a tad crisper on volleys. Can't have it all I suppose!
 
Anyone ever gotten soreness in their elbow with gut/poly. I was using full poly but hurt my arm as I was messing around with tensions above 65lbs. Went to full gut at 62lbs but it just wasn't crisp enough on volleys. Then went back to gut/poly also at 62lbs (Wilsons Champions Choice), played with it for a two weeks and had not problems until today. Wasn't mishitting or anything like that. Just a slight pain and a little puffiness.
Yes definitely. My GE flares up sometimes if I serve through a full singles match. 53/50 WNG x black zone 17 in PK KiQ+ 325. I usually go back to syn gut crosses whenever that happens (55x53).
 

FIRETennis

Professional
I play with Head PT57a 16x19 - probably the most Flexible frame that can be found. RA54? I was fine with full poly at 60lbs, 65 and up not so much. I like the higher tension on volleys too. Which is also why I like the gut/poly, just a tad crisper on volleys. Can't have it all I suppose!
How many hours "old" was the gut/poly string job in those two weeks before you started feeling the discomfort?
if you run your fingers above a cross string in the sweet spot, does it feel 'sharper' or more flat compared to outside of the sweet spot?
 

PigPen

Semi-Pro
If you have shoulder and elbow issues, I would recommend staying with full gut if they are chronic.
If you want to try a soft/arm friendly (depends on how bad it is for you) gut/poly set up. Then Gut/Yonex Polytour Air. String the crosses 10% below your gut tension.
Another option is IsoSpeed cream for the crosses. Same tension recommendation.
I found YPTA to get stiff after a few plays in a full bed. Not sure about the hybrid though.
 

Papa Mango

Semi-Pro
I found YPTA to get stiff after a few plays in a full bed. Not sure about the hybrid though.
YPTA did not work at all for me in a full bed. Too mushy, string movement all over the place even on a fresh string bed.
I would rather play with a crisp multi than YPTA in full bed.
As a cross though it is really great in arm friendly in a gut poly hybrid.
 

Vouk

New User
Getting very good results with a VS Touch/Signum Pro Firestorm hybrid (strung @ 52/48 on a Head TGT 339.1 Speed Pro).
I was initially afraid it could end up being a rocket launcher but, c. 20 hours in, this combo has impressed me with it's very good balance of power and control; I've found spin to be higher/better than comparable round polys and the comfort is outstanding.
 

djNEiGht

Hall of Fame
Getting very good results with a VS Touch/Signum Pro Firestorm hybrid (strung @ 52/48 on a Head TGT 339.1 Speed Pro).
I was initially afraid it could end up being a rocket launcher but, c. 20 hours in, this combo has impressed me with it's very good balance of power and control; I've found spin to be higher/better than comparable round polys and the comfort is outstanding.
interesting to hear firestorm used as a cross. I have a bunch of this left in a reel and have been using it in very open string pattern racquets in a full bed. What other crosses did you like using in a gut/poly?
 

Vouk

New User
interesting to hear firestorm used as a cross. I have a bunch of this left in a reel and have been using it in very open string pattern racquets in a full bed. What other crosses did you like using in a gut/poly?
I have tried quite a few combinations over the years, including most of the RPM, Alu Power and Head Hawk families. My primary goal focuses on comfort and playability/tension hold with moderate power, control and spin thrown into the mix (I like to think that I can generate my own!). As of now, my favourite round poly crosses are Signum Pro Firestorm, Weiss Cannon Silverstring and Isospeed Grey Fire; as for shaped ones, I've found good results with RPM Team and MSV Focus HEX plus 38.
Much like other TTW members, I've really enjoyed playing with the likes of Alu Power and RPM Blast - they are sublime for the first few hours but very disappointing in terms of playability and tension maintenance after that.
 
I have tried quite a few combinations over the years, including most of the RPM, Alu Power and Head Hawk families. My primary goal focuses on comfort and playability/tension hold with moderate power, control and spin thrown into the mix (I like to think that I can generate my own!). As of now, my favourite round poly crosses are Signum Pro Firestorm, Weiss Cannon Silverstring and Isospeed Grey Fire; as for shaped ones, I've found good results with RPM Team and MSV Focus HEX plus 38.
Much like other TTW members, I've really enjoyed playing with the likes of Alu Power and RPM Blast - they are sublime for the first few hours but very disappointing in terms of playability and tension maintenance after that.
How did you like head hawk in the hybrid?
 

Vouk

New User
How did you like head hawk in the hybrid?
I really like it, which is the reason why I still have a couple of rackets strung with it (in a hybrid with gut). I think of it as a jack of all trades; does everything quite well with no glaring weaknesses. I just felt that the strings I mentioned above are a tad softer/more comfortable with a slight emphasis on power as opposed to control. For what it's worth, I do find the Hawk to provide better spin potential than them. I would most certainly recommend that you try it out.
 

Wheelz

Semi-Pro
Need direction on where to start...

I've got Volkl Gut 16g in stock. I've got for poly Kirshbaum Max power and Pro Line Evolution as round strings. I'll add Signum Experience but since it's not round I assume I'll forget about that one.

New to hybriding, coming from full poly. Looking for spin on a loopy ball as well as good touch/feel and put away power.

Any starting tips welcome in string to pick in my options and starting tension.

Yonex eZone 98 (2020).

Thanks in advance!
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
@Wheelz the first question is what tension do you play full poly at? I would suggest bumping your tension up on the natural gut probably 4 pounds over the poly (maybe more depending on your preferences).
 

Wheelz

Semi-Pro
@Wheelz the first question is what tension do you play full poly at? I would suggest bumping your tension up on the natural gut probably 4 pounds over the poly (maybe more depending on your preferences).
I have been experimenting lately so that's tougher to answer but my latest test of 54 was too much, long term, for me to like it. Usually mid 40s, I've got one racquet at 42-40. I also was trying velocity/MSV Hex ultra(1.15) at 56-52 and it feels good but not sure it will last. That test lead me to trying gut/poly.
 
Hi friends. I'm just starting to explore the gut/poly world. I tried a hybrid with polytour fire this week, and so far it's been fantastic. But it's sort of an expensive setup, and I'm curious about other options. I have a couple questions for the gut/poly illuminati:

1) Has anyone tried Yonex Polytour Tough as an alternative to PTF?
2) How do KB Max Power and Head Hawk (/Touch) compare to PTF for performance and duration?
 

Sardines

Hall of Fame
1) Has anyone tried Yonex Polytour Tough as an alternative to PTF?
2) How do KB Max Power and Head Hawk (/Touch) compare to PTF for performance and duration?
PTF is probably the best of that lot for spin (especially), feel and tension maintenance (if you prestretch a bit). I do remember some talk of the SIF tech in the Tough, but that's not in the literature or advertising, so I don't believe it, and my playsight data showed markedly less spin and power.
I haven't tried Head Hawk with gut, but MaxPower is quite a bit stiffer and not as elastic as PTF,@1.20mm. KMP does hold tension a little better, but spin and pocketing feel is definitely less than PTF. The PTF SIF coating does show signs of performance drop in slickness around the 4-5hr mark.
 
PTF is probably the best of that lot for spin (especially), feel and tension maintenance (if you prestretch a bit). I do remember some talk of the SIF tech in the Tough, but that's not in the literature or advertising, so I don't believe it, and my playsight data showed markedly less spin and power.
I haven't tried Head Hawk with gut, but MaxPower is quite a bit stiffer and not as elastic as PTF,@1.20mm. KMP does hold tension a little better, but spin and pocketing feel is definitely less than PTF. The PTF SIF coating does show signs of performance drop in slickness around the 4-5hr mark.
Awesome, this is just the info I was hoping for. How much do you prestretch PTF? And how long does it last you while performing reasonably well? I do love the feel, but I'd need a lot more than 4-5 hours to make it economically viable.
 

Sardines

Hall of Fame
Awesome, this is just the info I was hoping for. How much do you prestretch PTF? And how long does it last you while performing reasonably well? I do love the feel, but I'd need a lot more than 4-5 hours to make it economically viable.
Well the reality is that most polys are coated so performance drops even after less than an hour are not unheard of, as the coating is worn off. Specially silicone coatings for slipperiness wear off as fast. RPM Blast Rough, Wilson Revolve series and the discontinued Pro Red Code Wax all showed signs of wear after 2 hours and performance drops. Yonex's Spin/Rev/SpinG/Fire SIF process is supposedly infused with silicone in the string core, on top of the coating. I think it stays slippery longer than any other cross string I've tried. It's not perfect and certainly not the cheapest poly, but it's mid priced compared to Babolat and Wilson, performs better and well worth it as a cross for gut.
I pull 5% on a scale as a prestretch for PTF, and 5-10% for gut depending on brand and gauge.
 
Well the reality is that most polys are coated so performance drops even after less than an hour are not unheard of, as the coating is worn off. Specially silicone coatings for slipperiness wear off as fast. RPM Blast Rough, Wilson Revolve series and the discontinued Pro Red Code Wax all showed signs of wear after 2 hours and performance drops. Yonex's Spin/Rev/SpinG/Fire SIF process is supposedly infused with silicone in the string core, on top of the coating. I think it stays slippery longer than any other cross string I've tried. It's not perfect and certainly not the cheapest poly, but it's mid priced compared to Babolat and Wilson, performs better and well worth it as a cross for gut.
I pull 5% on a scale as a prestretch for PTF, and 5-10% for gut depending on brand and gauge.
Gotcha. I guess I'll see how long it lasts me and go from there. Thanks for sharing all that. Are there any other crosses worth trying?
 

gplracer

Hall of Fame
I have a RF97 and a PS97. The RF97 with a full bed of Solinco Hyper G at 50lbs feels great! I have had elbow issues many years ago but this set up for me is fine. Sometimes the gut/poly combo feels more harsh for some reason. Maybe because I have to string it a little tighter. I am 55 years old.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
I have a RF97 and a PS97. The RF97 with a full bed of Solinco Hyper G at 50lbs feels great! I have had elbow issues many years ago but this set up for me is fine. Sometimes the gut/poly combo feels more harsh for some reason. Maybe because I have to string it a little tighter. I am 55 years old.
Gut/poly can feel harsh if the crosses are 'flat' or if playing on clay and the abrasion makes the gut 'stick' to the crosses. I sometimes see the gut mains not snapping back just like 'dead' poly. Only happens after playing a lot on clay with the setup.
50lbs ALU/Element also feels great in the RF97.
Between the RF97 and the PS97 which stick do you mostly play with?
 
Has anyone tried stringing different main tensions as a function of cross gage? Here's where I'm going: I"m normally a full bed poly player anywhere from mid-40s to high 40s. Just strung up my VCore Pro HD at 54/51lbs with 1.30mmgut/1.25mmfirestorm and it felt incredibly stiff for the first match. Very boardy at first, now it has loosened up a bit and feels better.

But I'm wondering if I strung up with 1.30mm gut and 1.30mm poly if I could take it down to say 52/50? I'm just looking for a little more feel on serves and groundstrokes. I feel like the string bed was so stiff at 54/51 that it actually lacked the feedback I get from a poly string even at 49lbs.
 
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