Buying A Pool Cue 2
Before buying a pool cue, I'm sure most folks have picked a cue from the rack and found it to have a very banana-like curve to the shaft. This makes it nearly impossible to strike the cue ball with the desired degree of finesse and control required to play a quality pool game.
The better pool cue shafts are made of rock maple, which is quarter sawn and glued together before being turned on the lathe into the shaft. This method of construction helps to help prevent warping. To check for straightness, roll the cue along the bed of the table or sight down the shaft as if looking down a gun barrel.
It is generally thought that a stiffer shaft will produce less "squirt" during a shot. Squirt is the tendency of the shaft to bend after striking the cue ball, especially if english or top or bottom spin are used in the shot. Experienced players will compensate for the squirt that their stick exhibits.
One other important feature of the shaft is its smoothness. Since the shaft slides between the fingers of the bridge hand during every shot, it is necessary for it to be very smooth. Hand chalk or a pool glove helps this slide, as will a few strokes along the shaft with a shaft polisher. Always check the shaft for defects and finish blemishes when buying a new pool cue.
Another important consideration for me is the weight and balance of the stick. I personally like a 19 ounce stick, but this weight isn't always available. Having your own cue makes this a non-issue. Some players have two sticks - a heavy stick to break with and a lighter one for regular use.
How about the actual feel of the stick? Does the balance feel right as you take a stroke? Do you like the feel of a leather wrap, a linen one, or maybe you just prefer the wood alone and don't want a wrap at all? The feel of a pool cue is a very personal thing and should be carefully evaluated when choosing a stick.
Buying A Pool Cue cont. - Page 3
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