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View Full Version : <$200 Production Cue Recommendations?



teliman
07-16-2007, 11:25 AM
I've been out of the sport for many years now (10-15) and am looking to get back into it. You know how it goes, I finally played again with a house stick and it just fired up the ol' passion.

I used to play with a beginner/intermediate stick (~$100) back then and don't know much about all the new stuff that's out now. What's I'm looking for a is a stick that plays well/feels solid that's more firm (less flex). From what I'm reading, it seems many manufacturers advertise their products as such. What's a good manufacturer in this price range? I saw some McDermott's at the pool hall and read online that they offer lifetime warranty/service. This sounds appealing but I thought I'd be wise to check with the enthusiasts here for your opinions. That's what's great about the internet. 15 years ago, you really had to invest some serious time and energy to get information on stuff like this (go to retailers, talk to many players, etc). Any help would be appreciated.

KellyStick
07-16-2007, 11:48 AM
You could go to most any pool table supply place and pick up one that "feels" good to you. My first one was from a sporting goods store. I liked it very much. It was under $50. It was made by Competitor or Competition.. but I don't necessarily reccomend that brand. As I said it just "felt" good. Most of the others were cheap junk according to my feel. This one just stood out and most people enjoyed shooting with it.

It's mostly my opinion that most of the cost over about $75-100 is just inlays and fancy wraps and ivory ferrules and such. You don't need that. Common brands are Meucci and Dufferin. There are others. I would get one that feels good and then make sure you take the Le Pro tip off of it and get a decent tip put on it. Most of the tips they put on sticks seems to shoot like a rock (Hard hard).

The other issue is the shaft. That first $50 stick had a nasty finish on it that was not slippery. The first thing I did was sand that off.

I would not get a fiber glass or other non-wood composite type stick. I see almost no one stays with one of these. Wood seems to be the way to go. The composite might feel good at first but for some reason or another it ends up in the corner later.

There are all sorts of vancy shaft technologies. I have not tried one yet so can't say anything about that. But ost of those probably well exceed your $200 so forget that for now anyway. Get a good tip, get a case, get a tip suffer and/or prick. If you were expecting the case and accessories to be part of the $200 your are probably looking at a sneaky pete. That's a bar looking stick (plain) with a srewed joint in it. I would get a case for more than one stick if you think you are going to stay with it. Or get a very cheap one stick case so you can toss it when you move up.

Don't get a screw on tip. Don't get one with a tip that slides on the shaft. That would be where the ferrule is thicker than the shaft.

billiards89
07-16-2007, 11:57 AM
my first cue was a viking it costs $168 online at pooldawg.com i used it for about my 1st 10 months and i liked it quite of bit then i decided to upgrade cause i was getting more serious so i bought a predator 5k for $550 but i thought the viking was well worth the money

teliman
07-16-2007, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the replies. Yes, I do plan on hitting with them before buying...thanks for the suggestion. I just want to make sure that I'm on the right track in terms of quality. I've had friends with good playing cues that ended up warping or just slowly falling apart. I'll also look into Viking and pooldawg.com...thanks.

Snapshot9
07-16-2007, 12:39 PM
With your situation and until you really know what you want to do, I would go with something like this:

BW Special (http://www.billiardwarehouse.com/special.htm)

$69, you get free shipping and a case. Minimal investment.

DeadCrab
07-16-2007, 02:08 PM
Players makes two Sneaky Pete cues. The better one sells for $75 and comes with a LePro tip. I would buy two of these, and take one of them to a pro and have the LePro replaced with a layered tip, such as a Talisman.

Play with each, and see which tip you like best and make that your regular stick. The other can be used for breaking.

Now you have two playable cues for &lt;$200.

http://www.billiardswarehouse.com/cues/players/players_s-pspbf.htm

teliman
07-16-2007, 03:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DeadCrab:</font><hr>Now you have two playable cues for &lt;$200.
http://www.billiardswarehouse.com/cues/players/players_s-pspbf.htm <hr /></blockquote>
You bring up a good point. I always used to use a friends cue for breaking./ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Caromsoft
07-16-2007, 05:36 PM
A Dominiak in my opinion is the best buy for the money out there. His WD1020 is $119 and can be customized with or without wrap, also by weight and shaft size. Bill is also a great guy to deal with. I played with mine stock for about 6 months, then added an OB-1 shaft and removed the weight bolt. now for me it is the perfect cue.

http://www.dominiakcues.com/

1Time
07-17-2007, 12:58 AM
I recommend a Viking G-06. It goes for under $200 online. I bought mine locally for a little over $200 including tax. My last cue was a Meucci which I enjoyed greatly. I never thought I would own another cue and was bummed when it was stolen a few months ago. I'm so picky when it comes to buying a cue, the last thing I expected was to find a better one and soon. Fortunately that all changed the following weekend when I found a local dealer with Viking cues in stock. I could tell immediately upon hitting just a few balls that this Viking was a better cue with a much more solid hit and better balance. Mine is 19.5 oz, 13mm, LePro tip and the color is coffee, pretty nice looking too. It did take me a few hours of play over a couple weeks to fully adapt to it though, but the result is my game is stronger and with less effort. The only thing I may want to change with this cue is the tip.

A couple more things. It's best to try at least a few sticks out before buying. And, if playing on 9' tables, I suggest at least getting a cue with a "pro tapered shaft".

Sig
07-17-2007, 06:49 AM
In that price range, you can't really go wrong with any of the entry-level Viking or McDermott cues.

teliman
07-17-2007, 07:55 AM
See, that's what I was thinking at first. I was just going to pick a viking or mcdermott and be done with it. But the more i read, the more I see how much people like the really stiff shafts. Would it be wise to get a cheap cue and mate it to a Predator shaft? What I like about the McDermotts is that they are wood to wood. Are their cheap cues ($100-150) any good? I was thinking of getting one of these, using the stock shaft for breaking and buying a predator for shooting. Good idea? Furthermore, what about mating that 314 shaft to a players stick?

Would that:

a) play well
b) not play well
c) doesn't matter, it's just a stupid idea /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

1Time
07-17-2007, 12:57 PM
d) none of the above
This is not the way best way to select a cue. Don't get taken in by the hype or marketing. First, hit balls with as many different cues as you're interested in. Buy the one that's in your hands and plays/hits best for you. If you found one in person that you want but it isn't for sale (borrowed) or it isn't exactly the right specs or color, then order the same make and model with these minor changes you'd like. Ordering a make/model of cue/shaft that you've never stroked is never a best way to select a cue. By the way the new Viking cues are relatively stiff and I'd venture to guess the McDermotts are even stiffer. Any of these cues will due; however your the only one who is going to be able to tell which cue feels and plays best for you.

teliman
07-17-2007, 12:59 PM
You're right. The hard part is actually getting my hands on this stuff to try them.

1Time
07-17-2007, 01:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote teliman:</font><hr> You're right. The hard part is actually getting my hands on this stuff to try them. <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, it can be hard and time consuming, and whether it's worth it is up to you. If not willing or able to spend the time and effort to try out the cues you're interested in, no problem. Because you're best, first and easy way to select a cue is to visit local dealers and hit the cues they have in stock. Eventually you should find one that stands out and at least feels close enough to right that you can order one and change only the specs/color if needed. Although any cue in your price range will do, selecting one by hitting balls with it is the best way. I suggest first going to local dealers and trying out what they have. If you find yourself walking away in disgust with their selection (as I have done a few times), then your best second move is to take the time and effort to borrow cues from other players. If you shoot with a house cue and present yourself like you actually know how to handle one, many players won't mind letting you hit a few balls. And it really should only take a few hits to get the feel of a cue. You can wear out your welcome fairly quickly with some players. Go to a dealer first and see.

teliman
07-17-2007, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the advice, 1Time, and everyone else for that matter. You've given me sound advice. I'll go try out as many as I can before I pick one.