View Full Version : Pro Taper Shaft
08-13-2002, 08:45 AM
I tried a cue with a pro taper shaft last night. I like the way it felt. The next time I buy a shaft or a cue stick, I will get it with a pro taper. =TB=
I'm very interested in this issue. I recently purchased a custom cue. The cue maker really wanted me to try his method of shaft taper. Which is almost a constant taper from the ferrule all the way to the joint-starting with my choice of 12.8 diameter. I have been playing with more of a pro taper for several years (12.8 down 13 inches) and I've got to say that this new "bigger" taper is driving me crazy. The cue plays so much stiffer. I'm having a much harder time applying english and on long shots more deflection. The cue maker really thinks this is the best way to do a shaft and urges me to stick with it until I get used to it. I’ve also spoken to other cue makers and they agreed saying they like this type of taper also – it’s been referred to as a “European taper” and they prefer it for playability. I'd love to know if the people who use cues for a living like the “pro taper” vs. a more “European taper”.
08-13-2002, 09:23 AM
I don't know about that. I think they like it because of the way they cut it on a lathe. The Euro taper to me is great for snooker but that's my opinion. I've always played with a pro taper shaft and wouldn't change. As far as deflection goes. I think you'd get less with the Euro taper. My advice is stay with your taper. I like the 12.8 13". That's the super pro taper.
08-13-2002, 10:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: DavidNC:</font><hr> I'm very interested in this issue. I recently purchased a custom cue. The cue maker really wanted me to try his method of shaft taper. Which is almost a constant taper from the ferrule all the way to the joint <hr></blockquote>
I would not like that either.
08-13-2002, 10:22 AM
I've found that most 3-cushion players use the European taper. I use it on my break cue, but I break mostly with an open bridge. If you have a closed bridge with a long bridge length, you really can feel the taper stretching your fingers. I'm not crazy about that feel. I've noticed that most 3-cushion players stand higher and have shorter bridge-lengths and aren't as affected by the feel of the taper through their fingers. Schuler makes two shafts that fall between Pro and European. They are the American, which is a straighter taper, but still is very stiff, and the Schuler Pro, which is not as straight as a pro taper but slightly more flexible than the American.
08-13-2002, 10:27 AM
I can't stand very stiff shafts. Maybe it's a mental thing but I think super stiff shafts stagger the cueball. I can't get action of them and they move too much in my bridge hand.
David, I understand the pro taper as you described down 13". Some I have seen go closer to 14" while others are at 12" or less. I don't know what constitutes the different names for these tapers/diameters, other than it's just a name. You might want to give it a little more time, but it is a feel thing and you might be beating a dead horse. I'd say give it a month or two tops. You could always have it modified to something in between and that may feel better than going back to the pro taper. It's amazing how we feel the difference of a few thousands of an inch. I don't understand why applying english should be any different because the tip size is the same. Squirt is another issue, and I doubt the taper has that much effect, bridge length and your type of stroke will though.
While I am a good player, I don't qualify as "use cues for a living". My shafts started out life at 13.25 mm. They are a little bit smaller now at 13.1 mm, at 6"= 13.6, at 12"= 14.1 and 18"= 16.1. They are a bit stiff and fat, but I like it that way. Most players on the planet wouldn't play with that type of shaft. On the other hand I can't stand a pro taper, which almost everyone likes. To each our own, but experimenting is a good way to find what works best for you.
08-13-2002, 10:01 PM
You hit upon an issue that should be discussed. To me a "custom cue" implies a certain relationship with a "customer". You should be able to get what you want, not be force fed what a cuemaker wants you to have.
But this causes a dilema with many cuemakers. If they make every different to suit each player, how will anyone recognize their cues as "unique"?
Thus many of the best cuemakers have their own unique ideas and specifications that they believe make their cues their own.
Some will not make any changes to their specifications whatsoever!
But I also believe that a player should be able to get what they want.
I suggest that you get a second shaft made to your specifications, and keep the original shaft as a comparison.
This way you can compare the differences directly and make an informed decision.
Each player must make their own decision regarding what feels comfortable to them.
There is no "optimum" taper. Do not take the cuemaker's word on this, use your own judgement. You are the expert on your game. Not him.
I myself prefer a bit of "cone" in my shafts. They are not a true "European" taper, rather a modified pro taper with a slight conical section. But that's just me. Quite a few pros play with full cylindrical pro tapers, so performance is likely not the deciding factor.
08-13-2002, 10:04 PM
"Maybe it's a mental thing but I think super stiff shafts stagger the cueball. I can't get action of them and they move too much in my bridge hand. "
I think it's a mental thing. Many pool players believe this though. But I think that it simply is not true. With a good stroke you can get all the action you want with a stiff or flexible shaft. Ever see a good 3C player move the ball with that super stiff billiard taper? Still believe that stiffness limits cueball action?
It's in your head. But I still say use what feels comfortable to you.
11-06-2002, 01:55 PM
I play with a Schuler Cue. My shaft is a custom variation of the European taper. Last night I tested it against a Predator and a Meucci Black dot shaft. The Schuler had near zero deflection on a full table shot! The Meucci deflected by 3/4 of a ball and the Predator by 1/2 ball. Why would you want to compensate for deflection when you don't need to regard it at all with a constant taper.
By the way, Ray Schuler died this morning. We have suffered the loss of a great cue maker after the tradition of Rambo.
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