View Full Version : Custom Cue Review

03-12-2003, 06:57 PM
I had a cue made by Ron Kilby of Kilby Cues. Here's a website link. web page (http://www.caromcues.com/) He is certainly not a guy who follows trends if you look at his website. He has some strong ideas on cuemaking and what makes a good cue. He indicates that a lot of cue design was done to accomodate the manufacturing process rather than what plays best, and I think he has a point. The focus of his cuemaking is billiards, but he does make pool shafts as well, and makes upgraded pool shafts that are something like Predators. Since the solidest cue I ever had was a production Helmstetter carom cue with the wood joint, I wasn't scared away by a wood joint or Kilby's ideas. I also like billiards, but don't get to play a lot, and have to be happy with pool playing. So I decided to have a cue made by Kilby. I wanted some design input and didn't particularly want any of the cues pictured on his website. So I got on the phone with him and came up with a design. It turned out well and looks better in person than the pics he e-mailed me. (I think the cues on the website probably look better in person if anybody thinks about getting one of his cues is what I'm saying.) I got it a couple of days ago and have been hitting some with it. I ordered the cue with 2 of his segmented pool shafts that are something like Predators and one carom shaft with the extreme taper if I get a chance to play billiards.

With the pool shafts the cue is 57.5 in long and about 19.5 oz, which is heavier than a strictly billiard cue typically is, but shorter and stffer than the usual pool cue. The cue balances beautifully and feels great in my hand. The hit is very solid, as you would expect from a cue maker with Kilby's philosophy who specializes in billiard cues. But the cue is sensitive and has a nice feel. I got a leather wrap which I like. A lot of Kilby's cues are of the unwrapped carom variety but he does wraps for those who want them. In short, I like the cue and would recommend Kilby. Ron Kilby was easy to deal with, he got me a handmade custom cue in a fairly short time, and charged what I thought was a very reasonable price. My cue has malachite and ivory inlay work and excellent wood. Even with three shafts the price was less than a lot of production cues. For those who want a solid hit or a cue they can use for both pool and billiards, check out Kilby Cues. If you want a billiard cue, he should be on your list to check out. His entry-level billiard cues are very affordable. But I am very happy with my custom design and would recommend getting better than entry level.

Only caveat is that the shafts are longer than normal because of the wood joint. I got a porper case for the thing, but the porper case won't hold it. I ordered an Instroke to solve the problem - instroke should fir it, but I will see. I have relegated a couple other cues to the porper. I like it better than the case I was using. (which doesn't fit the Kilby either. Oh well.)

I've never had a custom cue before and like the idea I have a one of a kind that I helped design. I also hit around with my Lucasi after playing with the custom cue for a while and could not believe how much better the Kilby felt. It was much nicer than the Lucasi and I like the Lucasi. I also compared it to a Huebler I have. I didn't like the Huebler to begin with which is why I got the Lucasi, so the comparison might be unfair. Needless to say, I much preferred the Kilby. So for those of you willing to try something different who see some merit in Kilby's philosophy about cuemaking, give him a shot.

03-12-2003, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the post JPB. This is really interesting and I am considering ordering a custom cue.

03-12-2003, 09:00 PM
I like my Blackheart custom cue. I dont know all the specifics just that it is 'da bomb.


03-12-2003, 09:02 PM
BTW, I will have my blackheart at vf, in case any one considering a custom wants to see it.


03-12-2003, 10:04 PM
OK, I'll throw a plug in for my cue maker. I have a one-of-kind Chris Nitti cue (that I actually purchased from a dealer). He does top-notch work. Sharp, hand-cut inlays, classic design, and very nice finish. It has a radial pin joint with Ivorine joint collar and ferrules, and a stiff hit. He's not cheap, but very reasonable for the quality of work.

03-12-2003, 10:17 PM
I like the wood this guy uses and I love those butterfly splices.


Pizza Bob
03-13-2003, 08:19 AM
WOW! Neat stuff. Thanks for turning us on to this guy. Liked his site and what he had to say. Very interesting.


Pizza Bob

03-13-2003, 10:05 AM

If you like butterfly splices, you should go out and see that guy I told you about at Apache Junction. He's really good at butterfly splices.


03-25-2003, 01:20 AM
Played with my friend's new Sailor cue and put one on order for myself.
I also had my first lesson with Sailor (located in Racine, Wisc.) which focused on the fundamentals...stance, grip, stroke. My game has improved significantly /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif