FCI Blog

The Business End of Your Cue . . . And the Rest


Considerations for Selecting the Right Cue

Most players – actually, we're all guilty here – believe (sometimes almost to the point of obsession) that if they could just find the right stick, they'd play a lot better. And you know why, don't you? It's easier to blame the cue instead of our lack of skill or bad aim or just hastiness. Still, there is some merit in searching for a cue that better fits your style and skill level. And most of it has to do with the end of the shaft and its flexibility.

The First 10 Inches

The late George Fels, long-time writer for Billiards Digest, once said, "Only the first 10 inches or so of a cue have any real effect on how the cue ball is struck, yet virtually all of the money we pay is for the other four feet." You probably know what's so important about those 10 inches, but let's recap.

It's primarily due to the use of English – because the cue ball doesn't go exactly where you aim it. How much of this cue ball "deflection" occurs with a shot depends on the tip placement, speed of stroke, and cue flexibility at the of the shaft. If the shaft end is too stiff, it may simply push the cue ball aside, or it may snap back too quickly resulting in a double-hit. Cues with more-flexible ends – the kind Predator is known for – can greatly reduce this deflection.

So it looks like Fels was pretty much on the money: critically consider the first 10 inches when selecting a cue.

The Other Four Feet

Of course, Fels was using hyperbole to make a point. The other four feet do matter, just not as much.

Shaft straightness – Obviously, you need a straight shaft. The best way to test this is to sight down the length of the shaft as if you were sighting a rifle.

Wrap – If the cue has a wrap, it shouldn't have any blemishes or raised areas. A string wrap shouldn't have nay knots or loose threads, and a leather wrap should have a smooth, nearly invisible seam.

Joints – Joints must be well fitted and pins centered. You shouldn't be able to detect any light between the shaft and butt facing when they are screwed together.

Rings – All rings should be flush and with no bubbles under the finish. In fact, well installed rings with a quality, materials-appropriate finish will let you know your cue maker's skill level.

Buttcap – the buttcap should be flush with the shaft all around with no glue visible.

The Whole Length at FCI Billiards

If George Fels was right – that most of the money you pay for a cue is for the four feet behind the first 10 inches – then those four feet ought to look mighty good. And Predator has taken care of that with their beautifully ornate Throne Series 2.

The second generation of Throne cues is "inspired, designed and created to elevate you game," using "Predator's patented C4+ technology . . . paired with the world's most accurate shafts." Here's where it really gets good, though. These cues are carefully crafted from fine exotic wood, they have an eight-point polished buttcap, and they feature "tri-tone rings of silver, micarta, and rose-gold alloy."

In a word, Predator ThroneSeries 2 cues are . . . gorgeous. And they have the renowned Predator tip – that critical first 10 inches – for better English and more accurate shots. Get yours today! Give us a call at (800) 666-9190 or just fill out the easy online form.

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