GGT Extra

Something Fishy? Nah, not really.

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Our year of extending our learning and boundaries in the world of stringing continues into October and November.  Tomorrow morning we are planning a trip to the Bass Pro Shops and we are excited.

Do we fish?  No.  Do we need a new pair of wading boots?  Not exactly.  Then why in blue blazes would we want to go to Bass Pro Shops and more importantly why would we ever blog about it?  Glad you asked.

Back in August, a gentleman named Andrew Whooley made a very interesting post on the Grand Slam Stringers message board.  Andrew had been experimenting using fishing crimps in place of tying off knots on squash and tennis racquets.  I contacted Andrew shortly after reading about his experiences and asked for permission to test his concept myself and use the GGT Extra blog to document my findings.  He agreed, but an onslaught of heavy activity  prevented me from moving forward with my testing.  However, tomorrow all that changes as I intend to purchase the materials and prepare them for testing.

Many stringers know that quite a bit of tension can be lost in the process of tying off knots.  However, I am not sure if they actually realize the amount of tension loss.  The use of a Stringmeter will demonstrate that it is easy to lose a significant amount of tension when tying off.  It simply can not be helped.  It happens to all stringers regardless of the level of their proficiency.  So, how much is lost?  Well it depends on the tying off process, type of string and length of string run between the final pull and the tying off point.  The very best scenario will find a tension loss of at least 10 pounds and this is very uncommon.  In most cases a good stringer will lose 20 – 25lbs of tension or more.  I know that number may seem high, but it is pretty much spot-on.  If skeptical, get a hold of a Stringmeter and check it for yourself.

There is a long standing debate in the stringing community as to whether extra tension should be pulled on the tie-offs.  Many electronic machines even offer a knot function that increases tension for the stringer on the tie-off pulls.  Our purpose is not to re-kindle the extra tension on tie-off pulls debate here.  Rather we simply want to explore whether Andrew’s crimping theory is something that might eliminate tension loss.  If so, it could represent a significant advancement in making stringing more consistent and precise that ever.  And you know what they say, “precisioness is next to godliness”…or something like that.

So tomorrow we will don our lucky GSS Symposium shirt and proudly march into the land of fishing and game hunters. We will seek out a variety of crimps and crimping tools to use in our tennis laboratory.  We will use Andrew’s model of fitting and filing the crimps so that (hopefully) no damage will come to the frames.  In the coming weeks we will begin experimenting and will document our findings on this blog and perhaps include some images on the GGT facebook page. We invite you to stay tuned and even join in a discussion around this topic on our message board.

6 thoughts on “Something Fishy? Nah, not really.

  1. Randy St Pierre on said:

    Will be looking forward to your test results John. This could be a interesting moment in the advancement of our craft.

    Reply
  2. GGTennis on said:

    Sadly, the first attempt was a miserable failure. Perhaps I did not purchase the correct materials. I will continue to try to revise as I seek different sized crimps. If I experience success you can expect a full report and perhaps a new blog entry.

    Reply
  3. Andrew on said:

    Hi, what went wrong? You do need to do some tests before stringing, like crimping a few test strings under load to make sure you are not over crimping so the string won’t snap.

    If you can find a crimping tool which can be set with an adjustable screw then after a few tests it should be fine (if that’s what the problem was).

    Reply
  4. GGTennis on said:

    In theory it was a great idea/concept. In reality the crimps will not lay flat against the frame. That’s a huge problem.

    Reply
  5. Andrew on said:

    They should lay flat. The whole idea of filing off a quarter of the crimp is to allow it to sit flat.

    Maybe round off the leading edge ever so slightly to stop it digging into the hole.

    As you release the tension guide it around, or maybe make a tool like a thin bit of metal to go under the crimp which can act as a sled, once you release the tension it can be pulled to direct the filed (open) part of the crimp over the hole and make it lie flat.

    They are designed to sit flat and they definately will, any issues in this regard should be easily resolvable.

    Reply

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