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  • Ferrules and Throw and Spin

    What causes throw? Is it the difference in the density of the brass/SS/titanium ferrule and the ash/maple it surrounds? Metals can be anything up to 8.5 in relative density, with ash and maple down at around 0.8, i.e the metals are 10x more dense than the wood underneath (less in the case of titanium). Terry suggests that from his vast experience, fibre/plastic ferrules throw a lot less. Plastics tend to be around 1.0 - 1.2 in relative density, not far off the wood underneath.

    So why don't we see many plastic ferrules on cues? Yes, we do see them on American pool cues and some N. American snooker cues but not on cues from Asia/Europe

    Do members think that fibre/plastic reduces throw?

    Do fibre/plastic ferrules result in more or less screw, top etc.?

  • #2
    With all due respect to Terry and his vast experience I really don't think it's the different ferrule materials that cause different spin and throw. Hitting the cue ball off-center is what causes throw and spin.
    Unless someone is going to give me some coherent and physically provable explaination why a plastic ferrule should cause less (or more) throw than a metal one, I prefer sticking with this.

    A few months ago I had to get a new ferrule installed, I went from brass to stainless steel and I can assure you there is zero difference in throw or spin.
    "That pocket moved!"

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    • #3
      A cue's throw is mostly dependent on both the shaft flex (thinner to stiff) and also the end weight of the cue. Acuerate insists it is the last 18" of the cue (in a straight taper) along with the ferrule which gives them their 'reduced throw" cues. I have one here and I find lower down the cue the shaft is a lot more stiff than my Mine Wooldridge cue. I also reduced the ferrule height on my Acuerate and it did lessen the amount of throw but it still throws more than my MW with the BS ferrule.

      My own thoughts are the flex of the shaft AS A WHOLE will contribute to the throw of a cue along with the weight of the ferrule. If a player happens to believe he gets unintentional side either all the time or sometimes (most players will get that unintentional side on some shots, even a lot of the pros on power shots) so you can reduce the effects of that by getting a handmade cue with a medium flex shaft and some type of lighter ferrule, either fiber or the Blackspin types. You can reduce the height on the brass, stainless steel or titanium to around 5mm and keep the walls as thin as possible without compromising the strength of the ferrule so you have some protection on a bad miscue.

      I have ordered a lot of custom made cues but I will say the cuemaker who did the best job of getting the flex correct (for me) was Mike Wooldridge with Trevor White coming a very close second. But you have to be very specific when ordering a cue with medium flex as most cuemakers tend to make the shaft a little too stiff to achieve that.

      I would also like to add that I don't know why some or even most of the pros don't get a lower deflection cue as with their fast cloths there is really no need to have cues that are stiff. Not really knowing for certain but I think Judd Trump's cue might be a medium flex.
      Last edited by Terry Davidson; 3rd March 2015, 12:49 PM.
      Terry Davidson
      IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

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      • #4
        Originally posted by neuronic View Post
        With all due respect to Terry and his vast experience I really don't think it's the different ferrule materials that cause different spin and throw. Hitting the cue ball off-center is what causes throw and spin.
        Unless someone is going to give me some coherent and physically provable explaination why a plastic ferrule should cause less (or more) throw than a metal one, I prefer sticking with this.

        A few months ago I had to get a new ferrule installed, I went from brass to stainless steel and I can assure you there is zero difference in throw or spin.
        Well said, it is how you hit the ball, there is no evidence, physical or otherwise to say anything else - it's a bit like saying "look, I can throw tennis balls further with a special glove" - it's bollocks

        However, some players really do believe that an 'ultimate' shaft can hit the ball differently and better than a club cue out of the bucket, despite the fact they're made out of the same dead wood - same with deflection and ferrules, same with different tips and spin - and salesmen love it

        As Terry Griffiths said when commentating in the recent welsh open when comparing snookerers to golfers constantly changing their clubs "what these people don't realise is it's just an implement, it's you that makes it do things"
        Last edited by sberry; 3rd March 2015, 01:55 PM.

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        • #5
          Do you think any pros ever read some of the posts on here and think WTF are they all going on about. Just got a little feeling that the cue enthusiasts on here worry more about the flex of shaft and stiffness of their cues then the pros who use them for a living do. May not, I just can't see it TBH.

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          • #6
            Yes and no - some pros believe rubbish, it doesn't stop them being damn good players. Bit like religion and ufos, you can't prove it so you can talk about it forever and some people will believe you, who really cares, if it makes you happy that's all that matters.

            Now, if someone was to set up a simple experiment with a robot and could produce meaningful results that would be different... will be plenty of students at uni loving to do that, think of the sales boost for someone who could provide the super cue or ferrule that could produce the different results....

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            • #7
              It is a known fact that every cue will deflect the cueball to a different degree when using side (I call this 'throw'). Then logically some cues DO throw less than others. So the question becomes why will one cue throw less than another one? I think it's related to the shaft flex and the end weight of the cue plus perhaps the hardness of the tip.

              However, if a player uses a cue for awhile his brain will get used to the amount of aim-off he needs to pot a ball while using side and he will play well with that cue eventually. My own thoughts are if an amateur player hits the cueball with UNINTENTIONAL side and the amount of this will vary with the power and be worse on higher power shots then wouldn't it be to that player's advantage to try and get a cue which causes less throw? Pros, for the most part at least, usually have a pretty consistent technique and then it just becomes getting used to the throw of that particular cue and if they use that cue for awhile they will unconsciously adjust for the correct aim-off.

              I think a player with a less than pure stroke would play better with a cue of medium flex and reduced end weight because this has been proven in a University of Ohio study (using pool balls but not a robot) to deflect the cueball less. Doesn't it stand to reason if the shaft is not too stiff that at the strike the shaft will take some of that off-centre force as compared to a very stiff cue which would have less or no give? Even though this happens in a split second there will still be some off-centre force imparted on BOTH the cueball and the shaft.

              Remember, as long as a player has a consistent technique he can get used to any cue, even a 2" x 4" or a broom handle, if he uses it enough and gets his brain trained to automatically determine the aim-off when using side.
              Terry Davidson
              IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sberry View Post
                Yes and no - some pros believe rubbish, it doesn't stop them being damn good players. Bit like religion and ufos, you can't prove it so you can talk about it forever and some people will believe you, who really cares, if it makes you happy that's all that matters.

                Now, if someone was to set up a simple experiment with a robot and could produce meaningful results that would be different... will be plenty of students at uni loving to do that, think of the sales boost for someone who could provide the super cue or ferrule that could produce the different results....
                Some of the top players do have a cue action like a robot. I am sure they have tried some of these simple experiments and decided for themselves that there is no difference or a certain product works better. The big problem is that many of these players also get paid to say a certain product is the best and the rest of us can't tell if it really is or a case of 'cash for comment'. So we try ourselves and see what works best for us even if it is only in our heads. I am sure I play better with my favourite cue than a rack cue. Still, my cue action is not robotic. I wish it was.

                My favourite players: Walter Lindrum (AUS), Neil Robertson (AUS), Eddie Charlton (AUS), Robby Foldvari (AUS), Vinnie Calabrese (AUS), Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry, Alex Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Dominic Dale and Barry Hawkins.
                I dream of a 147 (but would be happy with a 100)

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                • #9
                  like a robot is not a robot, anything with human interaction or input can be discounted for consistency purposes

                  but it's all irrelevant really, even though it's just as mythical as religion hopefully it will never cause the problems religion has.... we don't need nicknames like jihadi john in snooker

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                  • #10
                    So has anyone played with a plastic/fibre ferrule on a snooker cue then? Terry? How did it compare with respect to throw and spin v. a brass/SS?

                    * I'm not surprised sberry didn't find any diff between brass and SS, they are metals of similar density.

                    I've tried playing without a ferrule and the hit and throw are very, very different. There is a loss of spin and less throw compared to brass. I also noticed less throw when I used to play 9-ball with a pool cue with a plastic ferrule, but not as much as a snooker cue without a ferrule. But it's difficult to gain a meaningful insight when thinking about a pool cue with plastic ferrule hitting big pool balls compared to a snooker cue with brass ferrule hitting lighter and smaller balls. An interesting aside is why do American pool cue makers (and some of these cues cost even more than snooker cues) persist with plastic when metal ferrules that are tougher/damage less could be applied instead?

                    If the material of the ferrule doesn't matter then how come MW's customers attest to less throw and more spin, with a couple of exceptions? If tips change the characteristic of the hit then why wouldn't shaft wood and ferrules? We all know that a maple hit is very different to a hit with an ash cue. The maple has close grain and different mechanical properties, and so do the ferrules also behave differently, i.e. metal v. plastic?
                    Last edited by Master Blaster; 3rd March 2015, 04:32 PM.

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                    • #11
                      No, no, no - it's just in your mind and in their mind, that is all - same as religion - if you believe it, it is true and unprovable

                      You are talking microscopic differences anyway for heavens sake

                      Plenty of snooker playing robots seen before, should be easy for MW or anyone to set up a test without human interaction to prove it but there is a reason you won't see that done

                      Doesn't matter whether something exists or not, if you think it does, for you it does exist

                      and don't start on the maple vs ash difference either

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                      • #12
                        So you haven't played snooker with a fibre/plastic ferrule then? I understand why you would want to debunk certain lines held by cue makers etc, and I agree, there's no need to spend more money on toys that don't do anything different. But the feel of the hit without a ferrule on a snooker cue is very very different to brass, if you've tried it?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sberry View Post
                          No, no, no - it's just in your mind and in their mind, that is all - same as religion - if you believe it, it is true and unprovable

                          You are talking microscopic differences anyway for heavens sake

                          Plenty of snooker playing robots seen before, should be easy for MW or anyone to set up a test without human interaction to prove it but there is a reason you won't see that done

                          Doesn't matter whether something exists or not, if you think it does, for you it does exist

                          and don't start on the maple vs ash difference either
                          Its all a load of ****e, if you hit the ball in the right place it's going to go in wether you're using a tin opener or a medium flex cue. Way to many people getting caught in the atheistics of cues and wonder why they can't put a decent break together.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Leo View Post
                            Its all a load of ****e, if you hit the ball in the right place it's going to go in wether you're using a tin opener or a medium flex cue. Way to many people getting caught in the atheistics of cues and wonder why they can't put a decent break together.
                            So you're saying Trump would pot the ball exactly the same with a very stiff Ultimate compared to his whippy ultimate? And he'd screw the same length, really?

                            Trevor White, please come in! I'd be interested to hear what Trevor would say about this.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              thought we were talking about deflection, not defective cues - why are you now talking about whippy cues, these should be avoided anyway

                              it's like the man claiming pixies and dragons must exist because you can't prove they don't - in other words, it's bollocks

                              why do you want Trevor White to comment, does he know more than Terry Griffiths or does he just believe in something different or have a commercial interest in telling you something different?

                              brass ferrule with elk or fibre with laminated hard, ash, maple or carbon, it will do the same if you hit it the same

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