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Best Way to Extend a 58" Pool Cue (or should I Just Buy a Longer One)?

Best Way to Extend a 58" Pool Cue (or should I Just Buy a Longer One)?

I'd like to get some guidance from taller players who may have gone through the problem that I've been experiencing with a 58" (standard length) cue.

I started playing pool a year ago. After six months, I realized that what I thought were problems with my stroke were often caused by issues with my stance and alignment so I've been working on that for 4-5 hours each day for the past few months. I'm pretty sure that a 58" cue is just too short for me and has been making it difficult for me to develop good alignment.

I'm 6'-2" with a wingspan of 76"—the typical span for people who are 6'-4".

My alignment is best when I fully extend my bridge hand. That simple move seems to put my shoulders closer to parallel with the stroke line and makes it easier to stack my head, shoulder, elbow, and grip on a vertical plane above my back foot. But that results in a bridge length that is only about 5" (at most) even with the middle and ring fingers of my grip close to the butt cap (bumper).

My best guess is that I need a cue that's 62" or something close to that.

First and foremost, am I correct in thinking that there's a good reason to play at least some shots with a longer bridge or am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Having seen lots of good players using bridges of 9" or more, I would like to be able to do that, too, at some point.

I bought an 8" Joss butt extension last week and don't think that solves my problem. I'm hammering the CB, even with a short bridge, and having trouble toning down the hit. Would a shorter butt extension (say 4") get the job done and bring back a softer touch? I have a 19 oz cue. The 8" extension bumps it up to almost 21 oz and may be too heavy for me to control.

Should I try a mid-cue extension? I know that the Balance Rite would add 3.75" and the X5 adds 5". There are many reviews of the Balance Rite available online, and most seem favorable, but I've seen a significant number of complaints that crooked pins throw the shaft out of whack (won't roll on the table) or that it doesn't seat properly at the joint between the butt and shaft. I haven't seen many reviews of the X5 so I'd appreciate hearing what anyone who has used one might have to say or any comments that users of mid-cue extensions in general might provide on the pros and cons of these things.

If a mid-cue extension is the way to go, I want to get one that will perfectly join my Joss Sneaky Pete butt and shaft (JOSSP01 Katalox Pool Cue; 5/16 14 pin) and avoid any tip wobble. Should I contact a cue maker? Any thoughts on whom I might contact?

Finally, I'm wondering whether I should just find a cue maker to build one with the right length, weight, and balance for me. At some point in the next year or two, I want to get a carbon fiber shaft so maybe I could have a cue built in anticipation of doing that or just take the plunge now. Is it possible for a cue maker to make a 62" cue with a weight of 19 oz or should I accept the fact that I need to learn how to play with something heavier?

Thanks for putting up with this long post. I'm new to the forum and will try to shorten my questions in the future.

Best Way to Extend a 58" Pool Cue (or should I Just Buy a Longer One)?

Replies & Comments

  1. Al SpezRayMills on 10/13/2021 6:03:53 AM

    I'm 78" tall and use common-length pool cues, and I even had a narrow-tipped cue made for me. I believe common wisdom is that the bridge-to-tip distance should be slightly longer, the harder you stroke. When that happens, I can sometimes feel that, if I preferred, I could have one finger hanging off of the butt to help propel and to remind me that my grip cannot go back any further.

    So, I don't think a longer cue and/or extension matters much unless you're trying to avoid using a mechanical bridge.

    Including learning how to consistently shoot with either hand, it's probably most important to practice a consistent stance and stroke, and stick with it.

  2. Al SpezAl Spez on 10/13/2021 6:52:22 AM

    Thanks, Ray. At 6'-6" you definitely fall into the tall player category, my target audience. Your comments are helpful.

    My interest in a longer cue is only related to stroke and whether the standard length (58") could be holding me back.

    Are you bridging at 5" +/- on most shots? I max out at about 7" and that's with my pinky finger off the end of the cue when I'm in my best stance. I cradle the cue in my grip with my middle and ring fingers. On shots that require speed, I can get a little herky-jerky and thought a longer bridge length would help.

    Like you, I can shoot with both hands and can get around the table pretty well without using the rake. That said, I should probably spend some time practicing with a mechanical bridge for those times when it would be useful.

    I'm hoping to hear from other tall players to learn about their experiences, what they have to say about long cues, whether they find that standard-length cues force them to make compensations, and whether anyone has found that a longer cue makes it easier to consistently make good strokes at various speeds.

    Thanks, again.

  3. Al SpezRayMills on 10/18/2021 1:52:09 AM

    I shot a couple of league matches tonight and tried to remember your question while I was in action.

    My first consideration is whether I can use the rail and two fingers, and when this is viable I increase my range from a surface-only normal of 4 to 7 inches, to a range of 2 to 9 inches.

  4. Al SpezAl Spez on 10/18/2021 10:54:50 AM

    The rails on my pool table are only 4-1/2", including the cushion. That makes rail bridges a little more challenging for me than when I play on the Brunswick Gold Crown pool tables at the local pool hall. When I'm on a Gold Crown, I'm able to play with a longer bridge, so that helps.

    I'm in the process of returning my 8" butt extension and just ordered a mid-cue extension (the 5" X5). I'll post results after I've had a chance to get accustomed to playing with it.

    I forgot to say in my OP that I bought an X10R generic butt extension for my break cue and feel great moving my grip back 4 inches to extend my bridge. It is way too heavy for my liking, weighing in at 6 oz. It feels like I'm stroking a 2 x 4 stud, but it's worth it to form a bridge of about 9". It is comfortable in my stance.

  5. Al SpezRayMills on 10/19/2021 3:41:23 AM

    Because there are no fingers underneath the cue, the two-finger rail bridges to which I was referring wouldn't be affected by the width of the rail itself. The measurement would start at the edge of the cushion (and fingertips) and end at the cue ball.

  6. Al SpezAl Spez on 10/20/2021 8:23:37 PM

    Thanks for the clarification, Ray. I understand you better now.

    The X5 mid-cue extension arrived in the mail this afternoon. I used it for about an hour and a half and got outstanding results. When I fully extend my arm to the bridge, my grip is in the forearm of the butt (where a wrap goes on many cues) instead of at the end of the butt sleeve near the rubber bumper. Finally comfortable in my stance, and I like the feeling of having some weight behind my grip. That was non-existent for me with a 58" cue. I've got a theory about the benefit of having mass behind the grip that I'll share another day if you or anyone else is interested.

    I played around 100 shots with bridge lengths varying between 5 and 10 inches depending upon the touch or power I wanted. All seemed to go well.

    The extension weighs 2 oz, the same as the 8" butt extension I tried, but the additional weight is less noticeable during the stroke. I suspect that is the result of the CG being moved forward. When I was in college, we had baseball bats that were marked with the length, weight, and—most important—the swing weight. Two 35" bats weighing 33 oz each could feel very different during a swing. The bat with weight near the end of the barrel felt like a tree trunk, while the bat with the weight moved closer to the label felt lighter and gave us the ability to generate much greater bat speed. Something along those lines may be going on when 2 oz of weight is moved from the butt of the cue to the middle.

    I'm amazed at what the tip-heavy effect of the mid-cue extension has done for the action I can put on the CB. I've been trying for months to develop my ability to play force-follow and draw shots (crazy number of hours) and been frustrated by how little I've improved, the insane number of miscues while attempting to use force-follow, and how difficult it has been to move the CB around the table playing center-line shots. That changed today. The CB is chasing the OB into the pocket during follow and force-follow drills, many at half the table or more, and the CB movement off cushions is much more like what I've seen on YouTube videos than the near-dead roll-out I've grown accustomed to. As far as draw goes, I'm simply thrilled. With the CB and OB 2 diamonds apart, I could easily get the CB to come back by two or three diamonds with less speed than I have been using to get ANY draw. With the CB and OB 3 diamonds apart and using moderate or slightly more speed, the CB was drawing back 5 diamonds. I couldn't believe it. I'll be back on the table tomorrow to see whether I get the same results or find that today was a fluke. Hoping that it goes well because I really need to add some arrows to my quiver.

    The only downside to the mid-cue extension seems to be that I'm going to have to recalibrate tip position for stop/stuns, short draws, etc. I'm happy to have that problem. I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks for your comments and sharing your experiences. Much appreciated.

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Best Way to Extend a 58" Pool Cue (or should I Just Buy a Longer One)?

  • Title: Best Way to Extend a 58" Pool Cue (or should I Just Buy a Longer One)?
  • Author: (Al Speziali)
  • Published: 10/11/2021 3:25:51 PM
  • Last Updated: 11/3/2021 3:37:48 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)