Pool Cue Tapers Explained | Buyer’s Guide
When you start looking at high end pool cues, you’ll notice that there are a bunch of different taper types that pool cues are designed with. Although you’ll see a bunch of different taper names, there are really only 2 main taper types. The 2 main types of pool shaft tapers are pro and conical. Many different pool cue manufacturers have made their own proprietary taper system but those 2 are the major taper styles.
The 7 Most Popular Pro Taper Pool Cues
- Predator Revo Shaft
- Cuetec Cynergy Shaft
- Meucci Carbon Pro Shaft
- Predator 314 Shaft
- Katana Pool Shaft
- Jacoby Ultra Pro Shaft
- Lucasi Hybrid Shaft
What is a pro taper pool cue?
A Pro taper pool cue is a cue where the shaft stays a consistent width for a set distance from the tip before expanding to the size at the joint. Pro Tapers are typically described with a measurement next to it i.e. 15″ Pro Taper. The measurement tells you how far from the tip the shaft starts expanding.
So if the shaft is 13mm and the joint (connection between shaft and butt) is 3/8″ with a 15″ Pro Taper, the shaft will maintain a width of 13mm until it is 15 inches from the tip of the shaft. Then, it will start tapering out so that it reaches 3/8″ by the time it gets to the joint.
Pro taper pool cues are very popular, especially among closed bridge shooters. With a pro taper, it has a consistent width at the point where your bridge touches the stick. So, it will slide through a closed bridge better.
Many of the cues listed above in the Top 7 Pro Taper Pool Cues are Carbon Fiber Pool Cues. It is common for carbon fiber cues to have pro tapers.
The 5 Most Popular Conical Taper Pool Cues
- Predator Z Series Shafts
- Katana 2 Shaft
- Jacoby Ultra Super Pro Shaft
- Lucasi Hybrid Slim Shaft
- Mcdermott Intimidator 3
What is conical taper pool cue?
A conical taper pool cue is where the shaft has a smooth or consistent taper that gradually changes from the size of the tip to the size of the joint.
Many cheaper sticks use a conical taper but not all conical sticks are low quality cues. There are a number of Predator As with many aspects of billiards, it’s all about what feels best for you. Personally, I only really notice the difference when shooting with a closed bridge.
Since the thickness is always changing it can feel clunky going through a closed bridge because your bridges has to constantly adjust to the changing width. As the stick slides forward the width going through your bridge is getting bigger and as it slides backward the width is getting smaller.
This can cause inconsistency in your shot especially when not playing with a glove. A good billiards glove will make it so that it is able to slide through your closed bridge easier. So, the change in width will be less noticeable.
Without a glove it’s very easy for the cue to stick to your fingers causing you to have a rough or clunky shot.
What’s the best pool cue taper?
It’s hard to say which pool cue taper is best. While there are performance benefits to specific billiards products, a large part of what is best is what you personally feel comfortable using. So, you should just try out multiple different cues with different tapers and find one that you like. Later down the road as you get better at pool you may find a cue that feels more comfortable for you new skill level and that’s fine.
When you first start playing you won’t be able to notice the little differences between each pool cue, but as your skill level improves you’ll start noticing those minute differences that make you like 1 cue a little more than another.
For example, as a beginner, you may shoot with a large tip which makes it easy to shoot consistently but as you get better you may start moving to a cue with a smaller tip. However, if you started with a small tipped cue, you wouldn’t have been able to tell the different level of cue ball control that you received from the tip.
It’s almost as if you need to start with a bad cue to fully understand what makes a good cue a good cue.
There are 2 main pool cue tapers: pro and conical. While the pro taper is very popular among professionals and on many of the high end pool cues. It’s hard to say which one is actually better. You should try out multiple cues and see which one fits your play style best. One thing that I noticed is that a Pro Taper is better for closed bridges but a both pro taper and conical taper are good for open bridges.
I personally like a pro taper but when it comes to billiards products, it’s about what fits you comfortably while still giving you the best performance possible. So if a conical taper is more comfortable for you, you should use it.