This story begins with a heated debate regarding the merits of Low Deflection pool cue shafts and the various companies that create them.
This debate normally centers around two main companies: Predator serves as one of the first companies to make a commercially successful LD shaft, and OB—a company out of Texas that has a highly engineered product that is reknown to produce a softer feel.
As this debate rages on, other companies are mentioned. Due to the educated nature of this group, many other companies are also brought up. At one point my favorite cue company is mentioned. This is when I chime in and shamelessly beg Mr. Joseph Pechauer the courtesy of a sample of the new LD shaft that his company is offering.
Imagine my surprise when Mr. JP speaks up and offers his assistance; moreover, he offers free shafts to the first few who state that they want one.
Count me in!
As far as I know he gave away seven shafts that day—each with a retail value of $230. These shafts were shipped to the lucky few free of charge with the joint of our choice even if it wasn’t his cue or his pin setup. They each also came with a Pechauer Gold Layered tip worth about $25, but more on that in a bit.
This shaft serves as my first venture into the world of LD shafts (and layered tips). I started playing pool at the age of eight, on a plywood table in my basement. When I got my first job at 14 one of my managers was a Junior champion from a neighboring state and we formed a bond shooting pool after work.
He taught me the game, patterns and a few trick shots. It wasn’t long before I was saving my pennies to buy my first “real” cue, Pechauer JP series J3 with an extended taper on its 11.75 mm shaft and a solid hard leather tip. That has been my shooting cue for about 20+ years and has served me well throughout high school, college and beyond.
Since then I have started a family and settled down. I have a wife and two lovely daughters, the youngest of whom likes to go shopping in the local pawn shops with her daddy.
One fine day her and I stroll into what has become our favorite shop and what do we find but a beautiful cue that was down on her luck in the form of a Pechauer Pro series PS-17 from 2005.
I remember thinking, “Well, I guess I am buying a cue today.”
Her shaft was a bit chalked, but she rolled straight and they had $250 on her. I offered $75. After five separate visits on three different days we settled on $125 and she has been my daily shooter ever since.
Since then I have joined a league (my first ever) and brushed up my skills. When the FaceBook discussion took place I was interested because I was actively shopping for an LD shaft with intentions of making my first purchase in this area. The chance to try the P+ couldn’t have come at a better time for me as the state tournament for 9-ball was just weeks away.
When the box arrived with the Pechauer logo I couldn’t have been more excited. My first impressions were that it was difficult to see the radial sections that the shaft was made out of and that it seemed heavier than the basic shaft that came with the cue.
The joint was the Pechauer Pro joint with the matching pro ring work. It seemed to fit more tightly than the original shaft, but it fit well. The shaft seem wider than the old shaft. I had asked for a P+ Lite with the 11.75mm tip but instead received the P+ Pro with the 12.75mm tip, which took some adjusting. This shaft came with a Pechauer Gold Medium tip.
Once the shaft was installed, it seemed to change the balance point of my cue. This also took some getting use to as it seemed heavier in the front now than it did before and that caused me to have to change my stroke slightly. It also seemed to have a bit of a tin like feeling when hit, not the flex and feed back of a solid maple cue but a more rigid “ting” that did offer some feedback but was another cause for adjustment.
The fun started once I tossed some balls on the table.
From the first ball that I hit, everything seemed easier. Balls went right where I had aimed them. I did not realize how deflection had been holding back my accuracy but I instantly became deadly accurate with this shaft. I hit balls for an hour and only missed a couple very low percentage shots that I only took to test my luck.
This is the moment that I knew that there was no going back for me.
The layered tip was also a new experience for me. I have found that the softness of the tip discourages hitting the cue ball with force and causes me to be slower and more deliberate with my stroke. This has helped me as well.
Also, I thought it a bit odd that this tip shipped with a nickel shape. I prefer this shape, but it does seem like most ship with a dime shaped tip these days. I feel like this new shaft and tip actually are offering me less English than I had gotten before, but that works for me.
When I would watch a tutorial on how to use English and rails to position a cue ball I would always have more dramatic results than the demo would lead me to believe. I feel like now I am closer to what is expected by some of these methods and I feel the cue ball is easier to control for me with this perceived reduction in english.
What I like / what I don’t like about the P+ Pro with Pechauer Gold tip:
Like: It seems to be a natural fit for my cue and has given my aiming laser precision. My friend described this shaft as, “Like Viagra for pool.” I thought that was very apt for my feelings as well. The tip encourages me to hit a more controlled shot.
Don’t like: The tip seemed to flatten quickly—no mushrooming but flat. Also the shaft felt a little tin-like at first, with a nearly metallic feel when hit. This shaft had too much width at the tip for my tastes.
The success that I have had with this shaft naturally makes me interested in other LD shafts and layered tips that are on the market. To that end I have ordered a couple more tips.
The one by Fuji is great and I am tempted to cut off the Pechauer Gold in favor of a Fuji, but will wait. I have a Kamui brown Clear on the way and we will see what that feels like. I would also like to compare this shaft with the conical taper of a Z2. Z2’s get rave reviews and I am interested to see why.
In conclusion, I love this shaft and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a way to improve their game through new equipment. If you have a good stroke and ball pocketing ability and you are looking for a boost to that next level, the LD shaft may be just what you need. The Pechauer P+ Pro is a great LD shaft especially considering the price point is less than comparable Predator products.
I recommend it.
I also like the Pechauer Gold tip. It served as a fine entry point into the layered tip market but does not seem as nice to me as other layered tips that I have tried. The price on this tip seems high compared to similar products from other companies.
All in all there is nothing to keep one from using this tip but it may not be the best option for all users. As for the set-up as a whole: I am not going back to solid maple or hard leather anytime soon. You can pry my P+ pro from my cold dead hands if it is not pocketing balls on its own by then.
Thank you Joseph Pechauer for this chance to take a look at some truly professional gear.
Photo: Pechauer website Editor: Dana Gornall