The Low Deflection Pool Cue Guide – Less Squirt, More Wins!
There’s a popular term in billiards you have probably heard of many times – “Low Deflection.” The term is everywhere, and many brands use it as a selling point. Low deflection pool cues have been around for awhile, but are still relatively new in the big picture.
We are well into the 2020’s, but many are still unsure about what low deflection means exactly. So we’ll do our best to clear this up.
If you have been considering a low deflection cue, it will be helpful to understand more about what it is, and how it differs from regular cues. Keep in mind that the best pool cue for each player will really depend on their experience, needs in a cue, and their style of play.
This article will explain everything you need to know about the low deflection pool cue. You can expect to learn everything from what it means, to some of the best low deflection pool cues in the market.
What Is a Low Deflection Pool Cue?
A low deflection pool cue is used to hit pool shots that result in less cue ball deviation and a shot that stays on line, especially when applying english.
With this type of cue, the player won’t have to compensate as much for cue ball “squirt,” which results in more consistent play and more matches won.
Put simply, low deflection shafts are designed to minimize the “push” effect that causes cue ball deflection on shots with spin. This is done with help from reduced mass at the end of the shaft and the tip.
This type of cue will allow a greater margin of error (more forgiveness) when making center ball shots, which benefits players who have a habit of hitting the cue ball left or right.
What is cue ball squirt?
In pool, squirt, or deflection, is when a cue ball deviates from the stroke line. These deviations cause a change in the path of the cue ball. Squirt happens more when shooting with spin than when making straight shots.
Players often have to compensate for squirt when making a shot. Otherwise, their shots will be less accurate and will miss the target. They can do this by either aiming thicker or thinner (contacting the object ball more or less) to ensure the cue ball contacts the object ball at the correct angle.
Low Deflection Shafts vs. Regular Shafts
Low deflection shafts offer much better accuracy than regular cue shafts. These shafts ensure you only need to make minor compensation for deflection. This improves your consistency and minimizes the errors when creating unintentional sidespin.
Regular shafts can also make accurate shots, but only when you master how to compensate for deflection. To do this, you really need to be familiar with your cue. But this can create a longer learning curve than if you use a low deflection shaft.
A pool cue with a low deflection shaft is better for beginners. Unlike standard shaft cues, you do not have to spend lots of time mastering how to compensate for deflection. With some practice, even a beginner can make some great shots within a short time.
Low deflection cues feature a more solid overall construction, resulting in a higher price tag. They typically use high-quality materials like carbon fiber or hard maple wood, and have radial laminate. These factors make them more durable and high performing than standard shaft pool cues.
Are Low Deflection Shafts Worth It?
Overall, low deflection shafts have more advantages than standard shafts and will be worth it for most pool players. That being said, switching and adjusting to a low deflection shaft can be tricky if you are used to standard, cheaper cues and are used to compensating for deflection.
The accuracy of a low deflection shaft and the fact that it gives you more margin for error means it will likely improve your overall performance. It also makes it easier to make adjustments when playing shots with english.
A low deflection shaft will give you an extra boost of confidence since you know it’s more reliable, which will positively impact your game in the long run.
Are Carbon Fiber Shafts Low Deflection?
Carbon fiber shafts have the least deflection compared to wood and other materials. But, there are still many other factors that affect the deflection besides the material. For instance, cues that use a shorter ferrule and those with a lightweight or wooden ferrule will have a low deflection regardless of the shaft material.
While most carbon fiber shafts have low deflection, keeping the end mass low is still the best way to reduce deflection in any pool cue shaft.
Click here to read more about carbon fiber shaft benefits!
What is the Lowest Deflection Shaft?
You will often come across the term “low deflection shaft” when shopping for a pool cue. But the truth is, there isn’t one definition for what constitutes a low deflection shaft.
In most instances, the term is just a popular marketing term that manufacturers will use to convince you to buy their pool cues or shafts. It means less than it used to.
But, some brands are known for making pool cues that provide less ball deviation than most other cues.
Here are a few brands with some of the lowest deflection shafts:
Predator is one of the pioneers of low deflection shafts. They released their first low deflection shaft over 25 years ago. They now have the REVO carbon fiber shafts, which many players and experts consider some of the lowest deflection shafts in the market.
The Lucasi Low Deflection Shafts are built to deliver a crisp and clean shot. The brand’s shafts also perform exceptionally well on long-distance shots. They offer greater accuracy and stability.
There was a lot of buzz around Cuetec’s first carbon fiber shaft when it hit the market. Their Cynergy 15K low deflection shaft is quite popular, and many people often compare it with Predator’s Revo. Besides the low deflection, many players love that it still feels like you are using a wood cue.
OB is another brand that has been dominating the low deflection shafts market. It probably only comes second to Predator. They also offer a few low deflection shafts, which include the OB Carbon, and OB Fusion.
Katana makes their low deflection shafts to be more affordable than what most other top brands are offering. Their KATXS1 cue shafts have a shorter 3/8″ ferrule to further lower deflection and feature a 10-piece radial lamination for increased strength and consistency.
Best Low Deflection Shafts by Price
There are low deflection shafts out there for players of all kinds. It all depends on your preferences and budget.
These are some of the best low deflection shafts – categorized by price:
Best low deflection shafts under $300
2. OB-XL+ Cue Shaft with Stacked Wood Ferrule – $193.50
4. Moyerely Carbon Fiber Pool Cue – $239
5. McDermott Intimidator i-Shafts – $297
Best low deflection shafts $300 – $500
1. Katana Low Deflection Pool Cue Shaft – $304.20 – $325.80
3. Lucasi Hybrid – FlexPoint Shafts – $350 – $375
5. Predator Revo 12.4 Cue Shafts – $499
Best low deflection shafts over $500
A low deflection pool cue minimizes the need to compensate for deflection when making shots with spin. It can improve your overall game by allowing you to make more accurate shots and giving you a bigger margin for error.
Low deflection cues are more beginner-friendly and last longer. They also have a few things that could put off some players. These drawbacks include the high price tag and making it hard to perfect jump shots.
Overall, a low deflection cue will work well for most players. It will be easier for new players to adapt to them than it would be for more experienced players who are used to their standard cues.
Make sure you weigh the advantages and disadvantages before switching from a standard to a low deflection cue.
As always, Happy Shooting!