From what I’ve heard, the Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L is right up there with some of the most durable strings out there. As someone who’s not a fan of constantly getting their rackets restrung, this means this poly from German string company Pacific should be right up my ally.
As someone who is a regular user of poly strings, I generally use Babolat RPM Blast, I know that the Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L is likely to offer great control and spin, but not so much in the way of comfort and feel. This is just the kind of trade-off you have to make with strings, whether you’re going for a poly, multifilament, or natural gut.
While Pacific isn’t the biggest name in tennis, they do make some excellent strings, and you’ll find plenty of stringers out there who swear by these strings. I’ve only ever played with Pacific string the once, and I enjoyed what I saw, so we figured it was time to get the Pacific Poly Power Pro back for a proper playtest.
Don’t let the name of this string fool you because although it has power in its name, the Poly Power Pro is unlikely to be a particularly powerful string. That’s because polyester strings are much stiffer and control oriented than say a natural gut string. So, expect the Pacific Poly Power Pro to be quite powerful for a poly string, but not super powerful in the grand scheme of things.
I always find that poly strings are best suited to players who like to hit through the ball with fast, long swings, as opposed to players with more beginner swings. If you’re looking for something that leans a little bit more towards power and comfort then it might be worth looking at a multifilament string, but for players like myself who want to be able to swing for the fences, a co-poly like the Poly Power Pro 16L should be ideal.
For this playtest, I took out my Babolat Pure Strike 18 x 20s, one strung at my normal 52lbs and the other, a much lower 42lbs. This would allow me to see how the Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L would perform across some different weights.
Power – 6.5/10
String names are always pretty confusing I think. You’ve got the Big Banger Original which sounds like it should give you massive power, but doesn’t, and now you’ve got the Pacific Poly Power Pro, which should also give you massive power but only scored a 6 out of 10?
Well, the thing is, these Polys don’t offer you much in the way of easy power. What they do is allow you to hit with huge power because of the control they give you. If you can generate big power through your strokes then you’ll find the Pacific Poly Power Pro will allow you to use 100% of that power.
In terms of its ability to create easy power, I’d say the Poly Power Pro is about on the same level as Luxilon LXN Smart String, with slightly more power than the Babolat RPM Blast. This is about all you can expect from a poly, and in truth, it’s all I would want.
When I’m out on court I want to feel like I’m creating the power rather than everything coming from the strings, the Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L gives you that feeling, and it allowed me to play some very good tennis.
I gave the Pacific Poly Power Pro a 6.5 out of 10 for power. It’s not the most powerful string in the world, but in my opinion, it’s exactly what you would want.
Control – 9/10
Swing free, swing big and swing with confidence with Pacific Poly Power Pro. The control you get from this string is absolutely excellent. When I was playing with this string at 52lbs I found it to have even more control than my Babolat RPM Blast, something I wasn’t expecting to find.
Although when I played with the Poly Power Pro at 42lbs it took me some time to get used to, I found I still had plenty of control and lots of confidence in my strokes. I’d naturally choose a 52lbs setup over a 42lbs one, but considering how loose the 42lbs setup was I didn’t feel too far out of my comfort zone. This says a lot about the levels of control of Poly Power Pro and left me fairly impressed.
Control is the area where I find the polys really stand out from other strings. If you’re taking big cuts at the ball like the majority of players do in the modern game then you need those extra levels of control to get the most out of your strokes.
It’s not got quite the incredible levels of control that Big Banger Original has, but Pacific Poly Power Pro isn’t a million miles off. We gave it an 8.5 out of 10 for control.
Touch – 4/10
The Pacific Poly Power Pro gets some great scores in lots of categories, but touch is not one of them. This string is very stiff, with minimal give, and the lack of a cushioning effect means most people will find it to be lacking in touch.
Tom likes to describe these strings as “boards” and I’m sure many people will agree with him. I might be a bit odd, but I love my rackets to feel like boards. As long as it gives me a consistent response, which the Pacific Poly Power Pro does, then that’s all I need. Touch comes from your hands in my opinion, but of course, your strings can give you some added help and these poly strings don’t really do that.
If you’re changing from a multifilament or natural gut string then this is probably going to take some getting used to. I know I’ve given my racket to a fair few people to try and they’ve come back to me wondering how on Earth I play tennis with it set up the way it is.
If you go with a slightly looser string setup then you will find you’ve got a little bit more touch, but however you string your racket with Pacific Poly Power Pro you’re not going to get top level touch.
We gave the Poly Power Pro a 4 out of 10 for touch, which isn’t an unusual score for a poly.
Spin – 8/10
We’re back in a traditionally strong area for the poly strings, and once again, Pacific Poly Power Pro does extremely well. It doesn’t quite have the crazy spin potential of Babolat RPM Blast, but it’s not too far off.
The Poly Power Pro just grips the ball effortlessly and as long as you get the racket moving in the right direction you’re going to see big results when it comes to spin. I generally get a lot of topspin off the forehand side and sometimes can get a bit too much spin with the Babolat RPM Blast, so it was quite nice to have slightly less potential with the Pacific.
This was the area where I much preferred the 52lbs setup to the 42lbs setup, just because I felt I went a bit over the top with spin with the loose setup. Everyone’s game is different though, and there are people who are going to benefit from a looser string setup and there are people who are going to benefit from the tighter string setup.
If you’ve got any questions about string tensions then check out Tom’s Tennis String Tension Guide for some more information.
The Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L gives you high-end spin potential. You’re not going to find that many strings that allow you to hit with spin so easily, we gave it an 8 out of 10.
Durability – 9/10
This string has some seriously good durability. All strings lose a bit of tension after your first 30 minutes or so of hitting, but after the initial slight drop off, the Poly Power Pro held its tension extremely well.
As someone who’s not playing on the pro tour, durability is very important to me, because constantly restringing your racket is just a hassle. Pacific Poly lasted as long as any string I’ve tried before, and it kept good performance right up until the string broke.
Your strings are always going to lose some tension over time, but this string gives an excellent combination of longevity and continued performance. The Pacific Poly Power smashed this category and got a 9 out of 10 for durability.
Comfort – 5.5/10
Durability and comfort rarely go hand in hand and it doesn’t when it comes to Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L. Even for polys, the Pacific is pretty stiff, and you do notice it. I’m used to paying with stiff polys but I would say the Babolat RPM Blast is a little bit more comfortable than the Poly Power Pro.
Most players are quite used to the way polys feel nowadays, but if you do suffer from joint pain then you might want to think twice about going with a full bed of the Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L. If you love the durability, control, and spin, but want to add some comfort then you can always go with the Poly Pro in the mains with something softer in the crosses.
Comfort is never a strong point for poly strings and it’s not for the Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L, we gave it a 5.5 out of 10.
Overall – 8/10
Overall, the Pacific Poly Power Pro has a lot of great characteristics. If you like a durable, control oriented string then Poly Power Pro is ideal, and even gives you a little extra power vs most other poly strings.
If you’re more concerned with feel and comfort then the Poly Power Pro isn’t for you, especially as a full bed. If you want to add some control to your game then it could be a good option to mix in with a softer string, but it will change the feel of your racket quite a bit.
As someone who is focused on control and durability I did really enjoy the Pacific Poly Power Pro, but, it didn’t quite convince me to switch from my RPM Blast. RPM Blast might be harsh, but the Poly Power Pro is a step down in comfort even from that.
We gave the Pacific Poly Power Pro 16L an 8 out of 10. It’s a very good string, but you’ve got to understand exactly what you’re getting from it. That is control, durability, and spin, it’s not power, and it’s definitely not comfort and feel.
Review by: Will