Caring for Your Cue
Whether you're going to spend a small fortune on a cue stick or purchase a reasonably priced “starter” cue, you will want to take care of it. Caring for the shaft and tip are important, as is keeping it clean and unscathed.
The little piece behind the tip is known as the “ferrule.” We haven't spent a lot of time talking about the ferrule, but it is important to keep this part of the cue as clean as you can. You want to avoid getting too much chalk on the ferrule — so stay away from those barroom cubes. Bring your own. The deeper the hole in the chalk the more likely you are to get it on the ferrule. To clean the ferrule you can use a cloth and some household cleaner, but be very careful not to get any cleaning agents on the tip.
A Clean Shaft
You should get into the habit of wiping the shaft during play. Just use a paper towel. This will help keep the shaft dust free. When you're done for the day, wipe down the shaft and the butt to make sure they are free of both dust and perspiration from your hands. You may have been gripping the butt a little too tightly on some of those tricky shots.
If you have a cue stick with a linen wrap, be careful not to wipe the linen too often. You may actually destroy it if you wipe it continuously.
For a really thorough cleaning of your cue stick, take it in to a cue mechanic. They are trained to know where the dirt hides on the shaft and how to get it out. For daily maintenance, a damp cloth will do the trick.
The purpose of the cue case is to protect your cue while you transport it from one location to another. As with the cues themselves, and anything else in this world, there are many cases to choose from, ranging from a couple of dollars into the thousands of dollars.
A common cue stick wall rack.
You can buy hard or soft cases from $10. A $10 case will probably be made of vinyl and have a padded interior. If you're going to go out and buy a $50 cue, you may want to consider spending a little more on the case. A vinyl case will not last very long and it may not protect the cue that well.
For a wood case that matches your cue, you can expect to pay as much as $1,000. That is definitely pretty and if you get to tournament level it might be nice to have such a thing, but early on, it's best just to go with something sturdy, easy to manage, and practical. A standard case that you will see around the pool hall — and probably housing one of those mid-range cues — is the hard leather case, which will run you about $350.
Keep your cue stored in a cool area where it will not be subjected to heat or moisture. Heat and humidity are two of the leading causes of damage to a cue stick, so never leave it in your car on a hot sunny day. You'll be back at your supplier for a new one if you do. That's a heartbreaker if you've become comfortable with that cue.
Cue Stick Holders
Another kind of cue stick holder that sits on the floor.
It's not a good idea to leave sticks lying around your home poolroom. Cue sticks can warp if they are not stored properly. When you buy the cues you should also buy a cue rack.
There are two types of cue racks you can buy — the wall rack and the floor rack. Which one you choose will mostly depend on the space in the room and how you want to store your accessories. A wall rack is a good idea for a smaller room with little floor space, while the floor rack is fine in a room with a little more floor space than wall space. Most racks are made of wood, but nowadays you can find almost any kind, including metal. The racks will vary in terms of price. It depends on the type of wood the rack is made of and the style of the rack.
Like anything in the pool world, now you can buy any kind of rack: mirrored racks, solid wood-backed racks, metal racks, high-quality wood racks, hand-carved wood racks. You can have a rack custom made to suit your décor. Again, it's a matter of personal taste (and money). Floor racks can be standard wood stands with holes at the top and a base on the floor. Some of the floor racks will actually spin so that you can choose your cue easily.
Taking care of your cue stick is key to your pool game. A well-maintained cue stick is essential to every good player.