Maker of pool cues distributed from 1994 to present by Predator Cue in Jacksonville, Florida.
Predator cues are the result of the collaboration of two men using scientific research for the first time to develop the best hitting cue they could. Allan McCarty, the president of Clawson Cues in Michigan, teamed up with cuemaker Steve Titus, in 1992, to create a cue with minimal deflection.
Allan had experimented with spliced shafts in the past, but he had never seen one as well executed as the one Steve was playing with when they met. Allan immediately hired Steve as a technician to head up the necessary scientific testing on cues. Allan had been planning on creating a robot to test cues, and he knew that Steve had the technical ability to pull it off. They designed and built a robot, which they named "Iron Willie," to stroke shots with perfect consistency. With the cue being the only variable in the testing, they began to determine what factors reduced deflection and increased power. They found that the ferrule was the one variable that had the most effect on deflection, so they concentrated their efforts on the first ten inches of the cue. By scientifically developing a special ferrule and a hollow cavity inside the first five inches of the shaft, they were able to get the front of the cue to deflect off of the ball instead of the ball deflecting off the cue. This meant that the tip actually stayed on the ball longer on contact, resulting in more power. According to tests using Iron Willie, the Predator cues had 25% less deflection than any other cue tested. To increase radial consistency and decrease the likelihood of warpage, they developed spliced shafts. Although many people believe that the spliced shafts are the secret behind the Predator´s playability, the engineering at the front of the shaft is the real secret. Jim Lucas later joined the team to provide manufacturers for the butts and to offer his distribution channels. Clawson developed the Predator Cat logo in 1994, with the Cat comprising features of several different predatory felines.
Since 1995, Clawson Cue has gone by the name Predator Cue to avoid confusion. They manufacture the shafts, and the butts are made elsewhere, to their specifications. Early spliced shafts were six- or twelve-piece, but they soon settled on a ten-piece, centrally aligned, radial-spliced shaft. Very early examples of Predator cues had the special ferrules and inserts without the spliced shafts. The early experimental shafts are quickly becoming collectible, with twelve-piece shafts now bringing $350 or more. Generally, the earlier the Predator shaft, the longer the ferrule will be. The Predator Cat logo started to appear on 314 shafts in 2001.
The Predator 2 was introduced in May of 1999. It featured a 10-piece radially spliced butt with a Uni-Loc joint. Predator set out to develop the most accurate cue that modern technology would allow, and used that technology to develop the Predator 2. A high-speed camera capable of taking 12,000 frames a second was used to determine what really happens when a tip hits a ball. This information was used to design a cue from tip to bumper that would minimize squirt and deflection. The butts and shafts on every Predator 2 were weighed and matched to help provide a variety of weights and balance points, and each cue had a serial number on a metal ring at the bottom. A new urethane wrap similar to leather was developed for the handle. The Predator 2 has been redone and improved upon, and is now available in eight different models.
In 2002 Predator changed from its original 5/16-14 piloted stainless steel joint to the Uni-Loc joint. In 2003 Predator introduced the Z shaft. Like the 314 shaft, the Z shaft is hollow for the first five inches. But the Z shaft has a shorter ferrule, is thinner at 11.75 mm, and it has a lower deflection European taper.
Predator shafts are available for most fine cues. Predator Cue is presently using scientific research to develop a superior tip.
All Predator cues are easily identifiable by the Predator Cat logo on the butt cap, and the shafts are marked with a Cat logo and "314" or "Z" above the joint rings.
Predator shafts are guaranteed indefinitely against manufacturing defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse. If you have a Predator cue or shaft that needs replacement, or would like to order a new cue or new shaft for your existing cue, contact Predator Cue, listed in the Trademark Index.
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