A lot of times when stringing a mesh pocket, we get caught up in doing the same things we always do. We use the same mesh, put the pocket in the same place, and use all the same knots. We get complacent. We string what we know. We don’t get better.
I am guilty of this myself. For the last year I have mostly strung the same pocket because I’ve mostly strung for myself. Stringing for other people forces you to try to capture other people’s preferences and venture away from your normal habits. Anyone can string for themselves. Great stringers can string for anyone.
So this week, I decided to challenge myself to string up something new: a two-color drop top. This is something that I have used in the past, but not something I had strung for myself before. As a pass-first attackman, I want a quick release, but I also want a nice low pocket for carrying one-handed. Some of my older low pockets took too long for the ball to travel up and out of the stick. This led to slower passes that were easier for defenders to read. Enter the drop top. The drop top lowers the release point of the head without affecting the shape or hold of the pocket itself. If done correctly, the result is a stick that will throw quicker passes, with the same hold, same whip, and same channel.
I wanted to do a 2-string Iroquois top string for the aesthetics of it, but also because I like that it pulls the mesh a little more evenly across the top. Originally, I thought I would use just blue and white and make a Duke themed head (LETS GO DUKE!!). But, I ultimately thought that the white would blend into the head and get lost. I settled on using grey instead as a tribute to the team I coached while stationed in Mississippi: the Ocean Springs Greyhounds.
For this project, I chose the brand new Under Armour Command head. The entire lacrosse world has been buzzing about the Command since its release, so I thought this would be a fun opportunity to see what it was all about. I used StringKing 3S mesh for this project because I wanted something that would shift with the ball and provide me a great ball feel.
I started, as most people do, by attacking the top string. Being that this was my first time attempting a top string that wasn’t secured directly to the head, I was unsure how to start. After a few rough attempts, I realized that it would work much better if I started from the middle and worked outward.
Once I got it basically laid out, I realized that it was going to be nearly impossible to tension correctly until I strung up the rest of the mesh.
So with that in mind I began stringing down the sidewalls. For this project, I wanted the pocket to sit low in the head, but have some room to shift. I found that even with the dropped top, I only needed to make minor changes to what I would have done for a normal low pocket.
I started by tying off the first mesh hole before continuing down the mesh with three skipped SI’s to pull the mesh down and out as much as possible to form a good channel. I then used five knotted 1’s to create a deep, low pocket with a decent amount of shift.
Once I had the pocket strung up the way I liked it, I went back up to the top string and adjusted the tensioning to make sure it was tight and even. As I stated earlier, this method was so much easier to get properly even tension in the top string.
When the tensioning was perfect, the last thing to do was get the shooters in the head. For this head, I strung a single nylon shooter about as tight as I could get it without the use of a tool. I wanted the shooter to provide a hard and consistent line for the ball to be able to pop off of. Then, to smooth out the pop of the tight nylon, I added a single hockey lace shooter.
The result is brilliant. I love the way this stick plays. I might just have to keep this one! Let us know what you guys think, and please feel free to ask me questions in the comments or on Instagram (@cardinallacrosse). Make sure to check out LACROSSE.COM for their selection of heads and stringing supplies to start your own stringing project. And stay tuned for more installments of Stringer Stories.