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Graphite Iron Shafts : My Comparative Experience

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wmclarenf1:
So Iíve been playing graphite shafts for a while now which perhaps is a function of me believing (or wanting to at least) that they help an aging golfer coming back from an accident some years back to regain some distance with its lighter, shock absorbing properties.

Iím now so into graphite shafts, I donít think Iíll even go back to steel shafts in irons, not even light weight steel.  For me, the technological advancements in graphite shafts especially those with multiple higher modulus carbon full sheets combined with good wrapping methodologies deliver a level of consistency, predictability, dispersion and distance that steels shafts donít.  Maybe they do now as the last lightweight steel shaft I played was the NS Pro 750 (and that while good feeling, is nothing dispersion and distance wise compared to some of the graphite shafts I graduated to).  Not only do HMC graphite deliver quite a few performance traits I need, it also comes in mid kick options, something which not many light weight steel shafts offer and thatís no good for a higher launching flawed swing hacker like me.

QUADRA X52 SERIES

So my first serious foray into graphite shafts was with Quadra iirc.  I had tried some GD Tour AD graphite shafts before but found them boardy and lack of what I like to feel.  With the Quadra, Iíve played 852i, 752i and 652i.  The Quadraís are great feeling smooth shafts but not the best for distance and dispersion imo.  They are not bad, just not great.  However, for the money as some would say, they are very good value and coming from the company that supplies HMC sheets to the likes of GD, MRC and Crazy, they canít not be good.



FUJIKURA MCI X0 SERIES

I then moved on to Fujikuraís steel tip reinforced MCI.  I have settled on the MCI 70s.  This is Fujiís response to the Steel Fibre rage that went on for a while.  These shafts I think feel good, can be long but dispersionÖ not the best.  The MCI is a weird series thoughÖ MCI 50 stiff feels, even to me, like a wet noodle. MCI 60 S I tried in the super hot Kasco PT7 was super long but again, dispersion was erratic.  I have the MCI 70S in my Endo forged Yonex CBs and they work well enough.  I then tried a friendís MCI 80 regular and goodness, it is a lot stiffer (and hence felt boardier to me) than my MCI 70S.  I donít understand why different weight ranges of the same series feel SO different.  I expect some difference but this is really to the extreme.   Nonetheless, find the right weight and flex for your swing and you actually have a great shaft especially given the price point.



RODDIO I-X

From the MCI, I then moved on to the Roddio I-8 and when I did, I felt I had struck graphite iron nirvana.  Long, great great feel and excellent dispersion.  With the I-8SR hardstepped once in my 2013 OnOff, I actually shot my career low 74.  Theres not much to say here other than get and try these if you havenít already.  These are that good.  I donít know what kind of materials go into these and frankly donít care as these are that good.



MUZIIK BANGVOO PREMIUM

Then after I stumbled onto the Bangvoo Premium and MAVC80 driver shafts and met the owner of Muziik on my shores awhile back, I decided to try the Bangvoo Premium iron shafts for my incoming set of A-Grind R1 CBs.  If anything, just to see like many are still wondering for various reasons ::), if itís worth 2-3-4 times the cost of some other graphite shafts.  The Bangvoos are a progressively weighted shaft set that is offered in 6-PW sets with 3-5 I as loose shafts.  They play stiff to flex and my Bangvoo Regular flex shafts play stiffer than my Roddio I-8 SR hardstepped once and just a shade softer (CPMed by my hands) than the OTi 95 Stiff.  For me, hands down, these are the best graphite iron shafts Iíve ever played and YES, for me, worth the added price so much so, I got another set as spares.  The feeling is more one-piece (not to be read as boardy) and a tad less smooth the Roddios..but still very good.  Hit the sweet spot and the feel is orgasmic!  Performance wise is where it shines and for me a rung above the Roddio.  Dispersion is excellentÖ tighter than the Roddio.  Where it seems much better is distance.  Despite the R1 CBs being 1* weaker lofted and (I feel) less hot face wise than the 2013 OnOffs, I hit the R1 CB Bangvoo combo at least as long as the Roddio 2013 Forged combo.. consistently.  I would like to say its due to the R1CB head but as I mentioned earlier, I feel the 2013 OnOff Forged have the hottest iron faces.  The control on choke down shots with the Bangvoo is also excellent and itís a great combo for punch shots into wind.  Could be due to the progressive heavier weights (and maybe higher kick points and tip stiffer in the shorter shafts?).



MRC OTi

What about compared to the OTi? The OTi 95 stiff which Iíve had limited experience (only range time and 1 round with the 7I and 5I) performs well. The feel is on the rubbery side albeit smooth but different from the Quadra, Roddio and Bangvoo smooth feel.  It does seem to launch the ball a tad higher than the Bangvoo and is a tad shorter BUT my Mystery is 1* weaker than the R1CBs.  They do look real sleek with the Red capped White iomic grips on my Mystery 913 heads.  For my swing and my money, the OTi is a good shaft, just not Bangvoo great.



For now, the only graphite shaft I have not played and do want to try is the Fire Express 95 but my experience with them is they tend to play very over stiff in heavier weight classes and Iím afraid the FEX 95 iron shafts may be that for me.

(2020 edit)

Since this writeup a long while back, I've actually owned the FEX DGL 90 and demoed the WBA 95 both in stiff. I can't recall which head I had the DGL in but my fears on it playing stiffer to flex were not unfounded.  Its definitely a shaft for the stronger (strength and speed wise not necessarily handicap) player.  As it was too stiff for me, dispersion was obviously good at the expense of height and distance.



The WBQ on the other hand, felt a different animal.  Played much softer in the same printed flex. CPM numbers on compo's website was more truthful showing the DGL to be at least 10 CPM more in the same printed flex IIRC.  I can't comment too much on the WBQ as I didn't own and hence play it for long enough but if you're looking at these 2 shafts from compo and want something with more feel, the WBQ is the way to go.



Could it be a lot of marketing BS and placebo effect in play since Iíve already spent the money?  Maybe but so what if its working for me.  Is that tighter dispersion and a couple of  metres more per club worth that much more?  YES for me.  Can I get the same performance from cheaper shafts?  Iíve yet to find them BUT even if I did, maybe I just want to play less common place stuff (one reason why Iím into JDM obscure).

So all said and done, for me now, of course I will try new graphite shafts as and when they come out, but the Made for Muziik by Fujikura Bangvoo Premium iron shafts are simply the best bar noneÖ for ME. ;D


   

edgolf:
Great write up and review Art...you should try Aerotech down the line as present still my best graphite shafts out there... Would be trying the OT soon and would be an interesting comparison.

Agree on Roddio...currently have a i10 shaft in my AFTour CB and unlikely to be pull anytime soon.

wmclarenf1:

--- Quote from: edgolf on August 23, 2015, 05:58:23 AM ---Great write up and review Art...you should try Aerotech down the line as present still my best graphite shafts out there... Would be trying the OT soon and would be an interesting comparison.

Agree on Roddio...currently have a i10 shaft in my AFTour CB and unlikely to be pull anytime soon.

--- End quote ---

The Roddios are just great shafts man!

tokidoki1986:
This is definitely one of the greatest thread  ;)

ian-500:
Great thread. I've gamed a couple of these. I doubt I'll go back to steel shafts.

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