Review - Instroke Leather Cue Case

DAVE_M

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I went through a number of cases in the last few years, including cases from various case makers on AzB. I had never tried out an Instroke case, and my only experience with one was an older Instroke that a friend bought off of ebay. It was in really rough shape, but held his cues securely. So, I decided to pick one up, from Seybert's, in March of this year (2014).

I'm going to use "John Barton's Criteria for Evaluating a Cue Case."
Why, you ask? Because it is a sticky thread in this sub-forum.

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?p=2228001#post2228001

*It appears that John's thread has been removed, but I will leave his criteria here, because it is valuable to case buyers.*


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Here is my review after 4 months of normal use:

1. How well does it protect?

Excellent

2. How strong are the handles, straps and latches?

So far, they have proved adequate.

3. How comfortable is the case to use?

Slightly better than any Vinyl case I have used. The shoulder pad is small and not padded well enough to make comfort a key factor.

Is it easy to insert and remove the cues?

Yes, very easy.

Are the handles comfortable to the hand?

Yes, both the top and side carry handles are comfortable. However, I have a concern about the liner used between sides of the handles. The liner seems to be a nylon type material and is fraying slightly. I will have to take pictures.

Does the case sit comfortably on the shoulder and not slip off?

The strap is not as adjustable as it should be, therefor it may be awkward for some.

How is the balance?

Bottom heavy. However, every case I have used is similarly balanced.

Is it easy to get into the pockets?

Easy, but I would prefer full zippers around three sides to allow for maximum access.

4. How well done is the fit and finish?

Adequate. This is a mass production leather case made to be used.

For a tube case does the interior and exterior fit snugly together or is it loose?

Yes, they are mated well and are adequate for it's purpose.

Are all the edges finished well?

Yes.

Any errant metal pieces sticking out?

No.

Are the rivets well done or are they sloppy?

Well done.

Is the stitching straight and tight?

Fairly well for a mass production case.

Are all the parts lined up right?

To an extent. As mentioned many times previously, it is a mass production case and is not the quality of a handmade custom case.

OVERALL OPINION:

Buy one if you have the money, like the style of an Instroke case, and don't want to wait months or even years to get your case. This was my alternative when two cases, that I ordered, were never fulfilled. While I prefer custom items and enjoy the experience of dealing with the maker, this is a great alternative.
 
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Nate512

Registered
I have the same case and I agree with you on your assessment. I wish the strap was a little longer and that the pad was a little bigger. Overall in my opinion its a great case.
 

tc in l a

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i bought a used case like yours from azb'er joewag2 and couldn't be more pleased with all of the features, protection and looks.

thumbs up to instroke cases
 

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bought a 3 X 5 about 4 years ago at a great sale price. Real pleased and still looks great. All in all, it's a great case.
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bought a 3 X 5 about 4 years ago at a great sale price. Real pleased and still looks great. All in all, it's a great case.
I have 3 Instroke cases I no longer use since getting a custom lizard leather 6x12 case. In case anyone is interested the cases are two 3x7 hard leather cases and one 4x8 soft leather case. Send me a PM if you're looking for an Instroke like any of mine.
 

DAVE_M

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have 3 Instroke cases I no longer use since getting a custom lizard leather 6x12 case. In case anyone is interested the cases are two 3x7 hard leather cases and one 4x8 soft leather case. Send me a PM if you're looking for an Instroke like any of mine.

The wanted/for sale section would be a great place to start, bub.
 

Busboy

Wanna Play Some?
Silver Member
Great review Dave I use one my self :thumbup:
 
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DAVE_M

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm going to take more pictures this weekend. It's been nine months since the case arrived. It's still in great condition.
 

DAVE_M

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Still have any of the Instrokes? If so, How much and can you send pictures to jameslcarey@gmail.com? Thanks, "Jim"

I do not sell cases. Please keep "want to buy" inquiries in the Wanted/For Sale forum.
______________________________________________________________________

I promised photos after 9 months, but felt I should wait till 1 year has passed. I will be adding photos shortly.
 

DAVE_M

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
After one year, there are only minor scrapes and nicks. It's in great shape after one year multiple league nights each week and multiple tournaments. It's been thrown in my truck a good bit and I believe most of the nicks are from the case falling over on hard floors. My local hall has concrete flooring.

You can see the fraying fibers near the handle, a small inconvenience that is easily fixed with a lighter. The "feet" are intact and fully functional. They will hold the case vertical, just like they should. I decided to sharpie my name on the bottom, since it's a fairly common case, especially at tournaments. I would highly recommend this case to someone looking for a classy case, without spending insane amounts of money and having to wait for a custom case.

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r.roach@att.net

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
After one year, there are only minor scrapes and nicks. It's in great shape after one year multiple league nights each week and multiple tournaments. It's been thrown in my truck a good bit and I believe most of the nicks are from the case falling over on hard floors. My local hall has concrete flooring.

You can see the fraying fibers near the handle, a small inconvenience that is easily fixed with a lighter. The "feet" are intact and fully functional. They will hold the case vertical, just like they should. I decided to sharpie my name on the bottom, since it's a fairly common case, especially at tournaments. I would highly recommend this case to someone looking for a classy case, without spending insane amounts of money and having to wait for a custom case.

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I bought an Instroke 3x5 black tooled case last month. I like it a lot. I also found the shoulder strap and pad too small, so I bought a ten inch strap pad. it helps. just wish they made the strap wider.
 

zmuirbrook

Registered
I have had a 2x4 geo for about 12 years and still love it.

Pros:
For me the interior is the most deciding factor. The tube style interior is a must for me. Besides protection, the tube style offers easy organization. You can "find the hole" without even looking in your case. The Instroke tubes are lined with a soft material that seems very snug. They keep your cues in place very well even though they are hard tubes. They hold 30" shafts with protectors easily (maybe longer?). The butts can go in joint up. This is essential for me for 2 reasons. I don't have to worry about damaging the pin if I lose a joint protector (or am too lazy to put them on). And I can use it as a cue holder or transport assembled cues. Also I like the joint up for removing joint protectors while still in the case. I love the easy access jump handle compartment, although it is lacking in protection. Also the price point is pretty reasonable considering everything they offer. Especially if you look at the "geo" or "vinyl" lines.

Cons:
I believe the difference with the geos is the leather is recycled. I don't know what that means for quality, but I'm guessing at the price point they are not as durable as true leather. I suspect that may have something to do with the problems below. Some time ago (maybe 5 years) the top handle came off. Soon after I noticed the side handle was getting very close to doing the same thing. I never used the shoulder strap, but rather carried it by the handles. That may be part of the problem, the recycled leather may be the other. Since I didn't use the shoulder strap I used it to strengthen the side handle. I tightened it up all the way and snapped it into the handle. That has worked and the side handle has held up since. The zippers are still strong, but the leather around them is getting a little weak. I suspect they may be the next problem although it shouldn't be for a while. The other con is there is no protection to the jump handle from your other accessories in the main compartment. It is just a thin fabric separating them. You can remedy this pretty easily with your own tube (and I have seen aftermarket tubes as well).

Overall:
There is not a production case that I would want to use over an Introke. And I would probably only consider a custom case if it had a similar interior. I am considering an upgrade to a 3x5(7). If so I will go for a true leather case hoping that the handles will hold up better.
 

Busboy

Wanna Play Some?
Silver Member
Had one for 2 years just got me a JB there great cases last forever if taken care of like the jb more due to the cues not bouncing inside
 
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