What is the Difference Between Cortland and Irish Linen???

DelaWho???

Banger McCue
Silver Member
Irish linen seems to be the more widely used wrap. What is the difference between Cortland and Irish Linen in terms of feel, durability, and cost?

:cool:
 

Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Dan...I'm no expert on this, but I believe Cortland IS Irish Linen...it's just a brand name that's very old. I don't think it's made anymore, but there are cuemakers who still have "stashes" of Cortland linen. You used to find Cortland linen on all the old cues. IIRC, it is a 'finer' (thinner) cord, and many cuemakers would press the linen, on the cue, after it was wrapped. If I'm wrong here, I'm sure some folks in the know will correct me.:D

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Irish linen seems to be the more widely used wrap. What is the difference between Cortland and Irish Linen in terms of feel, durability, and cost?

:cool:
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
Dan...I'm no expert on this, but I believe Cortland IS Irish Linen...it's just a brand name that's very old. I don't think it's made anymore, but there are cuemakers who still have "stashes" of Cortland linen. You used to find Cortland linen on all the old cues. IIRC, it is a 'finer' (thinner) cord, and many cuemakers would press the linen, on the cue, after it was wrapped. If I'm wrong here, I'm sure some folks in the know will correct me.:D

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Scott you are correct, the company is actually still in business but like you said they don't manufacture that type of cord any more. Its just a particular brand that as you also stated was just finer in texture.

Its original use was as fishing string, and cue makers in the know will look to find it on old fishing reels if your lucky it wont be dry rotted. You can get a one pound roll of Irish linen for about $50, I've seen a couple hundred yards go for a couple hundred dollars or more....haven't seen any for sale in over a year or so, not that i ever look that hard.

IMOP i would rather save it if i had some to use on restorations for antique cues from that era that would have originally had the courtland on it, instead of building a new cue and using it on it....now if I could find an old spain blank or something like that then that would be a cool throw back cue to build new and use it on. But thats just me.

I may start a new fad and have a coonass line of cues and use crab string for the wrap lol.:p

-Grey Ghost
 

billiardcue

11th Commandment
Silver Member
Back in the day there was no such thing as 'pool cue wrap', cuemakers used fishing line which the fishing line companies called Irish linen or Cuttyhunk linen.

Cortland being the largest manufacturer of fishing line at the time was the most popular choice, it came in black, dark green, tan and white with green specks.

The line was braided from X number of strands depending on the pound test rating.

Cortland 9 strand was rated at 27 lb test (3 lb per strand) and measures about .025" in diameter, this diameter became the most popular choice. I've seen cues with thinner diameter, probably 7 strand.

Cortland stopped production in 1976 and Penn continued making it for a few more years - Gus Szamboti used Penn after Cortland stopped production.

These braided lines were also made and used by cuemakers in dacron, nylon and silk.

The advantage to fishing line is its consistency in diameter and uniformity of the green specks. It had to be perfect as they made it by the mile and spooled it on spools from 50 yards and up. It couldn't be 27 lb test at one point and a lesser rating at another point.

When Hurlbert and Blue Mountain started making cue stick wrap to replace fishing line consistency didn't matter, hence it has knots, not uniform specks, etc. There is no comparison between fishing line and today's Irish linen cue wrap.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What a great read, thanks!

Back in the day there was no such thing as 'pool cue wrap', cuemakers used fishing line which the fishing line companies called Irish linen or Cuttyhunk linen.

Cortland being the largest manufacturer of fishing line at the time was the most popular choice, it came in black, dark green, tan and white with green specks.

The line was braided from X number of strands depending on the pound test rating.

Cortland 9 strand was rated at 27 lb test (3 lb per strand) and measures about .025" in diameter, this diameter became the most popular choice. I've seen cues with thinner diameter, probably 7 strand.

Cortland stopped production in 1976 and Penn continued making it for a few more years - Gus Szamboti used Penn after Cortland stopped production.

These braided lines were also made and used by cuemakers in dacron, nylon and silk.

The advantage to fishing line is its consistency in diameter and uniformity of the green specks. It had to be perfect as they made it by the mile and spooled it on spools from 50 yards and up. It couldn't be 27 lb test at one point and a lesser rating at another point.

When Hurlbert and Blue Mountain started making cue stick wrap to replace fishing line consistency didn't matter, hence it has knots, not uniform specks, etc. There is no comparison between fishing line and today's Irish linen cue wrap.
 

pwd72s

recreational banger
Silver Member
Back in the day there was no such thing as 'pool cue wrap', cuemakers used fishing line which the fishing line companies called Irish linen or Cuttyhunk linen.

Cortland being the largest manufacturer of fishing line at the time was the most popular choice, it came in black, dark green, tan and white with green specks.

The line was braided from X number of strands depending on the pound test rating.

Cortland 9 strand was rated at 27 lb test (3 lb per strand) and measures about .025" in diameter, this diameter became the most popular choice. I've seen cues with thinner diameter, probably 7 strand.

Cortland stopped production in 1976 and Penn continued making it for a few more years - Gus Szamboti used Penn after Cortland stopped production.

These braided lines were also made and used by cuemakers in dacron, nylon and silk.

The advantage to fishing line is its consistency in diameter and uniformity of the green specks. It had to be perfect as they made it by the mile and spooled it on spools from 50 yards and up. It couldn't be 27 lb test at one point and a lesser rating at another point.

When Hurlbert and Blue Mountain started making cue stick wrap to replace fishing line consistency didn't matter, hence it has knots, not uniform specks, etc. There is no comparison between fishing line and today's Irish linen cue wrap.

So, the white with green spec wrap on my old Palmer was really fishing line? Wow! Great info, and thanks!

Now, about those cues with monofilament wrap...;)
 

cuesmith

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!
Silver Member
Back in the day there was no such thing as 'pool cue wrap', cuemakers used fishing line which the fishing line companies called Irish linen or Cuttyhunk linen.

Cortland being the largest manufacturer of fishing line at the time was the most popular choice, it came in black, dark green, tan and white with green specks.

The line was braided from X number of strands depending on the pound test rating.

Cortland 9 strand was rated at 27 lb test (3 lb per strand) and measures about .025" in diameter, this diameter became the most popular choice. I've seen cues with thinner diameter, probably 7 strand.

Cortland stopped production in 1976 and Penn continued making it for a few more years - Gus Szamboti used Penn after Cortland stopped production.

These braided lines were also made and used by cuemakers in dacron, nylon and silk.

The advantage to fishing line is its consistency in diameter and uniformity of the green specks. It had to be perfect as they made it by the mile and spooled it on spools from 50 yards and up. It couldn't be 27 lb test at one point and a lesser rating at another point.

When Hurlbert and Blue Mountain started making cue stick wrap to replace fishing line consistency didn't matter, hence it has knots, not uniform specks, etc. There is no comparison between fishing line and today's Irish linen cue wrap.

Dick,
I've also heard that Brunswick, being the conglomerate it is, was in the business of fishing gear back in the day when a cue was wood or leather wrapped. When the synthetic (catgut) fishing line became popular brunswick found themselves with cases and cases of the Cortland Irish linen fishing lines in their warehouses and on the shelves. One of the enterprising cuemakers at Brunswick had the brainstorm of using it to wrap cues. Brunswick even had some very elaborate woven wraps done as I'm sure you're aware, that were similar to those done by custom rod makers.
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
Dick,
I've also heard that Brunswick, being the conglomerate it is, was in the business of fishing gear back in the day when a cue was wood or leather wrapped. When the synthetic (catgut) fishing line became popular brunswick found themselves with cases and cases of the Cortland Irish linen fishing lines in their warehouses and on the shelves. One of the enterprising cuemakers at Brunswick had the brainstorm of using it to wrap cues. Brunswick even had some very elaborate woven wraps done as I'm sure you're aware, that were similar to those done by custom rod makers.

cool info sherm what a great story :) thanks for sharing
 

feedtheworm

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Cortland

I use Cortland Master Braid on my Muskie reels. I believe it's 12 strand nowadays. Braided lines keep getting tighter every couple of years so I'm not sure what lb. test would be the equivalent diameter (I'll have to look in to it).
There's all kinds of braided lines on the market in a variety of colors (& color combos). I'm not sure if they would be any better or worse than linen but I'm positive that they would be more consistent than the old Cortland.
 

feedtheworm

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Tuf-Line XP (another braided fishing line) made by Western Filament) lists there specs. 150 lb. test is .023" & 200 lb. test is .028" . The rest of the manufacturers won't be to far off from that.
 

manwon

"WARLOCK 1"
Silver Member
Irish linen seems to be the more widely used wrap. What is the difference between Cortland and Irish Linen in terms of feel, durability, and cost?

:cool:


Cortland Line Company produced fishing line starting in 1915 and continue to do so today. During the early 1900's Brunswick was using Silk, and Irish Linen both were common fishing lines of the time to wrap cues, however in 1940's leather became the primary wrap materials used by them. Irish Linen fishing line became popular again with cue makers as a wrap material for pool cues in the late 1950's or the early 1960's. During that time frame George Balabushka started using Cortland Irish Linen for his pool cues. Originally George had used a Nylon wrap material for his cues, however, once he switched to Cortland many of his older customers had the Nylon wrap's removed and replaced with Irish linen because of this Balabushka cues with a Nylon wrap are rarely encountered.

George preferred to use Cortland #9 Irish which was White with Green Speck. The number that is attached to Irish Linen tells you how many individual strands were wrapped around each other to make a single line size, so basically Cortland #9 had 9 strand wrapped together or intertwined.

However, do not be confused there were other types of Irish Linen wrap materials used in the late 1960's and through the 1970's that looked similar to Cortland. One of the materials was called Ashland, it was also White with Green Speck, unless you know what to look for it can be very hard to tell.
 
Top