Gauge: 18G, 17G, 16G
Length: 40', or 660'
Test Racquet / Tension
Head Graphene XT Speed MPA 16x19 @ 54 lbs
Tecnifibre looks to freshen up one of its long popular strings by tweaking the formula of its venerable Pro Red Code string. The introduction of the new Pro Red Code Wax retains all the attributes the original is noted for but with polyethylene wax saturated into the string to facilitate improved spin. The string still uses Tecnifibre’s Thermocore process which stretches the string while applying hit to create additional flex. I took the court with the 17 gauge version recently to see how this updated version measured up.
Much like original version, Red Code Wax is a low powered polyester construction. The low power level allowed me to take big cuts at the ball without fear of sending them sailing long. Players looking for some additional pop from their strings aren’t going to find much with this one. Players with longer, faster strokes should enjoy being able to swing aggressively from any spot on the court. The low power level also created excellent control and accuracy. I was consistently able to hit deep targets and attack the lines with confidence. The addition of the wax material gave this string a bit of a boost in the spin department. I felt the mains had an easy time snapping back on contact, producing greater topspin than the original Red Code. The added spin potential also factored into control by allowing me to create greater margin and play safer shots when necessary.
Feel / Comfort
Red Code Wax played with the same firm feel that is shared by most low power polyesters. The string flexed a bit on contact but didn’t pocket the ball as well as a softer designed string would. The feel was consistent throughout the life of the string and I never had any issues with buzz or vibration as the string wore down. The overall stiffness of the string meant that comfort was going to be much more player dependent. The firm feel and low powered response would likely be a bit much for beginners or juniors not yet supplying their own power. Players with arm sensitivity would need to reduce the tension in order to squeeze a bit more comfort from this string. Another option would be to utilize this string in a hybrid. It was slick enough that it could make an excellent cross paired with gut or multifilament mains, providing the control and spin to tame the power of a softer string in the mains.
Durability with Red Code Wax seemed improved over the original. I typically broke Red Code in about 7 hours with a 17 gauge but I got roughly 10 hours of use with the new variety. The mains were notched pretty well after about 6 hours but the strings held out for a few more hours. The wax impregnated into the string seemed to reduce friction and give the string a bit of extra life. The playability of the string was a standout characteristic for me. The low powered response allowed the string to play consistently even as it lost tension and wore down. Compared to recent strings with a slippery outer coating, I preferred Red Code Wax’s performance over time. Having the wax material be an additive, rather than a coating, made it hold up better as I found the coating on similar strings to wear off quickly. The string held its spin potential from initial hit through the time it broke.
Bigger hitting players who have enjoyed the low power, control oriented performance of Red Code will find a lot to like with this new offering. Tecnifibre’s Pro Red Code Wax increasing the amount of spin and durability the string offers, without sacrificing control and playability. It offers crisp response, excellent accuracy and versatility to be used as a full bed or in a hybrid configuration. Players looking to add some more spin and playability to their string setup should definitely consider this newest polyester from Tecnifibre.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.