Yesterday I received a package of Jailhouse Contraband Strings from YoRED. To be perfectly honest, I bought them simply out of the novelty of the idea of strings made from threads take from issued sheets in a jail and stealthily crafted while incarcerated. (Side note: I’ve seen some call BS on this claim. Having grown up with more than a few family members coming out of jail with new, crafty skills they didn’t have going in, I have no reason to doubt YoRED’s tale.)
Appearance/Feel: The strings are soft and just short of the thickness of Toxic Dragon string and twisted a bit tighter. By comparison, Kitty string is twisted much tighter. The Jailhouse strings are very consistent in appearance with no flaws or changes in twist or quality of craftsmanship from one to the next. They feel as though they aren’t quite pure polyester, though what the other component(s) may be is a mystery to me. Oddly enough, they have a scent like hotel laundered sheets. No joke. I spend a fair amount of time in hotels due to work and recognized the scent right away. Weird, but it also gives credibility to the strings origins, assuming jails use similar detergent on their linens.
Play: I tried Jailhouse Contraband Strings in a 888x, Magic YoYo N5, and my current favorite, my Shinwoo Phantom Pro. I like these strings. They are neither slippy nor grabby in the gap and they played consistently well in each of the three yoyos. My only complaint is they don’t grip my throwhand middle finger as tightly as I’d like until they’ve been “seasoned” a little. I had the same problem with Toxic Dragon string, except it didn’t seem to go away with play. While not as weighty or stiff as some other brands, Jailhouse strings hold tension well and whip, slack, and suicide as well as any string I’ve tried.
Durability: Unfortunately, I can’t speak on the durability of these strings yet, as my time with them has been fairly short so far. (Thirty minutes or so on a given string. I used a fresh one in each yoyo.)
If I had to guess, I’d say you could reasonably expect 3 to 4 hours of good play from one string, depending on your style, etc.
Conclusion: I like 'em. Try 'em, you might like 'em, too. I would describe this string as “balanced”. Normally I try a string and if it doesn’t suit me, it’s in the trash in a flash. I’m not planning on taking these off my yoyos until they’re dead. I am concerned, though, about whether YoRED can continue to make strings with these current peculiar qualities without the exact same materials available - although I have no doubt subsequent offerings from Jailhouse Strings will be quality, playable strings worth putting on your best yoyos.