My Observations on the Subject of the P'Lip

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Davy Jones

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I guess this is not the first thread on the subject. And it will certainly not be the last. I want to talk about my experience with the P'Lip.
This is not meant to turn into a Peterson bashing thread, which I find absolutely counter-productive. I've read about a lot of P'Lip fans saying how they love the P'Lip and how they smoke just the same as a fishtail. I am trying to understand its seemingly enormous popularity (according to the manufacturer itself as well).
Why? Because for having purchased 3 P'Lip pipes over the last 10 years, I am incapable of reaching the same conclusion. I find there are 3 major differences between the P'Lip and the Fishtail stems:

1. In order to smoke a P'Lip, the 'inner walls' of the smoker's lips must clear the button hole which means one has to forward his lips much more so than for a fishtail where simply closing around the edge of the button is sufficient to be able to puff away happily. This results in what feels to me as a bizarre way of puffing;
2. Clenching a P'Lip pipe and keeping it in place in one's mouth is something much more challenging than with a fishtail. I've noticed that all my attempts resulted in a hesitant clench combined with the pipe exhibiting a weird angle, which quickly made me abandon such an idea;
3. The capacity to taste the tobacco is significantly reduced when smoking with a P'Lip. The tongue is the main component to allow taste to unveil and as the smoke is directed toward the mouth roof rather than the tongue, the experience is very different. It does improve after the 7 or 8 bowls but I feel like I'm 'chasing' the taste time after time.

Now, am I the only one that has had such an experience with the P'Lip? Is there something simple or subtle I missed out in my interaction with this type of stem? Because, needless to say, some of the pipes equipped with P'Lips are really right up my alley. Not being able to buy and enjoy them is rather disappointing.
 
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Niblick

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You have summed up my exact experience with the p lip pipe stems with all manufacture's not just Peterson's for me. I still keep the one's I have in rotation but would prefer and will make fishtail stem's in the future for all of them. I have wondered if my first 30 pipes were p lips and my 31st was a fishtail...what my thoughts on that change would be with the tobacco hitting more of the tongue area and not the roof area of the mouth. Maybe my blend choices would be different.
 

Timbo

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Can't agree that p lips are supposed to smoke like fish tails, they have a completely different design. Dunno where you heard that from as I've not heard it explained that way previously, mainly heard of them as two seperate ways of doing things.

1, Even with a fish tail pipe, it is normally clenched well within my mounth unless it's a pipe for holding not clenching. You can hold a p lip up to your lips and sip it if you lke, so I don't really think that this is a problem.
2, My teeth must be arranged very differently to yours, a p lip clenches very well for me. Far better than most of my fishtails.
3, You need to learn to roll the smoke around in your mouth, similar to tasting wine or whiskey. Also exhaling the smoke through your nostrils, this will get the flavour where it needs to be.

Hint, I love a p lip pipe, it does take a bit of getting used to but as my second pipe I had to get used to it...
 

Davy Jones

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Can't agree that p lips are supposed to smoke like fish tails, they have a completely different design. Dunno where you heard that from as I've not heard it explained that way previously, mainly heard of them as two seperate ways of doing things.

1, Even with a fish tail pipe, it is normally clenched well within my mounth unless it's a pipe for holding not clenching. You can hold a p lip up to your lips and sip it if you lke, so I don't really think that this is a problem.
2, My teeth must be arranged very differently to yours, a p lip clenches very well for me. Far better than most of my fishtails.
3, You need to learn to roll the smoke around in your mouth, similar to tasting wine or whiskey. Also exhaling the smoke through your nostrils, this will get the flavour where it needs to be.

Hint, I love a p lip pipe, it does take a bit of getting used to but as my second pipe I had to get used to it...
Ah. Roll the smoke around in your mouth - which I don't tend to do as I fully taste the tobacco with a fishtail. Now we're getting somewhere, here is a suggestion on to how to smoke the P'Lip. Thanks, mate!
As for P'Lip smoking the same as fishtail, I based this affirmation on comments I read on various forums when the subject was being raised.
 

Ranger107

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I have/had 2 plips. A straight billiard and a system bent acquired from Brunello. With the straight billiard I had trouble clenching it just like Davy. Ordered an amber fishtail from Tim West and fitted it myself. The full bent was okay to clench but didn't care for the draw. Didn't feel like spending the money to replace it, which would have cost more than the pipe, so used a dremel and simply rounded the button down to make it a straight hole. Smokes fine that way and much improved over the original plip.
 

ftrplt

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Ahhh...Ye Olde P-Lip!!! Kinda' like Pete's, you either love'em or hate'em!! I have several. Don't like them, but have adapted to them as I really enjoy the briar and/or meerschaum attached to them!!!!! FTRPLT
 

Idlefellow

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Love 'em, and to me a Pete without one just isn't a Pete - it's a "looks" and tradition thing almost as much as a performance thing. I do like the way they smoke and the way they feel in the mouth but I agree they can be an acquired taste. I've only owned two Petersons with fishtails (one new and one estate) and I replaced both with p-lips as soon as I could.
 

Natch

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My complaint is the difficulty of pushing a pipe cleaner through them. I find pushing it up from the bottom through the P-lip works better than starting at the P-lip and hearing the wire at the end of the pipe cleaner scrape the wall opposite the opening. Also, the pipe cleaner comes out with a notable end, not straight, so it makes it difficult to use it for cleaning the rest of the pipe.
 

Niblick

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Now that you mentioned it Natch I can remember restoring a bent p-lip system pipe that had 3/8" slit at the bend that opened up where the previous owner wore a groove with pipe cleaners. It opened my eyes to always carefully put a slight turndown it the pipe cleaner when working on bents. The p-lip is a challenge but I find that the blue and white ones that are bristled by Bringham have really great ends that hold up during the bent and not scratch the material it is made from. I buy them at smokingpipes and only use them on bent stems to prevent grooving.
 

kingcobradude

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I do have a WDC Wellington (one of my late grandfather's pipes), pretty much an oversized system pipe with a p lip. My observations with it in regards to your statements are as follows:

1. I don't just close my lips around the button on any of my pipes. I always have the button behind my teeth. But I do find the stem feels quite natural in my lips.
2. Clenching is awkward for me with any pipe I have ever smoked.
3. I don't notice any flavor loss. But that may be from my p lip being on a monster of a pipe.

My only real complaint is running a pipe cleaner through it can be tricky, and I can't use my regular tapered or extra fluffy cleaners. But the size requires the use of churchwarden cleaners anyway. Which I forgot to order in my latest tobacco order. But that Wellington is one of my favorite pipes, not least due to sentimental value.

In conclusion, p-lip or fishtail isn't a real factor for me when buying pipes after smoking my grandfather's pipe. But that's just me, ymmv
 
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EZONSLOW

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As an owner of a variety of Peterson P-LIP pipes, I will admit that these pipes take a little getting used to ,but they are well worth it. I tend to smoke aromatics which can get warm and give the dreaded tongue bite if your not careful with them -NOT POSSIBLE with a Peterson P-LIP! In my opinion this was why the P-LIP was invented,so to me they're great to me.
 

Idlefellow

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I had a Wellington pipe years ago. I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me that the hole on the Wellingtons comes straight out and it not canted to the top of the button like a Peterson p-lip. Of course, this is through the fog of quite a few years, so...?
 
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