Tag Archives: AIM180

Snapshot Review: Winmau Pro Line 25g.

A sjort and snappy look at the tungsten part of the Winmau Pro-Line range. The range seems to seek to provide high end but usable products without the player premium.

  • Product: Steel Tip darts
  • Brand: Winmau
  • Model: Pro-Line 25g
  • Material: 90% Tungsten
  • Variation: Black Onyx Coated
  • RRP: £34.90

General:

An excellent tapered dart with a high level ringed grip. The Pro-Line are a non player dart in a classic tapered shape made distinctive by a black onyx coating.

Image 5
Grab a set of Winmau Pro Line

As is the case across the board Pro line are simply packaged with three barrels, a Winmau point protector and a complimentary set up. The Prism Force Flight & Stem set is premium quality and coloured to match.

Specs:

  • Length: 50.8mm
  • Width: 6.7mm (Widest)
  • Material: 90% Tungstem (Black Onyx Coated)
  • Point: Black Steel (Standard)
  • Grip: Ring Cut (Fine) Double Spaced Pattern.

Player Quotes:

” There is something of the RVB style in these but more aggressive grip”

” Very nice balance and the Onyx seems to make the grip more comfortable even with a strong grip”

” Very good dart for a mid barrel thrower”

Debbie Downers:

Although these look a simple dart they are a bit more complex than first glance suggests. The grip pattern and the deep cut grooves near, the stem end, seemed to limit the areas that the dart can be effectively held. The simpler your grip and throw the better.

Variations:

Pro Line is a major Winmau range of high-quality non player items to cover almost all your darting needs. There are shirts, hoodies, bags and many other ‘Pro Line’ ranges. Unusually the darts themselves are available in both odd and even weights from 21-26g. This is a superb touch for those discovering their ideal weight or those thinking of tweeking. They are a superb place to start.

Set Ups:

AIM: tested two different weights (22 and 25g) with the original Prism Force set ups and found them to be very effective for a direct thrower. switching to a tweenie stem and a thinner flight allowed more arc to the flight and a very relaxed, almost dropping, technique proved very effective indeed.

A brief test with a moulded flight system did not seem to suit this model and was soon abandoned.

Durability:

The grip style and the Onyx covering seem to go well together and after 50 or so legs there was little sign of use. As with all coatings there will be wear and tear but this may actually be a positive as it will soften the feel of the dart. The aggressive grip and solid build leads to some flight and stem damage but this is well within the normal range. With traditional flight and stem sets this will not prove a burden.

Snapshot:

AIM: testers liked this dart and, for the price, all agreed it was well worth a try. It is simple and once you have located your grip zone Pro Line do not require a lot of getting used to.

If you have a simple throw and a perhaps a relaxed ‘dropping throw’ somewhat like Barney or even a ‘mid career’ Taylor then you may like to eperiment with these.

£34 (Plus postage, order here) for a 90% coated dart with this design and finish quality is very good value and with the selection available you would struggle to go wrong with Pro Line.


Pro line can be ordered from Red Dragon Online here

The Myth Of Adding Gramms

​NO this is not another article on the dangers of obesity, nor is it a guide to healthy eating for darts players. Instead, we’re taking a look at one of the most popular techniques adopted by players who seek to improve their game or restore former glories.

Over the past decade, AIM has encountered a number of professional players who have either endured a tough spell or who think that they need to add something to their game in order to improve their performance at the higher levels of the game. Almost all of them have flirted, at minimum, with increasing the weight of their arrows. When asked they all repeat the same mantras: “It will increase my consistency, I need to add some stability” “A little extra weight will help me increase my doubles percentage” or “As I have gotten older I feel I need more solidity” Personally, we blame Phil Taylor!

The Power made a quantum leap late in his career by adding at least 2 grams to his standard weight. But those who cite Phil’s incredible effort forget the most important part of the change. Taylor not only changed weight but also transformed the shape of his arrows and his entire setup. Instead of a heavily gripped parallel barrel, he adopted a bomb shape similar to that of John Lowe.

Using the Stoke legend’s remarkable reconstruction as an excuse to go from, say, 20 to 23/24g, for no reason other than hope, is doomed to failure. Players who have achieved great success with 18-21g darts suddenly seem to think that adding multiple grams will improve their consistency and remove some of the small errors that have crept into their game. Often we find that this is merely a way to avoid tackling actual problems. Such issues can be technical or psychological but are rarely solved with such a blunt tool as weight.

We do not oppose change; indeed equipment assessment is a very early part of working with any new player. We have found that subtle changes in grip, flight shape, and even point type can assist players or add a small percentage to their performance. But we always ask: What is the perceived problem? What do you want to change? Why do you want to change it? How will you measure its success?

Older players may find that the sensitivity in their fingers has dulled and thus they may benefit from increasing the grip on their barrel. Elite players may benefit from using older darts in floor events and brand new sets on stage, or the other way around. Newcomers to the game should experiment with various weights and styles during practice and then play matches with the darts that feel most comfortable.

Dennis gently moved up, from 13g to 17g, throughout his storied career.



Like all rules or guidelines, there are exceptions. If you use a very light dart (12-17g) you may find that adding small amounts adjusts for natural changes in muscle elasticity due to age. Dennis Priestley (Above) gradually increased the weight of his darts, from around 13g, over more than a decade, to 17g. Wayne Warren added two grams in the months before his World Championship win; his form had dipped severely over the previous 6 months, although this was prompted by a wrist injury.

So, before you take the easy option and ‘blame your tools’, try smaller steps first. Make any changes one at a time and give every change a fair opportunity, in all conditions, to succeed or fail.

Our experience of working with highly talented players has shown that subtle grip changes, minimal profile adjustments, and working on confidence and relaxation are far more effective than dramatic weight gain. Again, in darts, as in life.

—–ENDS—–
Article originally appears in Darts World Magazine (Issue 574) order yours now!

Not ‘just a Virage’ – A snapshot look at superb value dart

We couldn’t help but notice the latest ‘Deal of the Week’ from Red Dragon. The Virage rang a bell and we looked back through some testing reports done a little while ago. We came across some notes that had not been made into a review at the time. We have tidied them into a snapshot for anyone considering parting with their hard-earned:

Dimensions:

Red Dragon Virage 21g. (Also available in 22 and 23g)
Material – 90% Tungsten.
Finish – Bronze/Natural
Langth & Width – 50.8 mm 6.2mm

Open The Box:

Virage comes simply presented in Red Dragon retail packaging. The three barrels, in this case 21g, are coupled with Nitrotech stems in black and a bronze-colored set of hardcore flights. The points are standard silver stainless steel.

The supplied setup works well and is stable for newer players whilst firm enough to allow for direct throwers to benefit. An interesting alternative proved to be an in-between stem and a smaller std shape flight.

Testers Views:

The general approach was that Virage is a very good dart. If you are a straight barrel fan then these could be for you. The coating is excellent, combining the natural look & feel but with the subtle colouring that stands off the board.

“Imagine a ‘Bristow Barrel’ with a little more feel to the grip. The switch in grip, after the name blank, is handy for rear grippers who like purchase for the thumb or fingers.”

“The slightly shaped lower 2/3 of the barrel has additional grip compared to the usual ring grooves….. Very handy if you like to rest the dart rather than grip it.”

“The rounded nose is halfway between a full nose cone and a snub or bullnose. It works really well and is comfortable while assisting in grouping and limits the damage from deflections”.

Snapshot:

All-round this is an excellent dart. 90% and a silica style coating for the current offer price of less than £25!

More details of the Virage offer and order here

—–ENDS—–

Original appeared here at Darts World

Original Column appears in Darts World 575 OUT NOW

SnapShot Review: Peter Wright World Championship Edition

  • Product: Darts (Steel Tip)  
  • Brand: Red Dragon 
  • Model Name: Peter Wright (World Champion Edition) 
  • Variation: 21g 
  • Material: 90% Tungsten 
  • price: RRP: £49.90+ 

General: 

This edition was commissioned to celebrate Snakebite’s victory in the World ChampionshipsIt has gone from strength to strength since and proven very popular. Despite conventional dimensions (54.6mm long x 5.9mm wide (widest)), the World Champion Edition is certainly not conventional in other ways! 

It is a superbly engineered but simple looking dart. The rainbow areas look sharp and practical with the lurid colour flashes adding a dash of flamboyance. The grip is impressive and well placed. Cuts to the barrel are used in a traditional pattern in order to produce a dart that looks and feels grippier than most similar barrels. 

These sections mean that the grip is very flexible, and suitable, it appears, so far, from testing, for almost any type of player. A very wide cross-section of players  liked this dart and enjoyed trialing it. 

The tradtional steel point is black and lends into the barrel visually. It’s a solid addition and rounds off the dart of well.

The retail set available here.

What’s in the Box? 

As with most Red Dragon darts, these days, the pack comes with one set of (Peter Wright WC) barrels (21g) together with a set of (black) Nitro-Tech stems and Snakebite coordinated (Purple, Black & White) set of Hardcore flights. The set up can be easily replicated via the Red Dragon store. 

Tester Quotes: 

“…I loved the grip on the lower half of the dart. It feels like I can put my fingers where I want and it feels the same…” County Lady Player 

” … there is a bit of my old Bob Anderson’s in them but much better…” Youth player 

” these are just so much better than I imagined. I was never keen on this style of dart but this is just totally different…” Elite player

Debbie Downers: 

They seem very few negatives here though. One player was not keen on the lurid nature of the coating that highlights the top end of the barrel. Another would have preferred the blank in the centre to either be moved or removed. In honesty these things are simply a matter of personal taste. 

Durability – So far, the Snakebite (WC) have stood up very well they have been used in close to three hundred legs by a variety of different players over quite a few weeks. 

Value – At under £50, for World Champion’s dart, these are excellent value for money. All testers agreed that they would happily purchase at this price. 

Marks – 9.0/10 – The SWC has received one of the highest marks of any dart we have tested so far. Indeed, a maximum 10/10s was awarded with nothing negative to say. One player has switched to them and we suspect another is hoping for his weight to be released! 

SnapShot: An Outstanding dart, popular with all testers and throw styles. Durable, exciting, and flexible, as well as superbly engineered and manufactured. A truly Worthy, World Champion Edition! 


Testing & words by AIM:

Review originally appeared in Darts World Magazine 570 & dartsworld.com

Check out Peter Wright’s full product range, from Red Dragon Darts, here.