Choose Your Weapons: The Golden Ferret

JOHNNY CLAYTON’s dart has had plenty of special editions in the handful of years since the original made its debut. Mainly because his dart is rather popular and the man himself keeps giving good reason to celebrate with another one. World Cups, Premier Leagues and ranking majors seem like a good excuse for a bit of gold:

  • Product: Darts (Steel Tip)
  • Brand: Red Dragon
  • Model: Jonny Clayton SE 22g (Gold)
  • RRP: £49.90

General

A relatively simple design for Jonny, yet with a unique style scarcely found on modern darts. Modern tech, allowing manufacturers to work with much higher grades of tungsten, ensures many darts are developed with the aim of becoming as thin as possible while maintaining the preferred weight. This lends itself perfectly to Clayton’s unique style of throw, as he delicately grips the central section of the 50.8mm barrel.

Open the Box:

Open the packaging and you are greeted with an impressive look. These gold nitride-coated barrels really do look like a luxury edition of the std model. With the black trim on three rings, front and back, and a new coordinated setup.

Fitted to the darts are a set of short black and gold ‘Nitrotech’ stems, and a set of standard shape ‘Hardcore’ Jonny Clayton ‘Dragon’ flights. 

Like many players, Jonny uses his own custom setup that may not suit most amateur players. The supplied points, stems nor flights are not the setup used by Clayton himself but are the most suitable for a wide variety of players. 

The Ferret’s set up of red ‘Prism Force’ stems, 41mm Wimnau re-grooved points, and signature Jonny Clayton kite flights are all available from Red Dragon, or their sister company Winmau. They do suit this gold edition rather well. However, They are not for the faint-hearted however!

Test Report:

The darts feature three sections of grip, each serving a unique purpose while throwing the dart. The rear ring grip seems to be for aesthetic purposes, as opposed to a practical point of contact. Painted black, the rear grip appears to primarily enhance the look of the dart – especially when combined with the stylish new setup as supplied.

The dual-ring central grip feels aggressive to hold, and yet with very slightly rounded rings, still allows for a consistent release. This is the section Clayton himself throws from. Due to the grooves being deeply cut into the 90% tungsten barrel, the grip will truly stand the test of time – if you’re looking for a dart to last, these may be the perfect barrel for you!

The coating has its practical effect here. The softer feel makes the dart more comfortable to a wider range of throwers than the natural tungsten signature model that The Ferret uses. This reduces the number of players who worry about the ‘sticky’ feel of deep-cut natural tungsten.

The third section of grip has been cut into the taper of the barrel, meaning the grip has been designed for use as a ‘support grip’, rather than a focused point of contact. By this, I mean that the grip has been intended to rest your finger on. Positioned mid-way through the steep taper, the grip can be used to position the dart in your hand, as well as to keep the dart stable up until the point of release.

This tapered design seems to have made the difference for Jonny, you’ll find you’re able to group the darts extremely tightly, with a seamless transition from the tip of the point, all the way to the end of the flight. 

If authenticity is more your thing, as is the case with Joe, repointing the darts with the 41mm re-grooved Winmau points works wonders, with the longer points allowing more space in the treble, reducing the hindrance of the barrels.

Player and Tester Quotes:

A very nice dart to throw” @jimmymiller170 informed me on Twitter, The taper at the front of the barrel is perfect for me being a front gripper.

@bilsta40 on Twitter agreed with Jimmy, saying I have these darts and I have enjoyed throwing them. 

I find as a middle gripper of a dart [that] it feels very nicesays @MatMccallion,

I love the feel of the gold and, I cant lie, I love the look as well…”

Debbie Downers:

 “[the] only downside for me is the taper as I place a finger at the end of the barrel, and I feel like I haven’t got full grip“.

 [I] think [the] barrel could be a bit longer but that’s personal preference

Marks: 9.5/10

Averaging the marks given for appearance, balance, quality, and grip, with the outstanding value for money means these dart the joint highest rated in recent reviews.

Snapshot:

As you’d expect, from the manufacturer of choice for the last three World Champions, these darts are utterly faultless in production terms. Every cut is precise and clean, with no irregularities throughout the entirety of the barrel, and, from around £40, Jonny’s darts, are unbelievable value for money. For a 90% tungsten, player-endorsed Gold SE for less than £50 you simply cannot beat it. They are a bonafide steal.

For even more detailed look at Jonny’s range go to: dartsworld.com/performance

—–ENDS—–

@JoeReid180 and @aim180

Originally published in Darts World Extra

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