Brendan Dolan is one of the senior figures on the PDC circuit, joining in 2002. The ‘History Maker’ achieved the first double-in 9 dart finish in the 2011 World Grand Prix and has multiple PDC wins to his name.
Two of our testing team happened to independently come across these darts again recently and, being as they have proved so enduring, a second look was commissioned.
- Winmau Brendan Dolan
- 23g (Steel Tip) Darts
- 90% Tungsten
- 6.2mm x 54.6mm
After making the switch from his first-generation Winmau darts to these Onyx-coated barrels, Dolan has been one of the professionals who stay with their current setup for an extended period of time – a true testament to the team at Winmau HQ!
The darts are available in 23g and 25g, and feature an ‘Onyx Performance Coating’, as well as green painted groves. Despite being a long barrel, they’re only 6.2mm wide (6.4mm for the 25g version).
We have tested a few onyx-coated sets now and find that it slightly softens that sharp-edged feel that thin grooves, or other cuts, have, especially when new. It adds to the impression that these are a ‘feel dart’ and worth taking some time with.
The grip is primarily focused towards the front of the barrel, with a dual-cut ring grip sitting behind a short, quite deep, scallop. The scallop, residing just before the nose, can act as a focal point while throwing, which encourages consistency in regard to the grip position, as well as a smooth and deliberate release.
A shorter, bull–nose style taper suits Brendan’s unique throwing style perfectly. As his darts tend to stand upwards in the board, partly due to his effective aluminium stem and kite flight setup.
AIM180 testers found that trying to replicate Brendan or to use the front scallop as a focus was an error. Instead, they found several methods of holding in order to get either a very direct effect or a quick-to-the-board loop.
The rear grip offers four dual rings that have been cut into the barrel. The green touches and Onyx coating seem very resilient and complement Brendan’s set up well, matching his black 41mm points, green DRX stems, and custom kite flights.
Open The Box:
In addition to the three onyx-coated barrels the normal player/customer is supplied with a set of the popular Prism Force medium clear stems and Prism Alpha standard extra thick flights. The darts are fitted with a set of 32mm high tensile black-coated points, though, much like Brendan, I would recommend switching them out for a longer point.
After getting used to the balance of these weapons I would switch to the setup used by Brendon. It’s quicker to the board and the length of it seems to suit them. Patience was important. Once you got a feel for these weapons they grew on testers very fast indeed.
Overall, a very pleasant, yet challenging set of darts to use. The Onyx coating is comfortable to touch, with a low to medium level of grip across the full length of the barrel.
I wasn’t keen on the setup supplied, but on a positive note, Red Dragon offers a wide range of replacement points, in addition to their repointing service, and so within a few clicks I was able to rectify this issue, as well as order some replacement stems and flights.
The key to these unusual darts is not to be distracted by the scallop at the front. They are superbly designed and can be used in a variety of different ways and with throw styles of all sorts. A popular one was to adopt a rear hold style but gently rest a finger on the scallop edge as a guide rather than a destination.
For the more advanced or feel thrower a pullback that awaited a ‘tipping point’ due to length, and excellent balance, was very effective.
It seems to us that although the supplied setup is high quality, and fine for getting used to the shape and style of the dart, other setups are favoured by most testers.
At £41.90 these are an excellent value dart and well worth revisiting if you like either the modern long-barreled direct approach or Brendan’s more traditional ‘balance and feel’ approach.
Images: Darts World Magazine
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