Choose Your Weapons: Jonny Clayton

By Joe Reid 12/05/2021

An abridged version of Joe's extensive review of Red Dragon's Jonny Clayton dart appears in Darts World 574. The full piece is below:

Order Darts World 574 here

Despite being a turbulent and unpredictable year, 2020 provided us with many 'break-out' stars in the world of professional darts. The likes of Devon Petersen, Dirk van Duijvenbode and José de Sousa all seemed to flourish upon the resumption of competitive action. One player in particular who seemed to take his game to the next level was Jonny Clayton, who, along with the newly crowned World Champion Gerwyn Price, whitewashed Michael Smith and Rob Cross to earn Wales their first PDC World Cup success.

 

Since becoming a World Cup winner, Clayton has enjoyed success in both televised and Pro Tour events. In January this year, Clayton defeated a host of major names to claim the 2021 PDC Masters. Jonny has also won PC4 and PC7, and lost in the finals of PC1 and PC2. Could a first major PDC title be around the corner for 'The Ferret'?

 

General: 

A relatively simple design of dart for Jonny, yet with a unique style scarcely found on modern darts. With the potential for manufacturers to work with much higher grades of tungsten, many darts are developed with the aim of becoming as thin as possible, while maintaining the preferred weight. The bulbous shape contrasts this, lending itself perfectly to Clayton's unique style of throw, as he delicately grips the central section of the 50.8mm barrel.

"These darts appear to be the perfect hybrid, drawing elements from conventional straight barrel darts, with a subtle nod to the bomb style popularised by the likes of Phil Taylor and John Lowe."

 

Open the Box:

The darts arrived ready to use, inside simple cardboard packaging, keeping a consistent theme with the packaging used throughout the Red Dragon range. Inside is a simple foam insert, which helps to keep the darts well-secured during transport. Fitted to the darts are a set of medium black (Nitrotech) stems, and a set of standard shape Hardcore flights. They are further equipped with a set of the revolutionary Trident Points, which create a seamless flow from the point to the taper of the barrel.

 

I was slightly disappointed with the supplied setup from Red Dragon. Neither the points, stems nor flights are those used by Clayton himself. All three are developed by either Red Dragon, or their sister company Winmau - I'd have loved the red Prism Force stems, 41mm Wimnau re-grooved points, and signature Jonny Clayton kite flights to have been included, as opposed to having to buy them separate from the darts. However its likely that this is for the benefit of a wide cross-section of players, as Jonny's is a very exacting setup.

 

"With multiple areas of support, you feel in complete control of how you both hold, and release the dart."

 

Breakdown and Specifications: 

 
  • 22g Steel Tip: 
  • Length - 50.8mm
  • Width - 6.6mm
  • Points - Trident Points Red/Silver 32mm
  • Stems - Medium Black Nitrotech
  • Flights - Hardcore Red/White Standard
  • Price - £30.90


 
 

"Every cut is precise and clean, with no irregularities throughout the entirety of the barrel."

 

Testers Views:

The darts feature three sections of grip, each to serve 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 red, the rear grip appears to primarily enhance the look of the dart - especially when combined with the stylish red Nitrotech stems that come supplied with the dart.

 

Reminiscent of the grip found on the Unicorn Gary Anderson darts, the dual-ring central grip feels aggressive to hold, and yet with very slightly rounded rings, still allows for a consistent release. Extending 22mm across the peak of the barrel, 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 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, rather than a point in which to throw the dart from. 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.

 

The taper itself extends 12mm from the tip of the barrel, gradually increasing from 4mm at the point, to the full 6.6mm at the peak of the barrel. Coupled with the Trident points supplied with the darts, 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 me, 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 thicker 6.6mm 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. The only downside for me is the length of the barrel. [I] would prefer it to be a bit shorter but that's my personal opinion."

 

@bilsta40 on Twitter agreed with Jimmy, saying "I have these darts and I have enjoyed throwing them. [I] think [the] barrel could be a bit longer but that's personal preference"

 

"I find as a middle gripper of a dart [that] it feels nice" says @MatMccallion, "[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".

 

Interesting thoughts from all, with contrasting opinions on whether they should be shorter or longer, and whether the grip is sufficient or not. The general consensus appears positive for these darts, with all enjoying using the darts. A job well done from Red Dragon Darts!

 
 "2021 may be the year of the Ox, but 'The Ferret' will stake his claim to make 2021 his own."  

Final Thoughts and Marks:

Appearance: 8/10 - A simple, classy design allowing the feel and performance to do the talking. The four red rings towards the rear of the dart compliment Jonny's theme, allowing the dart to blend seamlessly with the red and black Prism stems, and the striking red kite flights that Jonny uses in competitive matches.

Balance: 9/10 - Despite measuring in at over 50mm in length, the darts give off the impression of being relatively short. Due to the raised central section, the darts only seem to feel 22mm long.  Throwing from this section, the darts feel perfectly balanced, with no pull to either side, regardless of the setup. These darts appear to be the perfect hybrid, drawing elements from conventional straight barrel darts, with a subtle nod to the bomb style popularised by the likes of Phil Taylor and John Lowe.

Grip: 8/10 - While I feel two of the three sections of grip serve little purpose, the central grip more than makes up for it. With subtly rounded grooves, cut deep into the 6.6mm wide barrel, the darts offer a 'worn' feel while still providing a high level of grip. With multiple areas of support, you feel in complete control of how you both hold, and release the dart. 

Quality: 10/10 - Faultless. As you'd expect from one of the biggest companies out there, these darts are utterly faultless. Every cut is precise and clean, with no irregularities throughout the entirety of the barrel. The paintwork is impeccable, with no overlap, spread evenly throughout the grooves. Due to the deep cuts, the paint will stand the test of time, ensuring the striking look will remain, throw after throw, match after match.
 

Value for Money: 9/10 - At just £30.95, Jonny's darts are unbelievable value-for-money. For a 90% tungsten dart, player endorsed and used - you simply cannot beat it. While perhaps lacking the intricacy of other darts in the Red Dragon range, for a dart such as these, the current price is a bona-fide steal.

 

So there you have it! The darts used by the rapidly rising star, Jonny Clayton. A fantastic job by Red Dragon, to create the perfect darts for a player moving up in the world of darts at a rapid pace. Since their release, three new editions of the darts have been produced - a sandblasted 'Lunar Edition', a black-coated 'Special Edition', and a red and green 'World Cup Winning Special Edition'. All four of Jonny's darts share identical characteristics, allowing consumers an unrivaled choice in which style they prefer. 
 


With such a positive end to 2020, and an equally enthralling start to 2021, Jonny Clayton truly has the world at his… hands. 2021 may be the year of the Ox, but 'The Ferret' will stake his claim to make 2021 his own. With two televised titles, and five non-televised titles to his name, Clayton will look to add to his tally in the coming tournaments. For now, we'll wait to see how he performs in his debut Premier League campaign, as he looks to emulate Glen Durrant in winning the event in his very first year in the competition - go Jonny, go go go!

-----ENDS-----
Read more of Joe's excellent reviews 
*Additional dimensions and specifications
 

18g Soft Tip:

Length - 50.8mm

Width - 6.6mm

Points - Standard Black Soft Tip

Stems - Medium Black Nitrotech

Flights - Hardcore Red/White Standard

Price - £30.90

20g Soft Tip:

Length - 50.8mm

Width - 6.6mm

Points - Standard Black Soft Tip

Stems - Medium Black Nitrotech

Flights - Hardcore Red/White Standard

Price - £30.90

------ENDS------

 


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