Roto Grip: Nomad Dagger

by Bob Johnson 0

51.5 Hook 15.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Nomad lineup’s symmetric Rotary core has proven itself for its predictability and back-end power. The RG is medium at 2.55 and fosters a .054 Diff reading, which supplies nearly 6” of track flare. Pay attention to the shape of this core; it encourages a stronger breakpoint shape downlane.

Coverstock: With the success of both the solid and pearl Ultra Vision covers, a blending of these two covers is a natural. The deep purple solid element insures traction and predictability, while the silver pearl element adds length and back-end motion.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Roto Grip’s Nomad lineup features the old-school Rotary core. This design emphasizes length with an angular breakpoint shape. Coupled with the versatile Ultra Vision (medium strength) coverstock, the Hybrid edition Dagger is all about usable power. The 1500-grit polish adds to the bowler-friendly atmosphere inherent in the upper mid-price line.

Test Results: Hybrids can offer the most versatile cover formula available for a wide lane oil spectrum. The Dagger’s motion is between an arc and a strong flip, depending on layout choice. The 1500-grit polished surface is very bowler-friendly and gave us easy length with little down-lane wiggle, despite moderate carrydown. The aggressive cover and core combine for added angularity, even for lower rev-rate players. Carry power was excellent with box finish or with any sandings we applied.

When to Use: Benchmark medium-hooking balls are generally the most usable products available, as this is what most house bowlers encounter. Higher rev-rate players can line up inside the oil lines and project the Dagger toward friction, while straighter players can play closer to friction areas, understanding that they will utilize conservative layout patterns. The strength of the Rotary core, though, is its ability to increase one’s entry angle with either pin-above or below drilling layouts. Our favorite drill patterns were between the 4 and 5” pin to PAP distance range; these layouts matched up on most of our test patterns.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.