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Maker of pool cues starting in 1994 in West Bend, Wisconsin.
Norbert "Nubs" Wagner has enjoyed playing the game of pool for over 35 years. A tool and die maker by trade, Nubs became interested in cuemaking in the 1970s. He visited and befriended a couple of the top Wisconsin area cuemakers, and was Jim McDermott´s first full-time employee in the mid-1970s.
In 1977, Nubs started Pro-Line Custom Cues in Milwaukee, working out of Romine´s pool room. It was a short-lived endeavor, and he returned to tool making, progressing into CNC machining and programming. This experience was instrumental in developing his ability to work to the very close tolerances required for making cues.
Nubs kept involved in the cue industry. He continued to do repair work, sold a few cues in his retail shop, and played in leagues and tournaments. He always listened to the praise and criticism other players had for their cues. He helped start a small cue company in 1990, which increased his desire to start a cuemaking company of his own. The dream was realized in March of 1994, when Nubs founded Nova Cues Inc.
Nova made around 750 cues per year in West Bend, Wisconsin. Twelve different popular designs could be custom ordered in a variety of stains, wraps, weights, and lengths. No cues were kept in stock-all were custom made to order. All Nova cues are easily identifiable by the Nova logo on the butt caps, which has appeared there since 1994, even on the few hustler cues they made.
Nova Cues was a small shop, and they made everything that went into their cues except the tips, bumpers, and screws. To prevent warping, the butt sections were turned nine times and the shafts were turned twelve times over a two-month period. Nova cues tended to be forward balanced, with shafts that weighed around four ounces and were interchangeable. Depending on the woods used, Nova cues usually weighed in at 19 to 19 1/2 oz. without the addition of weights. Nova stressed the use of exotic woods, and beautifully dyed exotic woods, ivory, and pink ivory were also available. Nubs was very particular about attention to detail. For example, he spent a lot of time developing the finish that was used on Nova cues. It was applied entirely by hand (no spraying) over the course of four days. The result was a very thick, shiny, clear coat that is very resistant to dings and scratches. Nova cues became very popular in Europe, especially in Germany.
The Nova shop closed sometime after 2000. All of the equipment and materials are still there, and Nubs may reopen the Nova shop sometime in the future.

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