I've always used plastic sleeves, and considered rope wrap an unnecessary maintenance headache, watching folks keep their rope wrapped wood oars in shape.
But while waiting for my squaretop-compatible pro loks to arrive (stop everything else and just go buy these, they take every pro and eliminate every con from all the other oarlock designs on the market) I rowed my rope wrapped oars in open locks.
But my go-to superstons wouldn't fit my frame. I had to row the nrs atomics.
I HATE ATOMIC LOCKS. they pinch oars to death. Had a cataract oar in a plastic sleeve jam on the illinois: a 12-1 couldn't free the atomic lock, it 2 full size pickups. And by that time, the horns had cracked the oar under the sleeve! 100% not fixable on the river.
Well, I jammed a rope wrapped oar in the Atomic lock, and POP! no problem.
From this, I conclude the rope's ability to thin out and slip through those horns made all the difference.
So, while I'll still be taking the wrap off so I can run my pro loks, I have to say I've reconsidered my opinion on rope wrap, particularly with composite oars and NRS Atomic locks.