Intro and Specs for the Augvape Occula RDA
It’s been a LONG time since we spent some digital ink discussing “elaborate builds.” Because, let’s face it, the vaping world is shifting away from DIY creativity and cloud competitions (sigh!), and towards convenience, portability and ease of use. But the Augvape Occula RDA never flipped its calendar to 2019, and is designed solely for the complex coil aficionados still lurking out there.
Designed in collaboration with one of vaping’s most famous coil wizards, Twisted Messes, the Occula 24mm RDA is made for those who want roomy build decks, simple-but-ample clamp space, and enough airflow to alter weather patterns. That’s right, kids, it’s 2015 all over again – let’s get the details and go from there….
The Augvape OCCULA 24mm RDA made in collaboration with Twisted Messes is a finely crafted rebuildable squonk dripper, featuring a two-post clamp system, dual triple snakebite airflows, and maintains a deep 5.5mm juice well. Crafted from 304 Superior Stainless steel, the OCCULA RDA is strong and durable and built in a visually striking fashion.
Occula RDA Specs:
- 24mm Diameter
- Dual Posts
- Clamping Terminals
- 6mm by 2.5mm Per Terminal
- Top Mounted M3 Screws
- 5mm Deep Juice Well
- Dual Airflow — Three Holes Per Side
- 810 Drip Tip
Occula RDA Contents:
- 1 x Augvape Occula RDA
- 1 x Bottom Feeding Squonk Pin
- 1 x Hex Allen Key
- Spare Parts
Initial Impressions and Aesthetics
The Occula looks like an RDA. No, I’m not trying to be condescending, but by now, we’ve seen pretty much every external design that can be done with such a simple format. Sure, there’s some interesting knurling and a slight inward slope, but by and large, the Occula follows all the usual design tropes we’ve come to expect from these types of atomizers.
(Yeah, there’s also a weird “eye-like” design on the exterior, but if a logo is a key part of your buying decision, maybe you’re reading the wrong vaping website.)
My matte black test model was nicely finished, both in the paint job and the quality of the machining. Even in 2019, we still receive tanks and RDAs with chips and even some metal fragments attached to the decks – the Occula was flawless, inside and out. Maybe there’s not a lot of external visual appeal, but as far as RDAs go, the quality is top-tier.
Internally, the build deck is a fairly standard dual-clamp design, albeit a large one. Instead of using the typical microscopic parts setup, the Occula features two gargantuan Philips head screws that would hold a wolverine in place in the right hands. But, despite the towering posts, the 5mm deep juice well and generous spacing gives builders a veritable coil playground.
There are also three large oval airflow slots on either side of the cap, adjustable via the stiff but reliable 810 drip-tip. It takes a few twists to get the airflow covered, but it worked well throughout my testing, and the differences in airflow were noticeable – another perk that isn’t guaranteed in the RDA universe.
Standout Features of the Occula 24mm RDA
Since we’re already discussing airflow, let’s dive a little deeper. Not only do the large oval slots allow for a lot of airflow, but their angling creates flow directly toward your coils, which provides some serious flavor when built correctly.
Also, we need to give Augvape credit for creating a versatile RDA. While the Occula isn’t even close to an MTL atomizer, there is enough difference between the three airflow settings to appeal to more than just cloud junkies. I found that closing off the gaps to one hole (or even ½ of one) creates a flavor-first, more reserved vape than one would expect from the design.
Other RDAs have versatile airflow, but this simple, effective design won me over – and I admittedly came into the review expecting to be underwhelmed. That’s my own fault, and a mistake I won’t make so readily again.
The one downside to this versatility? When closed off the Occula can become VERY warm on the lips, which is made worse by the VERY shallow 810 drip tip. A little more height might have alleviated this concern, but if you’re planning to chain vape with minimal airflow, have a little lip balm handy just in case.
Vaping the Augvape Occula RDA
Since this is a builder’s dream RDA, I decided to break out all my old tools and have some fun with twisted claptons, alien coils and the like. Thanks to the ridiculously roomy terminals, I placed some seriously heavy-gauge wires in there without an ounce of movement or play. It’s been a while since I really spent any time positioning and tweaking my builds, but the Occula was a nice throwback to a time when people genuinely believed a 1/16-inch shift left or right dramatically affected flavor.
Maybe that’s not a shining testament to rebuildable atomizer fans, but all these years later there’s still something exciting and rewarding about getting a build “just right.”
And, believe it or not, positioning IS important with the Occula. My initial instinct was to have the coils positioned directly below the airflow entries, so the flow could go through them. But in reality, the design was better with the coils placed higher, allowing airflow to swirl beneath them, lifting the vapor and flavor upwards.
The massive juice wells held an awful lot of cotton, and in turn, a boatload of juice. When used as a traditional dripper, I managed roughly 10 draws before having to re-wet the coils. When used as a squonker with the included BF pin, I got even more. The squonk action was smooth and reliable using a variety of different mods, and there was no leaking or any random flooding to be found.
The Occula Heat Issue
My ONLY real concerns with the Occula? First, the long-ish 510 pin didn’t sit flush on every device, and the gaps were fairly noticeable on some older mods. The Occula still worked just fine with these gaps, but I have to admit I was feeling less than confident about breakage after being in a pocket or purse.
Secondly, we have to revisit the heat problem. Once, after a particularly heavy, higher-wattage succession of draws, I went to remove the cap and nearly seared the skin off my thumb. Now, I get that most, if not all RDAs are susceptible to some heat. But the Occula produced an excessive amount of it, regardless of wattage settings.
But overall, the main takeaway from using the Occula RDA isn’t going to be about heat or 510 connections – it’s going to be about the rich, deep flavor it produces, and the massive amounts of vapor it chucks when the airflow is wide open. That residual warmth translates to unparalleled flavor with the right builds, and again – when you find that sweet spot, it reminds you that nic salts and MTL devices don’t hold exclusive rights to vaping flavor.
– Fantastic flavor
– Great airflow control
– Huge build space
– Heat is excessive
– Doesn’t fit right on all mods
– Requires some serious power
Keep in mind that try to never, ever, flat out recommend anything. I mean, if your thing is Sub-Ohm tanks then no matter how awesome I might think this RDA is, I’m not about to recommend it to you. That said, if you ARE looking for a solid old-fashioned (I.E. 2015) well, the Augvape Occula RDA might be what you want. But, don’t just take our word, or our experience with any vape product. Check around and read or watch those you can trust to give you their honest, unbiased experience.
So, is the Augvape Occula a “must-have” RDA? There really ISN’T a must-own dripper anymore. They’re all just too similar in design and function. That said, if you’re an RDA enthusiast, I’m not 100% sure the Occula offers anything that your current crop of drippers doesn’t (and it might be a little warmer, to boot). But if you’re new to the rebuildable game, or need something refreshing on top of your squonk mod, the Occula is a well-made, reliable product that’s a little more versatile than most…these days.