We usually start reviews with a summary-type paragraph, setting the table for the review that follows. Today, we’re not going to do that. Instead, we’re going to just post the official description of the Wotofo Elder Dragon RDA, so you can embrace the majesty yourself…
Long, long ago, the rain stopped falling. “We must do something,” one of the Dragons said to the other three, and then all four leapt from the sea into the sky. All at once, they let the water fall from their mouths and arms and legs, and even their tails. People were saved. That’s how the story of dragons in East Asia goes. The dragons have sweeping powers. They breathe clouds and control the waters of rivers, lakes, and seas. The Elder Dragon RDA, as a projection of the mighty dragons in the story, is competent to fulfill any tasks in breathing clouds and controlling your e-liquid for perfect flavor. It is designed by Wotofo and the Japanese YouTube reviewer阪上龍生, and is named Ryujin (the dragon god) for Japan Edition.
Alright, I suppose I get a kick out of the odd English translations these companies are posting to describe their products these days. Allow me to bring some clarity to the parable and “save the people”some sanity.
Dragons flew out of the water.
Took a vape.
Made it rain.
Everyone was happy.
I appreciate some storytelling when it coincides with a product. These translations just seem to get weirder and weirder. Fortunately, I’m not here to bring you such lofty musings. So let’s dig into the details of the 22mm WOTOFO Elder Dragon and see if it’s as mighty as the mythical beast it’s named after.
WOTOFO Elder Dragon 22mm RDA FEATURES:
- 22mm Diameter
- Deep Juice Wells
- Superior Stainless Steel Construction
- Quad Build Deck – 4 Open Terminals
- Side Secured via Phillips Screws
- Single Coil Configuration
- Adjustable Airflow Top Cap
- Unique Shaped Top Cap for Easy Adjustment
- Build Deck Airflows Vent Directly at Coil
- 810 Wide-bore Resin Drip Tip
- Detachable Structure
- Gold-Plated 510 Squonk BF Pin
- Gold-Plated 510 Connection
- Available in Silver, Black, Blue, Gold, Rainbow, and Gunmetal
- 1 Elder Dragon 22mm RDA
- 1 810 Drip Tip
- 1 510 Drip Tip Adapter
- 2 Clapton Coils
- 1 Coil Lead Guide
- 1 Screwdriver and Allen Wrench
- 1 User Manual
Initial Impression of the WOTOFO Elder Dragon RDA
Even before I got this out of the box I was a little shocked by … well … how pint-sized this RDA is! Measuring in at 22mm the Elder Dragon is a throwback to some of early RDA designs from yesteryear. There have been enough RDAs of all shapes and sizes, and there’s nothing wild here. But it might be better to call the design “unexpected.” Which gives me some pause as far as what to expect from such a stout RDA.
No Monster Coils
How about we save our readers some time and eliminate what this won’t be: a home for monster coil builds or cloud chasing competitions (if those are still happening). This is going to be directed more towards a “flavor chaser” experience. If you’re in the need of a dense, rich, flavor-focused RDA let’s dive into the details.
Compact Elder Dragon
The compact Pagoda shaped body is machined out of stainless steel, which makes the Elder Dragon a refreshing alternative to the typical cylindrical design most RDAs tend to employ. The prominent dome shape is complemented by alternating tiers that create a well-balanced and unique structure. Even the airflow holes create a symmetrical balance to the overall design, right down to the arched, engraved line work.
Similarly even the hardware used to attach the airflow channels from the base forms a tai chi symbol. Clearly a lot of visual consideration has been taken in the design elements of the Elder Dragon. However, if I’ve learned anything, “Never judge a book by its cover.” No matter how good something looks solely dictates how good it will work.
Just when you think there possibly couldn’t be anything different to be done with an RDA WOTOFO manages to surprise us with just that. They’ve done their home work designing a dual post-less deck into the Elder Dragon. Looking back at some early pioneering designs like the “Petri Dot Mod” that has lacked that option for installing the coils. On the Elder Dragon wrapping the coils over or under is up to your personal preference. This makes coil installations just that much easier.
Vaping the Elder Dragon RDA
The build deck of the Elder Dragon looks like a work of art. The angled air flow channels resemble an intake system of a sports car or a futuristic aerospace design. Giving a focused airflow direction underneath the coil that creates a vortex of air within the chamber. Now as good as it looks there are some drawbacks
My advice: When snipping the coils using the supplied “coil trimming gauge.” In this case it’s best to be little under that 6mm length than to be over. You’ll be less likely to experience the same painful mistake I’ve gone on to make. (All you advanced vapers know what I’m talking about… go ahead and have a chuckle before we continue)
The second con in regards to airflow is a particular pet peeve of mine –whistling! Whether its wide open or any fraction of closed, the quad airflow channels create a significant whistle whenever I’m taking draw. Granted it is a slightly restricted smooth draw, it’s something of a distraction for me when I’m vaping.
The only way I was able to limit the sound was by taking lighter pulls as I was vaping. Something I didn’t want to do. It limited the satisfaction of my experience when I wanted to rip a big flavorful hit. Despite the sound of the airflow the slightly restricted draw did produce great flavor from the coil.
Using the Elder Dragon as a squonking RDA left some room to be desired. Due to the practicalities of the design it’s too easy to accidentally push too much liquid into the reservoir. In which case any excess liquid tends overflow directly into the airflow channels and spills out the sides. If you’re familiar with using a squonking device you’re less likely to incur the wrath of this dragon both in spit-back and overfilling the chamber.
So you’ll want to approach using the squonk pin with a lighter-than-normal-touch as you would with a dedicated squonk RDA.
– Airflow locking feature
– Awesome flavor
– Dual post-less deck
– Whistling airflow
– Finicky coil installation
– Doesn’t shine as a squonking RDA
From a company like WOTOFO that has produced an extensive line of spectacular, innovative products, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the Elder Dragon. I suppose I went into this review expecting this to be my next “new favorite” from them. But the airflow and juice spitback problems, I struggled to keep using it for very long.
Despite all the beautiful attention to visual details and design, this RDA has found inspiration from the past. But this older format might have created new problems that need to be ironed out.