Honest review time: The Elder Dragon(Ryujin) RDA from Wotofo

Here’s a look at an interesting new RDA released from Wotofo. It was designed in collaboration with a popular Japanese YouTuber named Ryusei Sakaue. It’s called the Elder Dragon RDA or for the Japanese market the Ryujin and it’s named for the legendary Dragon God of Japanese mythology. Being half-Japanese myself I’m always intrigued by Japanese themed gear and the Ryujin looked to be right up my alley. Here are my honest thoughts on the Ryujin RDA from Wotofo.

Package contents:

1xElder Dragon RDA
1xCoil Trimming Tool
1xExtra Drip Tip
1x510 Drip Tip Adapter
1xUser Manual
1 bagClapton Coil
1 bag3mm Agleted Cotton
1 bagExtra Orings & Screws

Listed specs:

Build Deck Diameter:22mm
Overall Height:34.5mm (with drip tip and 510 pin)
Threading:510 Thread
Body Material:Stainless Steel
Coil Configuration:Single Coil
Juice Feeding Method:Drip/Squonk
Insulator Material:German PEEK

Listed Features:

  • Compact Pagoda shape
  • Tai chi symbol deck bottom
  • Detachable air inlets for easy cleaning
  • 22mm postless build deck allowing different coil directions
  • Down-to-coil air structure enhancing vaporizing performance
  • Focused air supply guaranteeing perfect flavor production
  • Deep juice well, less frequent dripping

Packaging and contents:

The kit comes packed in pretty standard green and black Wotofo packaging. I think it looks nice but that green can be a nightmare for my camera to capture. The front of the box has a little window so you can see the RDA inside which I always think is handy. On the back it just bears the name of the RDA with the contents actually listed on the side. In the kit you get the Ryujin Elder Dragon RDA, an alternate translucent 810 Goon style drip tip, a 510 drip tip adapter if you don’t like 810 tips, a handy dandy coil trimming tool, a user manual, a bag containing a Philips head screwdriver as well as an Allen key and three accessory bags. In one of the bags you get some tri-core fused claptons(3×26+38 Ni80/3mm/0.17ohm/40-75w), in another you get a couple of Wotofos 3mm agleted cotton and in the last bag you get some spare o-rings, two spare Philips head screws and a gold plated 510 pin, it comes pre-installed with a gold plated squonk pin. I’ve said it before Wotofo does an incredible job with all of the extras and accessories and what comes with the Ryujin is no exception.

The RDA:

Even at a glance you can see that the Ryujin does not look like your typical RDA. It’s made of stainless steel with a 22mm diameter postless deck and a uniquely shaped top cap. The cap is round with a groove running around it and is meant to be shaped like a pagoda. Now I’ve been to Japan a bunch of times but the only round Pagodas I’ve seen have been those little cement ones you see in peoples gardens. I still think it looks nice and sort of captures the layered look of a pagoda but that round cap does make it a challenge trying to match it with other gear, so appearance could be a bit subjective on this one. One benefit though of having that groove run around the center of the cap is it makes it much easier to grip and pull off the cap.

At the top of the RDA it comes equipped with a colourful resin 810 Goon style drip tip. It’s nice and comfortable but if you’re not a fan of bright colours they also include a sort of grey translucent tip that I think looks great with the black version I received. The cap as I mentioned above is round with a groove running around it’s center, in that groove are four holes for airflow, two on each side which line up with the airflow inlets on the deck. You can twist the top cap to close them off a bit and adjust the airflow but I’ve been keeping it full open myself for a nice lightly restricted direct lung hit. There are little catches inside the cap that prevent it from turning all the way around which is always handy. The way they’ve setup the o-rings around the deck is pretty neat, one ring is near the top and one sits at the very bottom so it’s really only holding the cap on by the top o-ring and the bottom ring seems more for leak prevention. On the very bottom of the RDA it’s got some beautiful engraving which I believe is supposed to be the symbol for Tai Chi. My recognition of kanji is pretty weak so I did try to look it up but couldn’t figure out what it actually says. Still it looks nice and I’m sure lots of people with Asian character tattoos will think it’s cool. Aside from that it’s got some basic Wotofo branding and the usual CE markings on the bottom.

The Deck:

The deck on the Ryujin is postless but the post holes are raised a little bit compared to some other postless and flat bottomed decks. Because those post holes are somewhat raised they make the juice well that much deeper. It’s a single coil deck and the four post holes let you decide the orientation of your coil. The Philips screws that secure your leads are accessible from the outside of the deck, two on either side. They’re actually slotted so you can use a flathead on them as well. Just above the Philips screws are the airflow inlets. On the Ryujin they are removable which Wotofo says will help with cleaning, two Philips head screws on the very bottom of the deck secure them to the RDA. It’ll be interesting to see if they release some alternate airflow inlets with maybe more restrictive holes for a little variety but there’s no mention of any future accessories as of yet. The airflow inlets are angled inward and down so they meet up and hit your coil at pretty much the perfect angle, basically the bottom lower half. To help with building on either side of the deck there are cutouts for a screwdriver or rod to help with installing your coil. All of these features make it very easy to build and maintain and so far I don’t have any complaints.

If you’re using it in squonk mode the hole that feeds your deck comes up right in the middle and lays flat with the bottom of the deck. When squonking juice will come up and saturate your cotton and any excess tends to get pulled back down in to your bottle. If you over squonk it doesn’t tend to leak but the airflow holes do get some juice in them but since they’re angled downward sit should keep the juice at bay unless you really overfill it. If you’re using it as a regular dripper that deep juice well means you can pack quite a bit of cotton in there and go quite a while in between drips.

Build, wick and performance:

Building on the Ryujin couldn’t get much easier especially considering they include that handy coil trimming tool. They even mark the suggested length on the tool with a little sticker so you know right out of the box how long to cut your leads. Once cut to the appropriate size you pretty much drop them in and tighten up the Philips screws to secure your leads. The grooves on the sides of the deck help make any adjustments with your screwdriver or coil rod but with the leads cut to the right size there’s very little adjusting left to do. Wicking it is equally simple and it will wick like pretty much any RDA out there.

Performance wise I’ve been very content with the flavour and vapour I’ve been getting from it. I started off using the included 3 core claptons that came in the kit but quickly changed to a dual core clapton 2×26/40 ni80 since I wasn’t exactly sure what the premade coils were made of. However with both the premade and the one I popped in, flavour and vapour have been fantastic. Obviously results can vary depending on your ability to build and wick but with the Elder Dragon I think you’ll be in good hands whether a beginner to building or a seasoned vaper.

Overall:

While I didn’t find anything particularly game changing with the Ryujin I did find it to be a very well made and solid performing rebuildable atomizer. I find this one is almost more about the aesthetic and classic performance of a postless RDA than it is some gimmicky new feature or function. The design feels mature and well suited to the moniker of Elder Dragon and it’s been in my regular rotation since it arrived. Wotofo already makes some really great stuff and the Ryujin Elder Dragon I’d say is a pretty solid addition to the lineup.

Honest review time: The Elder Dragon(Ryujin) RDA from Wotofo
Build QualityWell equipped/great accesssoriesEase of useFlavour and vapour
Unusual shaped top cap
8.8Overall Score
Presentation8.5
Build Quality9
Performance9
Reader Rating 10 Votes
5.6