This tutorial has been a long time in the making. I have had my Aqua since around November 13, and have used it on and off since then. I’ve had some great builds in the past, but things didn’t really start to click for me until I really started messing around with 32 gauge kanthal. Up until the last month or so, I primarily used 28 gauge kanthal, and occasionally 24 or 30 when the situation permitted.
About a month ago I decided to start experimenting with the several hundred feet of 32 gauge kanthal I had sitting around here and I started realizing that I really do like the way it vapes when implemented correctly. Additionally, it seems to be way easier to avoid dry burns with 32 as opposed to thicker kanthal, so I have really been enjoying it for tank setups.
Today I’m going to show you how I like to coil my Aqua. After a lot of testing and different builds, this is my favorite way of doing it.
What You’ll Need
- Aqua– I use this exact Aqua clone that you can get on Fasttech for $15.
- Kanthal – I used 32 gauge kanthal. This is the exact kind I buy, from Temco on eBay.
- Cotton – I use either organic or sterile cotton balls
- 1/16 drill bit – pick these up super cheap from any hardware store or walmart
- Nail clipper
- Ceramic Tweezers, if you want to make your life easier
Setting up the Coil
This is a surprisingly easy setup to build. Basically, we are going to be making 2 equal microcoils out of 32 gauge kanthal. As I mentioned above, I strongly recommend you use 32 gauge for this build. It doesn’t matter as much with an RDA, but I have found that in tank setups, the higher gauge will really help you resist dry burns and give you much longer lasting performance.
So clip off a good long chunk of kanthal. I like to leave the leads longer for this build because the posts don’t have holes, so I usually do 1 or 2 wraps around each post to make sure the coil is secured.
Take out your 1/16 drill bit and do 10 wraps around it, making them as close together as you possibly can.
When you finish the first coil, rest it on the deck of the Aqua, just over one of the airholes. Then make 1 or 2 full tight wraps around each post until the coil is secure.
Then repeat this process with a second coil on the opposite side.
Screw down both post screws until the coils are firmly in place. Then adjust their position so that they are raised above the airhole – probably a quarter inch or so.
Once your coils are secured, clip off any excess from the leads. You should have something that looks like this:
At this point, you will want to TEST YOUR OHMS. If you’ve followed my tutorial exactly so far, you should come out to about 1.5 ohms. Once that checks out, you can dry fire the atty until the coils glow, then carefully compress them together. Since this is 32 gauge, you need to be extra careful not to push so hard that you collapse the coils.
If everything looks good, you’re ready to apply the wick.
Setting up the Wick
With the Aqua, and most tanks, the wick is extra critical. In this case I am using a simple cotton wick.
Start by tearing off a small vertical chunk of cotton, then roll it in your fingers until it looks narrow enough to fit through the coil. Then take one end and roll it into a fine point between your fingers. Carefully thread the cotton through the coil. If you start getting resistance, don’t force it – instead roll the fat end in your fingers as you slowly pull the wick through so it is even on both sides. With this wick, you will want to have enough extra on each side of the coil to comfortably fit into each of the channels on the side of the deck.
Once your first wick is threaded, repeat the process on the other side. It should look something like this:
Next, we need to position the wick inside the channels. The first thing you will want to do is prime it really well with juice. Make sure it gets fully saturated. Then take a screwdriver and carefully press each end of the wick into the channels. I like it to be a loose fit. In fact, with a Kayfun, I don’t even put any wick into the channels, but on the Aqua, I have found that if you don’t, the tank will flood very easily, so this is important.
Once you’re done, you should have something that looks like this:
You’ll see that while I do have the wicks compressed into the channels, they aren’t super tight so there is still some room for juice to flow through. This is critical.
Once you’ve completed this step, screw the tank cylinder back on. I screw mine all the way down, covering up the airholes – just be careful not to screw it too tight because it can be a bitch to get it free.
When the tank is screwed in, you’re ready to add your juice. Fill the tank full with juice, then tighten down the top cap. Now you’re ready to vape.
The Bottom Line
You might notice some heavy gurgling right away after filling the tank. I have found this to be pretty common with the Aqua. The good thing is, even if it gurgles, juice usually has too far to travel to reach your mouth so it isn’t a big deal. If the gurgling is super heavy, what you can do is take a paper towel, put it in front of the airholes and then blow out the excess juice from the chamber. You can also crank up your wattage and vape it off.
I like to vape this build between 15 and 20 watts. You’ll have to adjust based on your preferences and how it is vaping.
If you notice persistent gurgling in the chamber, you may need to open it up and make sure you have enough cotton in the channels.
If you are getting dry hits, you may have too much cotton in the channels for juice to flow through, so you may need to adjust. You may also want to try lowering your wattage.
Overall this is a really nice build. I get great flavor, a super smooth hit and nice vapor production. Since we are using 32 gauge kanthal, the coils heat up quicker, which I personally like a lot in this setup.
The Aqua is a unique RBA and a lot of fun to build. Once you find your sweet spot, you may have a hard time going back to anything else!