RBA Reviews

Potv 10th Birthday Revisited Wotofo Serpent Mini

As part of the Potv 10th Birthday celebrations, Antony revisits an old favourite from back in the day as he takes a fresh look at the Wotofo Serpent Mini!

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As part of the Planet of the Vapes 10th Anniversary celebrations, I was asked to take a fresh look at something from my personal vaping journey. Now I’m a relative newcomer having only made the switch to vaping in 2016 but for me this was a no-brainer, I had to review my first ever rebuildable, the Wotofo Serpent Mini. This was a hot item at the time with all the big name YouTube reviewers singing its praises and I’d been practicing building my own claptons at home so it seemed like the perfect starting point.

Wotofo Serpent Mini unboxing and contents

The Serpent Mini was available in just two colours (stainless steel and black), and came with a spare glass, a boatload of O-rings, some rather awful twisted coils, cotton, and a tri-wing tool. The stainless steel version had a metal drip tip…this got incredibly hot when chain vaping and started my general dislike of metal drip tips, if you bought the black version you got a nice black plastic one instead which was far more practical (POM/Delrin?) and I still use that to this day on Boro style devices.

One common problem of the time was that the paint used to come off black tanks and the Serpent mini was particularly prone to this issue. I initially bought a black tank but after a couple of spins in an ultrasonic cleaner this was now a stainless steel tank!

Wotofo Serpent Mini drip tips and details

Way back in 2016, 22mm atomisers were still the defacto standard and the Serpent Mini is no exception coming in at 21.9mm diameter and a rather stubby 30.5mm tall (excluding drip tip and 510). This still manages to hold a surprising 3.5ml of e-liquid with the straight glass and you did get a spare in the box but this predates the appearance of the bubble glass and chimney extensions, if you wanted more capacity you simply went and bought a different (taller) tank!

Although I think 810 drip tips were just starting to make an appearance on RDAs of the period, this sticks to the tried and true 510 standard. It also has a top fill design which was just starting to gain traction at the time.

Wotofo Serpent Mini airflow and 510 connection

At the base there are two cyclops airflow slots measuring 10x1.5mm, this seems small by modern standards but was considered quite airy back then. Whilst the 510 pin is nicely protruding with good insulation, I don’t think I’d recommend this on a mech these days as the positive post features a press fit design.

Wotofo Serpent Mini chamber and build deck

The chimney section and build deck are tiny by modern standards. I love the compact stepped design in the upper chamber as well which is only 13.3mm wide. You have a single 3.9mm airflow under the coil and this is carried through to the chimney section which has the same diameter. The build deck has several “features” that would be considered unforgivable by today’s standards though…..

Wotofo Serpent Mini with clapton

First of all you have that press fit positive post, there’s a gap under the screw on the build posts so getting a simple round wire in here can be an exercise in frustration because the coil leg will inevitably make a break for it and wind up loose below the screw, and the posts are the wrong way around so this will deform complex coils! I always used to solve that last issue by pre twisting my coil legs by 90 degrees before installing them, a trick that still works to this day, and whilst you can fit a 3mm inner diameter coil in here, I find that a 2.5mm i.d. coil works far better particularly if you’re using complex coils.

Wotofo Serpent Mini wicking

I always found the best way to wick this was to cut the wick to the outside of the base, fluff (but don’t thin) the cotton, and then cut the top of the wicks off level with the coil. With the wick juiced up, you can now easily place this in the shallow ports at the base.

So how does this compare to modern atomisers? The flavour is still there but it perhaps lacks some of the sharpness and definition of a modern atomiser, and this would probably be considered a restricted direct lung hit these days. It’s still perfectly serviceable though and having revisited an old favourite, I can see why I had three of these on the go at one point and it was practically the only thing I used for the better part of year.

Wotofo Serpent Mini handcheck

 

Antony Lord avatar

Antony Lord

Reviewer at POTV
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I was a twenty a day smoker for 25 years and like most smokers I was always going to quit "next week". Having hit my mid forties and having the usual smokers cough and difficulty with anything more than moderate exercise it was obviously time to give up the cancer sticks. I bought my first e-cigarette in 2013 when they were expensive, difficult to find and quite frankly... crap. I used it for about a week then went back to the roll ups, mark up another failed quit attempt. The fact that I had just changed jobs and was under quite a lot of stress probably didn't help. Move on to 2016 and whilst I was browsing eBay I noticed that one of the suggested items that would occasionally pop up was for a cheap e-cigarette. It looked similar to the one I'd bought 3 years earlier but it was only £5 (about 8 times cheaper than before) so I decided to give it another go on a whim. Once the kit arrived I managed to gradually replace the cigarettes with my new kit over a two month period and got into watching YouTube reviews for newer kit. My cheap and cheerful kit was replaced by a more upmarket affair, and being a noob I made a mistake once it arrived... I put in the supplied direct lung coil, this was of course a complete revelation and I haven't touched a cigarette since. Oh and I no longer spend the first five minutes of every day having a coughing fit either.

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