| In previous
issues, we have looked at various rolling machines (hand-held) that all do pretty much the
same quality of roll and are, for the most part, pretty similar in design. Back in the
July/September issue, we reviewed Rizla's 110 mm blue acrylic roller (with orange blanket)
and still feel it is the most versatile machine on the market (go
to the Back Issues page using the link above left and click on the Rollers
section of the July/September Issue). For that reason, we have chosen to use
this machine in this issue's Rollers section as part of an attempt to
demonstrate a useful and reasonably attractive alternative to injecting cigarettes. We
receive so much mail regarding 100 mm RYO smokes and, as there are no injectors out their
yet with this capability, we thought it appropriate to cover the possibilities that do
exist. Additionally, we receive a lot of mail regarding 100 mm length smokes that are also
thinner, closer to the diameter of a Virginia Slims or Sherman's cigarette and, as the
following techniques result in also a thinner stick, we think you will find the following
Personally, I like thin smokes at times and while I firmly believe that Sherman cigarettes have not nearly the flavor of a good RYO cigarette that uses premium tobacco, I do like the whole ambience of the dark wrapper and shape of the smoke in general. In fact, I am of the opinion that a dark tube (as long as the darkness of the paper would impart little or no taste to the stick) would be a big hit. It is unclear how much of the Sherman taste is due to the dark paper though, as the light and dark versions of some of their selections seem pretty similar in taste to me. On the other hand, dark roll your own papers, especially the Golden Wraps tested below and the Brownies that we reviewed in a previous issue, are made from varying amounts of tobacco components and thus add significant tobacco (almost cigar like) taste to the smoke. With these qualifications we continue.
Let us begin with a few pictures (scans, really) of the results we were able to easily achieve using the following combination of accessories and then discuss the particulars of how we achieved each. For the test rolls, we used the Rizla 110 mm roller mentioned above, the Rayo white filter available in bags at many smoke shops, the Rizla Blue 100 mm King Size papers, as well as Republic Tobacco's Golden Wraps tobacco papers likewise available at most tobacco establishments online and locally. At the upper left is the result achieved with the above components using the Rizla Blue white paper. You will notice that you can see where the filter begins. This is a by-product of the sheerness of the cigarette paper and cannot be avoided unless one were to use a much thicker paper. We know of the existence of none such paper in 100 mm length. Note here that even though with traditional filtered cigarettes and filtered tubes, you might think you can see where the actual filter begins, this is an illusion. You are only seeing the outside covering of the filter/paper joint and more often than not, the actual filter is recessed beyond the line of demarcation between tobacco chamber and filter. Even so, the stick is pretty attractive and the filtered taste is superb (of course depending on what kind of tobacco you use). To achieve the more Sherman-like appearance (at right), we substituted the Golden Wrap for paper. As we said, there is a much stronger flavor attributable to the tobacco impregnated wrapper itself but the appearance is beautiful and the flavor probably most enjoyable for those who like to casually puff on cigars or cigarillos. You can't see the filter except from an end-on view and the stick is quite solid and roadworthy.
Obviously from these graphics you can see that very attractive smokes can be hand machine rolled incorporating the benefits of a filtered stick. The filters are shown at left and there are several other filter makers including Gizeh, all of which cost around a penny a piece or so. These filters are very pure and add no chemical taste or toxins to the smoke. The roller, which you've seen in this magazine on numerous occasions, is at right. The only other 110 mm roller we know of is one named the Perfect Roller which we have so far been unable to get a sample of (without buying a case of them from a distributor). We're told, however, that it is an excellent machine with similar capabilities to the Rizla though much less available in most smoke shops or online stores. The Tobacco Wrap papers used are Golden Wraps but as stated previously, Brownies also exist, but like the the Perfect Roller, are a lot harder to find. They are pictured below.
On the subject of paper taste, I remember back in the 70s using various colored papers that had very distinctive and sometimes repulsive flavors. One that comes to mind was a so-called chocolate paper that tasted more like vinyl plastic than chocolate and some with flags and other decorations in which the dyes used could be easily noticed in their flavors. Some papers, like Cool Jays (which we look at in our Rolling Papers review this time) are intentionally flavored and, in the case of the Jays, the result is quite pleasant. For instance, the Camouflage papers (at right) also reviewed this time, add a little taste to the smoke that I don't appreciate and we feel that it is a highly desirable trait of any paper, unless otherwise intentioned, that it add NOTHING to the tobacco flavor. After all, that is why you choose carefully the tobacco you smoke in an RYO environment. Now, realistically not all papers are designed nor intended to be used with tobacco. Herbal tobacco substitutes and other more recreational substances have such pungent tastes that the little added flavor of a color-dyed paper is unnoticeable. For the tobacco smoker however, these flavors can be, at best, an unwanted distraction.
We have covered the tools necessary to create the cigarettes shown at the top and now it is time to share with you the tricks, tips and other little things we discovered that should lead to successfully reproducing those results. It is, in fact, pretty simple but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Next time, we will visit the world of hand-rolling without a machine of any kind. We have received so much mail as to the techniques, tricks and tips for true hand-rolling, that we can no longer ignore this facet of RYO. As a preview, however, suffice it to say that hand rolling is mostly a matter of practice - not secrets. - RYO
|EDITOR'S NOTE: These reviews are solely for the convenience of people of legal age who already smoke, are trying to cut down on smoking, wish to spend less money on their smoking, want to roll their own cigarettes from high quality tobacco, and, in general, wish to have a far more satisfying, and economical smoking experience when compared with smoking pre-manufactured cigarettes. We, in no way, encourage people to smoke. Further, we prescribe to a sane, more logical approach to smoking that involves common sense as to quantity coupled with a strong desire to manage the habit until it becomes an occasional, freely chosen, diversion, that can be fully enjoyed with minimal health risks. Finally, we strongly encourage those who do smoke to take it outdoors, or to appropriate environments where tobacco can be enjoyed away from those who do not smoke, most especially children. We do not sell tobacco or related products from this site; We distribute information about our perceptions of the quality of what is available and where it can be obtained. If you are under 18, it is illegal to buy tobacco and you should immediately exit this site. If you do not smoke, it would seem illogical to start.|
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