Backer rod dreads

Just bought a roll of backer rod but they are not tapered. some photos on here are, how do you taper the rod to give it a smooth transition?
cut them so they look like dreads, then take a hair dryer and heat it it until theres a rubbery/chicken skin like feel


You could also taper them on a heated pizza pan or cookie sheet on the stove top burner. With minimal practice, you'll get a nice. even taper every time!!

-Take your pan or sheet and set it on the largest burner of your stove top and set to medium.
-Trim tips of dreads to a point
-With oven mits or heat resistant gloves, roll the bottom 6"-8" back and forth across the heated surface with a stronger pressure at the tip and less pressure as you go higher.

You should end up with dreads that look like this....




Those are all WAY EASIER ways than how I did it!!!

I hand sanded each one w/ different sand paper grits (100, 220, 320 & 400 grit) IT TOOK FOREVER!!! Then I brushed a thin coat of latex over the areas that I'd sanded.
Although, once they were done, they all did end up looking great! But the above mentioned methods do make me feel ;)

Oh, each their own, right?