Abstract Theoretical calculations and experimental measurements of the basic parameters of coated small dipole antenna were carried out in the short wave range. It was concluded that the resonance frequency of the dipole could be lowered and the radiative resistance could be improved by magnetic coating at the price of some loss in band width and efficiency. The radii ratio of the coating and the inner conductor played a primary role as compared to the absolute size of the magnetic material. In addition, the characteristics of the magnetic coated antenna was explained within the framework of an approximate theory based on surface wave transmission line concepts. The design procedure of such antennas was also discussed.