The mechanical response of a knot tied in elastic rods strongly depends on the frictional force due to rod–rod contact. The behavior of a knot can be qualitatively different based on the frictional coefficient of the elastic rod. Systematic variation of friction during rod–rod contact is a crucial component of any experimental design to uncover the underlying ingredients behind the mechanics of knots. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel process of controlling the friction of a continuous rod by adhering non-spherical inorganic micro-particles. Polymeric binder is used to deliver the particles as asperities over the rod substrate and by controlling their size and distribution the coefficient of friction of the rod is determined. In parallel, numerical simulations with the discrete elastic rods algorithm are used to reproduce the experimental observations. Tabletop experiments are performed where overhand knots with a variety of unknotting numbers are pulled tight. The force–extension curve of these experiments shows that the proposed process can successfully tune the friction between rods.