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So let’s be clear, we use what is called “gold leaf”, but in our case it’s actually “fake gold”… Real gold leaf can be found, it’s actually used in art cabinetmaking for sculptures, furniture “gilded with gold leaf” (the term in rigor), but it would raise the budget, while fake gold leaf that can be found easily in good stores specializing in fine arts, does the job just as well, at a much lower price…

And it’s exactly the same principle of installation as for art cabinet making! Except that there is no need to apply as much as these craftsmen either, to obtain an interesting result on a ROD…

It’s also very simple, quick to do, quicker than a wrap with a little work (I mean a wrap with some borders). You just have to respect some extra poses, between the few steps.


  • Special glue for gold leaf (it is a white watery glue, it looks a lot like color preservative, in fact…)
    Gold leaf (can be found in gold, copper, oxidized to have variations in hue)

    Both can be found in a good art store (the kind that sells lots of crayons, blank canvas, etc., in short, the stuff that would drive our middle school art teacher crazy).

    Gold leaf flakes as an alternative to gold leaf… A little longer to cover a wrap than a leaf, but more possibilities in colors. These are actually scraps of gold leaf.

    The flakes can be found in costume jewelry stores for example, it is usually used to make decorations worked on the nails


My three pots of flakes: black, blue, and blue/gold (the latter was used in the example in the article)
A color preserver. At Rodhouse

And for the rest, it’s very standard in the rodbuilding: brush (with natural hair), varnish, binding wire…


Whether it is on a “crook wrap” (fiberglass crack tape) or on a ligature, the process is the same …. In the case of the crook’s wrap, I advise to do it directly on the fiberglass strip, tied at the ends, but not covered on the whole length.

Simply apply the gold leaf glue in the same way as you would apply a color preserver

Be careful not to exceed the borders of the area to be covered …

And we let it rest for about fifteen minutes before moving on to the next step. The glue will not be completely dry, but just as it should be (it is not in the second either, I had the laziness to wait 15 minutes, so I can say that 7-8 minutes, it works too…)

preparation collage feuille d'or


  • Laying of a sheet: we take delicately the sheet (very light, tears very easily) and we lay it on the wrap while turning. Once the turn carried out, one tears gently. So, it’s impossible to lay it flat, without a surplice, so don’t take the head. If you want to take it off and put it back on, you will tear it anyway. So let’s say that a “scratch” installation doesn’t work too badly… There will probably be holes, which you will treat as in the case of flock installation…
    Laying flakes: I take a brush with natural hair, I make two or three trips on my pants, to create a little static electricity. And I catch the flakes with the brush, thanks to this static electricity. I put the flakes on the wrap with the tip of the brush, the glue should capture the flakes (if not, it’s because you have even less patience than I do to let the glue rest…). Don’t worry about overthickness!
    If you have a few holes left at the end (or at each of the following steps), and the glue doesn’t take anymore, you can add a few more dots of glue on those holes, and it’s also okay if a little bit of glue ends up on gold leaf already laid.
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Once your wrap is completely covered, you need to pack it down. To do this, I take a scrap of EVA foam and press it down well along the length.

At this point, you still have a surplus of gold leaf, which we’ll clean up in the next step, a few hours later (to do it right, a dozen, but if you’re still reading me, you must already suspect that I didn’t have that much patience…


This part consists especially in removing the surplus of gold leaf… Not very complicated, a few minutes are enough… one passes quite simply a brush with dry fine hairs on the ligatures, until there are no more ears which exceed nor of “dust” of gold leaf which flies.


You apply the color preservative as you normally would, no more and no less. Two coats at two-three hour intervals is good.

Let it sit for at least a dozen hours after the last coat of preservative (yes yes! I respected it, I went to bed and the next step was not done until the next day!).

préservateur de couleurs


And here we are at the last step… the varnish! So on this type of finish, I prefer not to dilute the varnish. It’s possible that dilution doesn’t affect, but I admit I didn’t try, at least not to take the risk of a possible color change. I’ll spare you pictures of the varnish…

And that’s all!


As I said in the introduction, it’s simple, fast, with just a few pauses between each step.

Whether it’s leaves or flakes, there’s enough to make several RODs with. The picture of my blue/gold flake jar is… ‘after’ I’ve done all the finishing touches on a 7’6 fly rod! (the FAF 763 by NFC, which I recommend, by the way…)

What about the weight ? Well, here it is…


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