Technically, these "Roughing Sticks" do not created a rough coating; they utilize a principle that
was employed before roughing fluid was developed decades ago: they apply a light tackifier that
causes one card to cling to another.
This, however, is not a criticism as they do the job
required and with less fuss for application. The coated surface is not sticky; just a tiny bit waxy
to the touch. This is not an issue, in my opinion. And of course the coating is invisible.
Please note that if applied with the expedient procedure shown on the video-link instructions, a
procedure which does not provide a coating on the entire surface of the card, your cards must be
perfectly flat or else the method is given away. (A pair of cards may curl away from each other at
the edges.) It is possible to coat the entire surface, but this takes more diligence to accomplish,
though it is not an impossible task. If the cards are not curled, bridged, or warped, you have no
That being said, an entire deck can be gaffed (creating 26 "clinging" pairs) in an
incredibly short amount of time, and this is definitely in the product's favor.
It is easy
to intentionally coat only a part of the surface and to "custom-prepare" the cards to accommodate
any method for separating the pairs that the performer finds convenient. This is a definite
improvement over the traditional roughing procedure, as fully roughed surfaces (using roughing
fluid) are often difficult to separate and partial roughing requires rather fussy masking techniques
when the fluid is applied. Not so with the easy-to-handle Roughing Sticks.
As with roughing
fluid, a certain amount of maintenance(reapplication) will be required over time, but this is to be
For me, the biggest asset to this method for creating "roughed" or adhering card
pairs is that it is great for experimentation with new ideas utilizing this principle. Several cards
can be prepared very quickly with no need to wait for drying, since it is a dry application as
opposed to the traditional roughing method. Then, if the experiment fails or needs modification, one
does not have to throw out the cards you have tested your idea with; the coating can be scraped off
and you can start over. If the experiment is a success, your "test" cards may be suitable for
I do not plan on abandoning the use of roughing fluid as a result
of obtaining the Roughing Sticks, but I will definitely add the sticks to my arsenal of gaffing
techniques. The sticks are both practical and convenient for many circumstances for which secretly
clinging card pairs (posing as a single card) are required.