Griffin 2a -- Holds a hook, mostly, kinda. Weighs nothing. Stem breaks down Renzetti Traveller -- Highly recommended when I bought it. Hated it when I sold it. It was a 1st gen Traveller. Maybe they're better now. HMH Spartan -- Was my main bench vise for years. Nothing fancy. Just holds a hook like nothing else. Regal -- Got a deal on a used one. Sometimes I wonder why I tie on anything else. Dyna-King Barracuda -- Thing's a beast, but it's amazing. Probably the last vise that will ever sit on my bench. You can have it when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers. DK Kingfisher -- My new travelling vise. Nothing fancy. Holds a hook, positively. Weighs nothing. DK machining.
Dan vice, should be my last. I don't tie fast and I will wear out first. If I don't fish more I've already got too many flies. I won't stop tying i'ts too much fun trying to make something special. Bob
I tie flies with a home made rotary vise I put together by purchasing a plumbing three way fitting and an exacto nife attached by model helicopter bearings equivalant to almost a norvise, vise. Cost me $ 27.00 all together and it workes fantastic. lol
I bought a Barracuda a couple of years ago and it took me a little bit to figure the thing out. When I got it home from the shop, the first thing I noticed was that it is huge. Holy Moly kinda huge. Had to rearrange my bench. When I started tying on it, I thought, this thing's a piece of crap. I can't get a hook in it, I can't make adjustments, the thing's awful. I was, literally, about a day away from taking it back.
Then, I stumbled upon something. If you put your hands "here", the vise takes the hook perfectly. And it turns out that "here" is where your hands naturally should be when you go to put a hook in and work the cam handle. And instead of reaching around and using your fingers to turn that adjustment knob, just lay your palm on the top and use your thumb. Effortless.
It takes a little while to find the sweet spots on DK vises. But these vises are all about sweet spots. Every action has one. If something seems awkward, you're doing it wrong. When you figure out how to do it right, it becomes natural and effortless and makes you wonder why every vise isn't set up that way. Ron Abby is a genius.
As for returning it to the store, they can have it back when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
I tied for a long time on a Dan Vise. Then I wanted something a little finer so I opted for a Griffen Odyssey Spider. It turned out to be too delicate for my hands so I'm back to the Dan Vise. I often like to rest my left hand on the vise and the Spider just couldn't take it. I really do like the Dan Vise.
Couldn't have said it better myself! Ron Abby is a genius! One day I will likely own as many of his tying equipment as I can find. Their pricey but well worth it. The 'cudda took my tying to a whole new level, no question. I've tied on griffins, thompson, etc. and none could ever come close to comparing the the solid steel and ridiculous machining precision of the Dyna King stuff in my opinion. Tools are critical to consistency and quality and most tyers use sub-par equipment. Somewhatunderstandably so. There's a lot more fly fisherman than fly tiers and the vast majority of those who start only do it once or thrice. Money is real . . . . . . . especially the lack thereof.