Vise Advise

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by unrooted, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. unrooted

    unrooted Member

    Been getting back into fishing and tying, mostly doing 14-18 flies now, but I hear that a lot of people near me (Bishop CA) are fishing streamers for the local browns.

    My current vice is the cheapo AA vice that comes with the Cabelas $30 kit. The jaws are all smashed up, and I have a hard time keeping my size 18 hooks from falling out if I don't smash em into place.

    The Rotary vices are "neat", but I haven't been able to try one, the 2 fly shops here are pretty crappy when it comes to tying equipment. . . so I'll just have to get something and learn how to use it.

    I don't really want to spend a lot, but I don't want to have to replace it in the future. I've been looking at everything from the Peak Rotary ($150) up to the expensive (to me) Dyna King Baracuda JR.

    It'll be hard to justify going over $200, but I will if I think it'll be the best purchase in the long run.
  2. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

  3. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

    I've been tying with a Renzetti Traveler for almost 20 years and it's everything I'll ever need in a vise; midges to saltwater.

    oldgoat03 and kelvin like this.
  4. rockthief

    rockthief Fly fishing = food for my soul

  5. mtgreenheads

    mtgreenheads Member

    Can't say enough great things about my Regal purchased as a starving college kid in 1997. Thousands and thousands of flies later, midges to saltwater. Not sure I'll need the lifetime warranty.
  6. jdbutula

    jdbutula Member

    Renzetti traveler for 8yrs and love it!
    kelvin likes this.
  7. John O'Leary

    John O'Leary Member

    I have not tried the traveler, but I really like my dk baracuda. I suspect you would dig either one.
  8. Bugsy

    Bugsy Member

    I expect you'll get lots of votes for the Traveler. The Peak rotary has lots of fans but looks a bit clunky for tying small bugs.

    If my local fishery was the upper Owens and surrounding waters where most bugs are smaller than #14, I wouldn't worry about a "true" rotary vise. I'd consider a Regal Medallion.

    I have a handful of vises of the rotating, inline rotary and spinning (Nor) varieties. They're all fine tools. I wanted to try something different, so I picked up a Regal last year. What it lacks in looks or adjustment, it more than makes up for in comfort, ease of use and hook holding power.
    flybill likes this.
  9. jersey

    jersey livin' the dream

    Josh is selling a vise for 60 in classified ad now....dont know, but may be worth kickin those tires.
  10. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    The Peak Rotary vise is a sturdy, functional, US-made vise (made in Loveland, CO) and is currently priced at about $149.
  11. lando

    lando Member

  12. Tacoma Red

    Tacoma Red Active Member

    HMH or Peak
  13. FT

    FT Active Member

    What I'm about to say is based upon 51 years of tying experience (I started when I was 9 years old) and teaching tying to several hundred people.

    If you're looking for a good serviceable vise that holds swith a vengeance that costs less that $100.00, take a look at the Griffin 2A. It is USA made in Montana, holds hooks with a vengeance, is easy to adjust to different hook sizes, is under $75.00, is well-made, and if you do happen to wear out the jaws, replacements are available and rather cheap. Don't let the low price fool you, the Griffin 2A is a terrific vise. I've recommended it to many folks over the last 25 years and in fact, bought one for each of my now adult sons when they were in grade school and expressed an interest in tying flies.

    Rotary vises are great if you plan on tying with the rotary function or tying things like full-dressed, classic Atlantic Salmon flies. Otherwise, you don't need a rotary vise. I tied for many, many years on a Thompson Model A non-rotary vise even using it after purchasing my first rotary vise.

    What vise do I use you might ask? Easy, I use a Dyna King Barracuda that I bought the first year they hit the market, which I think was 1994 or 1995. However, I always recommend beginners start with a non-rotary vise because it is easier to use and ones like the Griffin 2A is pretty inexpensive while being a great vise.
    Gary Knowels likes this.
  14. Cold

    Cold Member

    After starting out with a $10 vise from India, I bought a Regal Medallion which is still running like new years later. In the mean time, I also was curious about "true rotary" (the Medallion does rotate, but the axis of rotation is nowhere near the same as the hook shank), so I picked up a Dyna-king Barracuda Jr. used from someone selling on a forum like this.

    I still use both vises, and use them more or less equally. Both can handle the entire range of hooks I've had any desire to tie with, from #24 up to #2/0, and both hold hooks absolutely secure throughout the tying process, the DK with a little bit of adjustment, the Regal without any adjustment at all.

    While my experience may differ from others, I'd say that while a true rotary function is absolutely not necessary at all, it *can* come in handy, even if you don't use rotary tying methods (which after trying those methods until I became proficient, I never used again). I tend to use the rotary function mostly for accessing hard to reach areas when applying glue, inverting everything when tying up clousers, and doing a quick 90-degree tilt for finishing parachute dries (I tie off the hackle and whip finish around the post instead of the hook). Can I accomplish all of these tasks without rotary? Sure. Does it make completing them a bit more convenient? Certainly.

    Really, as someone who owns and extensively uses both kinds, I've got to say that you really can't go wrong either way, and even the great mechanical differences only result in extremely minor functional/ergonomic pros and cons from my own point of view. They are both so equally usable and interchangeable that I'll choose one vise over the other for a given night of tying based on nothing more than a whim, or because I left one of them slightly out of arm's reach. What few seconds the Regal may cost me by not having true rotary, it makes up for by having absolutely zero adjustments to make, regardless of hook size or placement, and the inverse goes for the DK.

    Ultimately, any vise in the $120+ range is going to perform well, and be a solid candidate for the last vise you'll ever need to buy. Any of them will present a small, easily negotiated learning curve and adjustment period, any of them will present an immediate, significant improvement in your tying experience, and after you adapt your technique to the vise, you'll fall in love, and come to depend on some features which you'll swear by, and never miss any that you don't have, and before long, you'll be replying to threads like this, telling people your vise is the best and the rest offer unnecessary crap they'll never use. It's the circle of life!
    Thom Collins and Brian Thomas like this.
  15. Guy Gregory

    Guy Gregory Active Member

    I went from a AA for years to a Cabela's Regal knock-off for 10 years or so to my now favorite Nor-vise. I looked pretty hard at the Renzetti traveler, the Griffin is very attractive, I was given the Nor-vise, so ... now I tie on it and love it. I still have the AA and the quasi-Regal. You can tie on nearly anything, in fact remember Lee Wulff quite famously didn't use a vise, and I've heard stories of famous saltwater guys using vicegrips.

    One thing in mind: A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
  16. unrooted

    unrooted Member

    I tied another 40 flies this week on my $10 vise, size 12-18, so I'm not in desperate need for a new vise. I also broke a section on my 2 week old tenkara rod and bought a shimano collapsible net, so I'll wait till I can get behind a few vises. I just learned about a fly tying group that meets on Wednesday nights in town, I'm hoping I can check out vises there.

    Thank you guys for the great advise, i do know that I want a pedestal vise, and I want something both functional and pretty. I've been looking more at the Regal Medallion, and the Barracuda.
  17. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    I've had a Regal for years and love it! I started with a AA cheap knock off in an Ebay kit. It worked, but I outgrew it and the tools in the kit very quickly! My nephew now has it along with most of the tools, so they went to a good home...

    Had a DanVise for a while, but just never used it much. I would take in on trips with me and thought I would tie on my MT trips, but almost never did. Ended up selling it to another board member.

    I do want a full rotary, and it will be a Nor-Vise for me. I've tied on them for a while at All About the Fly and at friends. I already use the Nor-Vise bobbins and love them as well. I've consider getting a Peak or Renzetti, but my Regal does everything I need it too and is easy to use. I love not having to adjust for the size of the hook.
    steeli likes this.
  18. weiliwen

    weiliwen Active Member

    I second the Dan-Vise for a inexpensive good rotary vise. I split my fly tying between it and the super-cool (but out of your price range) Nor-vise, which is really rotary, in the sense that it spins.
  19. tyeoneon

    tyeoneon Member

    I like my Peak rotary! For 149$ it's hard to beat!
  20. flyfishmt

    flyfishmt Active Member

    I second the Peak vise. I have been tying for over 30 years, and this is my first rotary. I started with the AA, and then 20 plus years with a Regal, which I also recommend However, it's hard for me not to go with a US product.