which vise to buy?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Jason Decker, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. Jason Decker Active Member

    Posts: 2,626
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I am getting ready to purchase my first vise and would appreciate any recommendations and suggestions you might have.
  2. Big Tuna Member

    Posts: 1,963
    Wenatchee, Washington
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    Renzetti traveler w/ the cam jaws and the pedestal base. I've been tying on mine for 5-6 yrs. and love it.
  3. Swandazi Kevin

    Posts: 390
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    the dyna kingfisher is a nice vice.
  4. Jason Decker Active Member

    Posts: 2,626
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    i am looking at the Renezetti Traveler............ i will check out a few others too. any used deals that you know of?
  5. TallFlyGuy Adipossessed!

    Posts: 870
    Vancouver, WA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    From one Realtor to another :ray1: :ray1: Get a Norvise. If you start on one you will be ahead of the game! The advantages far outweight the learning curve.
  6. Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

    Posts: 1,112
    Lynnwood, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have the Norvise and a fixed Regal. One disadvantage I have seen for the Norvise is longer flies (long tails/wings) can have some issues with the cam area of the Norvise. Or, perhaps I just got used to the Regal and am having trouble switching over. However, the Norvise is so nice for applying anything wrapped... So, I use the Regal for the long flies (that really don't have a wrapped body anyway) and the Norvise for everything else.

  7. weiliwen Active Member

    Posts: 217
    Chicago Illinois
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    Consider a Dan Vise. It's made of composite, not metal (except the jaws), but don't let that fool you. It's only +/- $80, and I would have still bought it for $180.
  8. Don Stracener New Member

    Posts: 157
    Grants Pass, Or
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm going to have to suggest the Nor-Vise. I have four others kinds and don't use them anymore, except for pictures.

    For longer flies I switch jaws and have plenty of room.

    I have a thing for metal vises, a friend has a Dan Vise and composite plastic is not my cup of tea. Plus and minus issues with everything, just take an extra bit of time to get what works for you.
  9. Gig New Member

    Posts: 8
    New South Wales
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hi there,

    I just got a Regal and love it.

  10. troutpocket Active Member

    Posts: 1,784
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +335 / 0
  11. Longs for Cutts Member

    Posts: 337
    Gardiner, MT (formerly Bellingham)
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    I would second (third?) the Traveler, however I'd suggest AGAINST the cam jaws. I tie professionally, and while the cam jaw is faster it also provides a weaker/more difficult to achieve hold on hooks and seems less durable. Mine fell apart in my hands, and Renzetti basically blew a raspberry at me in response --while yes, the vise was warrantied, I could send them the jaws and wait six-eight weeks for them to determine if the breakage was my fault or not. Since even in the summer (when I'm guiding) I tie six-ten dozen flies per week for the shop, this clearly wasn't an option for me. I replaced the Renzetti with a Griffin Montana Mongoose, which is a bit more expensive but comes with all sorts of extra stuff: C-clamp and pedestal in one package, a bobbin, a carrying case, a hackle gauge, etc. I've been tying with it since June and so far I haven't had any problems.
  12. Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

    Posts: 2,572
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +106 / 0
    I started with the Danvise and if my norvise breaks down I would defiantly go back, it does everything the norvise does but a lot slower.

  13. TallFlyGuy Adipossessed!

    Posts: 870
    Vancouver, WA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0

    LOL, I most deffinately agree Daryle.

    I read that article that was posted by flyfisherman.com or whatever it is. It is an old article. I think every year they just slap the new year on it and run with it. Anyway, because of it, I didnt' buy the Norvise after I saw it the first time. Then I saw it (the Norvise) again at the major show down here in Portland. It was then I realized getting the vise is a no brainer...at least for me.

  14. Birdsnest Member

    Posts: 108
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    I am still tying on the Thompson Model A I bought 30 years ago. I think I paid about 20 bucks for it. It's a pretty basic vise, but it still works as well as it did when I bought it. Then again, I don't tie dozens of flies a week.
  15. Michael Dunn New Member

    Posts: 186
    Vashon, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    According to UPS tracking I'm getting that same vice this Monday and I'm pretty stoked. I hope the cam jaws aren't the problem another poster mentioned. I'll add my 2 cents when I get it.
  16. Drag-Free Drift Member

    Posts: 144
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've tied flies since 1970, but I, too, don't tie very many flies, perhaps 10 or 12 dozen a year. My old Thompson A worked well enough for a lot of years. So when it finally gave up the ghost a while back and my 35 year old Thompson C wouldn't handle the smaller flies very well, I looked around for a good quality, reasonably priced replacement. After a month of research I settled on the Peak Rotary Vise for a little less than 140 bucks. This U.S. made vise is solid, uncomplicated, and holds hooks firmly. It does everything I want it to do, and, to my surprise, the rotary feature has improved the appearance of my flies. I highly recommend it.
  17. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,178
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +182 / 6
    iagree I'll give kudo's to the Peak vise also. Great value, I've been using mine for about a year and a half and really like it.
  18. Jim Darden Active Member

    Posts: 903
    Bellingham, Wa.
    Ratings: +222 / 0
    I'd go with the traveler cam vise. It seems pretty good, though I still use my Thompsom model A a lot. The Dyna vise fell apart after a year or so and I had to trash it. I spent a lot of time trying to get used to the Nor vise, and although it is great for some folks I could never see the benefit in it.
  19. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    My most recently purchased vise is the Griffin Montana Mongoose with both pedastel, C-clamp and cam lockup. This is a tough sonofagun that holds hooks from 22 to 6/0. I've used Griffin vises for years. Carol and I both have Griffin Odssey models as well. She still uses hers full time. I have assigned mine to our travel tying kit.
    Generally most vises that we have today are pretty darned good; certainly a quantum leap from the old Thompson or Herter's models from the 50s and 60s. Check to see which one really locks a hook in tightly; suits your tying style, and is easiest for you to work around when applying materials to a hook. That will be the one that you want.
    Good Fishing,
  20. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,478
    Ratings: +465 / 0
    Having a regular product review column in F&TJ has allowed me to try out quite a few vises over the years. From a $500.00 Abel to a (then) $99.00 Dyna-King Kingfisher, they have all been well-made and usually function just fine. I started out on a Herter's knock-off of a Thompson 'A' vise (given to me by a friend who was upgrading to the Thompson model) and, over the years, have tied happily on a wide variety of different vises. I have fond memories of some of them; my Regal and, of course, my Norvise, were particular favorites.

    At the present time, I do much of my tying on a Griffin Montana Mongoose, but I am sometimes surprised at how often I find myself going back to my little Dyna-King Kingfisher. I originally decided to keep this tool for a take-along vise on those multi-day trips when you just might need to restock a particular pattern, or to come up with something that more closely resembles whatever happens to be on the trout's menu. But I find that I often use it, even at home, just because it's handy and does what a fly-tying vise should do; hold the hook securely!

    Decide what you really need and base your selection on that; remember that even the most expensive vise won't make you a better tier. Do you need (for instance) a full-rotary vise? There was a time when I thought I did. But when I bought one I found that the only time I used that feature was when I wanted to turn the fly over to check the uniformity of the spacing of the rib or the alignment of the wing, something easily done with most non-rotary vises. Maybe I'm just a bit of a Luddite, but simplicity has a great appeal for me.

    The only vise that I can think of that really offers the ability to do things that other vises cannot do is, of course, the Norvise. Norm Norlander can do things with that vise that are truly amazing and when I was using it preparatory to writing a review, I was able to develop some of the necessary skills. But, if I were to go back to it now, I'd have to start from scratch.