Fly tying vise??

#1
Any suggestions on what type/brand of vise a beginner (or let's put it this way... I haven't tied for 30 years) should get? In the $75 to $125 range? Or is this way too cheap?

thanks,
Mike
 
#2
What features are you looking for? I bought my first 'good' vice earlier this year, a dyna-king squire and like it a lot. the kingfisher by dyna-king is another option, no frills but solid and in your price range. If you're looking for full rotary, the Peak vice is affordable and looks pretty good. If you're willing to shop around, used vices are always available (i got mine used through this site).
 

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
#3
In the price range you're looking at, the Danvise makes a nice choice. It's a true rotary vice and priced at the lower end of what you're looking at. If you're an Ebayer, you can often pick them up for about $60.00 - 65.00.

I got mine three years ago as my first (and only) vice and it does everything I could ask. I love the thing...

It also gets some nice reviews from time to time in magazines. If you do a search, you'll likely find some further information. As to local sources, I'm not sure, but I'd guess a lot of the westside shops carry them. I bought mine in Kennewick from Clearwater Fly Shop after attending a few weeks of their flytying workshops.
 
#4
My first and only vise (been tying about a year) was a Peak rotary. Got it from Ron at All About the Fly. I love it. Well built, simple, easy to use. Ron showed me a trick with a sping for a material holder. I think it was $125, maybe a little more now. I wanted something that I wouldn't have to upgrade after I got some experience tying. my .02
 
#5
Since I can't afford the best of everything, I elect to regard fly vises as...tools. I know that there are vises with the precision fit of a bank vault and the finish of a German luxury car. So what? If a vise, like a pair of pliers or a hammer, does its job, that's enough. (If I had a third arm with a grip like an arm wrestler, I wouldn't need a vise at all.)

I tie smaller flies in a Regal, which really would do for everything, and larger flies in a third-world knockoff that has begun to wear out after about 15 years. I just replaced it with a Packestani-made vise that's finished like a rifle made in the last months of a world war by the losing side. But it holds steelhead hooks firmly and has full rotary capability. $5 on eBay. With the money I saved, I could buy lots of pretty fly tying materials.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#6
I got a Peak Rotary for christmas last year and it does everything one of the high priced ones do. Cost $129.95. Could be cheaper on Ebay.

Jim
 
R

RedSpey

Guest
#7
I picked up a Thompson 360 last year for $49 (on clearance) and it works wonderfully. Whatever you get, just make sure it holds a tight hook. If you want rotation, get it, but make sure it holds a good hook.
 

ncitrez

Too many hobbies.....
#8
Take a look at the Renzetti Traveler series. They are about $160 or so new at the shops, but you could get one much cheaper on Ebay. Full rotary and obviously packs well for stream side tying. Make sure you get the cam jaw model, though. I've had one for about 3 years and love it. I use the clamp base at the home desk, and then the traveling base works well on the truck tailgate or other flat surface during trips.

Go to the shops and look around - all the above mentioned vises will work well, it's just a matter of personal preference.
 
#11
When I first began tying I took a class at a shop in colorado. At the time I had a Thompson entry-level vise which didn't last too long (the the jaws eventually chipped), but one of my classmates actually took some needle-nosed vise-grips and welded them (I'm not sure how) to big C-clamp. He was pretty g-dm'd excited about it and I bet he still uses it today.
dn'l
 

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
#14
I suggest you take a look at these vises.

http://www.eflytyer.com/tools/The Engleman_vise.html

You may laugh, but think about it, if it holds the hook it is hard to argue with a $6.00 vise that holds from size 4 to 18.
Plus, you get to have some fun making it.

TC

PS While you are there, you may want to browse through the Badger Creek catalog. Some of the best deals on the internet can be found there.
 

FT

Active Member
#15
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the excellent, and low-cost, vises made by Griffin. The Griffin 1A is an excellent hook holder, made of good material, and is low cost (granted the 1A takes a little longer to adjust for holding the hook than a draw cam vise; but it is much lower priced and made in the U.S.). The Griffin 2A is even better than the 1A and only a little bit more money. The Griffin 3AR is a rotary vise that is less than $100.00 with the same excellent jaw of the 2A.

Griffin also sells tool kits that include either the Griffin Model 1A or the 2A vise, a good pair of scissors, a bodkin, a bobbin, and a hair stacker for well under $100.00. These are some of the finest bargains of good quality tying vise and tools available.

The Thompson Model A is another very good, low-priced vise, also made in the U.S. Thompson vises have replacement jaws readily available for about $13.00, so if a jaw wears out or you need a jaw for tying really small flies (for #18 and under there is the midge jaw), or really large flies (for large saltwater and salmon/steelhead #4 and larger) there is the magnum jaw) as well as the standard jaw the vise comes with. It is well under $100.00 and was the original draw cam vise.

The other vises mentioned are all very good vises too; but they do cost more than the Griffin's and Thompson A. Also, since you having tied for 30 years, a rotary vise is probably not the best match for your needs. A good solid vise with good hook-holding jaws would meet your needs now and for the foreseeable future.

Having seen far too many of the cheap imported vises fall apart in a few years, not hold hooks well, or have the jaws start to spread open in a year or two, I always recommend folks avoid the cheap imported ones from India, China, Pakistan, etc. because they are false economy.