Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
shoopie

new to tying, choosing a vise

Rate this topic

11 posts in this topic

i have been wanting to tie my own flies for years now. i want to get a vise soon but dont know what to do. is it worth it to spend $300+ on a vise and use it for years or should i get a bargain vise for cheap and learn with that?

also, should i go for rotary or stationary as a beginner? and how much should i expect to spend on tools and materials?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am a new member here but i have been doing it for years and there are many many quality vises. i tie with a NorVise the price is right and the vise and bobin combo will make tieing fun. check out YouTube and type in norvise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you should do is visit a fly shop that carry several styles and try them out.Most shops will let you tie on the vises there and this will give you a good idea of what you like and dont like.I wouldnt buy some cheap piece of crap as this will just frustrate your learning and you may give up tying because of it.A good fly shop is where you should start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I been tying flies since I was a kid , for over 40 years now. When I first started learning I used a Crest vise("C-Clamp style"). It looked like a Thompson but not as fancy. If you are just getting started you should get a Rotary vise and only a rotary vise. It will help you keep from having to loosen up your setup when you have to rotate your fly to get into another position to place your material during the tying process. This is a necessary step if you are going to tie flies. Being able to put the material right where you want it and tying it in. Also if you are going to get into tying saltwater epoxy flies, you will have to rotate your flies at least as long as it takes to setup. Until you can put the fly on a rotary dryer. Another great advantage to a rotary vise is that you can view all sides of your fly while you are tying. Unless you want to go through the school of hard knocks like a lot of us did then buy a rotary vise. There are a lot of inexpensive out there on the market. cwm40.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only say that I am very happy with my first vise made by Peak. There have been many informative discussions on the topic, and even specifically an introductory model. There is a search feature on the site that will help locate them. I recall a user named Peregrines usually posting very complete summations. Also search for topical posts by M.saxitillis.

 

here is one: http://www.stripersonline.com/surfta...highlight=vise

 

there are many more

Hoop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I treated myself to a Dyna King Ron Abby Signature Special (lots of brass appointments on a stainless vise) recently. I like the brass wheel (to palmer materials) better than some of the other vises with the Model "T" Ford crank handle. Everything on this vise is over engineered from the materials used (shielded ball bearings, stainless steel, tool steel jaws, brass, etc.) to the way it's built (e.g., tension screws with nylon tipped inserts, crank handle has a set screw as a jam screw to prevent loosening) like a M1 Abrams - kinda looks like one too :-). I expect to be handing this down to my son in the future.

 

My second choice was a Renzetti Presentation 2000. A little cheaper and a more refined design (IMHO). Sorta like a Ferrari.

 

My third choice was the Peak and is probably the best choice for someone starting out. Good quality parts, nice design, and looks great.

 

For the last 4 years, I had been using one for those $40 (including shipping) cheapo imported vise but added the Renzetti Saltwater Cam Jaws for more holding power. Everything is wobbly, and the rotary action locks up when I don't need it to, but I got used to it's limitations and hey, it's $40.

 

Good luck.

525

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i dont no whats available for you down ther but check to see if any shops are having lessons, and take one of those, maybe take a few, usually they supply everything you need for the lessons, might be the best couple hundred you spend on tying, if you dont like it your not out a ton of cash, if you do like it you have a better understanding of what you aredoing and will have a better feel for a vise you may want, what tools you will need, and then how many times you are going to drive to a shop or place an order online for all the meterials you will end up wanting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Hoop, thanks for the shout out.

 

Shoopie- You've gotten great advise. If I were you I'd check out these guys, they meet in Riverhead:

 

 

www.easternflyrodders.com

 

They'll get you off to a great start, and you'll learn a ton-it'll save you years on the learning curve about tying, casting, and fly fishing.

 

For 300 all in you can a rocking vise and be well on your way with tools and materials, and can probably do it for less. But as others have said, getting into a tying class is a great way to get your feet wet, and have a chance to see and use different stuff before you plunk down big bucks. Maybe you could arrange to borrow a loaner vise after leaving a deposit (in case you walk off with it) with a club or shop that offers tying classes to use in class and for doing your "homework" between classes.

 

If you want to start poking around in the meantime...

 

Some things to look for in a vise:

 

Jaws-easily the most important feature. Does it hold the range of hook sizes you want to tie rock solid? Some won't hold large SW hooks with standard jaws, but may have SW jaws available that will, but check the price first Some are super expensive (Regal). Some won't allow changing jaws at all, some will accept 3 sizes- "midge" for flies 20 and smaller, "standard" for trout size stuff and "SW" but the "SW" can mean different things to different manufactures so make sure it will cover you for larger sizes than you think you'll need just in case. Some vises that tend to be expensive can do it all with one set of jaws (like some DynaKings, Regals with Big game Jaws and others). Inexpensive vises tend to have soft metal jaws and poorly machined components- and that makes it tough if you're tying SW size flies, and you'd probably want to upgrade fairly soon anyway so you may not "save" any money.

 

Adjustment- how easy is it to use hooks of different sizes? Do you have to fiddle with it every time you change each hook?

 

Adjustable angle- many traditional vises, as well as most rotaries, are fixed at 30 degrees. Having a vise that allows you to move the jaws up or down through a 220 arc is helpful if you like to tie inverted flies like clousers, bendbacks etc, and for tying flies with long tail like flatwing streamers, or really small trout flies.

 

Rotary feature- allows you to look at the fly from all sides. Not essential, but a good feature to have. There are basically 2 different types of rotary vises, more about this in a bit...

 

c-clamp vs pedestal base- a matter of personal choice. Pedestal should be heavy to stand up to heavy thread torque without tipping for SW flies. A pedestal is convenient for tying on any surface. C Clamp is lighter and on some models is much less expensive (Regal Medallion) . Holds well for lot's of torque, but you may have problems finding surfaces to attach it to, and they can mar good furniture.

 

Design and components- Again a personal thing. Does it give you enough clearance to tie, room in back of the hook for long tails? Do the components look like they'll stand up? Some vises use delrin (plastic composite) screws on the standard vise but you can get brass upgrades (Peak), some use 10 cent rubber o-rings to hold things together (some Renzetti's). Do you need special easily misplaced stuff like hex keys for adjustment?

 

There are 2 types of rotary vises:

 

360 rotary- lets you spin the hook and view the fly from all sides, but the hook shank doesn't rotate in a single plane, so you can't use a lot of "rotary tying" techniques

 

"True rotary" or "inline rotary" these rotate 360 degrees with the shank in a constant plane with the shank spinning around its own axis. This allows you to use "rotary tying techniques"-where you can spin the jaws to wind thread, hackle etc. like using a turner to wrap a rod instead of wrapping by taking your hand around the shank.

 

I'm sure I'm leaving out somebody's favorite, and picking out a vise is like shopping for a car, lot's of choices and YMMV. Here are some vises I'd look at, at some different price points. You may want to google to get a look at the different designs. Prices are approximate, but in this lousy economy you can probably find some good deals on both new and used ones:

 

360 rotary

 

HMH Silhouette SX about 120- a fixed 30 degree angle, 360 rotary accepts 3 different jaws (unlike the plain "Silhouette" not the SX, which is a little less money but not nearly as versatile). The "Micro" for sizes 18 -32, the "Omni which comes standard ties 20-2/0, and the Magnum SW jaw ties sizes 12 to 10/0. See if you can get the vise with these jaws when you buy instead of the standard ones, or spring for them at 40 bucks. A good solid quality, no frills vise.

 

HMH Spartan- about 160 like the Silhouette SX it accepts the same 3 different jaw sizes and is a 360 rotary, except it also has an adjustable head angle. An excellent quality vise that will last 3 lifetimes.

 

Regal Medallion with "Big Game Jaw"- c-clamp for 195, base for 290 (!!!) but you can also find them for less if you shop around. Make sure you get one with the "Big Game Jaw" which will accept hooks from 22 to 5/0. Models with the "traditional" jaw sell for a bit less but only accept hooks from 22 to 1/0, and the stainless steel jaws which sell for a bit more are designed to accept hooks from 32-2 not big SW stuff. The Regal uses a spring clamp jaw design and holds hooks like a bulldog with no fiddling with adjustments for different hook sizes. It has an adjustable jaw angle as well as 360 rotary. A great vise, and I've been using mine for 20+ years with no issues. If you're interested in this vise, I would first look to see if you can find a used one. You can sometimes find great deals, and most people that have sold their old Regals come to regret it. It's not a vise for everybody, and doesn't allow for true rotary tying. For the money of new ones though, there might be others to look at, especially of you were looking at a model with a pedestal base-I'd personally go with DynaKing for that kind of money. Don't confuse this with the new model Regal Rotary which is a different vise for a lot more money that alleges "true rotary tying", and if you go the used route, beware of "Regal style" imitations with cheap soft metal jaws that sell new for 50 bucks.

 

True rotary:

 

Peak Rotary about 145, and is a "true rotary" vise. Standard jaws accept hooks from 24 to 2/0 so you'd probably need the SW jaws (38 bucks) to tie up to 6/0. This is a good vise to consider if you're looking for a true rotary.

 

Renzetti Cam Traveller for about 190 bucks and hook sizes 28 to 4/0 or Renzetti Cam SW Traveller about 230 bucks for hooks 4 to 8/0 and a little more room for tying bigger flies. The "Cam" refers to the jaw closing mechanism, and I'd go with that rather than the older knob type on other Travellers. A very popular vise, with many fans but also many detractors.

 

DynaKing- many quality vises to choose from including true rotary vises like the Trekker (about 230) for hook sizes 22 to 8/0 with the same set of jaws, and the Barracuda (about 350) that accepts hook sizes 24 to 10/0 again with one set of jaws, as well as many variations with additional features like the Ultimate Indexer, which allows for true rotary tying and has an adjustable head angle--- (I've been eyeballing this one but it lists for 400, though you can find it for less at around 360).

 

As you start to narrow your choices down, post on the board here for feedback to get the good bad and ugly from people that have used them. It's a personal thing, and there is no one vise that's good for everybody. That's why there's chocolate and vanilla.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

 

peregrines

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View PostI treated myself to a Dyna King Ron Abby Signature Special (lots of brass appointments on a stainless vise) recently. I like the brass wheel (to palmer materials) better than some of the other vises with the Model "T" Ford crank handle. Everything on this vise is over engineered from the materials used (shielded ball bearings, stainless steel, tool steel jaws, brass, etc.) to the way it's built (e.g., tension screws with nylon tipped inserts, crank handle has a set screw as a jam screw to prevent loosening) like a M1 Abrams - kinda looks like one too :-). I expect to be handing this down to my son in the future.

 

My second choice was a Renzetti Presentation 2000. A little cheaper and a more refined design (IMHO). Sorta like a Ferrari.

 

My third choice was the Peak and is probably the best choice for someone starting out. Good quality parts, nice design, and looks great.

 

For the last 4 years, I had been using one for those $40 (including shipping) cheapo imported vise but added the Renzetti Saltwater Cam Jaws for more holding power. Everything is wobbly, and the rotary action locks up when I don't need it to, but I got used to it's limitations and hey, it's $40.

 

Good luck.

 

Fly tying the anglers art's Leroy Hyatt uses one of these in season four. The videos are free to view through the internet. I love the knurled speed crank on this mode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shoopie-

 

I think there are some pro's and cons to both, so it's a matter of personal preference to a large extent. And it's not like you can't tie something with one and not the other.

 

I haven't tied too much on a true rotary, but those that like them often find them a little faster, and they allow you to tie some things a bit more easily by spinning the jaws and holding the thread stationary in a bobbin cradle for example to build up a thread body. You can also wrap materials the same way, like hackle feathers that are wound around the shank. But for tying a fly like a deceiver or clouser, you'd still be building it the same way as on a stationary non rotating vise, or 360 rotary. With a true rotary you have the option of tying with rotary tying techniques or not. With a vise with a fixed head, or a 360 rotary you don't.

 

The disadvantage some people find with them is that they may be a little cramped for tying for some people, and that there is often not a lot of clearance between the end of the hook and the rest of the vise (arm and stem) if you're tying streamers with long tails or extended bodies on stuff like squid flies. When you use them for rotary tying there's a bobbin cradle that attaches to the stem, and that can get in the way or be a distraction for some. You can get around this by buying additional stuff- extention arms for the jaws or stem of the vise etc. I think it's fair to say a lot of the people with a true rotary vise don't use them to their full potential in terms of different techniques etc. Most fly tying books for example, don't really cover rotary tying techniques for specific patterns, although I'm sure there are some good dvds or specific books on general rotary techniques that people could point you to.

 

There's no right or wrong here, so it comes down to personal preference---another reason to take a class to try a couple different ones with different designs before plunking down big bucks.

 

Hopefully others that use both types more than i do will chime in for more details, but that's just my take.

 

peregrines

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.