Fergal

Vise - What do you use?

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On 8/2/2022 at 4:46 PM, HillTop said:

The Italian Stonfo vise isn't cheap but I really like this vise.    3 different vises, small clamp, larger clamp, and a tube holder that's just what I wanted to make new fly ideas for coming up with flies using tube vises.  Nice things is you can change from one vise to another litterly in 5 seconds so changing back and forth is makes it so easy.

 

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Tube Vise !

 

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In the past I used to have issues with just about any vise moving round on top of my table.   A large heavy block (wood, ceramic, stone, etc) is a pain to move around.    I recently found the material used at the underneath my floor carpet called Aurrako Non Slip Rug Pads for Hardwood used from Amazon or Home Depot.   It's amazing how well my vise block stays right in place and doesn't move and can be rolled up and brought away with your vise on vacation.    Try it !

 

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HT

 

Chuck hope all is well . Knowing you with “ hands of talent “ it’s understandable that your tools are superior as well as the product you produce.  Thanks for sharing 

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3 hours ago, HillTop said:

 

I know... for me a lot of differnt things for me are "not reasonable".      Last 1-1/2 days I almost kicked the bucket 3 times so if I see something I like now adays I just go for it.  ... within reason.     Really need to start my fly piles as I have a much of ideas to work on and trying to get up to speed on late September early October. ... God willing 

 

 

Yes, life is short and our toys make it more enjoyable. 

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Looking at these sweet vises makes me want to start the search for one. Right now I use an Atlas and my old Xuron.

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22 hours ago, HillTop said:

 

I know... for me a lot of differnt things for me are "not reasonable".      Last 1-1/2 days I almost kicked the bucket 3 times so if I see something I like now adays I just go for it.  ... within reason.     Really need to start my fly piles as I have a much of ideas to work on and trying to get up to speed on late September early October. ... God willing 

 

 

Whoa Chuck! hang in there.Ron was over the other day dropping off a couple of rods to repair.We sat around and talked poppers and of course you "popped" up.Oh! still trying to find that colored foam.Just about out of red and way down on orange.

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If I had more room (desk space) I’d probably have a few more. I’ve seen the Stonfo before and liked it. I also liked the vise 2 from tiemco. 
 

But the one I would like the most is the JVice. If you’re bored look them up. 

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2 mins ago, Drew C. said:

If I had more room (desk space) I’d probably have a few more. I’ve seen the Stonfo before and liked it. I also liked the vise 2 from tiemco. 
 

But the one I would like the most is the JVice. If you’re bored look them up. 

I’ve tied on a bunch. But the work of Jay Smit is next level. Being a Machinist as well it was a no brainer. 

A3592E18-78DA-492B-9698-DBD24F63DF5F.jpeg

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10 mins ago, Linesidesonthefly said:

I’ve tied on a bunch. But the work of Jay Smit is next level. Being a Machinist as well it was a no brainer. 

A3592E18-78DA-492B-9698-DBD24F63DF5F.jpeg

Very friggin cool

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Posted (edited)

My Thoughts on Vises: Lots of brands out there, for price point the Danvise, which used to go for $90 and is still reasonable at $112 is going to be hard to beat for what it is. It will handle most flies and the cam-style jaws are very good. 

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Moving up a notch, I always recommend the Renzetti Traveler Pedastal with the longer bench shaft, which if you buy alacart - gives you higher clearance off the desk surface. 

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Renzetti's Clouser is also decent:

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True Rotary ability is very nice so any vice that offers that is especially beneficial. 

 

I tied for several years on Regal Pedastal with a Bronze Base. I grew to love it. But, it wasn't true rotary. From there, I went to the Renzetti, which was great for Saltwater flies but not for Bucktails. So, I still wasn't satisfied. I bought a Dyna-King so I could do Bucktails, but hated it for Saltwater Flies (compared to the simple Renzetti as described above). The rotation was clunky on the Dyna-King, but, it had a head that could hold very large hooks. 

 

Eventually Regal came out with their Revolution series vise. This is a fun vise to tie on. If you bounce from one sized fly to another and value simple, quck, strudy hook grabbing combined with lightning fast rotating ability (thanks to an actual ballbearing assist), this is a fantastic vise. It's pricey but worth it. 

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Personally, I tie on a Norvise because it's superior to the Regal - mainly because I can do more with it, but also because I find it to be the absolute perfect vise. I feel I'm set for life with the NorVise and I truly love it.

 

It has a ball-bearing assist cam, so I can crank flies out way faster. The head is balanced, no lop-sided appenditures to affect spinning. This is key for applying epoxy and other coatings to flies. 

 

I can switch heads in seconds, so anything from a midge to a saltwater bucktail (tied on a massive jig hook) is a snap. I can do tube flies, you name it. Mine is set on a granite surface that I cut myself. Here is a picture of their Legacy Vise from their website:

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Mostly I tie with the Large Jaws or the Standard Jaws

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They also have a Tube Fly Head

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And a new Shank Jaw which is pretty cool too. I've been testing it lately. Great option. 

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Then of course there is the offest for Midges or smaller trout flies

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Ball Bearing assist gives you a whole new world of possibilities. Thread goes on a hook-shank like lightning. Body Braid..etc. All a snap. That matters if you tie like I do, in stages. I don't just make a single fly. I make a couple dozen (at least) in a single sitting. I'm a fast fly tier. My flies don't fall apart either, they're extremely durable. Manipulation of fur, feathers and sythetics is a learned skill, just like using scissors the right way is a skill. 

 

I tie in a workshop utilizing natural sunlight as much as possible, but also using multiple LED lamps with telescoping necks. 

 

Many saltwater patterns these days are more like assemblyline work than actual tratidional Catskill fly pattern tying that I grew up doing. 

 

I have over 200 Norvise empty bobbin spools, which I load mostly with .004 clear mono, but I also use flatwaxed mono for larger Saltwater patterns and Bucktails (mainly becuase it's superior for locking Bucktail fibers in place but also, because it's great for applying a low profile thread base that resins can adhere to). 

 

I'll load 20 or 30 bobbin spools in one single maneuver (15 minutes of work once you get good at it) using a drill bit and special Norvise chuck that inserts into the empty spool. Basically I'm peeling thread OFF OF a pre-existing spool, instead of using a bobbin that holds the spool. I love the automatic feed of the NorBobbin. 

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Another incredibly cool part of the NorVise system is the thread post. Instead of an appendage hanging off the Vise post, its a free-standing post with a rubberized stopper. 

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You can reach accross from wherevery you choose to flush mount the vise and simply hang the thread off the post, or, give it an extra wrap on the stopper, then spin the vise and work on other parts of the fly, with other threads or materials. I do this constantly with articualted patterns ..etc. Love this feature! It's also terrific for making Dubbing Brushes. You can position the thread holder on one side of your tying surface, then position the Vise on the opposite side. 3'? 4'? further? 

 

It's now possibly to make lightning fast Dubbing-Brushes.

1. Clamp a wide gap short shank Hook intot he jaws of the vice. 

2. Load a bobbin with med-fine stainless or fine stainless steel wire. 

3. Thread the hook and tie a half hitch, leaving a tag as long as you'd like your dubbing brush to be. 

4. Make a rectangular object that is the same height off the tying surface as the vice jaw / hook eye. Clamp the tag with a rubber tipped shop grip and let it dangle. 

5. Move the bobbin and lay it accross the rectangular object's surface. I use a hand poured concrete brick that I made from a mold, which I then glued a 1/8"-thick felt on the bottom of also on the top of. You could also make an object from a block of wood as well..etc. 

6. Now, you have a wire running from the hook-eye, accross the rectangular "table top" and dangling from the table top is the bobbin. The wire is laying taught and flush. 

7. Next, lay out your dubbing brush materials and or pieces of flash accross the table top and on top of the wire. 

8. Now grab the clamp that is dangling from the hook eye and simply lay the tag-wire on top of the underwire. The materials are not trapped between the two wires. 

9. Open the clamp and now catch both wires in the rubber lined jaw. Now snip off the wire that's on the bobbin and slap it on the thread post, so it's out of the way and still has gravity tension (a feature of the NorBobbin). 

10. Grab the clamp in one hand and spin the vise slowly in the other. Set the wire down accross the table if needed to comb out the bursh a bit. Then lift and spin the head faster. The ball bearings allow the vice head to spin very fast, many revolutions per second. When the brush looks right, stop spinning and clip the wire off the hook-eye. 

11. Dubbing brush is now finished. Now make the next one. Bam. 10 Burshes make in what? 5 minutes? Lay them aside, move on to next steps to mass-produce a couple dozen ridiculously cool custom flies. 

 

I've tried many vises (some custom made) and I've been tying for 50 years now! Imagine that! That's a long time to be growing into the hobby of a lifetime. 

 

Personally, I do love the Norvise, but it's an investment for serious fly-tyers and lure builders. "This is the way!" (Mando fan here)

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Yes, my shop is loaded with all sorts of tools, from cermanic tile saws to bench polishers to airbrush boxes to compressors to drill presses, lathes, steel wire shaft bending jigs, all sorts of fur & feather lockers, synthetics storage, pot metal molds, epoxy warmers, Block Tin and Metal stores, blow torches, jig-saws, band saws, planers, jacks, air tools, on an on - and even a custom made current tank for experimenting. 

 

I guess you could say I take tools seriously. Many of my tools are older, my dad was a shop teacher and I inherited a basement full of fun stuff, but I've added tons of pieces to the shop as I've gone along.

 

One thing I've learned along the way is that the right tool for the right job always makes the job easier. --and-- The right materials make tying a certian fly easier. 

 

It's like any DIY task really, you can make it easy or you can make it hard on yourself. Life is one big series of choices. 

 

I do give the Nor-Vise itself a "10." I haven't found a vise I like better and believe me, I've played around. One of the benefits of working in the tackle industry is that you get to experiment and try almost anything you want to look into.

 

For me, the ball-bearing assist and the changeable heads were a big reason to go all in on a Norvise. But when you factor in the value of the thread post being as far away from the vise as you want to position it and the Bobbin system, it all combines to do more than any tying system I've seen yet. Is it for you? Who knows! 

 

A Norvise isn't for every fly-tyer. At different stages of my life, I was very particular about my vise and in fact, all my fishing equipment. I think we all are like that. 

 

I source most of my fly-tying materials straight from the manufacturer (to keep costs down) and I haven't bought materials in MANY years. I also hunt and most of my furs or fibers are harvested. Luckily, I have access to a bird farm where we have some pretty cool birds and when they croak of natural causes, I harvest the capes.

 

Perhaps a person gets to a point in this sport where you they use what they've got and it works for them.  I'm clearly there - LOL. From reading this thread, I see many others are at or near this point as well. Their vise works form them and what they do. 

 

If you are thinking of really getting into fly-tying and maybe advancing from a good or a very good vise to an expert level vise --and-- if you tie Saltwater flies avidly and are passionate about it, I would HIGHLY recommend watching me tie a few patterns on a Norvise, then trying it. I do think the vise is at the top of the spectrum. 

 

Is it a work of art like some of the custom made vises out there? Not asthetically but functionally, zowy. It's pretty hard to beat the versatility of the Nor-Vise system. 

 

I have an older Brass Norvise set up on a wood plank in the den and every now and then I'll do a tying class or presentation for a club and I'll bring that vise, so if ever our paths cross, I'd be happy to show any SOL member/person what is possible. 

 

Final Thoughts on the Renzetti Vises: The Renzetti Jaws are very unobtrusive and that means you can access the hook very easily as you're tying a pattern. They have a pretty fine Jaw Tip too, so once the hook is in place, putting a tail on a fly or working the back 1/4 of the shank is really easy. Because of the offset arm, you get a lot of clearance on the back of a fly. This is great for Decievers and any pattern with a longer tail really. That's why I mentioned the Renzetti, which is easier to tie on than say the Danvise. 

 

Final Thoughts on the Regal Vises: A Vise many tyers move up to from the Renzetti is the Regal Revolution Series. Both manufacturers make great vises but the Regal Revo features a ball-bearing assist, which means it spins VERY easily and fast. This might be a feature a production tyer would like. The 'Zetti spins nicely and the handle is virutally weightless, so when spinning slowly the rotation is smooth, but the Regal has bearings and it's another level up from non-bearing rotary vises. 

 

Final thoughts on the Norvise: is mounted on a post that you attach to a tying surface and for me, that was something I wanted to do. I wanted to create an amazing tying area in the shop, with a single post coming up out of it. The therad post sticks up in similar fashion (as you can see from the picture above) and it creates a kind of ulitmate simplicity or "zen." If I get interrupted during an "assembly" stage, I just but a fast whip finish in wherever I'm at, then, dangle the thread off reach across to the post and quickly dangle the thread from the theread post. When I come back, I grab the thread and go right back to tying. 

 

Because no counter weights or handles are hanging off the head of the vise, it spins longer and more easily and less obtrusively than say a Regal will. This matters becasue when you apply resin to a pattern and then spin gently, you want easy, effortless rotations that don't "jump" to whichever side the counterweight or the handle/arm on the vise is. Norvises spin easily and uniformly true. 

 

I also like the jaw locking ability of the Norvise.  I can really clamp down. With the Regal, the simplicity is nice because all you have to do is open and close and the hold is very good,  but the Norvise jaw power is crazy good as well so all things considered, the Norvise is to me, an even slicker set up than a stand alone vise because I can do more with it and access the fly a little more easily (Regal Jaws are clunky compared to the Renzetti and the NorVise). 

 

If you're looking for a portable Pedastal vise, You an also easily mount both the Nor-Vise itself and the Thread Post on Heavy Metal or Stone bases. Then, you can move them around so there's that to consider too. 

Screenshot 2022-08-06 3.05.43 PM.png

Edited by CaryGreene
Gave Much More Supporting Detail

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1 hour ago, Linesidesonthefly said:

I’ve tied on a bunch. But the work of Jay Smit is next level. Being a Machinist as well it was a no brainer. 

A3592E18-78DA-492B-9698-DBD24F63DF5F.jpeg

I’m assuming that you enjoy tying on it? What do to usually tie in terms of hook size? I assume it holds 2 - 3/0 or so well?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Drew C. said:

I’m assuming that you enjoy tying on it? What do to usually tie in terms of hook size? I assume it holds 2 - 3/0 or so well?

It has no issue holding from a tiny size 30 dry fly up to a 5/0 saltwater streamer fly hook exceptionally well. 
The Damascus steel jaws have vertical serrations that make it all possible. 
At the time of purchase it was a toss up between the HMH TRV and this JVice. 
Being left handed I emailed HMH and called and left a voicemail. Both were ignored by HMH. 
The picture shows the result of the error of their ways. 

Edited by Linesidesonthefly

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34 mins ago, Linesidesonthefly said:

It has no issue holding from a tiny size 30 dry fly up to a 5/0 saltwater streamer fly hook exceptionally well. 
The Damascus steel jaws have vertical serrations that make it all possible. 
At the time of purchase it was a toss up between the HMH TRV and this JVice. 
Being left handed I emailed HMH and called and left a voicemail. Both were ignored by HMH. 
The picture shows the result of the error of their ways. 

Thanks

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On 1/3/2022 at 11:48 AM, nightfighter said:

I would be in the market for a used vice with jaws to handle salt water sized hooks only. It would only ever be used for tying some bucktails. Rotary would be nice, but I could always resort to getting an old pair of vice grips welded to a post and plate too...

 

Hi NightFighter

Did you buy anything to start with?

I am looking for some vise to start tying, too.

Same thing, mostly for bucktails, and maybe few smaller flies and or teasers, hook ranges from 1/0 to 5/0.

 

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7 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

My Thoughts on Vises: Lots of brands out there,

Hi Cary

I would love to hear your advice, for the beginner, getting vise just to tie maybe 25 - 30 teasers/flies, hooks range 1/0 to 5/0 a year, add maybe another 20 - 25 bucktails, .5 to 2 oz, hook sizes 5/0, 6/0 and 7/0.

Something on the lower $$ entry side. Something that I can use now, leave it on the side and, maybe, use it again, if I like it, in a few years.

I do not need Cadillac , when Escort will do a job right.

At least for me.

Thank you for your input.

You are one of the (very) few around here that can offer valuable and respectable opinion.

 

 

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Thompson model B circa 1962. I used to have a Renzetti traveler but that corroded pretty bad after leaving it next to my saltwater fish tank too long, so back to the Thompson.

 

 

model b.jpg

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11 mins ago, Popasilov said:

Hi Cary

I would love to hear your advice, for the beginner, getting vise just to tie maybe 25 - 30 teasers/flies, hooks range 1/0 to 5/0 a year, add maybe another 20 - 25 bucktails, .5 to 2 oz, hook sizes 5/0, 6/0 and 7/0.

Something on the lower $$ entry side. Something that I can use now, leave it on the side and, maybe, use it again, if I like it, in a few years.

I do not need Cadillac , when Escort will do a job right.

At least for me.

Thank you for your input.

You are one of the (very) few around here that can offer valuable and respectable opinion.

 

 

Thank you Popasilov, coming from you that is quite a compliment because you are one of the kings around this place! How many hundreds of people have you helped over the years? Many! 

 

Personally, I think you would want true rotary as a feature because you're going to work on the underside of the bucktails and the teasers. Also, you'll be using larger heavier gauge hooks so many of the vices that are suitable for fresh water flies will not cut it for salt water. Even the economical Danvise I pictured above won't really excel with Bucktails, though it will do teasers okay. 

 

If you're not tying up many bucktails, why not just skip the vise entirely. John Skinner did a great video on how to make the entire jig from hook to finished product.

 

 

If you'd rather use some type of vise, which is understandable, any small shop vise sold at Harbor Freight or Home Depot will easily hold a jig hook. Look for something that does not have a smooth jaw but instead has a little bit of texture to it,  that will help greatly with gripping the hook. The drawback is you can't rotate like you can just by holding the jig and working on it like Skinner does. But this method will lock down a saltwater jig hook hook, no problemo!

 

With this type of an approach when you're halfway done with the bucktail, just unclamp it take it out of the jaw, turn it upside down and put it back in the jaw. 

 

51EgQXOpwDL.jpg.3130b16afc47307c19fe53c41aa79ea4.jpg61vc4u0f6LL.jpg.487af7a83cda5fc2d51cf928e8d44363.jpg

 

 

 

Always keep your eyes peeled for a Dyna King rotary vise because that's perfect for teasers and bucktails. They're expensive though, but every now and then you might find one someone selling at a club or something. It would probably be overkill though for basic work like you'll be doing.

 

My advice may shock a few people around here who have fancy vices, but if you guys saw what I grew up tying on versus what we have available today, you'd be amazed what is possible! 

 

The reason it is possible to tie a bucktail without a vise is at the jig has plenty of surface area to grip on to and once you get used to wrapping and handling the jig head, there's no real danger of poking your finger with the hook. 

 

Do bobbins make life a lot easier? Yes absolutely. If you do get a bobbin, make sure it has a ceramic insert and also test it to make sure that it's going to hold the size spools you're going to use and that it has plenty of tension and fits in the palm of your hand comfortably. 

 

You could easily use Skinner's method with a bobbin also and you could use the cheap vice I have above from Home Depot with a bobbin as well, so there's plenty of room to grow into this. It's also possible to learn how to whip finish with your hand so you don't have to do the wrap over the piece of looped line that Skinner does. 

 

 

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