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Posted: 9/12/2010 6:51:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 6:57:10 AM EDT by torstin]
I'm thinking about a fly tying vise as a gift and I've seen a huge range in prices for items that look very similar. $20.00 - $300.00. From pictures, they don't look very complex. Watching some tying clips on YouTube, I couldn't explain the costs. I have some ideas as relating to quality of materials and fit and finish. But, they look like sturdy hook holders with various mounts and attachments. I didn't see any reason it would need to be ultra precise or designed to handle all kinds of odd loading forces.

If that's true, making one is an option I'd consider for a personal touch. However, I wouldn't want to put the time in and then find out it was missing functionality. It would also be nice if there were some slick features I could add. I have no idea what they would be though. Is there anything special about the clamps that couldn't be done with a mill and lathe?

eta. what does the term "rotary" mean with these?
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 6:57:16 AM EDT
Rotary is so you can flip the hook over and get to the underside. Some will rotate forever, others only go 360* and you have to go back. I would get a middle of the road one if you are new to the hobby. I have not had the time to use mine after only making a few flies so I am glad I did not blow $300 on a Renzetti or what have you.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:03:57 AM EDT
If you are going to do much you really need a rotary vise, yes you can do all of the tying without one but it will be a pain. On large flys that have things like eyes you would have to turn the vise or be able the remove the fly and turn it around. I have a $600 vise I won at a raffle but haven't used in years, actually the company is out of business now.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:04:44 AM EDT
What does the recipient tie for? Salt, but hooks 1/0, etc. Steelhead, intruders, etc. Or trout, small dries, etc.

If he ties for salt or steelhead consider the Norvise, awesome rotary vise allows for lots of creativity and speed in tying.

I have a Renzetti, another great rotary vise that's does well for salt and trout type stuff.

Another brand to consider is a Regal.

If they're just starting out you might want to save money and get a cheaper vise until they know what they want and spend money on tools, good ceramic bobbins are always appreciated.

Washingtonflyfishing.com has good information as does the fly fishing section here, look under the outdoors tab.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:05:31 AM EDT
Get one with the ability to clamp on to the whole spectrum of hook sizes while still allowing you to work on the fly. Multiple jaws, I guess. I'm still using the first Thompson A I got fifteen years ago. I want something with a better lockup eventually. Rotary is nice, too.

Renzetti's a good name, but expensive.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:10:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 7:12:17 AM EDT by LKB3rd]
Rotary, as mentioned is a good feature. Also jaws appropriate for the size flies they plan on tying. If it is for trout, they may want to use TINY hooks, and those require jaws that fit. Saltwater, bass flies, are a lot larger, and again will use a diffrent size. It is possible to find one jaw for a large range as well.
Main feature you want: Rotary, easy and secure grip on hooks. A standalone base is nice too, rather than one that needs to clamp onto a table.
A basic vise will work fine, but the little extra details are nice to have, especially if you use it a lot.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:12:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 7:13:27 AM EDT by 30Caliber]

Originally Posted By torstin:
I'm thinking about a fly tying vise as a gift and I've seen a huge range in prices for items that look very similar. $20.00 - $300.00. From pictures, they don't look very complex. Watching some tying clips on YouTube, I couldn't explain the costs. I have some ideas as relating to quality of materials and fit and finish. But, they look like sturdy hook holders with various mounts and attachments. I didn't see any reason it would need to be ultra precise or designed to handle all kinds of odd loading forces.

If that's true, making one is an option I'd consider for a personal touch. However, I wouldn't want to put the time in and then find out it was missing functionality. It would also be nice if there were some slick features I could add. I have no idea what they would be though. Is there anything special about the clamps that couldn't be done with a mill and lathe?

eta. what does the term "rotary" mean with these?

Yeah, they get expensive in a hurry. I think the driving factor in the cost is a lack of volume. I can't see how building a nice one would be all that challenging.

Mine is cheap and simple without any features really to speak of. It gets the job done for the basic trout stuff. Anything tiny or complex (more than 10 minutes to build up), I just buy.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:23:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 7:25:03 AM EDT by Argon3]
Originally Posted By torstin:
I have no idea what they would be though. Is there anything special about the clamps that couldn't be done with a mill and lathe?

[/]
eta. what does the term "rotary" mean with these?


Need to be moved to fly fishing section
But you got lucky
I tye

Find a fly shop locally and they will most likely give free lessons
And of course you can buy stuff
Try it a few times
I did and I loved it
THEN buy a vice

All Vices hold hooks
Past that if they are "Extras
Rotary it means that with the hook held you can turn the vice and rotate the hook
I almost never use mine but its a cool feature
I tye with a griffin Spider
Bought it for about 40$ (12 years ago) and I tie up there with the big dogs
I actually used to tye with these guys and only realized when I bought a Fly Tier mag and half they people in there I knew and tyed almost as good as them

Vice gives you better easier access to hook than a Lathe

For most of the High Dollar ones for us fun tyers you don't need them
If you plan to tye for a living sure
or if you have extra money

BTW Only buy what you tye a lot
Get with other tyers and swap fly's
One hackle will tye for a LONG time

Best way to save bucks
I have a ton of stuff I will never use up completely
BTW All rotary vices are not the same

From Bass pro
Supreme Rotating Fly Tying Vice
Griffin Spider Vice

Spider vice is a MUCH better product
If fact that might be the one I have
6 year old Daughter, out of tyeing a while
getting back soon

Check them on BP website and you'll see one for 145
Almost the same as the Spider for 88(?)
Do NOT buy the 20 Vice unless its just for a back up
I have mine for that

The angle up makes hook easier to set in vice and then Spider can rotate
trust me on this one

Don't buy a Kit
Unless you want crummy material and cheap tools
I had several cheap bobbins cut thread

Buy tyeing thread regular does not work well
Yard from a hobby supply is the same as dedicated stuff in my book only MUCH cheaper

Oh one more thing
Buy ceramic bobbins for salt water (Longer shanks)
Lets you reach around you big fingers on even the smallest of flys (I tye 32 )
Trust me again here

IM for extra questions

Its almost as addicting as BRD be careful

Ack Look at all the responses while I was typing
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:27:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 7:27:30 AM EDT by torstin]
wow! great info. thanks. it never occurred to me to even consider there was a fly fishing section here.

please move if appropriate.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:44:09 AM EDT
Rotary tying is for high production commercial apps, in my view. Years ago in Idaho I watched a woman run a pedal operated sewing machine that had been converted into a rotary vise. She could make a Renegade in 15 seconds. Look at the HMH vises. Rotary capable, good for all sizes of hooks. I have used one since 1981 and it's like new mechanically. Beautiful little machine. Brass and chrome and color case hardened parts. This is a great hobby, very satisfying. Like reloading, I don't know how much money you save since it becomes a trip of it's own.......
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:27:45 AM EDT
If you got the skills check this thread out from another board:

home made vice (from Spey Pages)
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