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WI-fly  
#1 Posted : Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:20:13 PM(UTC)
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I have only been tying for about a year, but feel the need to step up my vise. I have really enjoyed my Cabela's standard set up, but now want something that has the rotary option. Birthday is coming up, so looking at the $200 range. I plan to just tie for myself and my wife/kids, so won't need to crank out 100 flies per day.

I like tying/fishing buggers, streamers, a few nymphs (squirrels, frenchies, zug bugs), dries (elk CDC, stimulators, nothing tiny). I don't like fishing the tiny stuff, so I don't plan on tying #22 nymphs. If I'm forced to fish with that, I'll buy it.

Hard to say what the best vise is, so just let me know what you like about the vise you have.

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Curt Rees
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JGF  
#2 Posted : Monday, February 12, 2018 2:41:35 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: WI-fly Go to Quoted Post
I have only been tying for about a year, but feel the need to step up my vise. I have really enjoyed my Cabela's standard set up, but now want something that has the rotary option. Birthday is coming up, so looking at the $200 range. I plan to just tie for myself and my wife/kids, so won't need to crank out 100 flies per day.

I like tying/fishing buggers, streamers, a few nymphs (squirrels, frenchies, zug bugs), dries (elk CDC, stimulators, nothing tiny). I don't like fishing the tiny stuff, so I don't plan on tying #22 nymphs. If I'm forced to fish with that, I'll buy it.

Hard to say what the best vise is, so just let me know what you like about the vise you have.



Curt, my take is always that vises are fairly personal decisions and much like boats, every model is a compromise. Seeing that you're not tying a huge range of sizes, that makes the compromises easier to deal with. Biggest compromises tend to be portability, access to hooks, true rotary features (some models restrict access to parts of the hook), range of hook sizes, and weight/ability to REALLY bear down on a fly such as stacking deer hair.

Ones I've tied on enough to say much about them at that price range are:

Renzetti Traveller - Good vise - there are probably more people tying on this vise than any other single model out there. Would be perfect for the sizes of flies you tie. They don't fit me well - they put the rotary control knob in the wrong place for how I use a vise. I also like a bit heftier vise though a C-clamp or heavier pedestal would take care of that, most likely.

Regal - not a true rotary, if that is important to you. Regals excel at larger flies. Even for #16's and 18's, I personally think there are many better vises out there. Those that love their Regals tend to really love them. I found mine more comfortable than the Traveller but I ended up upgrading as there were some compromises I didn't care for.

Danvise - they look cheap and plastic-y but having tied on a friend's a number of times, it's a pretty well designed vise. I like that it's uncluttered and there is a good place to rest my off hand (which is what I don't like about the Traveller).

Not tied on Peaks or Anvil or Wolff Apex vises enough to say much about them other than I'd look into both of them. For me, I can tell by looking at them, I'd prefer the Peak over the Apex because of the placement of the rotary adjustment control. That's not important to everyone but for me, my off hand is often on the vise and I hate when knobs and such get in the way.

I'm sure I'm overlooking plenty of other great options - those are just the ones I'm more familiar with. I'd see if I could try them out before buying one, if possible.
OTC_MN  
#3 Posted : Monday, February 12, 2018 3:39:00 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: WI-fly Go to Quoted Post
I have only been tying for about a year, but feel the need to step up my vise. I have really enjoyed my Cabela's standard set up, but now want something that has the rotary option. Birthday is coming up, so looking at the $200 range. I plan to just tie for myself and my wife/kids, so won't need to crank out 100 flies per day.

I like tying/fishing buggers, streamers, a few nymphs (squirrels, frenchies, zug bugs), dries (elk CDC, stimulators, nothing tiny). I don't like fishing the tiny stuff, so I don't plan on tying #22 nymphs. If I'm forced to fish with that, I'll buy it.

Hard to say what the best vise is, so just let me know what you like about the vise you have.



In that price range most of the vices you have to choose from are pretty good, and each has their fan base.

In general, definitely get a rotary. Having tied on one for a while now, no way I'd go back.

I tied for a long time on a Peak and it was great. The only thing I didn't like about it was, when a hook was in the jaws, the horizontal shaft coming across was just high enough above the jaws that it was sometimes hard to get my materials hand in the right spot to set tails, etc, on smaller hooks.

I switched (won't say "upgraded" because there was a lot to like about the Peak) to a Renzetti Saltwater Traveler about a year ago, and really like it. It'll hold basically any size hook you'd ever need to tie on, which was a consideration for me since I do tie some big bugs for bass and pike/muskies. It's a 'saltwater' version, but I can still tie down to size 24 on it without any problems at all. If big hooks weren't a consideration, a standard Traveler would be fine too, and there you're looking at something around $170, so enough in the budget for a vice *and* a new pair of scissors... I think the Renzetti is easier to adjust, and the jaws are a little narrower so small hooks are easier. That said, a set of Midge jaws for the Peak would have solved that too. The only thing that bugs me about the Traveler is the tension on the rotation seems to back off so you have to tighten it occasionally when you want to angle your fly to set materials or something.

I like my Traveler a lot, but I could have stayed with the Peak and been happy too. I just wanted a new vice LOL
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William Schlafer  
#4 Posted : Monday, February 12, 2018 4:17:27 PM(UTC)
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I've been using a Renzetti Traveler for a couple years now - my first step up into a quality fly tying vise. It works well for most all fly tying situations and can be had for around $170.

My only complaints about the Renzetti Traveller are the plastic screw that holds locks down the rotary arm is made of plastic and easily comes loose and falls off. Plus, it would be nice if the rotary arm was adjustable, instead of the fixed bent angle. Sometimes with certain flies, this can make it difficult to get your hands in the right position to hold and place materials correctly on the hook.

That problem would be solved by this vise, an HMH Spartan, which I've been coveting for awhile now.
UserPostedImage

The arm rotates fully and is adjustable to any angle. The locking lever is beefier than the Renzetti, which is good for larger hooks. All the parts are metal, and the one I've played with seem a bit sturdier then the Renzetti. I've seen versions of this HMH vise for sale around $200 online.

One other thing to look for if you plan to seriously get into fly tying is to buy something with exchangeable jaw parts. Smaller ones for tiny delicate hooks, and big bad beefy ones for larger patterns.


-Bill

Edited by user Monday, February 12, 2018 4:18:18 PM(UTC)  | Reason: damned typos!

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JGF  
#5 Posted : Monday, February 12, 2018 4:56:41 PM(UTC)
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HMH make some nice vises. Problems I see with their rotary is it not a true rotary vise (hook shank doesn't stay in the same plane) which is important to some and in the horizontal (rotary) position, access to rear of the hook doesn't look to be great. I tie true rotary for some patterns / techniques but I could probably live without it. I'd probably never use a vise where I can't rotate it to see the other or underside of the hook.

I do like the nice, clean and sturdy look of the HMH. I know Renzetti Travellers hold up quite well for most tiers but they always strike me as a bit "dainty" looking.
William Schlafer  
#6 Posted : Monday, February 12, 2018 7:14:09 PM(UTC)
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Here's Kelly Galloup's take on choosing the right fly tying vise.

And a follow-up video focusing on rotary vises.

As usual great advice, but Kelly will talk you to death getting there. Wink


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
Trouts  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:16:53 AM(UTC)
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All the top vise companies make a good product. I would suggest you try to go to a local tying event and ask to tie on some different vises.

I have a regal and like it a lot. It fits my tying style and the stainless jaws hold a wide variety of hooks. I had an Anvil Atlas and it was a good vise. Nothing to complain about, just like the regal better. I’ve tied on renzetti, griffin, dyna king, and a few others you can’t buy new anymore. I think griffin makes the best vises for the money.

Edited by user Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:17:24 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

“If the trout are lost, smash the state. More than any other fish, trout are dependent upon the ambience in which they are caught… At the first signs of deterioration, this otherwise vigorous fish just politely quits, as if to say, ‘If that’s how you want it…’”
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EddieRivard on 2/13/2018(UTC)
George  
#8 Posted : Thursday, February 15, 2018 7:38:41 PM(UTC)
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I love my Regal Revolution. It is a piece of art and sits at the perfect level for me. I like the classic look and the rotary works perfect. Cost is higher than you want but if you go through Hook and Hackle, they have a great discount.
thanks 1 user thanked George for this useful post.
EddieRivard on 2/15/2018(UTC)
WI-fly  
#9 Posted : Monday, February 26, 2018 12:52:18 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for the advice and experiences everyone. Thankfully we have a lot of good options. I have laid eyes/hands on the Wolff Apex, Renz Travel, and Atlas Rotary recently and they are all good ones. Probably will go with the Renz or Atlas.

Next task is to build a tying bench desktop. Plenty of Youtube tutorials on that. Should be a fun summer project.

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Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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DanE  
#10 Posted : Monday, March 5, 2018 7:48:34 PM(UTC)
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Curt, Another vote for the Renzetti Traveler. I've had mine for 3 years and I think it is about the best vise for the money.
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