Norvise and spey/featherwings [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Norvise and spey/featherwings

11-17-2004, 08:00 PM
Just curious how many of you guys use a norvise to tie speys and featherwings. I am having a hell of a time getting them to look good on the small vise attachment. nothing is coming out right. Should I step up to the large or even down to the fine point jaws? Seems there just is not enough clearance to really work with on the rear of the hook... Any tips or do I just need practice?

I go back to the old renzetti and things look great. Thinking I should have sprung for the law bench vise...I am struggling with the norvise...


11-17-2004, 10:54 PM

You have found one of the main reasons I don't like nor own the Norvise. It is a great vise unless you are going to tie spes, dees, and classic featherwing salmon flies because it doesn't have the room at the rear of the jaws needed to get your fingers and hands into proper position for them. That is why I use a Dyna King Barracuda.

Last year at the Bellevue Show Norm had a vise with him that had a jaw with a bend in it that looked like a small Renzetti jaw arm. It might be worth your time to check with him and get one for your vise. I seem to recall him telling me that this bend arm jaw was available in medium and large jaw versions. Sorry I don't remember how much it cost but Norm did say it works with any of his vises.

11-18-2004, 07:13 AM
These make things more accessable...
And replace the original jaws...

( me if you are interested in a test ride)

11-18-2004, 09:47 AM
Sean, for salmon hooks and spey type flies, just don't worry about having the hook shank centered. clamp the hook in lower on the hook bend. You aren't going to be using the true rotary function anyway, so it doesn't matter if the hook is out of true. You still get full rotation, you just can't spin on the spey hackle at 200 rpm :biggrin:

11-18-2004, 12:28 PM
"You have found one of the main reasons I don't like nor own the Norvise. It is a great vise unless you are going to tie spes, dees, and classic featherwing salmon flies because it doesn't have the room at the rear of the jaws needed to get your fingers and hands into proper position for them."

Creak, creak...flap, flap...creak, creak, flap, flap, flap - (that's the sound of me hoisting the 'Bravo Sierra' flag!)

Hmmm, owning a NorVise hasn't hindered my ability to dress a Spey, Dee, or most any fly for that matter - and I use the larger jawset.

Ronn Lucas Sr. dresses some of the most exquisite Speys, Dees, full-dress Atlantics, and free-style featherwinged flies on Planet Earth - and he uses a NorVise, with the tapered jawset.

As a matter of fact, some of the most talented tyers anywhere use a NorVise.


BTW - Sean, if you need product and pricing information you can PM me.

11-18-2004, 12:41 PM
That is why I asked. I saw in all of Ron's photos he was using the tapered jaws.

Not giving up quite yet , I just think the small jaws that come with the vise are not suitable for my style of tying. Need either the large jaws or the tapered fine point jaws to make it workable for my hands.

Will post an update as to how things turn out.


11-18-2004, 01:07 PM
[QUOTE=IgorCreak, creak...flap, flap...creak, creak, flap, flap, flap - (that's the sound of me hoisting the 'Bravo Sierra' flag!)


:chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

11-18-2004, 01:44 PM

That's the jaw I was referring to I saw at Norm's boothe last year in Bellevue. It may be the answer Sean, although I still have a strong bias for the Dyna King Baracuda.


I never said a person can't tie these flies on a Nor vise, or do so well. I simply said that it doesn't have room at the rear of the jaws for helping in hand placement. And just because I don't like a particular vise (which I clearly stated in my other post), it doesn't mean that the vise will not be the cat's meow for another person. Heck, there have been thousands of spey, dee, and married featherwings tied on non-ratating and non-angle adjustible vises like the old Thompson Model A.

11-18-2004, 11:05 PM
Meow, Meow!!


Ronn Lucas
11-19-2004, 08:50 PM
Sean, I use the fine point jaws on the Nor Vise for all of my flies from #28 (Mustad) to over 9/0! One jaw! I didn't like the original jaws either because (and this reason only) my big fingers couldn't tail tiny flies. I solved that by grinding away and repolishing the metal at the tip but then, Norm came out with the fine point jaws and I haven't looked back. If you want more info, email me at

By the way, Norm just last week brought out a new non rotary (with the fine point jaws) clamp on vise for just under $100. Looks like a good first vise for someone and it can be upgraded to the rotary should the Tyer wish. Norm, the clever fellow that he is, didn't realize that. LOL

Happy Trails!

Don Johnson
11-20-2004, 03:11 PM
When tying certain patterns on the Nor-Vise that won't require rotation of the fly in the axis AND/OR there is a need for a less restricted access to the hook try this:

1) rotate the hub system so the jaws are on the TOP of the rotation and lock the hub into place

2) remove the jaws from the hub and reset them so the tightening lever is underneath the jaws.

This is a small inconvenience but useful if you know you won't need to use the true-rotary functionality of the vise and something I used to do for really little stuff (<18) and really big stuff (>1/0). Upgrading to the bigger jawset will allow for more access to the rear of the hook as they are significantly longer. PM me if you want to try a set and I'll send you mine.


PS: The fine point jaws pictured earlier in the thread are now available with the lever action locking mechanism, which is a vastly better system than the old cam-wheel, especially on that jaw setup.

Flytyer: I assume you have much Nor-Vise experience having tied considerable dozens flies on the system even though you admit to neither owning nor using the system. Otherwise you wouldn't have made a comment about its inadequacies, correct?

11-22-2004, 08:04 AM
Russ? Oh, Ru-uuss? Where art thou?


11-22-2004, 08:17 AM
It's clear that you are extremely knowledgeable and skilled at the vise and I would like to exchange bits of wisdom on the river someday with you, but in referee terms "taunting is unsportsmanlike conduct".

Let's keep it on the high road.

Don Johnson
11-22-2004, 08:25 AM
Oh come's all in fun. We just want to see if there is supreme justification behind all the pontificating. Besides, if one was to referee for taunting, then shouldn't there be equivalent refereeing for the dissemination of erroneous information?

Waiting to get a red card,

11-22-2004, 08:56 AM

While I certainly appreciate your analogy on 'unsportsman-like conduct', there was (in my mind) no taunting. My reply was (and I'm sure our Moderator would agree) in jest, and made in good fun.

Why is it whenever a few people disagree or have a conflicting *opinion* with a board Moderator that the yellow cards are flashed?

Gee whiz!

BTW - I assume you're referring to Mr. Johnson when you speak in terms of knowledge and skill at the vise. I'm just a hack tyer - and I tend to take the 'high road' in most every matter.

Don Johnson
11-22-2004, 09:09 AM
"Hack tyer"? That's like saying Gen. Patton was really just a Boy Scout.

Good one; please keep them coming.

11-22-2004, 09:34 AM

After further review, the decision stands. Taunting is taunting regardless of the intended opponent, and there was no influence just because the victim is a moderator (in fact it's clear that the targeting was directed because he is a moderator). Igor and Don will be charged one time out. Second down.

:cool: :wink: ;)

12-08-2004, 01:44 PM
Just wanted to follow up on this post. I got the small tapered jaws and things are back to normal in tying land. Houston ,we have hook clearance :biggrin:

Now I can really retire the old renzetti,


12-08-2004, 02:36 PM
ya gonna sell it?