Inexpensive fly tying vises [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Inexpensive fly tying vises


highway61
02-05-2008, 12:11 PM
I just started fly tying and want to buy a decent, but inexpensive vise. I am currently looking at a Griffin Mongoose, but know almost nothing about the pros and cons of various brands. I would like to spend in the neighborhood of $ 150.
Any suggestions and/or advice would be appreciated.

Steve M.

Smcdermott
02-05-2008, 12:26 PM
The Renzetti Traveler is a great vise. Looks like they went up a little in price at about ~$180 for the current version. Might be able to find one on eBay and get below your budget. Make sure you get the CAM version if you go that route.

Sean

vtloon
02-05-2008, 02:24 PM
I was planning to upgrade my current Dyna-King to a Renzetti Traveller. But, 10 min ago in a neighbors little fly shop I looked at a really nicely put together vise. It's a Peak, 100% US made by a guy in Colorado. Price is same or a little less than the Renzetti. I'm going to see what the Saltwater Chuck looks like, then make a decision.

BigDave
02-05-2008, 03:44 PM
Ditto on the Renzetti Traveller Cam. Have used mine on everything from 28 midge hooks to 8/0 offshore hooks...

teflon_jones
02-05-2008, 10:15 PM
I don't know what planet you live on, but I don't consider $150 to be a cheap vise! :)

Anything by Renzetti is really great. You can't go wrong.

highway61
02-06-2008, 07:35 AM
I don't know what planet you live on, but I don't consider $150 to be a cheap vise! :)

Anything by Renzetti is really great. You can't go wrong.


(Laughing).....Yeah, and did I tell you about my lamborghini?! Well, being new to this I was shocked when I went to the renzetti website and saw vises going for $600+, hence my inexpensive comment.

blindcurvw
02-06-2008, 10:22 AM
I really love my Renzetti Traveler (great jaws supporting good range of hook sizes), Stable, Rotary, Supports many advanced features, parachute clip, etc......

There is an entry level, non-rotary, Renzetti model (<$100 which is nice) but I forget the model number. I bought one for a gift to a good friend and it performs well on most trout/bass sized hooks. dyna-king appear to be equally good vices; but, I've never tied a fly using one and seem more $$$ for the same features as other vises... Regal vises have great jaws too (rarely slip a hook) but no rotary functions and lack other perks of other vises. Regal appears to be common w/ Beginner/Intermediate tiers that I know and is the most prevalent vise I see.

IMHO, Plastics should be banned from all mechanical devices as they are very often the first component to fail which might mean No Fly tying. Travelling w/ your fly tying gear can aggrevate wear-out of plastics (sunlight exposure, dropping/banging, temperature extremes, etc....). Almost all vices have some plastic but some contain significant plastic content... The result might be a less expensive vice; however, this is often with a trade-off of reduced quality. Renzetti, Regal, Dyna-King limit and/or avoid plasics altogether... I have little experience outside these vises.

List your requirements:
Hook sizes
Industrial Flies (e.g. heavy thread, bulky flies) or Delicate flies (e.g. dries sz <16's)
Travel Frequency
ETC....

If you are going to spend anything over $50 I recommended waiting/saving funds and purchasing a higher end vice that will last you (potentially) a lifetime. Anything less than <$100 will like need replacing or sigificant service in 3-5years if you tie a good qty of flies.

flytyer
02-07-2008, 04:42 PM
The Griffin Mongoose is a very well made vise that will last a long time. Granted, itis not in the same league as the $250.00 and up Renzetti and Dyna King rotary vises; but the Mongoose has an excellent jaw that hold hooks very well, the jaws hold a wide range of hook sizes, it is rotary with the vise shaft offset one should always look for in a rotary vise because the offset does two things: 1) it allows more room at the rear of the hook, which is important when tying smaller flies; and 2) it keeps the hook closer to the rotary center line, making rotary tying a lot easier. Plus, the Griffin Mongoose will last a lifetime. Granted, it looks a little odd, but so what, it is a great vise for the money. Unfortunately, not a lot of the more experienced tyers have seen it in person or have touched and used it.

The Peak vise other mentioned is also a good vise, but not any better than the Griffin Mongoose. The Renzetti Traveler some mentioned is a good vise, but it uses a lot of aluminum in it (the traveler's jaws are steel, but most of the rest of it is aluminum), unlike the Mongoose which is made of steel and brass.

If you want to get either the best buys currently on the market in quality vises, these two are them. First is the Renzetti Presentation 2000. It uses the same jaws as the much more expensive Presentation 4000, but it keeps the cost down by using very high quality aircraft aluminum for most of the rest of the vise. It is truly a best buy and runs about $250.00. Dyna King is the other with their Baracuda Jr, an all steel vise with a killer jaw system, it sells for about $280.00. Dyna King also has the Baracuda Traveler, a smaller version still of the Baracuda vise, it sells for about $225.00

arubaman
02-07-2008, 07:58 PM
The Griffin Mongoose is a very well made vise that will last a long time. Granted, itis not in the same league as the $250.00 and up Renzetti and Dyna King rotary vises; but the Mongoose has an excellent jaw that hold hooks very well, the jaws hold a wide range of hook sizes, it is rotary with the vise shaft offset one should always look for in a rotary vise because the offset does two things: 1) it allows more room at the rear of the hook, which is important when tying smaller flies; and 2) it keeps the hook closer to the rotary center line, making rotary tying a lot easier. Plus, the Griffin Mongoose will last a lifetime. Granted, it looks a little odd, but so what, it is a great vise for the money. Unfortunately, not a lot of the more experienced tyers have seen it in person or have touched and used it.



I ordered a mongoose griffin through ebay. Have used it for about a year now and I can only say it is worth every single penny!
Itīs solid, no problem with very small hooks (24-26), it holds them tight and leaves enough room to tie.
But for the bigger bonefish clousers itīs also very good (hooks till size 2)
I even tied streamers on it (hooks till 8/0) but then you have to put the hook a bit more backward in the jaw.

A solid footplate gives it enough stability for the tougher work.

In my opinion maybe itīs not that wellknown brand everybody is hilarious about, but for me (not a beginner anymore) it serves well enough to be satisfied for the coming years.

24-7
02-08-2008, 04:50 AM
I am fully satisfied with my Mongoose. At it's price point it delivers. I tie bunches of Classic Salmon and saltwater patterns that routinely require hooks in the 1/0 to 9/0 range as well as minute midge patterns. It's a user friendly vise with jaws that are gentle on the hooks finish. The Montana Mongoose comes with a carrying case that's equipped with pedestal and clamp options allowing the tyer to be prepared for all instances. The extra 200-500 bucks I saved by not purchasing certain Renzetti, Waldron, and Dyna-King models was spent on other more quality dependent items

DaveG

highway61
02-08-2008, 08:11 AM
I am leaning toward the Griffin Montana Mongoose. My only concern, and this is true of the renzetti traveler as well, is that the literature states that it can handle flies up to 4/0. I want to use the vise for both fresh and saltwater flies. Can this vise handle an appropriate range of saltwater flies?

Steve M

Sean Juan
02-08-2008, 10:16 AM
Define "appropriate"

I bit the bullet a few years back and got a Dyna-King Barracuda - the reason was simple I wanted a vise which would hold BIG hooks. An average sized striper fly for me is a 6/0 - and I regularly tie up to a 10/0.

350 or so is a lot of money to spend all at once - but I strongly suspect I'll have this vise all my life - I've spent a hell of a lot more on a hell of a lot less.

Probably the most expensive vise you can buy is one that isn't going to suit your needs and requires an upgrade.

Another vise I would be sure to check out at least would be the Danvise - at 80 bucks its a great vise - its downside (at least for me) was its lack of ability to hold big hooks anything bigger than a 3/0.

highway61
02-08-2008, 11:02 AM
Yeah Sean.....appropriate is a bit vague. What I should've said is flies up to at least 8/0. I guess I'm back to the drawing board......

Sean Juan
02-13-2008, 10:24 AM
For hooks that large the cheapest vise I've found is the Barracuda Jr Trekker.

The jaws are the same as the full sized Barracuda and they sell "midge" jaws if you are one of those sick people that tie micro-flies.

Not cheap at around 200 bucks - but cheaper than buying two.

Penguin
02-13-2008, 11:28 AM
Rotary "Multi-Tasker"... :Eyecrazy:
'can handle size 28 up to 250/0 along with sheet metal and hd steel pipes...
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa176/Phracas/JawsofDeath.jpg

highway61
02-13-2008, 05:35 PM
Now that's a vise...why bother with a Renzetti, Dyna-King or Mongoose....I have one of those purty vises in my basement! Thanks Penguin, you saved me a couple hundred dollars.....I can't wait to tie a midge on it.:hihi:

striblue
02-14-2008, 08:04 AM
Pete, that is not that far from the truth. When I interviewed Stu Apte, he told me that he tied his flies for years with a Sears Hand vise, and he applied flash to his flies by stripping out and using the shinny band at the top opening of Lucky Strike cigarette packs.

flytyer
02-16-2008, 08:53 PM
The late Charlie Brooks used to use a pair of large needle-nosed pliers welded to a steel plate and held closed with a large flat spring to demontrate how to tie his "in-the-round" nymphs like the Brooks Stonefly Nymph, Golden Stone Nymph, etc. when at a fly fishing clave.

I once asked him when I lived in Montana why he was leading newcomers on with this setup and his bs about this being the best vise ever, he simply said in his inimitable way, "It separates the people who know from those who are bs'ing and let's me spend time talking to the ones who are good fishermen and tyers. Besides, I'm having too much fun seeing their reactions to my 'vise'!"

I had many a chuckle over that and always found Charlie to be very generous, especially with those he knew weren't trying to bs about fishing or fly tying.

tatco
03-01-2008, 12:18 PM
Excellent Penguin. I'm still laughing. :hihi:

millerbrown
03-01-2008, 07:37 PM
Ok, let's get serious here. If we are New England flyfishers we will fish for trout (small flies) or bass (larger flies) or stripers (bigger flies) but most of our tying will be done on size 20 and smaller to 3/0. That's it unless you head south for tarpon. I've used the Regal line of vises for 20 years and have tied #20 down to 3/0 on the same vise. That covers a lot of situations. Of late I've used the "midge jaws" from Regal to get to #28 for the Swift but have used the same vise for size 2 flies. If I want anything larger I use the standard head which will grip an anchor!! They have a reasonable price and are made right here in Orange Ma. I don't like a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to vises. Just hold the hook and don't get in my way. Also, with Regal, there are no adjustments to be made a change of hook sizes. Tie a 2/0 and then tie a size 18. No fuss!!

I'm biased here. I know the inventor of this vise and the current manufacturer. Anyway, it's money well spent for a great range of hooks AND it's local!!

Millerbrown

Eddie
03-02-2008, 08:19 AM
I really like the Regal vice, but it would be hard to recommend because of the likely possibility of chipping the jaws when a small hook slips out. Easy fast vices. Quality and durable...but I'm not sure i have seen one without the little chips.

I know that people love their (I know I am stepping into a fan here) Travellers but I have seen too many that are well used, but loose and distorted. If you don't need a light vice, I would look for something a little heavier duty.

striblue
03-02-2008, 10:10 AM
I agree with Eddie as to the need for long term durability and Sean Juan. I love my traveler and keep it down the Cape and still use the Renzetti Master here at home, but the Barracuda Junior Treker is a "bit" more money than the traveler, but is basically the same as the higher end Barracuda except for a smaller turning camber. The rest of the hardwear is about the same and I can bend a 3.0 or 6.0 hook with pliers without the hook popping out. The jaws are just fine for smaller hooks. In fact if you are looking at the Barracuda, forget the higher end one since the difference with that and the junior is really negligable.

highway61
03-02-2008, 10:19 AM
Thanks everyone for all the advice. I found myself torn between two vises, the traveller and a mongoose. Both were recommended by tyers in this thread. However, last week I was at the Evening Sun Flyshop in Peppernell, Ma for a seminar on the Miller River given by Millerbrown. It was a great seminar! While there the shop owner showed me the Apex Vise made here in the US by Anvil. It is all steel construction, no plastic parts, and holds hooks from 26 to 6/0. Only time will tell how the vise will holds up, but so far it has satisified my needs. I have been busy this week tying simple fresh and saltwater flies in anticipation spring arrivving sometime soon....

One more question. Can anyone recommend a book for saltwater fly tying? It should be one written for beginners to intermediate tyers. I need the step by step visuals, not just the materials lists for each pattern.

Steve M.

Sean Juan
03-02-2008, 12:11 PM
You know I can't think of a beginners tying book for saltwater...most I've seen are more or less recipes and a few detail certain techniques.

The best one to look at may be the LL Bean Striped Bass Handbook - its not a tying book but it has a tying section that step by steps the deceiver, clouser, some poppers, fur flies, and I think a polar fiiber one - its a good book all in all.

highway61
03-02-2008, 02:12 PM
Thanks Sean......I just ordered a copy...