Tying Vise Help [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tying Vise Help

11-12-2010, 07:34 PM
Hello, i want to get into fly tying. I have been a fly fisherman for about 12 years and enjoy everything about it and now want to catch a fish on a fly i tied. I was looking at vises and i just dont know where to start. Can anyone give me some information on brands and features that i should be looking for? Also any other information about fly tying that you think a beginner should know. I mostly fish for trout in rivers and streams, i dont know if that makes a difference or if there are different size vises for different kind of flies. Thank you for any information that you can give me.

11-13-2010, 05:41 PM
Welcome to the forum. There are a bunch of really expert flitters on this forum that can provide great advise. There is no substitute for one-on-one experiences with experienced flitters. With the Internet there is an infinite amount of info. Google you interest and there is an intense amount of data.

Since you primarily fish for trout, a reliable and somewhat inexpensive vise in the Renzetti Traveler. Another source of info are clubs and if in your area, flyfishing shows.

Give us a specific need in flitting and I think we can respond.

11-14-2010, 01:30 PM
My choice for an all around great vise would begin and end with a Regal Vise. It covers all of the sizes from standard saltwater through all of the standard trout sizes. It doesn't require any adjustments if you tie a 2/0 and then decide to move to a size 20!! I've tied the the above with their standard head without problems. I use their midge head which holds a hook firmly with working room from size 2 through 26!! Regals have been my vise for over twenty years.

If you are Massachusetts/New England you will be buying a vise made in Orange Ma. Buy local if you can!! I know the inventor and the current owner. They are fly fishing bums - great people!!

11-14-2010, 07:35 PM
You can't go wrong with Dyna-King, Renzetti or Regal. The Renzetti Traveler or the Presentation 2000 are lifetime vises that will handle almost anything you want to tie. The same goes for the Dyna-King vises. I have had good luck with the Dyna-King Barracuda or the Dyna-King Barracuda Junior Trekker. You also can purchase a midge jaw for both the Dyna-King vises. The standard Barracuda vise is more money; the Trekker is smaller and less expensive, but still a lifetime vise. I would order midge jaws if you plan to tie primarily very small flies.

One choice you will have to make is whether you want a desk top (pedestal) or c-clamp model. I have both, but always try to use the clamp-on model because the c-clamp connection to the table is more stable. The c-clamp also gives your more height adjustability for using it on different table tops. The pedestal base will fit on any table top, however the tying ergonomics may suck due to the height of the table. If you plan to use your vise a lot, you may want to consider the ergonomics of your set up. C-clamp bases allow for more adjustability and you can adjust the height of your vise to the most comfortable and ergonomic position.

If you don't want a rotary vise, the non-rotary Dyna-Kings retail for less than $200. Be certain to avoid the Regal knock-offs made offshore. One of my fishing partners purchased one by mistake and had the jaws shatter after a year's use.

Some of the advice you get about vises will be based on personal preferrences. For example, I have used a Regal vise before and found that the vise got in the way of my left hand. The relatively straight design got in the way of how I used my left hand when tying. Admittedly, I was just using the Regal temporarily and didn't have the muscle memory/practice on the vise where it's use was automatic and worked for the way I tie. Other tyers I know swear by their Regals.

For what it's worth, I would purchase a rotary vise because it gives you the option of both rotary or fixed operation. Whatever you decide, buy the best vise you can afford from a reputable fly shop and you will have a lifetime fly tying tool.

Good luck with your decision and welcome to the world of fly tying

11-15-2010, 07:22 PM
IMHO I would first suggest you look for any 'shops' in the area that sell vises and associated tying equipment. Ask them is there are any local groups that get together periodically to tie flyes or give instructions on doing same. Local knowledge is tremendously important and it will give you a chance to see flyes being tied on several different types of vises. Also contact local chapter of Trout Unlimited, they may have a group also. Everyone has their personal preference and different reasons for liking the same vise, or disliking one. Doing a little investigation may surprise you with the wealth of info and help available. Keep us posted on your efforts and progress.

11-15-2010, 08:44 PM
I agree with all the information already mentioned, all great vises, and local shops if your lucky enough to have one can really be helpfull. I'll throw out one more just to muddy the water. The Apex Anvil is a very servicable vise which retails for less than a $100. It's made in the USA has a rotary function, but I wouldn't call it a rotary, and can hold hooks from size 24 to 2/0. If your just getting started it may be a good option to get your feet wet . I would also suggest taking a tying class as they can really shorten the learning curve and take a lot of the guess work out of it. Have fun

11-16-2010, 03:51 PM
When I had to replace my original, crappy, kit vise, I went with a Danvise. It's cheaper than any other rotary out there, and after thousands of flies tied, it still works perfectly. I'd highly recommend it as a vise to get started with, and it'll probably serve you well for many years to come. I've got over 5 years on mine now and I don't see any need to upgrade.

Whatever you choose to do, get yourself a rotary for sure. Much easier to tie with.

08-06-2011, 11:43 PM
Ditto on the the Dan Vise

Greg H
08-15-2013, 09:54 PM
So the responses so far have been for specific vises and to take lessons or hang out with other tiers. I agree - you will learn more and faster hanging out with other tiers. Regarding vises, I also agree, but would add that you should look at products from Griffin, made in USA with excellent steel jaws even thought some of their designs are not sleek they are reasonably priced and strong.

As far as the other bit about starting tying - DON'T get at kit. The materials are usually junk. If you are fishing for trout you can get by with the top 10 or 12 most popular and useful flies, in a range of 3 sizes each (12, 14, and 16). Most of the materials for these flies can be used for more than one pattern (ie peacock herl).
DON'T buy the next perfect material for the next perfect fly in some magazine - you really don't need it. Buy only what you need for the flies you will use in your area - for those top 10 flies.
This will include hare's mask and dubbing, peacock herl, pheasant tail feathers, copper wire, silver tinsel (ribbing), bucktail, deer body hair, silver mylar wrap, partridge soft hackle, ginger/brown and grizzly (white and black barred) dry fly hackle, white marabou.
You will only need about 4 thread colours (size 6), black, brown, light olive/yellow and bright red.
You can tie about 30 different patterns with this small collection and catch everything from trout to bass (size 10, 8, 6) if you have the correct size of hook for the fly.