: Thoughts of Christmas . . .
10-17-2002, 02:32 PM
Forgive me if this is in the wrong forum, but I didn't see a forum specifically on Fly Tying.
I would like to suggest a vise as a gift for me for the upcoming holidays from all my kids and am looking for suggestions from all you die-hard tyers with some experience. I haven't taken any lessons as yet, but will. But it seems classes prefer that you have your own vise for starters.
I've read the informative article on the VFS site. And I've been studying some of the specs at vendors web sites. What I seem to be leaning to is either the Renzetti Presention 4000 or the Dyna-King Barracuda to give you an idea of what I presently have in mind (subject to your compelling reasons not to buy such a vise).
I know there are much less expensive vises out there, but I believe in and very much appreciate quality workmanship. No matter what it is, I always tend to buy more than what I need. Silly, maybe. But I truly enjoy craftsmanship. But, I am open minded and would like to hear from all of you.
Anyways, can anyone give me some useful feedback as to what to look for in your opinion? Things like how important "Rotary" is vs. non-rotary. Cam lock vs screw type, c-clamp vs pedestal base, etc. And, knowing that I will eventually get into Saltwater FF, should that be a consideration at this point? Can one vise do it all?
Also, if you can recommend good fly tying lessons. I live in the southeastern part of Mass. (Bellingham) and am willing to travel about an hour for classes.
Thank you in advance for all your help and suggestions.
10-17-2002, 03:22 PM
All I can say is ..try and get the best since you will probably buy it eventually and then have all these other lower priced vices taking up room in your draw. I have a Renzetti
Master....but the Dyna King is great also......
Good question, and you are a lucky dad!
Here is a link you can read up on a lot of past discussion on the topic...
CLICK HERE (http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk3/search.php?s=&action=showresults&searchid=42614&sortby=lastpost&sortorder=descending)
10-17-2002, 07:37 PM
Agree buy the most expensive one you can afford. Glad I did 10 years ago when I bought the Renzetti Traveller.
10-17-2002, 10:32 PM
I have been a commercial tyer and have been tying for 40 years, csince age 9. And the following is my considered opinion after wearing out quite a few vises. O have been using a Dyna King Baracuda for 5 years and consider it or the Renzetti Master to be the best vises available period.
Either of the vises you are considering would be very worth buying. As others have said herein, buy the best you can afford, it is money well spent. Either the Renzetti 400 or the Dyna King Baracuda (get the Baracuda midge jaws at the time you buy it for trout sized flies) will tie everything from as small as you will ever want to tie to as large a salrwater fly as you'll ever find a need to tie. I always recommend either Renzetti or Dyna King to people looking for a vise because they are the best in the business.
The Renzettis and the Dyna King Baracuda have the offset jaw, which is a real boon when you tie tails and such at theend of the body because it provides more room for fingers. The Dyna King Baracuda also has a centering guage included with it and that makes rotary tying much nicer because the hook is always spinning at the vise centerline (i.e. no wobble).
Buy either one and you will be a happy man.
10-18-2002, 11:19 AM
Just down the road (495) a piece...
Scott will set you up and get you going...
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10-18-2002, 11:34 AM
This is great! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to respond so far, and to those who still may.
My wife has already bought me the Skip Morris book earlier this year and I've begun reading it. I just haven't been ready to get started in tying until this winter.
Last year my daughter, who I had taken flyfishing just once (our first season for both of us), surprised me by taking fly tying lessons, bought a basic starter kit and tied me 3 dozen flies for Christmas. It takes alot to bring tears to my eyes, but it happened. Especially after reading the poem she wrote in her handmade card with her first wooly bugger attached to the front. Maybe I should borrow her vise and give it a whirl before making a final decision on what I want. Or maybe use that during tying classes and then buy. For her birthday this year I gave her a Scott G3 rod, Orvis Battenkill reel and the Fly Tyers desktop reference book. Think I may be borrowing that book real soon.
Any specific brand of tools you like better than others?
Thanks for the Bears Den referral. I've been there a couple times and they do seem to be knowledgable.
10-18-2002, 11:52 AM
I disagree with some of the posts here and would suggest you buy a quality vise but not break the bank. Especially if you are quite new to tying. I have been tying for 15 years and use a dyna-king squire which is an outstanding value for the money. The grooved jaws hold everything from sz 26 midge hooks to big SW patterns.
If you are just getting started, you probably don't need the true rotary option. Rotary is a time saver if you are looking to pump out a lot of flies in a short period of time or use epoxy. If you will be tying a lot of SW patters, it's probably worth it (although I don't miss it, personally).
The money you save on the vise could go towards a quality materials clip, bobbin hanger and vise light which in the end will make your ties much easier.
I reccomend the Gary Borger series of videos for getting your feet wet and learning the basics. The Lower Forty in Worcester offers tying clinics all winter long.
Best of luck
10-18-2002, 12:14 PM
While some of the vises previously mentioned can be pricey, I'm very happy with my decision to purchase the Renzetti Traveler. It's rotary, has cam lock jaws, and holds anything from size 28 to size 4/0 salt hooks. At about $150, you can't go wrong and won't really be breaking the bank.
For tools, I use Orvis. This isn't due to brand loyalty; rather, it's default because my local shop is an Orvis dealer. The tools are very good and durable.
That reminds me, I should tie some flies tonight......
10-18-2002, 12:34 PM
You may want to think about waiting for the shows in Jan & Feb for some deals there - you gotta know what you're looking at and what it usually costs. I got a set of tools packaged by Ump-somebody - bobbin, hair stacker, bodkin, etc. - retail was like, $70 but they were in a half-off bin so I grabbed it up.
bobbin - get one that has a ceramic tube, not just a ring at the mouth (like some Griffin stuff). Get one or two (1 for thread, 1 for mono).
scissors - do a couple searches, these area a VERY subjective item.
Generic named stuff has it's place and can justify upgrading.
Big Dave has a valid point too - don't forget to read the threads Juro suggested - lots of good stuff in there.
Have fun & don't get stressed.
Oh yeah, Jared might know where you can find a wide variety of tools, vices & etc. - on the first Thurs. of each month ;)
10-18-2002, 10:08 PM
I like Anvil curved all purpose scissors as my main tying scissors. Like all good tying tools they aren't cheap, about $20.00 give or take a couple of dollars. These scissors ballance nicely in the hand, hold an edge a long time, are durable, and have adjustable finger holes. I also use the Marryat scissors, very fine blades and points allowing a very close cut to the tying thread without cuting the thread. They are only used for cutting wing stubs on spey flies, G.P.'s, and featherwing Salmon flies.
For bobbins I use 3 different ones. For 6/0 and smaller tying thread I use the good old reliable S&M Bobbin. It retails for about $6.00. I own 24 of them all loaded with different thread colors. They are compact, easy to adjust the thread tension with, and last a long time. I have 2 that I have been using for over 30 years. The only problem may be finding a local shop that carries them. But shops can get them if you ask them to. Also, get a bobbin threader, you will be glad you did, it makes threading a bobbin easy instead of frustrating.
The next bobbin I use is the Griffin Saltwater. It retails for about $15.00. I own 8 of these and they are loaded with different colors of Flat Waxed Nylon. It has a double reinforcing band, a long bobbin tube, and a ceramic tip. The double lets you really put a lot of pressure on the thread when tying deer hair or binding down a large bunch of bucktail (like you would with large saltwater flies).
The third bobbin I use is the Griffin All Purpose. It retails for about $15.00. I have 12 of these and they are loaded with Unithread 3/0 and Uni Stretch Nylon. The tube is large enough for the Uni Stretch Nylon and they are a very smooth bobbin. They have a single reinforcing band, a long tube, and a dramic insert at the tip.
Bodkins are very inexpensive, I have 3 all are different sizes. A large wood handled one I have been using for 35 years, it is great for putting a large dollup of thinned Goop or Fleximent on the tie in area that I amn going to spin deer hair or mount hair wings. An aluminum, hex-handled medium sized one with a half-hitch tool on the handles end. It is my general purpose bodkin, and I have been using the one I have for 40 years. If you only wish to buy one, get one of this size and type. The last one I use is a Griffin plastic handled badking. It is light weight and has a small needle. Just the ticket for picking out hackles, splitting goose, duck, or turkey slips from a feather, and applying cement to the head of a fly. None of these bodkins should be more than $3.00.
I use 4 different hackle pliers; but you'll only need one to start with. I have a Griffin tear-drop (great with trout sized hackles) about $6.00, a Thompson with two rubber jaws (used to hold a dubbing loop when spinning and it can also hold 2 hackles for wrapping simultaneously) about $4.00, a Griffin rotary hackle plier (Umqua makes one that is just as good, although it costs a little more) great for wrapping hackles quickly because it has a long handle that allows you to wrap the hackle without needing to change hands under the vise with each wrap about $12.00, and a good old electrical parts clip, which is used on the smallest hackles (#18 and smaller) about $3.00 for 2 at a Radio Shack.
A Materelli whip finisher is the only one I use. I have both the standard and the long reach. They are the easiest to use and provide very precise thread placement and control when finishing the fly(far more than fingers alone provide). They are about $10.00.
A good quality light, I am partial to the Ott Lites. Ott Lites are between $60.00 and $150.00. They can be found at most office supply stores and many fly shops sell them as well. However, there are other good lights out there. The requirements are adjustablity, coolness (lights can get hot), and brightness. I used to use a Zelco Halogen lamp, but the Ott is cooler and has light that is virtually identical to natural sun light.
For a magnifier, if you need one, the best solution is the Mag-Eyes that fit around your head head-band style. Easy to flip out of your way and always available for you. With the advantage of magnifying everything you move your head to see, not just what is in the vise. They sell for about $20.00, which is far cheaper than the maginifyers sold for fly tying and they are more useful as well.
A flytying waste bag is nice to have; but you can do the same thing with a paper bag taped to your tying table or desk with masking tape. It keeps most of the waste scraps off the floor.
Anything beyond a good pair of scissors, bobbin, hackle plier, bobbin threader, whip finisher, and tying lamp is not necessary for a biginner. If you really want to apend a little more on rools, buy several bobbins, that way you don['t need to change thread all the time.