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-   -   vises-Smcdermott how do you like that Renzetti Traveler? (

newbiefish 05-11-2002 07:54 PM

vises-Smcdermott how do you like that Renzetti Traveler?

I'm thinking about getting a vise, and I am considering the two you liked: the Renzetti Traveler($159) and the Dyna-King Kingfisher($99). I was prepared to really like the Renzetti, but I can't say that I did. I hate the fact that when you try to rotate the vice handle when you have it locked, the handle and all the adjustment knobs come unscrewed: what kind of system is that? I also thought the handle for the cam jaws was awkward to operate. Even with those problems, I'm still considering it.

I really liked the solid feel of the Kingfisher clamp mechanism--it reeks of fine craftsmanship--and it can rotate smoothly through 360 degrees though it is not a true rotary. However, a review knocked the hook grooves machined in the jaws as being a pain to use, and I don't like the fact that you can't unscrew the vise from the base for traveling.

I am also thinking about going budget with a 39$ Thompson. It seemed fine to me.

I would also welcome advice on all the accesories for fly tying I am considering:

hackle pliers
whip finisher
hair stacker
hackle gauge

and what basic materials to get for tying trout dry flies, and a good beginner's book.

NrthFrk16 05-11-2002 08:36 PM

Give me a Dyna-King anyday over a Renzetti!! I have never been very impressed with the frail nature of the Renzetti nor the difficult of use and the less then perfect hook holding power.

I have yet to figure out what is so great about them....maybe someone could fill me in.

On other hand, the Dyna-King's are easy to use and hold a hook like no other vise. The Kingfisher is a great vise for the money and have not came across the problem you mentioned although I have only played aroudn with it and have never tied on it. If you are worried about that problem, pick up the Squire which runs about the same price as the Traveler.

Also, on the Kingfisher, the vise CAN be unscrewed from the base. That is how they ship 'em! :)

newbiefish 05-11-2002 11:11 PM


Also, on the Kingfisher, the vise CAN be unscrewed from the base.
Well, that's good news. The one I saw didn't seem to have a clamping screw holding the vise to the base. I even went to their website, and the one in the picture they list is the same as the one I saw. Is the clamping screw under the base?

What differences are there between the Squire and the Kingfisher?

striblue 05-11-2002 11:52 PM

I have a Renzetti Traveler and Renzetti Master. I keep the master at home and the traveler down the cape... but I stopped into Nauset Angler today and looked at the Anvil and Dynaking Kingfisher...both $99... I thought the Dynaking was better made and walked out with the Dynaking. I think it is a toss up between the Traveler and Dynaking... But less movable parts and the dyna King seem to be better made.

juro 05-12-2002 12:28 AM

Incorrect usage?

Sounds like you are not counterlocking the first threaded nut against the second. By adjusting these two, you get to set tension and lock it in. The rotary shaft turns with the tension you select from that point on. Takes 2 seconds and you won't need to touch it for years.

John, Apples and oranges...

The dynaking kingfisher is not a rotary vise although you can rotate the fly out of concentricity. Wrapping floss bodies for Spey flies is a job best left for the Renzetti. I doubt the super-jaw vises will help lay folded hackles onto french tinsel ribbing. Even palmering a hackle onto a woolly bugger comes out better with a true in-line rotary.

If we're comparing with the $329 Barracuda, that's another story...

Ryan - jaw strength...

I agree that jaw strength is better in Dynaking, Regal and other brands. I use the saltwater renzetti pedastal for stout wire hooks and don't have a problem with the jaws. As the instructions say: adjust the gap with the small thumbscrew so that the hook barely fits thru the gap; then tighten with the big thumbscrew. I am rarely applying enough tension to pull the hook out of position.

That being said, Renzetti should improve the jaw design / strength to remain competitive, I agree - but as far as in-line rotaries go it's design is quite simple compared to some true rotaries on the market - and we should be the ones to get them to do it!


newbiefish 05-12-2002 02:30 AM


I figured out the counterlocking action between the two thumb screws which control the rotation resistance. That is all fine and good. But....if you then lock out the ability of the vise to rotate with another thumb screw elsewhere on the vise, and then mistakenly try to rotate the vise with the handle--instead of meeting with some tension that would make you realize that you needed to loosen the lock out thumb screw--the handle and the two thumb screws controlling rotation resistance come unscrewed at the slightest pressure. That requires resetting the rotation tension and counterlocking the two thumb screws again, unscrewing the lock out thumb screw to allow vise rotation, and then rotating the vise.

I thought the vise must be defective or set up wrong when that repeatedly happened to me when I was playing around with it, but I concluded that it was just poorly designed. The problem might still be operator error, I don't know enough about vises. I assume that when you don't need to rotate the vise, you lock it down so that it doesn't move while you are tying.

It seems to me that jaw strength is a non issue. All the vises seem way over engineered for holding power. I put a hook in the $39 Thompson and pushed on the end until it was bending and the hook did not move in the jaws.

How about the accessories? Anythings to be certain to avoid or designs that are especially nice?


What about this supposed hook fiddling problem with the Kingfisher? Did you find it easy to load hooks into the grooves in the jaws and adjust it for different sizes? Also, if you got the pedestal base, does the vice detach from the base? Finally, at the Dyna-King website, I can't figure out the differences as you go up in price. The Squire seems the same as the Kingfisher.

I agree with you about the Apex Anvil: it isn't well made.

pmflyfisher 05-12-2002 08:09 AM


Had the Traveller since early 1990s at least. Been tying trout, salmon, steelhead, pike, bass, flies from 3/0 to size 14s. No problems what so ever with the Renzetti to date, no maintenance etc...

There may be better out there now but I don't think you will go wrong buying the Renzetti.

Not seen the Dynakings will see if my fly shop has them. Even if it looked good, you can only use one vise at a time, wish I could do two flies at once some times... :eyecrazy:

My .02 cents

Good luck

newbiefish 05-12-2002 05:09 PM

I was looking at A.K. Best's Advanced Fly Tying book today, and he says a vice should be pointing at a 45 degree angle so you can hold your forearm and wrist along the clamp at that angle which makes it easier to hold material on the hook when tying it on. I noticed with the Renzetti Traveler that isn't possible--or for that matter with any true rotary vise--because the arm holding the clamp connects to the top of the clamp.

juro 05-12-2002 05:17 PM

Everyone's different, no wrong nor right. Each fly category is different too - big striper flies, classic salmon flies, trout flies - they all have different nuances in addition to the individual tying them. Sounds to me like you shouldn't buy a Renzetti!

I sure love mine.

newbiefish 05-12-2002 06:03 PM

I've never tied a single fly, so I don't know what I should buy. I'm trying to figure out if any of these words of wisdom I read in books have any validity.

What about C-clamps v. pedestal types? It doesn't really make sense to me that a travel vise is the pedestal type since it's so much heavier.

Can anyone tell me what the Fly Fisherman Feb. 2002 issue said was the best vise in the $100-$150 range?

John Desjardins 05-13-2002 09:08 AM

Newbie, I think that the article on vises was online @ If I remember correctly the Dan vise was best under $100 & I can't remember any other price ranges.

IMHO, the difference between a pedestal & C-clamp vise in use is flexibility. With a pedestal you don't worry about scratching up the edge of the table you are tying on and can have the vise in from the edge. It also allows you to stop tying 1/2 way through a fly and just move the vise to the side or put it up high out of the kids reach.

jared 05-13-2002 09:35 AM

If you've never tied a fly, consider paying $20-25 for your first may HATE fly-tying!

take a class, find a tying club or something similar in your area *BEFORE* plunking down any kind of change. A local shop/club should have a variety of vices for you to "test-drive" -- a MUCH better way to go....

my .02 cents


sean 05-13-2002 11:15 AM

My advice is to get a true rotary vise regardless of brand. You will find it much easier to tie with and easier to get started in tying flies. I had a thompson for my first vise and never really got into it. Hoiwever the day I brought home the renzetti I have been a tying fool ever since.


Smcdermott 05-13-2002 11:39 AM

Topic Covered
It looks like this topic has been covered. I will just add that I have had no problems with the Renzetti and with the cam feature find no problem with the hook holding power. I can't say that I have used the rotary feature that much but it is nice to know that when I get to that level it is there.


newbiefish 05-13-2002 11:47 AM

The Fly Fisherman website leaves out the key reviews for vises. Instead it says to see the February issue "on sale now", which of course none of the local fly shops carry anymore.

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