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 Post subject: Tying Vises
PostPosted: January 6th, 2019, 12:24 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4207
Location: Ellsworth
All.......

Hitting the Tie & Lie yesterday I looked around at the array of different tying vises there. It was quite a selection.

When I started tying Seriously in the early 70’s most of us start3d on the venerable Thompson Model A, or a Herters. I started on the A in a tying kit from Beans. I used that vise for many seasons. It got the job done, but just barely.

A vises job is to hold the hook......and, incredibly, that’s a helluva lot harder than it sounds. Hooks slipped all the time on that Model A.

I then bit the proverbial bullet and sprung for a Regal Medallion. I really thought that would be my “ lifetime” vise. I used it for more than 20 years. It holds a hook like a banshee ( great) BUT, and this is a very large but, if the hook isn’t placed perfectly in those bulldog jaws it fires the hook out of the jaws at warp speed. I finally said “#### this” the day a #14 hook sped out of the jaws, hit the wall next to me, and ricocheted into my face, just missing my eye. Now.....I love tying flies.......but I like my vision a helluva lot more. The vise went up For Sale that very day.

I then went to my true lifetime vise........an Abel Supreme. No longer made ( regrettably) it’s just a wonderful tool. Every hook from 6/0 Striper irons to #26 Midge hooks is held firm enough to bend, with *zero* slippage. The only drawback to this vise per se that I can see is that it has the two screws, instead of the cam operated jaws. I’d prefer the cam operated, if I had my druthers.

I was tying at Beans one morning when a very well known tyer looked at that vise, smirked, and I overheard him say “ Overkill. A waste of money. You don’t need any vise except a Regal”. He used a Regal. If one *only* ties Striper flies from 4’s to 6/0’s sure, as he does. For those of us that tie from #26’s to 6/0’s, jaws that handle that range of hook sizes are great.

I prefer a so-called one jaw vise....so I don’t ever change jaws. Some great vises have jaw interchangeability......which is ok if one has the time.

There are so many great vises on the market today that we have a cornucopia of choices. Renzetti’s, Dyna Kings, HMH’s, Peak, Grifffins, etc.

I saw the Bugatti of vises for sale the other day......a LAW (Lawrence A. Waldron ) from England.......but didn’t have $4000 sitting in a cookie jar on the kitchen counter at the time.HMH is now offering a true rotary vise that looks a heck of a lot like a LAW......for about $3500 less. If I didn’t already have an Abel I’d be all over that.......or a Renzetti Master.

The great choices we tyers have today is a far cry from the meager ones we had in the early 70’s. Get those vises hot, and keep them hot in the coming storm. Good tying, everybody.

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: Tying Vises
PostPosted: January 6th, 2019, 12:32 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 532
Location: maine; now Salida, CO
I also thought my Regal would be a lifetime vise. Until the REPLACEMENT jaws chipped just like the original AND the midge head did. And it wasn't a true rotary either. Sold it and bought a Renzetti. I'm sooooo much happier.


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 Post subject: Re: Tying Vises
PostPosted: January 6th, 2019, 5:17 pm 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 1263
Location: Fairfield, ME
My first vise was a Thompson A. But then I saw a picture of a Rotary Vise and I just had to have one. A rotary vise just made sense to me - seemed like the way to go. It was good vise - not great but good. The biggest issue was clearance at the bend of a hook. Doing tags or tails was, at best - awkward.

Then along came Renzetti and Andy Renzetti introduced a vise with a 45-degree offset jaw which eliminated the clearance at the bend issue and - well - I just had to have one.

That was sometime in the late 80's and I've been using that vise since. It's a C-clamp vise and years later I bought a Renzetti Traveler vise to go into my travel tying kit. There were two big "traveling" advantages to the Traveler design. The first was the pedestal base - a true "I'm not certain where I'll be tying feature" and the second a cam action jaw.

Very happy with both. Bulletproof operation for years from both.

ps - my first rotary vise came from Universal Vise - anyone out there that remembers them?


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 Post subject: Re: Tying Vises
PostPosted: January 6th, 2019, 5:56 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: September 28th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 2709
Along with others my first vise was a Thompson A that came in a hacked Orvis fly tying kit. Followed a few years later with a Regal standard clamp model. It's pretty much destined to be a barb smasher except when I'm tying deer hair flies. I love its hook holding ability and with the clamp I can really flair the hair. My first rotary was a Renzetti Traveler. I use this for my day to day primary tying vice. The above vises were all Christmas gifts. I also have a Norvise that I purchased at one of the Flyfishing Shows. After two or three years watching Norm Norlander spin his spiel just like a carnival barker from days of tonic I was sucked in and bought one. I use it for feather wing streamers primarily now days. I do love the bobbins he designed and have three of them and a boat load of the spools to go with them. I'm pretty much set for now I'd say.

Ron

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The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of something that is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

Sir John Buchan


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 Post subject: Re: Tying Vises
PostPosted: January 6th, 2019, 7:58 pm 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
Posts: 1517
Location: New Hampshire
I suspect we all started with a similar model. While I don’t know if mine was a Thompson, it looked exactly like one and it came in a cabelas kit. Before that, the garage sale Vice was not marked with a brand, but it does hold a hook. As I said in my recent review, the HMH Spartan has kept me happy for a long time. Nice pedastal base but I use it with a c-clamp through the middle of my tying desk. I think the jaws may have been upgraded making it closer to the next model up.

At some point, I will upgrade but at the moment it has kept me working.

The only thing I don’t love are the nylon washers that need to be replaced occasionally.

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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 Post subject: Re: Tying Vises
PostPosted: January 6th, 2019, 9:43 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 885
Location: Brunswick
I started on what was probably a Thompson knockoff, for about a year. It held a hook, the jaws were so mangled form the years of use before me that the hook had to be in the perfect spot or it went flying. I quickly upgraded to a HMH Spartan and really like it, and dont see the need for another vise.... except I occasionally wish I had a Regal for bigger stuff. I could just by the Magnum jaws for my HMH, but the standard jaws hold all but 1 hook in my kit, for that I bust out that decrepit Thompson knockoff. I do have the midge jaws and they come in handy for 18s and under.

Peter

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"A good game fish is too valuable to be caught only once"
Lee Wulff


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 Post subject: Re: Tying Vises
PostPosted: January 6th, 2019, 10:12 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 8th, 2016, 4:21 pm
Posts: 18
Love my Medallion, and I have a big enough room to tie in so that if the hook flies out and hits the wall it won't be hitting me in the eye. :lol:


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