Setting myself up for a life of tying

Anything to do with flies and fly tying
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:10 am

Setting myself up for a life of tying

Post by JoelH » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:14 am

Hi all,

I am new to tying flies and wanted to start by getting some gear. What vice are you recommending? I know you can have clamps, or on bases, ones that rotate and those that don't etc...what are the recommendations for a vice that I should be happy with over a lifetime without feeling the need to get anything else. It would be for nymphs and dries mostly. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Posts: 116
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:44 pm

Re: Setting myself up for a life of tying

Post by Jaapie » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:51 am

Hey Joel,

Mate, I started off with a crappy Indian copy of a vice I used for years......honestly........years. (27+)

I just wish I knew then what I knew now.
Get the best vice you can afford - or even hold off until you can get a top of the line vice.

I held off upgrading, but after tying on good quality, rotating vices with some of the bells and whistles, I wondered why the hell I hadn't done this ages ago. It really does make a huge difference.
There are plenty of very good makes and models around - you just have to narrow it down to suit what you are looking for.
Just from a personal perspective, get the best quality jaws you can too, even if it means upgrading the jaws separately.

FWIW - I went down the J-Vice route.
Super happy, but it is very expensive compared to some of the other makes around that do exactly the same things.
If you're only tying occasionally, you need to consider this outlay.

Good luck mate - it's an addictive hobby.

Posts: 166
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 10:31 am
Location: Invercargill

Re: Setting myself up for a life of tying

Post by Dave » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:35 am

Hi Joel
I use a Peak rotary vice that I bought from the Flyshop but the price has gone up quite a bit since I got mine. I opted for the clamp base as this is what I was used to, but then made my own flat base and have never used the clamp since. The flat base means you can use it on any table, bench etc without worrying about damage to the table or if it will clamp on. There are advantages with the rotary vice even if you only use the rotary function once in a while. The main problem in deciding what to use is finding out what is out there and what they are actually like especially as you won't be able to see most before you purchase.

User avatar
fraser hocks
Posts: 906
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 3:25 pm
Location: Queenstown

Re: Setting myself up for a life of tying

Post by fraser hocks » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:38 pm

Yeah some good advice there from the other guys.

I think as the others have implied, you shouldn't get to caught up in a brand name. Just find a quality vice that suits your needs. Oh and as the others have said rotary is an essential, as well as a flat base. Clamps might be ok for occasionall travel use but a good heavy base plate is the way to go.

I also originally bought a cheap clamp type but soon made a heavy base for it and never looked back. I now own a Dyna King vice and love it. Talking of which, time to hit the vice!

Bucking trends in fly fishing since 1970!

Posts: 255
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: Setting myself up for a life of tying

Post by Boisker » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:52 pm

Also have a think about what size of fly you’ll be likely to be tying as that will influence what type and size of jaws you want; most vices will go down to the common large sizes easy enough, but if you are planning on tying up really large flies for sea etc you def need to consider, for me more of a consideration was ensuring there was good clearance around the jaws for tying small (ish) flies... down to size 24.
There are a range of different jaw mechanisms as well... my wife surprisingly bought me a vice for Xmas last year... a regal fly vice type copy. I love the easy speed with which you can grip the flies using the leaver.
Also decide if you want a rotary vice or a true rotary vice. A true rotary is invaluable but only if you think you will tie flies using the rotary feature... but most people don’t. The majority of people just use rotary functions to rotate the fly to look at proportions and underneath... rather than for wrapping thread. A true rotary function could be an expensive option and limit which vices you look at if that is all you plan to do with it.... such as- the medallion regal vice does rotate through 360 but isn’t a true rotary, costs over £300 in the UK, regal revolution is a true rotary vice... costs over £600 in the UK.

Posts: 736
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Setting myself up for a life of tying

Post by Johnno » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:57 pm


Twenty Tyers will have twenty opinions...

FWIW I think you ought to get a vise thats going to suit the type of flies you tying. If it's a majority of trout type flies it can be one make/model, if it's a majority of salt flies, then it's another.

A very good, if not IMHO the best all round vise is the Renzetti Traveller. It's a full rotary that'll cover 2/0 to 26 and everything in between. Well made and engineered and the nicest vise for me personally. I tie up to 10,000 flies a year on mine and have had it now for about 15 years. You can do the maths. It's as good and tight today as it was on fly number 1.

If you not going full rotary then Regal would be my pick although if you don't seat the hook right they tend to fly out across the room never to be seen again until it turns up in the dog's paw ( I know this) and the jaws snapping shut, if that happens, can chip the edges of the jaw - the one downfall of Regal. OTT it's a very well made and engineered vice.

Just one thing. As referred to above re the full rotary thing: If you going to go full rotary, then learn to use the vise as a full rotary otherwise a complete waste of time having it. Full rotary tying will give you a far better, consistent and even fly once you know how to wind threads, hackles, ribs, heads and bodies etc with the feature.

If you just want to be able to rotate to check underside, the bottom or whatever then don't go FR....

Clamp or pedestal is up to you. I'm lucky that I have a dedicated tying room so my gear is set up permanently and my desk has the Renzetti clamped to it and that's fine for me. In fact I'd rather have a clamp. I can really crank down on flies with thread etc and not a movement in sight. But a pedestal may be more convenient if you have to set up and put away all the time

Peak, TMC, Stonfo are all good options as well. Even the venerable old Thompson AA is a great vise. Still got mine and I drag it out now and again. Still good after thousands of flies..

Cheaper knockoffs and copies are just that ( cheap) and a false economy in my view. Poor metals, bad engineering and not made to last.. just rubbish. Spurn them like you'd spurn a rabid dog. Remember you are tying flies to tie flies, not to save money, ( Believe me, once the tying bug has bit, that'll never happen) so don't bother with cheap crap...

User avatar
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 4:44 pm
Location: New Plymouth

Re: Setting myself up for a life of tying

Post by SteveO » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:15 pm


Peak vice from the forum host, you will not regret it

Cheers SteveO

Posts: 736
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Setting myself up for a life of tying

Post by Johnno » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:37 pm

Edit: where I have said Full Rotary...

I mean True Rotary.....


Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest