View Full Version : First time vise

08-29-2007, 02:34 PM
I'm sure this question has been asked countless times on this board, but I am looking to land a relatively inexpensive vise to tie some basic trout catching flies. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

08-29-2007, 02:48 PM
I have been using a DanVise for a few years, and am quite happy with it. It is a rotary vise, and, although I don't rotary tie, I find it very handy to be able to turn the fly into any position. It costs about $80 through Orvis. Some 'purists" have bashed it, because the body is made of Delrin, but it is quite sturdy, and the molded delrin cuts the cost of the vise.

I also have a Regal that I have had for years, and use for tying larger flies. It is a very good vise, but a bit expensive for starting out. If you are on a tight budget, there are several clones of the venerable Thompson "A" vise that are low priced and will get the job done.

08-29-2007, 03:19 PM
this thread started by solid might help


08-30-2007, 04:34 AM
I still use a $10 "el cheapo" vise.

08-30-2007, 08:28 AM
I started with a "Beginers Kit" from Cabelas, all the tools you need and some you don't for about $50. I have tied with it for about 2 years and haven't had an issue, nor have needed to upgrade.

My only advice is to try and get one with a C-Clamp for a table, but also a pedistal for easy setup anywhere.

I am sure that the expensive ones work better, but I've had not issues with the one I have.

08-30-2007, 12:01 PM
Keep an eye out on Ebay.. Last year i bought a Griffin Superior 2A with Bobbin, threader, hair stacker, whip finish tool, and bodkin for like $50.

seems to work pretty nice...I am a beginner and have tied down to a size 18. My fingers kind of got in the way though.

Trout Fin
08-31-2007, 08:49 AM
You can buy vices for as little as $10 on up to several hundred dollars and they all do the same thing – hold the hook. For that matter some pretty good tiers hold the hook in their fingers.
When I started out I purchased a $25 kit and regretted it a few days latter when the cheap vice broke. A few days latter I went to a real fly shop and got my first Thompson A vice it lasted me a long time before I broke down and got an HMH. The HMH will no doubt be the last vice I will ever buy. My advice is to buy the best you can afford.
There are a lot of vices priced around $100 today that are US made and are a lot better quality than was available when I started.
What surprised me about this thread is a big box store and E-bay was recommended. True there are some good buys on EBay, but someone who is new can easily get screwed. With all the great fly shops in NH why not try one of those first.

08-31-2007, 08:57 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I probably will not go through ebay. Just because I never but anything from ebay unless I know exactly what I am getting (have seen the exact product before etc.) and since I have zero experience with vises, you're right, I probably would get screwed going that route.
I probably will but an relatively inexpensive one to start out. I have browsed a few fly shops, and they were all over $100. I didn't know that they made "cheaper" vises.
I guess if I but a cheaper one and it gets me through the winter, I'll be happy and maybe when I'm more seasoned I'll go for a nicer, longer lasting one.
Thanks again.

08-31-2007, 10:16 AM
For what it is worth, vises are like stereo systems - everyone has their favorite or what they are used to and the only real way is to go touch a few and see what happens. But you will get what you pay for. Many cheap vises just don't have the hook holding power that you will need and you will get frustrated. That isn't to say that there aren't any inexpensive vises.

I started with the Cabelas Master vise and it works well. It comes with two sets of jaws (one for holding larger hooks and one for smaller hooks). It is a sturdy vise (at least they were 10 years ago) that should get you going. There isn't a lot of adjustments available to you but you need some experience to figure out what you will be comfortable with and what you need anyway. I still have mine in my small travel kit. Works great. Can't beat the price at $30.

I would also check out Griffin vises (http://www.griffinenterprisesinc.com/vises.html). I use the Griffin Montana and love it. They are US made and have a good warranty. They have several styles and models at nearly any price range. The Montana isn't as stylish and polished as say a Renzetti or HMH, but then neither are my flies! In truth, I wouldn't mind having one of those other brands either. They are great but the Montana fit my budget at the time and I don't regret the purchase at all.

As far as eBay goes, I have ordered stuff from Fishwest, Middle Earth Flies and Wilderness Angler with no problems. They all carry the full line of Griffin products at slightly below retail.

08-31-2007, 02:12 PM
I've had a Renzetti Traveler for about 15 years. I think they still cost under $200 (which is still not cheap, but many cost more). Fully rotating, which I like. I've tied flies from Salt water down to size 22 BWO's and the jaws work well on all sizes.

The jaws on these models are also replaceable, which is a nice feature. I'm told they can wear out oer time if you're a production/professional tier, but I've tied hundreds and hundreds of flies over the years and the only maintenance I've done on the vise is replace rubber o-rings about once every five years - at a cost of about 50 cents.

I agree that everyone has their favorite brand...

In terms of features, you need stability - I would look for either a c-clamp or a heavy base. I went with the heavy base because I don't like having the vise right on the edge of my tying desk. I think having a full rotary vise is important for many reasons. I also like vises with cam-style jaw locks. My vise doesn't have this feature - I have the older dial-style (my only complaint), but when I've used ones that have cams I've found them great. (Yes, I do know that I could upgrade the jaws for about $50, I guess it doesn't bother me 50 bucks worth.)

Good luck with your purchase. You'll love tying and catching fish on your own flies. I'm not sure why, but it feels great.