Vice recommendations

geordie41

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Oct 6, 2012
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524
Location
Melbourne Australia or Newcastle upon Tyne .
I would like to start tying my own flies for the river , I know I’d be wanting a full rotary Vise with a base rather than a clamp , pointed jaws I understand are the way to go .
I’m after a good quality Vise that I won’t need to replace in a year or two , I’m also looking for advice on what tools I will need .
Initially I’d be wanting to tie maybe 4 or 5 different patterns such as dusters BWO‘s , Parra Adams, Jinglers and maybe a spider or two .
I’d rather add tools as I go so rather than buy a load upfront that I might not use so I’m thinking of only getting the essentials to begin with .
any advice would be gratefully excepted .
thanks in advance, cheers Kris.
 

pentlandflyman

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Dec 23, 2012
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Mid Lothian
Stonfo elite, personally i think it's only beaten by the petitjean in rotary vices. Do a search on here and read the thoughts and recommendations of the guys that own it, you won't find a bad word about it and aftersales care is spot on. you will get one for around £200 if you shop around.
 

ackroyd

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Mar 9, 2011
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175
I agree that Stonfo vices are generally of superb quality and represent good, honest, solid, well-tempered and well-thought out engineering. Mine is called the Morsetto Flytec Base, which may be an early model, and I love it. Of course, your choice will depend on your budget but I would encourage you to save for a decent model. There are other good vices as well, and to be candid, while it is worthwhile spending a bit of money on one, it is your fly-tying technique which is of primary importance. I think I paid around £200 for my Stonfo on e-bay, which I consider great value, and it is certainly adequate for my needs. Another point which I would make may seem rather obscure to others, but somehow I feel its proportions suit my technique and level of skill. I note from Barry Ord Clarke's new book "The Feather Bender's Flytying Techniques" (which I thoroughly recommend, incidentally), that he uses a Petitjean too. It does look a superb vice, but I am not a professional fly-dresser and could not justify the extra expenditure on such a glorious model.

As to tools, I would recommend buying a few ceramic bobbin-holders, some hackle pliers, good scissors, serrated, straight-edged and curved iris scissors (all of which can be bought quite cheaply on e-bay), a good bodkin, and a whip-finish tool. An old tooth-brush with its bristles cut down a bit makes an excellent dubbing brush. You may find it sensible to use a small pair of electrician's pliers to cut wire, thus saving the edges of your scissors for finer work. You will need wax as well and some super glue and varnish. Veniard's varnishes are excellent on the whole but many use Hard-as-nails and Rimmer 60-second nail varnish too. As to thread, Barry Ord Clarke recommends Dyneema, but I use Flymaster because I find it easy to flatten. I read somewhere recently that it is a mistake to wax your tying thread before dubbing on seal's fur, and I have to say, as a dresser of more than sixty years' experience, that I do not begin to understand that assertion. There is plenty of good advice on YouTube, and you will enjoy viewing these offerings on winter nights when the television only offers mindless drivel. Gradually, with increasing confidence, you will evolve your own style and as you come to feel you want to take on new challenges, you may want to buy some resin and a UV torch as well, but that can wait. Make haste slowly. Get to know and make friends with other fly-dressers. If you can afford the books of Oliver Edwards, Bob Wyatt, Michael Radencich and John Shewey, you will learn many valuable methods and techniques. The latter two authors are Amercian and describe how to tie classic salmon and steelhead flies and even if you do not want to tie such specimens, you will learn much from their methods.

One final word: pay little attention to the fly police. It's your fly, not theirs.
 
Last edited:

pati

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Nov 20, 2012
Messages
558
Full rotary is not that necessary...

If you can afford a Regal Revolution then you d be set for life... The medallion is awesome as well but not full rotary.

Best value for money full rotary vice is probably the Griffin Montana Mongoose
 

fishing hobo

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Jul 23, 2014
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Full rotary may not be necessary but I would argue that they are useful when you want to tie materials upside down, making sure thread doesn't slip down when you tie thread round the bend of hook and reaching for another material, checking position of wings etc. Spend a little more and buy a rotary vice. Peak seems to be a good reasonable vice.
 

themind

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Nov 17, 2014
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Kent, garden of England with a hosepipe ban!
The guy says he wants a full rotary, why try to convince him otherwise? If he gives his perimeters lets try to stick within them.

Personally I use an Anvil Atlas vice. Its good but the price has risen sharply in the last 5 years and I'm not sure I would buy it at todays prices, I would probably go for a griffin or jump straight to a norvise.

Steve
 

baca157

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Mar 1, 2015
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376
Location
Glasgow
I would recommend Stonfo as well. I have a transformer and I am really pleased with it. Previously tied on Renzetti Traveller which also is an excellent vice. I only changed as I found Traveller a bit too small for tying big salmon flies.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

pentlandflyman

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Dec 23, 2012
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Mid Lothian
full rotary is necessary because this is what he said -

'I know I’d be wanting a full rotary Vise with a base'

If you buy a rotary vice you have it, you can choose to use it as a standard fixed head vice or use its rotary function if needed. you might not use the rotary function often but when you need it its there.

The Stonfo elite blows the mongoose out the water imo, the mongoose is ugly, outdated and looks like its been built from scrap metal and its quite a bit more expensive than the Stonfo.

Read the reviews and what guys on here are saying, i bought the elite as a second vice and its now used all the time, you won't find a bad word said about it. Last night i rattled out size 2 snappy poodles, size 4 sculpins and then 16 jigs for grayling, the jaws are amazing, the rotary function is a godsend when its needed and the base is well designed and heavy. I love it and wouldn't part with it now, if i had the money i would buy the petitjean master vise again as that is a masterpiece but apart from that i wouldn't swap the elite for any other rotary vice.
 

suzzy buzzer

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Feb 11, 2020
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300
Make sure you understand the rotary function of the vice, if you intend to use the rotary function as part of the tying.

Inline rotary, and true rotary are different things.
 

Secret Angler

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Dec 19, 2018
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London
I've tied flies for may years without a pricey rotary, although now I think I want one. This is so I can spin the fly around and admire them like Davie Mc. sigh
 

fishing hobo

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Jul 23, 2014
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Scotland
The guy says he wants a full rotary, why try to convince him otherwise? If he gives his perimeters lets try to stick within them.

Personally I use an Anvil Atlas vice. Its good but the price has risen sharply in the last 5 years and I'm not sure I would buy it at todays prices, I would probably go for a griffin or jump straight to a norvise.

Steve
Agree with your comment regarding price, gone a lot. The jaw could be better.
 

PaulD

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Feb 11, 2020
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612
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South Northants
Anyone got experience of the C&F Designs Rotary Vice?
Yes, used one for years and they are excellent. Very secure jaws which accept hooks from pike size down to size 20 comfortably. For smaller flies I use an HMH Spartan with midge jaws.

The C&F is fully rotary, even comes with a little device to set the head angle to correct the rotary function for differing sized hooks.
 
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sunshine

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Nov 27, 2014
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122
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Soest, The Netherlands
Make sure you understand the rotary function of the vice, if you intend to use the rotary function as part of the tying.

Inline rotary, and true rotary are different things.
No, they are not. True rotary, on-axis rotary and in-line rotary are the same. When you rotate the vice head the shank of the hook stays horizontal. You can use the rotary function to wind materials around the hook shank (Ribbing, hackles etc.) and inspect the fly from all directions. For the in-line rotary function to be used to its fullest extend a bobbin rest would come in handy.

Some vices have a rotary function that’s not in line. When you rotate the vice head it takes the hook shank out of the horizontal position. You can use the rotary function to inspect the fly from all directions, but you can’t properly wind materials around the hook shank.
 

sunshine

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Nov 27, 2014
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Location
Soest, The Netherlands
The Maier & Fazis speed vice looks really nice, but it’s got one major design flaw for in-line rotary fly tying imho. The placement of the jaws is exactly in the center of rotation. That means that when you clamp the hook in te bend the shank of the hook isn’t in the center of rotation. When you ’speed rotate’ your hook, the shank wobbles up and down in the horizontal plane.

You can of course clamp the shank of the hook in the middle of the jaws (thus in-line) but that would cover the whole bend in the jaws making it impossible to position materials in the bend or at the edge of the bend (tails, tags etc.
 

m r roid

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Feb 25, 2017
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Problem solved 😊👍

The Maier & Fazis speed vice looks really nice, but it’s got one major design flaw for in-line rotary fly tying imho. The placement of the jaws is exactly in the center of rotation. That means that when you clamp the hook in te bend the shank of the hook isn’t in the center of rotation. When you ’speed rotate’ your hook, the shank wobbles up and down in the horizontal plane.

You can of course clamp the shank of the hook in the middle of the jaws (thus in-line) but that would cover the whole bend in the jaws making it impossible to position materials in the bend or at the edge of the bend (tails, tags etc.
 
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