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Mars Rover

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About Mars Rover

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    Rainbow Trout
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    Central Pennsylvania

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  1. I never liked using saliva to moisten my fingers or licking materials to moisten them. I usually have a bottle of water at the desk anyway so just needed something to pour some water into. So I just dribble water onto a sponge that’s contained in this little plastic lidded box. I usually have some biots or quills soaking in there anyway. Another cool thing that happens when I open the lid - the soaking materials stick to the lid of the box, leaving the sponge free for your fingers - or perhaps to squeeze a marabou plume through it. This is due to the sponge being thick enough to touch the top of the box when saturated. Also, the biots just slide right off the plastic with a fingertip when you’re ready to use one. Saves you from fishing around in a jar of liquid for quills!
  2. If you have a commercial waste bag that you never use because you hate to have anything attached to your vise stem, try mounting it to something else. This one is rigged to a frame piece just beneath the desk drawer and it swings completely under the desk and out of the way. I only swing it out when it’s time to scoop stuff into it. Also before you dump the contents, go through the waste materials with one of those mechanic’s magnets on a stick. I just found 3 good hooks and a hackle pliers!
  3. here's a volume 1A (says so right on the front cover) which should be the same as yours except it includes a bonus section-tying instructions for 11 basic flies. I don't think there is an actual pattern supplement #3 to volume #1 but not sure. Tthere is a Volume #2 (green cover) that includes a section of tying instructions, in addition to the patterns. I don't know of any others supplements to volume #2 . My brown one is like yours and I also have the green one. I don't have volume 1A.
  4. That vise appears to be a Crest "Custom" model. Those old vises are well made with good materials and are nicely finished. They operate smoothly and are capable of monstrous hook holding power. There is a current (or more recent) Crest line of fly tying tools, but I don't think there is any connection to the old Crest Tool and Supply company that made these in California USA.
  5. Regals are convertible from right to left had operation just by loosening that 7/64 Allen screw at the front of the cam - and then swinging the lever handle from one side to the other. I don't know for sure but I bet backing out that screw would also allow you to remove what's left of that handle. You may have to grip and twist it with pliers because it's a tight taper fit to the cam body. Regal probably does not sell that handle as a repair part but if you communicate with them, perhaps they will just send a new handle.
  6. The manual for the Universal #2 vise is like a tri-fold booklet. Maybe a photo copy but nicely done - like from a print shop. The instructions for the the #1 vise is just 5 pages of sheet paper. The first two paragraphs of page one are specific to the vise itself, then the last page has the diagrams. Moist of the information in both documents is really more like tying instructions. But I think they did a good job keeping it related to "rotary" tying. Especially for the #1 vise which has more and greater detail for rotary tying.
  7. My Universal #2 came with the bobbin cradle and the manual, but no box. My Universal #1 is in nice shape but is missing the original bobbin cradle and I'd like to find the cradle. The document in the link below has some good information on Universal. Near the end of the article the Universal #3 is featured. These are rare, I think only 100 or 200 were ever made and it can go for $400 or $500 nowadays. Not long ago, a #3 was on eBay but it was in poor condition so I didn't track it and don't know what it sold for - if it sold. http://www.mtfa-springfield.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Universal-Rotary-Fly-Tying-Vises.pdf
  8. Thanks for posting the pic of the Chase Holbrook vise with the box. I had not seen that image, but now I do remember something about a Chase vise. I've also seen the vise pictured with a Metal Specialties box, perhaps in eBay listings. I have seen the Roy Steenrod link that flytire posted but it's been awhile. That listing also mentions "Holbrook" so I guess it does have a model name-something else I had forgotten about!
  9. Those are stamped on top "Metal Specialties Co, Attleboro Massachusetts". Not particularly valuable but somewhat collectable due to being used by some fly tying notables like Roy Steenrod, for example. I don't know the exact age but they're pretty old. They come up for sale on eBay once in awhile and over the years I've placed my max bid at about $30 and was outbid, sometimes by as much as $80. A few months ago, I finally got one for under $40 all in. It's a nice one that still has the original thread holding springy doodad for tying bobbin-less. First thing I did was to tie a fly using the thread clamp which I had not done for a long time. As you can see, 4th from the left,, It's tiny compared to some other old vises. Thanks for the tip on the Ted Williams video. I'll watch it today!
  10. Mars Rover


    My old wonder wax cap was always hard to unscrew and at one time is was so so stuck that I resorted to hot air. This may be an old tip that's common knowledge but I read it somewhere: Clean the threads the best that you can then smear some Vaseline on just the threads. I did this just once, probably like 5 years ago - and it's just now starting to get some wax buildup but the cap is still pretty easy to remove.
  11. Maybe those big fish are so fast they must cool down their drag drag discs.
  12. I have the Universal Rotary #1 and #2 vises and enjoy using them. There's some good Universal information on the document in the link below. Good luck finding a no. 3 vise. I think I've heard that they only made about 100 of them. Very cool vise with a unique jaw closing system. I've only ever seen one, decades ago. I know it was near the Ken Lockwood Gorge in NJ so it could have been Shannon's fly shop in Califon but not sure. It was always set up on a tying bench there. You'll know it and remember if you ever see one because it's pretty weird. http://www.mtfa-springfield.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Universal-Rotary-Fly-Tying-Vises.pdf
  13. That's funny. I don't feel jealous. But who knows. Perhaps it's one of those repressed emotions that's not healthy for me to ignore.
  14. Loon's "Vise Pawn", sold as magnetic material clip, is only $10 - but it always looked like a whiteboard magnet to me. Nearly the same shape and easy to grab. So that's what I use. I don't need 12 or 50 of them for $10, but someone gave me one that's magnetically strong and high quality. Sold as whiteboard magnets, magnetic map pins, magnetic push pins. Over the years I've found various uses for magnets at the tying desk but now I reach for the whiteboard magnet as it's small and unobtrusive but easy to locate and grab when needed.
  15. Regarding those car-top rod vaults, I just thought of something. Because those tubes are about as long as a typical flagpole, you could probably see them in your field of vision while driving. Then you don't have to remember to not drive under any low hanging branches. Nah - I would still get them caught on something wreck the rods, my roof rack and the top of my car! Or maybe some crackhead would would damage my car trying to rip it off!
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