After reading the previous locked thread I felt compelled to add to the conversation from a Law vise owner, vise collector and someone that knows a little bit of the background on this Virtual Nymph copy.
Lawrie Waldron did not "retire" but just took a break making the vises full time to focus on other projects, I don't think even he knew how crazy the second hand market would get after he stopped making them full time in 2010. I do not believe he ever patented the design so over the last few years the CAE vise came out and now the Virtual Nymph vise. I can tell you first hand that Lawrie is not happy that these vises copied his design and since its technically legal he believes it's morally and ethically wrong and their is obviously merit to that since he designed the vise with Hans W. back in 1989. The CAE borrowed heavy on the design but absolutely lacked the finish and quality the LAW had, their were also issues with the jaws chipping originally and I don't know if that has been ironed out since it has been out several years. For those unaware Virtual Nymph makes great tying material for caddis pupa and nymphs. Their nymph skin is an awesome material for tying realistic hydros. Their are bunch of LAWs in the states but its really all over the place in Europe and im guess the owner Dale is trying to capitalize on the fact that their is no patent on the design and the demand for second hand LAWs are through the roof what bothers me is that it is an exact replica without any credit to Lawrie. If you look on EBay as of writing this, their is a LAW for the buy it now price of $4400 and a separate listing for just the pedestal base for almost $2k which is insane. The LAW originally was only around $500 but a weak dollar and strong British pound converted that price to around $800-$900. A few years ago you can get one second hand for $1200-$1500 and then God knows how the prices got to be as high now.
To the point on why the LAW is so good and people are willing to spend so much on it and copy it. Listen, at the end of the day it's a vise and it holds a hook but the design is really stuning and it can really hold a size 10\0 to 32 on the same jaws with just one adjustment and the hook will not move. Also, the way the jaws are designed you have a lot of access to the rear of the hook as well as a place to put your non bobbin hand. It's just a really simple, beautiful design. Is it worth the cost? Well, that's up to the person purchasing it. Is a new Sage X rod worth $900? Is the new Loomis rod worth over a $1000? At the end of the day it is to me because I look at these vises as not only tools for what I love to do, but as sculpture and that's why I started collecting them as I admire the craftmenship and engineering Lawrence Waldron put into the LAW vise and other vise makers put into their vises. As a side note if you can find a LAW and want it go get it but if you are in the market for a really good vise my suggestions are the Jvice, Jay Smit the owner and maker of the Jvice is a friend and his vice is probably the best out their now in my opinion. It holds every size hook and the goose neck design gives you the most access to the rear of the hook then any vise, even the LAW. The renzetti presentation 4000 is a also a favorite especially for my streamers and the master is great too but sometimes I prefer the 4000. The Stonfo transformer is new and pretty cool and innovative but one can argue they take a lot of design elements from the Master. Happy New Year everyone!
PS Doug Stout your an amazing engineer, love your work!