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Hellgrammite

Xuron Vise - First Impressions/Review

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A week or so ago, I called a nice lady at St. Simons Outfitters and place an order for a Xuron vise; I purchased the basic model, which came to 128 dollars, shipping and all included. They were extremely friendly, in a few minutes my order was placed, and a week later, a well packed, fully insured box arrives at my door. I eagerly open it and was delighted with what I found.

 

The pedestal base is nicely powdercoated and has a nonslip rubber surface on the bottom, and it is plenty wide and heavy enough that I cannot pull my vise over without breaking the usual 70 denier thread I use. Its stable. The stem mounts to the base via an ingenious ball and socket joint which allows the stem to be rotated or adjusted to any preferred angle and quickly secured with a single thumbscrew. The finish is nice, the machining is clean. No sharp edges or burred threads, and all holes are nicely chamfered.

 

The jaws have a narrower point than my old Thompson model A, and I will have no troubles tying down to a 22 or even 24 on this vise. It also grips a size 6 with no problems (the largest hooks i have). The jaw tightens or loosens with the turn of a single lever, and requires no adjustment. The threaded shaft which pulls the jaws together has extra holes in it if someone wished to re-position the handle. It turns smoothly, snugly, with no catching, burrs, etc. The jaws grip splendidly, and you do NOT have to torque down on the handle to get them to do so. The jaws are a single piece of steel with a slot cut through them to allow them to close, and held in place by a single allen head set screw. Simple, reliable, and absolutely wonderful.

 

All told, counting every screw AND the rubber pad on the base, this thing has 13 parts. That's it. I think you would have to expend some effort to find a way to break it. I tied a size 16 Pale Evening Dun for a test run, and the vise is a DELIGHT to use; plenty of clearance beneath the jaws and between the stem and bobbin, much, much easier to use than my Thompson. The hook never slipped and I was unable to get it to do so, even trying (the hook will bend or break first). The vise is pretty, simple, has wonderful clearance, and requires one motion for any size hook.

 

In short, I will likely never buy another vise. Considering shipping and insurance was included, this vise cost me about 100 bucks. Wonderful tool. I will be contacting St Simons to see if extra jaws are available; not that I think I will ever need them, as the machining and finish on these is top notch, but because i want to be prepared for any eventuality for the life of me and the vise. I have a feeling I will die before it does.

 

Vastly, vastly underrated and underpromoted vise. My Thompson just became my backup/travel vise.

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Glad to see you're happy with it. There is something attractive about the lack of screws, bolts, nuts etc. Hope it and us see many flies from it.

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I told you that you would like it! It will last longer than you, my friend.

 

You did! You may now say "I told you so!"

 

Oh wait... you did! :lol:

 

Thanks for the advice. I do love this vise!

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Hellgrammite,

 

My Xuron vise arrived yesterday. It is just as you described it and so easy to use. My wife is happy with the simplicity. As a test I tried clamping size 2 hooks and size 28. No problems and no fiddling. (The only difficulty was trying to handle the size 28 hooks with big, thick fingers.)

 

This week I'll be tying, or attempting to tie, my first flies in several decades. I'll have a choice between the Xuron and an HMH Spartan vise. Talk about luxury!!

 

Thanks to the folks for their encouragement about the Xuron. The good reviews were spot on.

 

Jeff

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Jeff,

Just saw your post and was wondering how you liked the Xuron vise versus the Spartan.

 

Dave

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Looks like she hasn't been around since shortly after receiving her Xuron. Perhaps she's enjoying it too much to bother with the Internet. Let's hope that's all.

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