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sbooder

Patterns & Vices

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Hi All,

New here and to fly tying (well sort of). I am an Englishman living in France, I used to tie a few flies, back when I had time to go fishing, that too I have not done for about 15 years.

So I have got back on the horse so to speak and am about to start tying again.

As I am a little rusty, I have two questions for you all.

1, I have bought myself a Danvise to tied me over but I do like the idea of spinning (once I get my hand in again). So I have my eye on two vices, the Norvise and the A.R.E. Roto-Vise, the latter being half the price. Can anyone give me feedback on either please?

2, Is there a consensus on which are the best 10 flies patterns to start tying that are easier to finish with quality as a beginner?

 

Thanks.

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Hi there,

I'm very much a beginner but here goes:

1. Have had a Norvise since Xmas - I love it. I enjoy the precision engineering. The automatic bobbin is a wondrous thing. It lives up to the claims made on the website. To me it is worth the considerable expense. Whether the flies tied on it will catch any more fish is another question entirely.

2. I'm practicing tying a woolly bugger, a 'generic' dry in different colours (white, grey, brown), and a terrestrial imitation (a red tag). I should try a bead head nymph soon.

 

A nice glass of red can help !

 

Cheers,

Brad.

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Hi Brad,

To address the most important point first. Red wine is rarely out of my reach. Now back to flies and vices. I must admit the Norvise is the one I am leaning towards. And thanks for the fly recommendations...I have so much to learn.

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There isn't anything you can't do on a Renzetti Traveler that you can do on a Norvise but it will be a slower process spinning. If you tie tons of long candy cane looking streamers or flies with lots of wrapped floss for bodies and even commercially, perhaps I can see the Norvise. But you can apply all of Norms techniques in slower motion on any good smooth rotary. Of the rotaries I've tried the Renzetti Traveler is smooth with slight drag set, smoother than most with the V shaped head on them . Not everyone likes the standard head on the Norvise, some buy the added fine head and that will take the Norvise out of balance at a cost approaching other lower end vises. Norm has made a great system, it catches the eye, it's precision made but you can do with other vises what he does with his. But hey, if you Must have one, by all means buy one.

 

Flies:

Various wet fly patterns in soft hackle. You can easily come up with ten variants in this category alone.

 

Woolie buggers ( various color schemes)

 

Woolie worms ( I tie these traditionally in black and grizzly but also in a scarlet body with grizzly hackle)

 

Adams dry fly ( sub in poly wings vs feathers to make it easy but just as effective)

 

Griffiths gnat.

 

Various emergers ( again probably ten patterns you could do right in this category alone.)

 

Chironamids ( Buzzers and the like, keep it simple though, the fish don't care)

 

Elk Hair caddis ( you can tie various combinations of materials in these. i vary these with Moose Hair or Deer Hair too. early caddis here are darker than late caddis, we even have black caddis)

 

Tent Wing Caddis ( I especially like from Maine, the West Branch Tie)

 

Anything wet can have weight or a bead head for variation. Look for some good natural Hen for collars.

 

I highly recommend watching the Davie Mcphail videos on Youtube, his techniques well worth knowing about . Another good series is that presented by Orvis, these are clear and well narrated. And watch all of Norms videos as well ( Norvise), whether you get a Norvise or not.

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I have never owned or tied on a Norvise but I have watched many of the demo/tying videos on You Tube when I was looking at buying a new vise. Here is one thing to consider if contemplating buying a Norvise. I observed that many of the techniques that were used were unique to the norvise system. Almost everything I had learned up to that point would have to be unlearned in order to use the Norvise properly. All the "how to" tying videos on You Tube and techniques learned from books were pretty much useless. I would have to learn to tie the "Norvise way". The biggest advantage to the Norvise is the spinning aspect and thus the speed at which materials are applied. I determined that speed was not an issue for me. I came to the conclusion that the extra cost would not be justified if I wouldn't use it to it's full potential. If I tied on a Norvise the way I tied on another vise, what would be the point? There is no doubt that it is a quality vise and does everything that they say it will. Every Norvise owner will testify to that. But it seems to me that if you tie on a Norvise, you will know how to tie on a Norvise...only. Since you are a novice tyer, I would continue to tie on your Danvise until you really know what you want in a vise. You may end up with a Norvise in the end...or not.

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welcome sbooder. your avatar looks like Teddy Roosevelt. Is that you? Maybe you can run for PM.

 

You expect concensus from this mob? HAHAHAHA... you must not have read thru any of our threads. :-)

I suggest you go to Flyanglersonline.... they have a beginner and intermediate fly tying section with excellent SBS. Their choices of beginning flies are designed to introduce you to the basic techniques. One of the first is the Wooly Bugger, that everyone will recommend to you.

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Just my opinion, but I love my Danvise. I recommend patterns that are used in the area of France that you intend to fish. There is a book French Fishing Flies: Patterns and Recipes for Fly Tying, available from Amazon. When starting to tie again, I think patterns with just three or four materials will get you comfortable being back at the vise.

 

Bonne chance et Tight Lines

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I've used a Danvise for close to 20 years now, and I haven't really found a need to spend more money on another "named" vise.

 

To patterns Dave G pretty much covers them

 

I would suggest a CDC and Elk over the Elk hair caddis. Both can be tied with deer hair, but you only need two materials for the CDC and Elk. CDC for the body and Deer or Elk hair for the wing. It also gives you the option of fishing it as an emerger. Google it on line, there should be any number of videos on how to tie it.

 

I'd also suggest the PT Nymph and Hare's Ear Nymph. Tied in various sizes and colors you can cover most mayfly nymphs with them. I tie mine with a bead head and soft hackles.

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My first true rotary vise was a Danvise. I now own a Norvise. I tie 80% of the time on my Regal. For the price, the Danvise is a great vise that will do anything the other more expensive true rotary vises will do. I think the Norvise is the pinnacle of true rotary vises. If you really think you are going to use the features of a true rotary as they were intended then you cannot do better than a Norvise. IMO. However, if you are not going to use it for what it was made for a majority of the time, then there is nothing wrong with the Danvise you already have. It serves its purpose very well. I have also owned a Renzetti, Thompson and Dyna-King true rotary vise. All are great vises but offer very little more than the Danvise. So my suggestion is stick with the Danvise unless you really think you are going to move into the world of rotary tying, then a Norvise would be the saddle for you to climb on to.

 

Something to consider. When I first got my Danvise, the extended vise jaws were not available and I did not like the way I had to raise the back of the palm of my hand to pinch materials onto the hook. I think the company got wind of this from many tiers and came out with the extended arm which allowed the back of the palm to rest in a more natural position. With that said, the Norvise has the same issue with the standard jaws. Being inline, you must hold your hand tilted with the back of your palm up to pinch on materials. Again this is part of the reason for the micro jaws being available. I only have the standard jaws for my Norvise. It took some getting used to, but it is not an issue for me anymore. With practice and enough time on the vise I am very comfortable with it. The Norvise is different enough that there is a learning curve and you must be willing to work at tying on one. Once the technique is attained, it is a pleasure to tie on.

 

Good Luck!

Carl

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I have two suggestions.

 

1. Don't worry about upgrading the vise just yet. I use a Danvise and like it just fine, I have some complaints about jaws wearing out but you are don't have to worry about that for some time, but tying on a Danvise is just fine. Wait till you get more into tying before buying a new vise. Just my two cents on that.

 

2. All of the suggestions people made here for patterns to start with are great. I would scale it down if it were me, say maybe four patterns. Maybe start with a few of these, basic soft hackle patterns, gold ribbed hare's ear (bead and not), pheasant tail nymph (bead and not), black woolly buggers (again bead and not), and a simple dry fly (suggestions... x-caddis, elk hair caddis, harrop's hair wing dun, f-fly, ect.....)

 

By scaling down the number of flies in your initial set of practice flies you make it easier to select quality materials and focus on a few tying skills and materials rather than trying to take on the large number of skills needed for tying 10 different flies. In addition you will find that if you picked any of the four patterns I suggested you can tie a bunch of other flies with the materials for those flies and maybe just a thing or two extra.

 

A few things I would suggest getting right off the bat is assortments of natural rabbit or squirrel dubbing like SLF (synthetic living fibre), a dry fly dubbing like super fine and ice dub (Waspi makes good assortments of these things). Also a few different colors of 6/0 threads (black, olive, brown, grey, red), peacock herl and swords, rabbit mask in a few colors, Hungarian partridge skin, pheasant tail, copper and gold wire, some beads, some dry fly and nymph hooks a patch of elk and deer hair in natural colors, natural color cdc feathers.

 

Also check out Oldhat's website it has good stuff for beginner tiers.

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I absolutely don't know how I missed the Hairs Ear Nymph in my pattern list above !! It's a staple. I tie that in variants as well and to this day ( many sizes from #20-#6, weighted, unweighted, Peacock Herl Wing case or traditional, various colors and types of dubbing). Wow, how could I have missed that one ? !!

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.... So I have my eye on two vices, the Norvise and the A.R.E. Roto-Vise, the latter being half the price. Can anyone give me feedback on either please?

Can you tell me how much each of the two vises will cost a French resident to purchase?

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A size 16 Pheasant tail will catch a lot of fish, as will a Hare's Ear. And they'e fairly easy to tie.

 

Before I'd shell out $600 for a Nor Vise, I'd read the reviews. I almost bought one but didn't; I don't do a lot of spinning. Which is where they supposedly shine.

 

I've got a Renzetti Master and tie on it and an HMH. I like them both. A rotary vise is helpful, but not essential.

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