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flyjake

Peak Rotary or Griffin Odyssey Spider Vise for Beginner

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Hello, I am just getting into fly tying and have a question about vises. From what I have read on this forum and on the internet it is worth buying a good, robust vise since they last a lifetime and starter toolkits tend to be cheap. After perusing the different related topics in this forum, two of the most popular vises that are mentioned and within my price range are the Peak Rotary vise and the Griffin Odyssey Spider vise. It looks like they are both true rotary vises and have similar features. I'm wondering if the Peak Rotary vise offers something that justifies the extra $60, or if the Griffin Odyssey Spider will give me everything I need. Keep in mind, I am just getting into this hobby and have no experience tying flies. Thanks!

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flyjake,

I have been tying on a Griffin for many years and have had no issues. Right now I have the Griffin Odyssey Spider, you referenced above. I have changed the jaws to the cam jaw, which has made it much easier to put your hooks in the vice. Currently you can buy the vice to come with the cam jaws. I have tied hook sizes from 4/0 to 24. In my opinion it is a great vice, especially for a beginner due to the cost. 

I can't talk about the Peak vise, as I have never tied on one, but the Griffin is something I will continue to tie on, because the main reason is I simply can't justify spending more money for a true rotary vice that does the job! I also only tie for myself, family, and friends. No plans to tie commercially and if I did, I would have no reservation about tying with the Griffin. Good luck!

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The internet is a terrible thing. A vise holds a hook. A very simple job. Both of those vises and a great many more will accomplish the simple task of holding a hook. The choice to spend a lot or a little to accomplish this very simple task is up to you. I, as in myself, choose not to pay for  the hype and B.S. in fly fishing. 
 

good luck in your decision and I hope you end up enjoying the process of fly tying. 

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If you can, try them out before you buy. Vise choice is a very personal thing; what one tyer considers important, another may not care about.

Regards,
Scott

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For what its worth, I've tied on neither, but IMHO:

 

It you want to jump right into fly tying, and know you will stay with it, I would go with the Griffin Spider.  Based on reviews that I have read it is a great quality vise for the money.  There seems to be a few more adjustments needed until you get it down to your own tying style, unlike the Peak, but once those are done I see almost no negative reviews.  

 

The Peak also get great reviews, and its one I'm looking into as my  next vise, (currently tying on an Apex, which is just OK).  As to what makes the Peak worth the extra $, I don't know but I would probably say style/configuration/looks,  and it appears to me to be a bit higher in quality, all reasons I'm looking at it.  However, once you get into the price range of the Peak, you may also want to consider the Renzetti Traveller, which is also highly regarded.  

 

HOWEVER, it you have doubts as to sticking with tying, or even if you don't, I would recommend you go with one of the basic Thompson AA style vises.  They're good enough for a beginner to get their feet wet, cheap enough to allow you to spend a little extra on materials for tying, and at @ $20 or below they allow you to get the hang of tying flies and using a vise without a big investment.  Then you'll have a little more experience as to what qualities and features you really want in a vise and be able to make a better decision.  I have a few that sit on the edge of my tying desk and come in handy as temporary holders, bobbin rests, etc.  I used to pick them up at yard sales, thrift shops, etc for a few bucks.  

 

And @SBPatt has good advise.  If you can try one out, either in a store setting or at a local club, that's the way to go.  I know my club offers free tying lessons in the dead of winter.  Vise and materials included, for no charge.  Guys bring their own and have no problem letting someone else use it to tie a fly.    

 

NOTE: you don't need an expensive vise to tie a great fly, you need good materials and the knowledge of how to apply them.  Some of the best tyers of old either tied in hand or on a homemade vise, hobbled together from hardware on hand.  

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I second what niveker said. A Thompson AA vice will do the job. Upgrade at a later date if you find it necessary but why pay more $$$ to find out that fly tying isn't for you. I tied on a Thompson vice for years, heck I still have it in a bin somewhere. I never tied on either of the vice you mentioned but they will do the task in hand.

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As niveker said you can even make your own vise.  A great guy I met on another site, Ed Engelman, shared designs of vises that I taught my CUB Scouts to make and use!  If you want a hint or two feel free to PM me.  Here's an OLD picture of me tying on one with another model in the foreground at a scouting event - (6) Lady's Night Swap - Pictures posted and swap closed | The North American Fly Fishing Forum - sponsored by Thomas Turner (theflyfishingforum.com).  

I'm not saying that you MUST make your own, just saying that it is an option that'll cost you under $10 to try!

Kim

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22 hours ago, flytire said:

The little screw on the front, after you have tied for a while, will really cause your fingers to hurt! Avoid it unless your a going to tie for short periods!

Many tight lines!

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how does it hurt your finges?

its use to adjust the jaws to the hook diameter and then the cam lever tightens the jaws on the hook. not much different than renzetti jaws

the little screw did its job and is no longer in use when tying flies

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Good sound advice from all the commenters on the subject...especially the comment that all the vise does is hold the hook.

My opinion is to stay away from the Thompson A knockoffs. Spend a few extra bucks on the real thing if you wish to start there. I tied on one for 25 years before my wife bought me a Renzetti for Christmas some 30 years ago. I recently gave the Thompson vise to a young tyer and I'm sure he will use it for many years to come. They are well built and will honestly last a lifetime as long as it is not abused.

That being said, buy whatever your budget allows, try several different types and brands if possible, then get whatever appeals to you and just looks right for you. Think long term!!!

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Ease of use, firm hook hold on a full range of hook sizes, and durability are the key qualities I look for. 

I have experimented a lot with the mid cost range vises and settled on the Peak Rotary.  Only minor grumble is it is a little fussy readjusting the gap for different hook sizes but then I usually tie a bunch in one size before moving on.  The HMH was also a top choice in terms of a life long commitment.    

I won't even begin to mention the low end vises I have gone through w/o finding one of any lasting quality.

My one jump into high end vises was with the NOR VISE which is a brilliant design but I found the bobbins to be a PIA to load and use and the height was not right for me. . 

 

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34 minutes ago, Rocco said:

 

My one jump into high end vises was with the NOR VISE which is a brilliant design but I found the bobbins to be a PIA to load and use and the height was not right for me. . 

 

I don't use a Norvise but I do use their bobbins. They are easily loaded if you have a power drill. I don't know anyone who tries to load them by hand.

I use the Norvise bobbin cases as organizers to hold 10 spools each. 

35555724252_90ba01aaf6_o.jpg

I use the "combs" from booklets to keep the tying thread on the spools. My hospital has a print shops and I get the combs free.

34915026843_95fb0dc98b_o.jpg

35684731986_d4554f33fe_o.jpg

 

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