Jump to content

 Welcome to FlyTyingForum.com

FlyTyingForum.com is the largest fly tying community in the world and we hope you take a moment to register for a free account and join this amazingly friendly and helpful group of anglers. FTF has over 12,000 registered members that have made over 300,000 posts and have uploaded over 6,000 patterns to our exclusive fly pattern database!

If you are an experienced fly tier or just starting out FTF is the perfect place to call home. Click Here To Register for a Free Account

Fly Pattern Database / Browse by Topics / Browse by Material / Fly Tying Bench Database / Fly Fishing & Tying Videos / FTFCurrent(NEW!)
Featured Products: Fly Tying Hooks / Fly Tying Scissors / Waterproof Fly Boxes

Buying a new vise

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 lewy271


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 299 posts

Posted 17 November 2004 - 03:30 PM

Okay I know I don't post often actually this may be my first, but I visit the site often and know that I am coming to the right place for advise.

I started tying about three years ago, with cheap kit vise which was constantly breaking and would not hold hooks well. So two years ago I had bought the Thompson Cobra Vise. Which is sexy and is alot of fun to tie with but has one distinct flaw.

The jaws break and send shards of metal flying at my face. This has happend twice now since I've owned the vise and I am fed up with it. Thompson, who is not Thompson anymore have kindly replaced the jaw pieces both times without hassle and tell me that this is not common place for the vise. Although they say the vise is set up for any size hook I am starting to wonder if it just does better with small hook sizes. I need suggestions, for a bulletproof vise.

I fish primarly for pike, smallies and largemouth so the majority of my tying occurs on 1 to 3/0 stainless steel hooks...I don't know if the stainless steel hooks are what keeps breaking the vise jaws or what... Maybe I should look at a saltwater vise? Money is not my primary benchmark on what I will buy, I would like a vise that works well. Give me your thoughts...Thanks in advance to anyone who responds

#2 Kingfisher


    It's better to have a rod and not need it than need a rod and not have it

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 461 posts

Posted 17 November 2004 - 03:35 PM

A couple of years ago, I purchased a Renzetti, then promptly returned it when I discovered problems with the jaws and the annoying habit it had of the main shaft moving out of place whenever I tried to tie something. I went with what I should have bought in the first place: a full-size Barracuda. The majority of tying I do is for saltwater and warmwater, hooks in the range of 2-4/0, and have never once had any complaints about the vise. I also tie small flies and streamers, down to size 18, and again have no complaints. I would recommend this vise to anyone.
Marine Scientist
NYC, Jersey Shore, Eastern PA, occasionally Downeast Maine

Big fish don't get big by being stupid.

#3 steeldrifter


    When I grow up, I'm moving to Florida !!!

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,045 posts

Posted 17 November 2004 - 03:39 PM

Personaly i've been extremely happy with my Renzetti for 8 or 9 years now, but i dont really know if i would suggest it for you if you are tying many large hook sizes such as you mentioned.

Its hard to tell some one what vice will suit them best so i'm not even going to try, but i will give you a link (you may have read it already) that has tons of opinions on vices.



Owner- Steve Clark

Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doin, than a long life spent in a miserable way- Alan Watts

#4 Sean Juan

Sean Juan

    Local Boob

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 588 posts

Posted 17 November 2004 - 04:01 PM

I use a Full sized Barracuda - I love it I can tie flies up to size 8/0 without trouble.

My other vise is a regal - its not Sexy but since I am Sean Juan together we are sexy enough, no? A regal will hold hooks up to 4/0 without trouble 6/0 you are probably asking for it.

Best thing to do would be to find the largest hook you are likely to use and try it in the vise.

Also look at the Barracuda Jr...they look pretty sharp and if they are anything like their big brother you'll do fine.
F'ing the ineffable since 1974

#5 mcfly


    ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,244 posts

Posted 17 November 2004 - 04:09 PM

Renzetti Traveler
Dyna-King Jr

Both great vices for the price... I still use the one that came with my kit I just can't keep myself from buying tying supplies long enough to save for one.
To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all. - Peter McWilliams

#6 Steelheader69


    Lord of the bunnies

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,202 posts

Posted 17 November 2004 - 04:42 PM

Your problem could be how you're adjusting your vise before you put your hook in. You don't want an ironclad grip on them. Some people take the thompson knockoffs and clamp them down so hard that they have to force the handle to lock in. That's usually where the problem starts.

One thing with buying a vise, is to make sure you buy one you'll truly use. Rotaries aren't for everyone, and is a waist to pay the money for one that isn't going to rotate. I use my religiously (especially on big orders), so it's a plus for me to have. Some don't use it at all, and a standard vise will work. I love the dynaking jaws, and alot of their vises carry them. Works for all my tying. I had a regal, and will say I liked it. But I got it AFTER I had my dynaking, and just have a hard time working with non rotaries anymore. LOL.

I think what you need to do is try a few different vises before you buy. You may find that a norvise suites you better then a dynaking (that's just an example lol, not a recommendation). There are alot of good vises out there. By time I'm done, I'll have quite a few. LOL. I've used most. When I finally settled on the Cuda', I had tried them all out at that time. The norvise was a close second. Will be buying one here soon too hopefully. Had a problem with slippage at one time with the bigger hooks (I'm tying at least up to 2/0 salmon hooks, and sometimes bigger with saltwater trolling hooks). But heard the jaws were changed. Thanks to Mr Lucas for letting me know about that.

#7 lewy271


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 299 posts

Posted 17 November 2004 - 05:16 PM

Well on the Thompson Cobra there isn't a lever to clamp down, you just have two thumb screws that hold the hook in place. If you happen to look in a Cabelas catalog at the vise, you can see between the lower and upper thumb screws that there is a hole on the jaw. This is were the jaw breaks everytime...Which makes sense it is the weakest link.

I tried this vice when I bought it but didn't expect this problem and only experienced it after the vise had been used for a while...Such is life...

#8 TroutBum


    Father Time is my brother

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,047 posts

Posted 18 November 2004 - 12:50 PM

I have had the same problem with my Cobra. The jaws hve broken twice and now I'll only use it for small trout flies. The first time they broke it was on a 3/0 salmon hook & I figured it was the size that caused it to break. The last time was in a #2 streamer hook, so from now on it gets limited to flies below #10.

My Primary vise is an HMH Pro, not a true rotary, but then I don't need one. If you want hook holding power and exceptional "fit and finish" in a vise I highly recommend this one.
Some drink at the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.
IPB Image
IPB Image

#9 Fatman


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,588 posts

Posted 18 November 2004 - 01:10 PM

As a fairly new tyer I'd say go to your local shop and see if they'll let you try out several different vise's. My local guys were great in this aspect and I bought the Dyna King kingfisher.

If the above isn't a viable option check out a local TU chapter or fly tying club and see if the guys will let you try tying on their vises. I found on many that I tried that they just didn't feel comfortable as I used them. I can't advise on any of the rotary's as I don't use them but the guys here will be able to tell you about them.

Hope you find one soon.

Just Fishing! All life is that to some extent. If we are not fishing for one thing it is another. But angling! That's just a bit different. In it we find peace and contentment and much with which to occupy our minds. May the balance of our fishing days be blessed with congenial comrades and "tight lines." Ray Bergman

#10 Walker


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 64 posts

Posted 19 November 2004 - 12:04 PM

Personally, I'm partial to the renzetti traveler for smaller 'trout' sized hooks and, for the larger pike and bass flies, I have to agree with Sean Juan, the Regal is an excellent and very servicable vice. Although not 'sexy' it is a sound design that works with less damaging 'cam pressure' than many collar types of vices which can alter a hooks structural integrity and make it weak at the bend. Good advice to take a large hook with you when you go shopping. Put the hook in and give 'er a good torque. Good luck.

#11 steeladdict


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 94 posts

Posted 19 November 2004 - 01:56 PM

If its in the budget, nothing beats a full size Barracuda

#12 rscconrad


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 19 November 2004 - 04:44 PM

Except a Regal with multiple heads.

A Barracuda would be my second choice however.

#13 CapeBSalar


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,088 posts

Posted 26 November 2004 - 08:52 AM

After years of using cheap sunrise vises, I've finally gotten the vise of my dreams, after many product reviews, internet research, etc I've chosen the Nor-Vise fly tying system. Yes there is a learning curve, yes it's on the expensive side (but not the most) however for full spin rotary tying and trouble free bobbin control with the aid of the Nor-Vise's automatic bobbin, I can't think of a better vise for the money. IMHO.

Canadian Fly Tyer's

Damian's Flytyer.ca Profile

Damian's Classic Salmon Fly Website

Fly Tyer's Daily Blog

"Neither is there a right way nor a wrong way to tie a fly---sometimes just a better way."
J. Edson Leonard (Preface to his 1988 Edition of Flies, 1950, A.S. Barnes, NY)

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." Henry David Thoreu

[email protected]

#14 Adrastos


    Bait Fisherman

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 09 December 2004 - 11:56 PM

Although I am new to the vise and don't know quite as much as many of the people in here, I would say geta Dyna-King. I tie on an Abel, but I just recently bought a Dyna-King Barracuda Trekker Jr. for a friend as a gift and I thought it was one hell of a vise. Not only does it have a couple different optional jaws, but they hold a 4/0 hook 9or bigger) tight enough for you to snap it. I hope this can be helpful.

#15 Peddler


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 357 posts

Posted 10 December 2004 - 07:44 AM

The two top names are Renzetti and Dyna-King it seems. I have a Renz Presentation and won't ever need another vise. Never had a problem and if I ever do I know they'll be around and I'll be taken care of.
There are two adjustments on the Renz Prez that eliminate the problem Will had. In fact, one of the adjustments allow you to stop the rotation at any angle (not just at detents) or give it enough friction to tie at any angle and rotate to another and tie, without touching a knob after the initial adjustment.