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Everything posted by DFoster

  1. Nice! I recently bought a TRV. I read your review last year. The new ones have been modified to correct the first run issues other than the stem is still a little short for my taste. I love that CAE includes an extension. I'm a huge fan of the LAW style vices. They just work for me. I'm attending the Marlborough MA fly fishing expo this month and I would love to see a CAE in person. Hopefully one of the pros may have one. Happy New Year!
  2. Well here' the story with the unnatural neatness- It drives me crazy to waste time hunting for tools or materials so I tend to keep my things organized. More importantly my tying bench is located on a wall within my wife's home office. In the interest of avoiding banishment to our unheated and poorly lit basement I keep it pretty and clean!
  3. That’s pretty much why I posed this question?I think a lot of it has to do with having confidence in your fly also. If you don’t have confidence in it you’re not gonna fish it for very long and if it’s not in the water it can’t catch fish. If I was told I could only have one fly to fish for the rest of my life it would be a Muddler Minnow variant I tie them from size 14 to 4/0 floating to bottom sinking and catch everything that swims on them. I'm a dedicated trout/stream guy and I generally tie and fish traditional style flies. The prevailing wisdom on my home water is to high stick size 22-30 nymphs. The trouble for me is I don't enjoy that style of fishing and so I'm casting #12-20 winged wets, soft hackles and drys, with a dead drift technique. I may not catch as many fish as a some but I do catch enough to keep me happy.
  4. A few years ago I made my own profile plate. While it does not attach to the vise, it can be raised or placed where ever needed. 1) Mechanics extendable mirror- I got one at the dollar store for a buck 2) 1.75" Rubber stopper- This came from ACE hardware and was around $2. 3) Velcro. 4) 1/8" Thick piece of wood- I used the lid of a wood cigar box. Available at any tobacconist for about a buck. 5) A sheet of colored craft paper. All I did was drill a hole in the rubber stopper and insert the mirror. Place Velcro on the back side of the mirror. Cut the cigar box wood to the size I wanted and glued on the craft paper. Simple and it works.
  5. Not really a review but one of my only criticisms of the vise is the stem is a little short for me. I had some time off over the holidays so I built a riser and covered it with velvet to match my existing material catcher. I can get away with velvet because I never use head cement, just bees wax on the heads of my flies. Besides looking good the velvet keeps clippings from blowing around the desk. Now the vise sets roughly 2 inches higher which is what I'm used to.
  6. Beautiful Vise Barry! I love the taper of the jaws. Do they have radial grooves like the LAW?
  7. It's has always fascinated me why a fly or technique will seem to work for one person but not another on the same water. For me Woolly buggers have never produced with trout but I meet people on the river who swear by them.
  8. Happy New Year Mark- I noticed Davie Mcphail and Oliver Edwards both angle their LAW vise upward when tying some flies and they are not wrapping materials using the rotary feature. See the photos. I assume that in some cases they prefer more room around the fly or maybe they just want it a little higher above their desk?
  9. Mark you can rotate the fly no matter what angle you choose but the hook shank will not spin in an even plane like it does when the head is level. However tilting the vice up is a great option if you want to wrap down the hook bend or need room around the back of the hook. Check out Oliver Edwards flytying on YouTube. He ties often with the vice elevated.
  10. Mark if you like open space behind the hook try pivoting the vice up to a 30 degree angle. I've noticed this is the way several pros tie.
  11. Last night I pushed the retaining pin in the jaw out to separate them to see if it was as easy as Gunnar shows in his video and it was. I would recommend using a tool that's a little more stout than a bodkin (head of a finish nail) and there is a small coil spring inside you need to be careful not to lose. The hook grooves are accessible with the jaws apart and you can decide which groove to use for a given size hook. In the Gunnar video he uses the smallest groove for a 2/0. So maybe any hook smaller than that you shouldn't use the grooves? The jaws were very easy to reassemble. Mark I completely agree with you about the jaw design strength. A machined piece is stronger but IMO you would have to crank the tension knob way past the torque needed to hold the hook securely to break the jaw. HMH does warn against tightening a hook at the very edge of the jaws but then again the same warning came with my Renzetti- About the jaws- After reading the criticism about the HMH jaw finish I snapped some close ups below. Now I'm not a machinist and maybe I'm missing something but I'd have to say the jaws on the HMH are at least as polished as the jaws on my Renzetti. The jaws and rotary on my TRV work butter smooth and the finish is beautiful. So far the only criticisms I have- 1) I have the pedestal model and I wish the stem was little taller. 2) A more comprehensive and detailed owners manual would be nice. 3) Sadly there was no HMH truck decal to be found in the box. As far as I'm concerned the TRV I received is exactly what I expected it to be, an obtainable, quality alternative to a Law vise.
  12. JPA,- there is a post from MValbano on the first page of this thread you should read. He owns both a LAW and TRV. There were finish issues with the first production jaws and you probably have one of those, if so reach out to Jon at HMH. The jaws on my TRV are as nice as my Renzetti, Also the standard TRV list for $495 and a Renzetti master comes in at $689-$815 depending on options.
  13. I just got a new TRV this week. I spoke with Jon a HMH to confirm they had corrected the issues you had before I ordered. The vise I received has very smooth jaws and the jaw tension adjustment knob has no sharp edges. Please post your review of the CAE. They certainly look beautiful on the website. Merry Christmas!
  14. I just got a new TRV this week. I spoke with Jon a HMH to confirm they had corrected the issues you had before I ordered. The vise I received has very smooth jaws and the jaw tension adjustment knob has no sharp edges. Please post your review of the CAE. They certainly look beautiful on the website. Merry Christmas!
  15. Sounds like your a practical man Mike. I on the other hand, well lets just say I'm really good at "rationalizing the expense" when it comes to my passions. I was at a tobacconist once when someone came in looking to buy cigars as a gift. They asked the store owner "What was the best cigar in your store" and he replied "The one you like the best".
  16. Mike I thought $495 was not too bad for a top of the line American made vise. Regal and Renzetti's top models are even more expensive. I believe the Law vise, which the TRV shares some DNA, was retailing in the $800 range when they were available. I can't say to you that this vise has any particular feature that makes it "worth" the money. I have a Renzetti traveler which has never let me down and will do everything the TRV does. So why spend the dough? Well I can say that the TRV oozes quality, everything is finely machined stainless or brass and the functions are butter smooth. I just happen to like this design and the bills are paid so why not? Think of it this way- over the years my wife has dropped some serious money on high end ladies hand bags. My brain say's "Really, how much? It seems to be made out of $30 worth of stitched together fabric and leather just like the ones at Wal-Mart- but my mouth says "Nice purse". And that's how I stay married- (I'm sure my wife was thinking the same thing this week when she said "Nice vise" -LOL) Merry Christmas!
  17. Well, It has that "goose neck" shape that get's the vise out of the way of my left hand while I'm applying materials to the hook. The "pinch technique" tie down comes to mind. My vise is always in the way. This one has pointier jaws than mine, to hold small hooks. It sounds like it will accommodate a much larger variety of hooks than mine. A little bit of frustration goes a long way for me. I spend quite a bit of time at my vise and I really want to enjoy it as much as I can. It's official, mine has been ordered. I'm more excited about this than many things I have acquired lately. Congratulations Mark!
  18. 33 seconds into the vid Gunnar states that the hex screw slot can be used for a rod. I'm thinking the screw is there only to keep debris out of the threads?
  19. I agree with each point- However in the video you posted at the start of the thread he does say that one of the allen screw holes in the rotation knob is threaded to accept a rod.
  20. Arrived this morning - I was glad to see the shipping box was in good shape when it was delivered and not looking like it was used as a football. My first impressions are the machining and quality seem to be first rate with no sharp edges and the rotary is smooth. Like flytire I opted for the "granite" base after reading a review that said the polished bronze so reflective it was bothersome. I have a hard enough time seeing to tie as it is. I haven't tied on her yet but I did clamp a few different flies in to test the locking system and it worked well.
  21. Looks like Santa's been busy- I got mine today.
  22. Well DFoster Merry Christmas and good luck with that baby. Would love to read a review from you after a short time. Merry Christmas to you as well! I will be happy to give you my thoughts after I've tied on the TRV for a bit but in full disclosure I only have limited experience with vises other than my Renzetti Traveler. I'm a dedicated trout and stream guy. 95% of my flies are the classic patterns in the 12-18 range. For a couple of weeks in the autumn I tie a few American style salmon flies, 2 -10's, when the local land locked Atlantics run. So my review will be somewhat limited to the type of tying I do. Someone who also ties saltwater, realistics or small stuff would be able to give a more complete review.
  23. Because admiration from your friends is SO much more important than clean clothes and hygiene. That was my wife's argument as well- You wouldn't believe how close I came to ending up with a new microwave or some other non fishing related "Necessity"!
  24. Happy Friday all- I finally ordered myself a TRV! I spoke with Jon Larrabee at HMH and he said currently all TRV's are made to order only. Which would explain why they're not sitting on the shelf next to the Spartan at my local fly shop. Now it goes against my nature to order expensive things without trying them in person first and next month HMH will be at the Marlborough MA trade show, half an hour drive from me -BUT I know from experience the longer the cash sets around the more likely some life event will come up and consume it. I prefer hearing my friends say "Wow nice new vise to wow nice new washing machine". Jon also confirmed the current vise addresses the issues from the original production run to which Mvalbano referred above. He said right now they are working weekends to meet demand and my vise should ship in 5 day's 'ish.
  25. Thanks all for the replies and my apologies to Stabgnid, it was not my intention to hijack the thread. I knew it must be some "Ol timey" method of preserving natural materials. Not being a taxidermist I was curious what this stuff could be because it seemed to work so well. It sounds like most would lean towards Borax which I would have never thought of. The gentleman that gave the materials to me had them stored in a shoe box in a closet since sometime in the 80's. There were some furs included (bear, badger and squirrel) but none of them contained the powder, just the duck flanks.
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