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Old 02-01-2009, 09:49 PM
peregrines peregrines is offline
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Default Re: Shopping for a first vice

NCW-

Welcome to the board, and congrats on getting into tying.

The Danvise won best value and performance in the 50-100 dollar category in this review of fly tying vises from 0-150 dollars from Fly Fish Ohio:
Fly Tying Vises In-Depth Review by Fly Fish Ohio!

And was highly recommended in this review in Fly Fisherman magazine in 2006 in terms of bang for the buck and shared honors with another vise HMH Silhouette in the 75-100 category. (An updated vise review by the same authors should be coming out shortly).
Selecting the best fly-tying vise, by Hans Weilenmann and Bruce Salzburg

As Bear points out there isn’t a lot of clearance between the jaws and the stem for tying larger streamers, but there is an optional extension tube (20 bucks) that you can put on to give you more room.

The Danvise is imported from Denmark, and many of its parts are made from Delrin (a plastic composite). It has steel jaws, but the adjustment is critical or you risk damaging them. The vise is a c-clamp, and comes with a DVD on how to set jaw tension and use the features of the vise.

The Danvise is a “true rotary” vise meaning that the jaws rotate the shank of the hook in a single plane allowing you to wrap thread and materials on the hook by spinning the jaws. You can also tie conventionally by wrapping thread by hand. Other vises that have this feature are the Peak Rotary (about 150) and the Renzetti Cam Traveller (about 180) that are a bit better quality. There are also some “true rotary” vises less expensive than the Danvise, but they’re generally knockoffs of more expensive designs with substandard components and machining and would probably have problems holding hooks in short order.

Bottom line, the Danvise represents a good value at around 80 dollars or less for tying flies for trout, panfish etc. (If you were tying a lot of large SW stuff with large hooks and lots of thread torque, it may not be a great choice.) But if you start adding optional components to the Danvise—20 bucks for an extension tube, 25 bucks for a pedestal base etc, you start running into the question of whether buying a more substantial vise like a Peak Rotary for 150, or a very high quality but more basic vise like an HMH Silhouette SX for 130 might have been a better way to go for roughly the same bucks as Danvise plus extra parts. The HMH Silhoutte SX is a “360 Rotary” vise, which means the jaws rotate to allow you to view the fly from all sides, but is not a “true rotary” for rotary tying techniques because the shank doesn’t rotate on it’s own axis. It is a very simple, well engineered vise that you can pass down to your grandkids.

It would be great if you could find a beginners tying class through a local shop or TU chapter and arrange to borrow a vise for awhile- perhaps leaving a deposit so they know you won’t disappear with it. That way you can borrow a vise for class and for doing your “homework” during the week, perhaps get a chance to see and try some other vises. After tying for a little while you’ll have a better idea about the features you might want in a vise--- lots of it comes down to personal preference.

Hope this helps.

peregrines
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