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Old 11-27-2011, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

I hope so Rick and you'll be so far ahead of the curve by taking the class. I don't know if I ever welcomed you to this forum so I will now, it's great to have you posting and participating with the membership.

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

I was in your shoes about 3 months ago. My advice by the Dr. Slick tool kit from Cabelas for 64 ish dollars. My only gripe with that kit is the bobbin other than this it is a great kit. Here is where it gets tricky if you aren't quite sure you want to get into fly tying by a cheap vise that way your total investment for tools comes out to 90 dollars (about), however that being said if you know fly tying is for you please, please, please spend the money on a good vice I have a cheap 30 dollar vice from Cabelas for about three months now and after tonight's tying session i seriously wanted to throw it out my window the only reason i went with the cheap vise was because I didn't know whether or not I would really get into fly tying and now that I know I'm addicted to it a Peak vise is the only thing on my Christmas wish list .
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fire instructor View Post

This is what they told me to have:
• Fly Tying Vise (should hold hooks securely)
• At least one spool of 6/0 thread (colors: black, brown, gray or olive) (thread should be new)
• Two (2) pair of Scissors – One fine point for close trimming and one heavier set for cutting deer hair, wire or weight material.
• Two Bobbins: One for 3/0 and one for 6/0 threads. Can get by with one bobbin.
• Whip Finisher
• Hackle Pliers
• Bodkin/Half Hitch Tool

So, hopefully, I'm now on the right track...

Thanks, again, everyone!
Kit is like Fire to the Monster in "Young Frankenstein"... NOT GOOD!!

Two questions to ask yourself are WHY are you taking this class and WHAT do you think the possibility is you will continue tying? If you're taking it because YOU WANT TO learn how to tie flies and there is a GREATER than 50% chance you will stick with it, then spend a bit more when buying your tools.

I'll come back to the vise-

Thread? No brainer, 6/0 and 3/0 a couple of bucks a spool. That said, you might want to buy one spool each of Flymaster and one of Uni so you have one you can spin flat and separate to dub with (you'll find out about this later) Total? about $12 for 4 spools

Scissors? Lots of folks like the Dr. Slick scissors, I don't dislike them but if you go to a fabric and craft store, you can buy a pair of fine point Ginger embroidery scissors and a pair of Fiskars light duty scissors for about the same money and they can be sharpened by the same people for you easily when they need it. Most of these stores have regular 50% off any one item coupons, so the price will be less and Gingher snips are regularly passed on for generations. Total? with coupons, about $20-25

Bobbins? Whatever you buy, get ones with a ceramic insert- they don't get grooved and shred your thread. If you don't mind spending a bit more, a "Rite" bobbin for your 6/0 (or eventually) 8/0 thread is a good choice as it helps put proper tension on the thread, giving you one less thing to think about. Total? Rite and standard- about $25

Whip Finisher? Well there 3 schools of thought here.
#1, you don't really need one, you can learn to tie the knot by hand, and you should anyway. t r o u t f l i e s . c o m
#2, a Materelli style tool, personally I don't like this one, but to each his own
#3, a Thompson style tool, when I use one I use this one- its' easier to accurately place the head and they come in two sizes.
Total? About $15

Hackle Pliers? Again, two schools of thought- a very simple clamp pair or a pair of rotary hackle pliers? If you have a stationery vise, the rotary type are handy... if you have a rotary vise, the standard ones are better. I use a standard pair made by Tiemco, which have a nice, fine point which is handy for getting in close to for tie-offs.
Total? Rotary, about $15; Standard about $10

Bodkin/Half hitch tool- they have these combined, but unless you want o keep poking yourself in the palm, if you're going to buy both/either, buy them independent of each other. Get a nice heavy, solid bodkin with flat sides instead of a round barrel so it doesn't roll off your table. I've never owned a half hitch tool in the nearly 50 years I've been tying. You can use the barrel of an old pen if you have one around, or again, learn how to tie a half hitch without one. (A cool trick is to learn to use the tip of your bobbin for this)
Total? Bodkin, $8-$20 Half-hitch, $0-$10

Vise... okay, I could go on and on about this.
Want to get one that you can tie on and replace later? Around 25$ tops will get you a Thompson Pro or a Thompson A clamp style vise... for another $10-15 you can buy a base plate stand for it. I tied on one of these for over 25 years and never knew I needed anything better- tied up to size 2/0 and down to size 20.

Want to buy a vise that you can tie on nearly forever that turns but isn't rotary? Buy a Regal Medallion with a base- get the standard head unless you plan on tying everything size 6 or under, then get the midge head. This is a no-foolin', straight-shootin' vise if there ever was one.

Plan to tie a bunch of stuff where the rotary feature will be of great benefit? A Renzetti Traveler or Presentation might be the way to go. Personally, I don't find the need for rotary.

Want a vise that allows both for a low price? Some say the DanVise (now sold by Orvis) is the way to go,. but I also hear the Delrin parts in them get sloppy or wear out. I don't care for this one, it feels weird to me.
Range? $25-$300

The good thing about going with a Thompson, is when you do upgrade, your entry price was so low, you've not much to lose and this vise can go in a travel kit for later... or be passed along to someone else.

Welcome aboard and good luck!
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drlaser View Post
I was in your shoes about 3 months ago. My advice by the Dr. Slick tool kit from Cabelas for 64 ish dollars. My only gripe with that kit is the bobbin other than this it is a great kit. Here is where it gets tricky if you aren't quite sure you want to get into fly tying by a cheap vise that way your total investment for tools comes out to 90 dollars (about), however that being said if you know fly tying is for you please, please, please spend the money on a good vice I have a cheap 30 dollar vice from Cabelas for about three months now and after tonight's tying session i seriously wanted to throw it out my window the only reason i went with the cheap vise was because I didn't know whether or not I would really get into fly tying and now that I know I'm addicted to it a Peak vise is the only thing on my Christmas wish list .
drlaser, you are right there is always the question of whether a new hobby will be one that is pursued or not so how much to invest initially is an issue. I fully endorse buying something of quality the first time - it does not have to be high end expensive, but stay away from cheap - go for good, solid middle of the road on the first vise.

Two justifications: 1. cheap stuff is cheap. It rarely works as it is intended and more rarely works as intended for very long. Shoddy equipment that does not work i.e. hold a hook securely, stay clamped to the table, etc. make learning a difficult new task like fly tying even harder. And makes it less likely that you will continue to do it. Either way, if you quit because the vise made tying seem harder than it really is, or if you get really into tying and buy a new vise, you just essentially tossed that $30 out the window.

2. If you buy a good, affordable vise and do not want to keep tying there are plenty of people (on this very forum, craigslist, flebay) that would be pleased to get a like new vise for a small discount.

I don't remember where I heard the line, but I like it: "I'm too poor to buy cheap stuff".

---
addition:

The advice above from stimmy7 is as good as you are going to get.

I've never used a rotary hackle plier, a half-hitch tool (fingers and scissors tip works well), or a bobbin threader. I do have a rotary vise (HMH Standard), but never use it for rotary tying though I love the vise. Agree that the Regal is a great vise to last you forever.

Last edited by dean_mt; 11-28-2011 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

I'll weigh in here on the Danvise. I bought one from Orvis, and I tie on it very frequently, in a great variety of sizes. It doesn't like locking to the table quite so well and every once in a while bucks free. On one of these trips off the table, the cam-lock broke off. Easy fix, but frustrating. Had it been metal, I think it would have been better off, but the shifting got me thinking about a heavier table-top vise. Second, the fact that the arm/shaft of the vise is made of plastic leads to some wobble. This is very frustrating. However, for the price, you will get a vise that you can tie on, and you can spend the difference for the time being on materials. BUT you may want to buy a new vise in the future, I know I do. The Danvise will become my travel vise when I upgrade. It works, the jaws hold all of the hooks that I need with no shifting and very little adjustment, but the flaws I mentioned do lead to some gripe-worthy moments.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
I don't remember where I heard the line, but I like it: "I'm too poor to buy cheap stuff".
I must agree with dean mt on this phrase!

And on that there are some of the best and most knowledgeable fly tier’s on the planet helping us all on this forum. IMO a Thompson vise would be a good choice to start with, I purchased one from Cabela’s before they had a online catalog and it still works today. I have not been tying in some years and have started again with the help of the forums Tie-Alongs and wanted a vise that worked more smoothly than the vise I had and I bought an Anvil Apex and love it, it comes with a base and a table clamp and you could pick one up on the Bay for under 75 bucks.

Rick
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

As far as the Vise, The Anvil is a great vice as I use one . Hard to beat the price for a quality starter. Also I read that there scissors are quality also. Welcome to the learning stages. You will find hours of reading here to answer your questions. Also welcome to the Forum.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

Fire Instructor - As you can see there are as many opinions as there are grains of sand on the beach. If you can, go to a decent fly shop and ask to try their different vices. I don't know if any of the big box stores (Cabela's, Orivis, etc) will let you, but usually the small local shops will. That is the only way to know what vice to get. I started tying 1 year ago. I purchased a Thompson A style without ever using it. I too went to our local TU Chapter's fly tying class. I quickly realized what I was missing. Since I purchased from my local shop, the owner took the vice back (in full) towards the purchase of a different vice. Had I had an opportunity to try first, my initial choice would have been different. I'm surprised the TU chapter is not providing the supplies, ours does. You may want to go to one of the meetings and see if any of the members would be willing to let you try their vice at the first tying session. From my experience most members are happy to let newbies try their vices.

Lee
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

Wow, you aren't kidding, Whalensdad! One thing that I did find out today is that one or more of the TU instructors who will be teaching the class also work P/T at the local flyshop that I just found out about. I'll stop over there, likely Wednesday, as I'll only be a mile or so from there on other business....

In the meantime, I've learned SO MUCH reading all of these posts, the links, and then Googling the products referenced.... I bet I added 20 links on my "favorites" page!

Thank you, all, for all of the info!
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Vice Selection for Beginner?

Rick,

Reading what you have to say about being pleased with the responses you got here is the best kind of reading for me! I believe this is one of the finest gatherings of fellows and gals in the world of fishing forums. There are more people with great depth of experiences here than can be imagined and I am always impressed with the way they come forward to offer their knowledge to new members.

I'm glad your here and real glad to hear your happy with the site.

Ard
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