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  1. #1

    Default Opinions on a Vise

    Never tied in my life, looking to get into it since it is basically the next step of fly fishing. I looked at Dyna Kings and Renzettis, they look very good but my pocket book does not cover that range. I will making this purchase at a Big Box considering I work at one and I receive an impressive discount. I would like something that is simple, light weight, preferably pedestal base, and not something bulky. Right now I do not fish anything nymph size but would like something I can tie larger flies on i.e. 4/0+.

    Right now I am looking at a vise made by HMH called the HMH Spartan Vise. Has anyone ever used an HMH vise or had experience with it?

    Any other good recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    I am not going to make any suggestions just yet.

    If you plan on tying large flies (4/0+), you are going to want a heavy pedestal base or a c-clamp. You do not want your vise moving around when you winding down tightly on your hook.

    You will need jaws that can hold down big hooks. It becomes in inconvenience when the hook moves around inside the jaws. That means the hook has to be reset in the jaws and the clamp down pressure readjusted.

    Here's a question. What options do you have for vises at the store?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Merrimac, MA

    Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    If one of your options is a Regal, then I would seriously consider it. The hook holding mechanism is very simple and holds even 6x long hooks as well as I think any vise could be expected to hold them. They're not in the less-than-$100.00 category, but that vise will last you a good long time. I have two vises; the Regal (standard jaws) and a Renzetti Traveller. The Regal is C-clamp mounted to the front of my tying table. The Renzetti (also a very nice vice - and a Christmans present from my wife last year - yikes!) is getting a little dusty.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    Here's an encyclopedic review of vises you're considering- Fly Tying Vises In-Depth Review by Fly Fish Ohio!

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Truckee, CA.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    I really enjoy my Dyna King rotary, but now they make a light weight version. They even have a none rotary (supreme?), that is super light.
    Extra jaws allow tiny to masive. I recomend a trash bag, and the bobbin holder wile your at it. You will tie on it for years to come, spend a little more and prorate it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    Here's a 10 minute video explaining the HMH vise: YouTube - How to use your new HMH vise.

    I've played with HMH Standard and Spartan vises, and they're fine. When it
    came time for a "better" vise a couple years ago, it came down to the HMH
    Spartan and the Peak rotary vise. I decided to go with the Peak, and I do
    use the rotary feature often. You'll see in the above video that the HMH can
    be used as a rotary as well, but the hook will wobble more. Not a big deal
    if you turn the hook slowly.

    P.S. Click here to see the HMH used as a rotary vise:

  7. Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    For the money, the Griffin Odessy Spider vise is a great buy. I have owned mine for about two years, it holds hooks from #4-#24 securely, and it is a true rotary vise.

    Work is something for people that don't fish.

  8. Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    i have a dyna king king fisher pedestal. its a nice basci vise that works well for me. i added the midge jaws and i can tie down to a 32. i also have a renzetti that i dont really care for. if i had to buy a vise tomorrow i think i would stick with either a king fisher or a regal..... good luck and remember one thing. the vise doesnt tie the fly. you dont need to spend crazy money to get a pretty good vise.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Beaumont, Alberta
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    I agree with the Griffen rotaries if you wish to keep to a budget. I tied with the Odyssey for probably 10 years and never had any problems. I tie with a Vossellar now but I am not sure if I like it or not yet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Opinions on a Vise

    I'm with Mosca on this one-

    What vises do you have access to? And will you be spinning a lot of deer hair?

    Make sure whatever vise you look at can handle large hooks comfortably and hold them rock solid. Some vises will be able to handle a wide range of hook sizes, including 4/0 with standard jaws. Others may require "magnum jaws" and other models may not be able to handle them at all either because standard jaws can't be replaced, or because available optional jaws may not hold hooks that big. If you plan to tie hooks in a wide range of sizes, consider the price of optional jaws if needed as well as how easy it is to swap them out. (In some like the HMH it's a cinch, in others it may require some effort and/or special tools.)

    For large flies you generally will want to use heavier thread and more thread torque--- especially if you're spinning hair. So either a c-clamp or a heavy pedestal is a good idea or you will be chasing the vise around on your bench or trying to keep it from tipping as you crank down.

    For the HMH Spartan, you'd probably want to make sure you get the Magnum Jaws which hold hooks from 12-10/0. The Omni jaws that are typically sold as standard on the HMH are better suited to hooks 20-2/0. (The HMH also has excellent midge jaws if you tie tiny stuff 18-32). Extra jaws for the HMH run around 40 bucks, but you might be able to buy the HMH with the magnum jaws in place of the standard Omni. The base weighs around 3 lbs which may be a little on the light side for big stuff and heavy thread torque.

    I use a Regal Medallion pedestal with the heavy 5lb bronze base and Big Game Jaws that hold hooks solid from 20-5/0 and I've used them to tie up to 8/0. It's been a great vise and I've been tying on one for 25 years, but it's not for everybody, and others have their favorites.

    Both the Regal Medallion and the HMH Spartan are "360 rotary" that let you flip the fly in your vise to view from all sides, as opposed to "true rotary" which rotates the shank of the hook in a constant plane and are more typically used with rotary tying techniques. Both the Spartan and the Regal also allow you to adjust the angle of the jaws up or down which is handy if you tie inverted flies like clousers. Both are well engineered, no frills, rock solid vises that you could pass along to your grandchildren.

    Vises like the Renzetti Saltwater Cam Traveller, DynaKing Barracuda etc would be examples of true rotaries that would hold 4/0 hooks well. Typically they do not have adjustable angles, though the are available in higher priced models like the DynaKing Ultimate Indexer. I don't have much experience with the Griffin rotary vises and haven't tied large hooks on a Peak Rotary.

    It would be ideal if you could get a chance to test drive a few, with some coaching from friends or coworkers that tie, using the size hooks you'd normally use to see what features you like. Some vises require some fiddling to accept hooks of different sizes, some folks may feel cramped on some vises.

    Good luck. It sounds like you're in a great position to get some great deals.


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