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NorthCountryWood 02-01-2009 05:06 PM

Shopping for a first vice
Hello, this is my first post. I'm a long time lurker on this site, but a novice fly-fisherman and would like to start tying while waiting for the ice to break up. A friend and long time tyer recommended this vice-

Cabela's -- DanVise New-Classic Vise

Also heard good reviews on the Orvis site.
Really don't want to spend too much right now, but also don't want a useless piece of junk.

Thanks in advance.

arfishinbear 02-01-2009 07:54 PM

Re: Shopping for a first vice
Danvise makes good stuff, the only draw back to it I see may be tying flies like streamers with that big head in the way, maybe? From the pic it looks like that head is big and is clsoe to the jaws. If you friend has used that vice he could probaly tell you about that though.

peregrines 02-01-2009 09:49 PM

Re: Shopping for a first vice

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.


arfishinbear 02-01-2009 10:03 PM

Re: Shopping for a first vice
Thats some good advice, I thought I knew alot about fly fishing and tying, a few of you on here almost make me feel like a newbie lol

FrankB2 02-01-2009 10:42 PM

Re: Shopping for a first vice
I started with a $7 piece of junk, bought a Griffin 2A with pedestal about
8 years ago, and then finally a Peak rotary vise 2 years ago. The Peak is
what I should have begun with! Being able to see all side of a fly is crucial
to a good symmetrical tie, and the rotary function allows you to tie faster.
Having to work around a vise will only hold you back, and I'd recommend
getting something that at least turns.

Without stepping on anyone's feelings, I thought the Danvise was a bit
bulky when I saw it in person.

flyfisher45 02-02-2009 08:31 AM

Re: Shopping for a first vice
I'm new to tying and I'm getting the renzetti traveler. I looked into a couple of other vises and this one will fit my needs better and I was advised by my local shop.

Jimmie 02-02-2009 10:57 AM

Re: Shopping for a first vice
I just got the "Dan-Vise". I don't have enough experience to give you a review but here are some novice observations. It's head and shoulders above the others (some junk) in it's price range that I looked at. It's made with a lot of composite materials rather than metal but seems well made. The jaws are metal. All of the adjustments work exactly as the enclosed DVD states. Even though it is very lightweight the "C" clamp holds it very steady. I can let you know more at the end of Feb. (four Sat. 2 hr. tying classes).

BlueDun 02-02-2009 07:16 PM

Re: Shopping for a first vice
If you have any plans to tie tube flies, make sure that the vise you've chosen will allow room for the mandrels on your tube fly attachment. I discovered during a tube fly tying class that my old vise did not allow enough room for the tube fly equipment. Had my eye on a new vise anyway (Renzetti Traveler), so the instructor (and shop owner) grabbed one off of a shelf for me to use for the class. We discovered that that model also would not accommodate tube fly equipment.....and neither would the next one we tried.

BlueDun 02-02-2009 07:29 PM

Re: Shopping for a first vice
Just remembered the web page listed below has vise reviews. Not sure if the Danvise mentioned in the list of reviews is the same model in which you are interested, but just in case...........

Selecting the best fly-tying vise, by Hans Weilenmann and Bruce Salzburg

schrob 02-02-2009 09:09 PM

Re: Shopping for a first vice
If your interested I have a new Renzetti Traveler with the side knob adjustment. Was only used for a photo shoot. $125 plus shipping and it could be yours.

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