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Tying flies is an amazing mix of art, science, and skill.
If you tie your own flies, or are looking for a vise for someone that does, it’s important to find a good quality vise that will last and provide functional benefits.
When shopping for the best fly tying vises it’s important to get the biggest bang for your buck.
There are very nice tying vises available that won’t break your bank, but higher-end tying vises do provide a lot of helpful benefits.
Which fly tying vise will work the best for your needs is going to depend on how you primarily intend to use it.
Thankfully we provide all those details so you can find exactly what you need.
We are big fans of great fishing gear that will last, and serious fly anglers need a reliable fly tying vise that they can enjoy season after season.
Here are some of the best fly tying vises:
Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000 Vise
Renzetti is a brand you can trust, and they’ve been producing fly tying vises since 1988. The Traveler 2000 throws its hat in the ring for best fly tying vise thanks to a few excellent features.
To start, it boasts a positive rotary option and a sturdy pedestal base – there’s also the option for a C-clamp if you’d prefer.
It’s so easy to use – the pedestal has thumbscrews that you can adjust seamlessly as you please. Not only that, but this fly tying vise is built for hooks sizes 28 to 4/0, so it caters to a lot of different fly fishers.
You can also easily and quickly adjust the bobbin cradle by using another thumb screw, and there are two more screws on the rotary arm that lets you increase or decrease tension on the material you’re using.
One of the best things about this is that you never have to worry about damaging the material when you use it.
It’s designed to help you get the results you want without creating any issues. It’s made out of really quality materials as well, so you get a sense of durability with it.
All in all, you’ve got something that will provide an excellent tying experience for anyone. You don’t need to be an expert to use this product, which is why it’s a great fly tying vise for beginners.
Griffin Montana Mongoose Vise
The Griffin Montana Mongoose Vise features a refined design that makes it more efficient than ever before. You can purchase this with a pedestal, or it comes with a C-clamp to attach to your own fly tying desk.
Either way, you end up with a very secure base that makes fly tying that little bit easier.
You get 360 degrees of true rotation with this product, and it’s clearly been designed for practicality and comfort.
Everything about it makes your life more straightforward. There’s a rotation lock screw that combines with a new fine tension screw to give you 100% control against any resistance when you’re tying.
You can also take advantage of an adjustable cam lever and extension handle. The cam lever can be set in two different positions to help you get more clearance as you’re tying.
With the extension handle, you can make the rotating handle longer, which provides more clearance and better rotation control.
The Montana Mongoose Vise is also well-equipped to handle hooks from 4/0 to 28, thanks to exceptionally robust steel jaws.
Not only is this an excellent fly tying vise, but it just might be the best fly tying kit out there too.
You get plenty of additional things with the vise for free; C-clamp, bobbin cradle, supreme bobbin, hackle gauge, carry case, and more. As if that all wasn’t enough, it boasts a lifetime warranty too.
Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise
If you’re new to fly fishing, then this might just be the best fly tying vise for you. There are two separate models; one with a pedestal and one with a C-clamp.
So, you can choose which one suits your set-up, and there’s no price difference between the two. For beginners, the benefit of only having a pedestal or C-clamp is that you only have to worry about working the device in one specific way.
This model has been created to help you make adjustments with ease. It comes with a rotation resistance adjustment screw that lets you make endless little adjustments to get the right rotation for the task at hand.
Perhaps an underrated feature of the Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise is that it is perfect for both left and right-handed people. You also get a bobbin cradle and pivot mount included with the kit, both of which can be height adjusted for ease of use.
The rotary function is also very impressive. It’s beautiful and smooth, so you won’t struggle to use it. Again, this makes the product really handy for beginners or anyone that’s perhaps not overly confident with fly tying.
While all these features are great, the best thing about this product is the build quality. It is noticeable how well built this fly tying vise is, largely thanks to the materials used. There’s a combination of stainless steel, brass tool steel and aircraft aluminum here.
These materials have been carefully selected as they add to the durability and ensure your fly tying vise last for decades – and this is backed by a lifetime warranty.
This lightweight fly tying vise packs a lot of strength into a relatively small package. It’s also one of the more affordable options out there, but you wouldn’t guess this from the quality. You receive true rotary action with supreme tension adjustment.
There are two handy knobs on the rear of this vise that make it so easy for you to adjust the tension and gain more control when tying.
It’s a C-clamped vise, so make sure you have a stable worktop to clamp it too. When you do this, you get a very rigid product that doesn’t budge as you use it.
If you’re new to fly tying, then you’ll love the simple rotation handle that lets you smoothly rotate the material as you work. It feels good in your hand, and you quickly get into the natural rhythm of things as you go along.
For such a lightweight product, the build quality is quite staggering. It features very strong haws that tightly grip your hooks and can be adjusted seamlessly.
When it comes to hook sizes, it can handle anything from 22 to 7/0. Part of the reason the jaws are so impressive is the 5 to 1 cam lever. Thanks to this, the Danvise jaw has almost twice the hook holding power of other, more expensive, options.
With all things considered, this is an excellent option for newbies as well as people looking for a lightweight and portable option. Plus, it is considerably cheaper than some of the other options on the market today.
Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise
Lastly, we have this magnificent fly tying vise with a fantastic 360 degree rotating action. You can’t underestimate the benefits of having 360-degree rotation as it makes the entire fly tying process far less stressful.
By taking advantage of this, you just have to spin the fly around to tie everything up.
The Griffin Odyssey is another fly tying vise that comes with both C-clamp and pedestal options. Again, this is beneficial as you have more choice when choosing how to use it.
The quality of materials used in construction is also very impressive.
It feels secure, and you get a sense that it would take a lot to damage this product. The jaws come with a unique design as well, which enables them to hold hooks in sizes 28 to 4/0.
You get a bobbin cradle as part of this fly tying kit, and the beauty of this is that you can use it to make subtle adjustments by placing it on the vise stem.
There is no specific place it needs to be put; you can literally set it anywhere for accurate adjustments.
It is worth noting that this fly tying vise is marketed as an entry-level product.
So, if you’re more of a fly tying pro, then this might not be the best fly tying vise for you. But, it is specially made for beginners, so keep that in mind.
As such, it’s very well priced – and the manufacturers state that it’s built for a lifetime as well.
What do you need to start fly tying?
The first thing you will need to start fly tying is a fly tyng vise. A rotary c clamp is a good choice.
You will also need bobbins; look for those with a brass thumb rest. You will need two pairs of scissors.
Get a pair with an arrow point to allow you to perform close in trimming, along with the larger supreme scissors to make larger cuts.
You’ll also need bodkins and threaders. Get a couple of each, which you can pick up from your local craft store.
You will also need to have a pair of hackle pliers. Hackle guards are also very handy. They will hold the hackles out of the way while you are finishing tying the fly head.
Yu will also need a bodkin, which is a sharp, pointed instrument that is used to pick out fur bodies and apply head cement.
A good pair of tweezers will also be a very handy investment. A Hair Evener will help you to effectively align the tips of bundles of hair.
A whip finisher will help you to effectively tie off the thread after completing a fly.
How to use the fly tying vise?
To begin using a fly tying vise, adjust it so that the height of the vise allows you to work naturally in a seated position.
Use the adjustment screw to set this position. Next adjust the holding jaws so that they are sitting slightly higher than the desktop clamp.
Use the swivel to do this. To open the jaws, adjust the rotary shaft, place the hook in the jaws and then close the jaws to secure the hook in place.
How do you thread a fly tying bobbin?
Threading a fly tying bobbin can be both challenging and frustrating, so here’s the most effective way to do it.
Put a clean, unfrayed and straight thread tag into the bottom of the bobbin holder tube. Now slowly and carefully work it through a small portion at a time.
This will be tricky if the bobbin has an especilly small hole. If you have a stiffer, waxed thread it will go through more easily.
It can help to moisten the thread to enable it to get through more easily.
Be sure that there is no wax or dirt inside the tube. You can use a thin pipe cleaner to clean out the insides of the tube.
What does CDC stand for in fly tying?
When it comes to fly fishing, CDC stands for ‘Cul De Cunard.’ This is a type of feather that is very fluffy and that also has some unique feaatures.
They also come in nearly every color you can imagine. The feathers are taken from ducks, close to the preen gland.
These feathers are very popular because of two key qualities – water resistance and buoyancy. They also have the ability to trap air.
Top Fly Tying Vise Features to Consider
Being able to make customized fly fishing flies will provide you with a real advantage whether you are casting to rising trout or blitzing stripped bass.
Rather than being at the mercy of retailers, you can make flies that look however you want and in any size or color you might need.
This is a big point that needs to be made.
The ability to tie with a wide range of hook sizes adds tremendously to the versatility of a fly tying vise.
The ability to tie everything from tiny midge imitations on up to giant saltwater streamers is a big plus, and can save you from buying a second tying vise for those big streamers down the road.
This is another feature that usually correlates with the price of the tying vise.
Cheap tying vices are often built with sub-par jaws that will bend over time and become ineffective, causing the hook to slip lose.
This is the biggest reason that you won’t see cheap fly tying vises in our recommendations.
They are a complete waste of your money, even for beginners, because they have extremely short life-spans.
Pedestal vs. Clamp
Pedestal bases make for a more travel-friendly set up, so you can tie your flies on almost any flat surface.
Whether you want to whip-up a few flies on the camp picnic table or even on a flat rock, pedestal bases make it easy.
Clamp-on bases are super sturdy and offer a rock-solid anchor when you need to really put tension on your tying wraps.
Big saltwater flies can really take some tight wraps with heavy thread and a clamp can be really helpful with big flies.