View Full Version : Which Vise?

11-16-2009, 12:22 PM
OK brief history. Last year I took the Beginner's Fly Tying Class at LRO. After the class I decided that $2/fly seems pretty resonable and didn't pursue tying. I have been fishing a lot of midges as a dropper lately and decided surely I could tie these things. I borrowed a friends vise and last Thursday evening tied up a dozen size 22 zebra midges. I only had about and hour to fish Friday but caught 3 fish in the first 15 minutes on one of my zebra midges and it was still holding together. I Think I may give this tying thing another try.
I know that tying isn't really a way to save money and I know that I should probably experiment with several different vises.
But I am just curious which vise you prefer and why. I want to get a decent vise, but I don't want to break the bank, so I am looking in the $200 dollar range.
My front runner is probably the HMH Spartan - simple elegance
close 2nd Renzetti Traveler - good price, full rotary, nice hook range
also consider
Peak Rotary
Dyna-King Trekker

So, if you have any experience with any of these vices and would like to offer your thoughts I would love to hear them. At this point it appears that I will mostly tie small stuff 18-24 (and could buy optional micro-jaw for the HMH). Next in my progression of tying might actually be to skip to the larger stuff like streamers. For now, I will probably keep buying the middle sized dries and nymphs. Thanks for the input.


11-16-2009, 12:50 PM

I got the Renzetti Traveler for Christmas last year and have no complaints. Please note that I have only been tying since then and have had limited exposure to other vices.

I think that I enjoy tying just as much as I do fishing.

11-16-2009, 12:54 PM
I just happen to have both those vises, along with a couple of others, but my Renzzetti is the older model with the knob type jaw tightening system. Both are great. they are the only ones I use. The Renzetti gives you a true rotary function which is nice, but not essential. I have had them for years. No problems with either.

11-16-2009, 05:21 PM
I really like my Renzetti Traveler. I have tied down to #24 with no hook slippage problems. While the rotary feature isn't a requirement for the flies you are talking about tying, its nice to have if you keep tying...

11-16-2009, 09:14 PM
I've had a Peak rotary for a couple years, tied hundreds of flies on it and the thing hasn't let me down yet.

I rarely use the rotary feature. I honestly should use it more but by the time I remeber it's a rotary vise, I"ve already tied a few flies.

I do like the peak vise tough.

It's a pedstal model and the only thing I would change would be the rod should be about 3" longer but other than that, it's a great vise for the stuff I tie.


11-16-2009, 09:30 PM
I also have both the Spartan and the Traveler, and like Silvercreek my Traveler is the screw-knob model. I personally prefer the Renzetti, great vise.


11-16-2009, 11:00 PM
Renzetti travler is the way to go. Inexpensive yet great quality.

11-17-2009, 01:53 AM
I, also, use an "older" Traveler. I tie smaller Saltwater and Bass Bugs with it down to 24's with no problem. I use both Clamp and Pedestal bases, for home tying or on the road. I am sort of rough on the vise and the only repairs have been the replacements I've had to make were the "O rings". I, like the others, started out using the rotary feature, but have abandoned it. Even if given unlimited funds, I'd probably replace it with another!
I would highly recommend if tying small flies that you get a lighted magnifier, it really makes tying easier!

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

11-17-2009, 06:51 AM
hmh, don't buy any vise that has a rubber band to make it work, they always rot.

11-17-2009, 08:29 AM
"I am sort of rough on the vise and the only repairs have been the replacements I've had to make were the "O rings".

They sent me a replacement free after 20+ years. I have since found on other boards that an "o" ring can be obtained from Lowes. My opinon- The ring is not a problem!

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

11-17-2009, 01:45 PM
I'm with Randall. I have had my Renzetti for over 5 years and have tied hundreds of flies and have never had a lick of trouble from it. If the o-ring ever does give out, you can replace it for less than $1 with a new o-ring from Lowes.

As far as the rotary feature is concerned, I rarely (never) use it to spin flies around and around, but when tying on curved shanked caddis hooks, I find it easier to dub, etc (without clipping the thread on the hook point) by rotating the fly 90 degrees toward me when wrapping the lower portion of the fly (as close to the bend as possible) and then sitting it back upright to complete the fly. Couldn't do that with a stationary vise. Its nice to have an option like that, especially if it doesn't cost any more...

11-17-2009, 07:10 PM
I played with the Renzetti a little and I think it has stepped into the front runner position. I still really like the simplicity of the HMH but for similiar money I can't see why I wouldn't get the rotary feature. I have heard a little criticism of the o-ring feature, but it seems that it is more about the concept than actual performance. Concerns about the o-ring concept was one of the reasons I was looking at the dyna-king, which I also played with the same day. And while it looked and maybe felt a little more solid or substantial it was nowhere as smooth as the Renzetti and had what I would call a "notchy" feel.
Anymore thoughts or experiences appreciated. This will probably be a Christmas present, so I am still trying to make up my mind as to which one to "ask for".


11-20-2009, 10:48 PM
All of them are good vises. I would try to go somewhere and put my hands on as many of them as I could. Mount a few hooks, see how your hands fit on the vice, look at the finish to be sure it doesn't have too much glare, see how the height of the vise suits you, think about which one gives you the most headroom to work around the fly, That is really important if you are going to be tying very small flies. Look at what accessories come with the vise, some include bobbin hangers, material clips, and carry bags or cases. Everyone has features they like and dislike, you just need to weight all the options. I very rarely use the rotary function on mine for anything other than looking at the back side or the bottom of the fly or to reposition the fly to tie in something. Having the ability to positioning the fly to make the tying in of some material easier is nice, but both of these can be accomplished simply with a vise that will rotate 360 degrees. It sure beats having to take the fly out of the vise and turn it upside down with some flies.

The Principal
11-20-2009, 11:55 PM
I have had three differrent vices. I like my Renzetti Traveler the best.