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Sirhoops23November 15th, 2007, 12:26 pm
Bolivar, MO

Posts: 14
This is only the second or third post i have had but i like the advice i got last time so i will shoot agian. i have been tying on the p.o.s cabellas starter kit. now that i have been tying for a while i am looking to upgrade on my tying tools and vise. i would love to hear some feed back on favorites. now i am intrested in function not form. i need good stuff for a good price. so let me know some of your faviorites from bobbins to vises to tools and why.
FlybinderNovember 15th, 2007, 6:47 pm
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
Whooo Boy, SirHopps!!
You're REALLY going to open a can full of "Info Worms" with THIS request! haha!
EVERY fly tier, I know, has their "own, set, opinions" on what's best for them and what they don't like. So, as this thread possibly fills up with suggestions, remember.............. "It's ONLY the suggestions of each, individual, tier!
So, that said.................
Vise: The bulldog of the tying world, I think, is the "Regal" brand of vice. If you can manage to "hurt" this vice, in someway, you shouldn't be tying flies!! With the added "Midge Jaws" accessory, along with the standard jaws, you can tie any hook size from 2/0 down to 32s.
It's not a rotary vise, but a rotary attachment is available for it also.It's also, the easiest vise made, to set a hook into the jaws..... simply squeeze the handle, insert ANY size hook and release the handle. You'll either, break the hook, or, bend it-before it will work loose while you're tying!
If you want "inexpensive, but a very good vise", I tie with an "Anvil Rotary" quite a bit too. A simple vise, American made, full rotary function, adjustable angle and head and list price is about $100.00.
Of course, "if money's no object"............ then Eenzetti or, Dyna-King both make excellent vises too.
I would, VERY SERIOUSLY, visit a local fly shop, (if possible), and LOOK at the shop's inventory of vises. Play with them, check the features and like many shops will allow, tie a fly or three on a couple of different models, before paying down the money.

For tying TOOLS, depends on what type flies you plan on tying, really. Fpr basic "fresh water-dries and wests", you can't go wrong wit any and all tools made by Renzetti, (the BEST whip finisher on the market, I feel!), and/or, Dr.Slick. I would suggest, sticking with Dr.Slick scissors, though.The guy is a real surgeon and he "knows sharp"!
Good luck and I'm sure, you're going to get A LOT of great advice!
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
FlybinderNovember 15th, 2007, 6:54 pm
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
The above post was typed, BEFORE, my coffee was finished brewing!! I can only, truly, use that as an excuse for such POOR spelling, grammar and misuse of words! Sorry!
"Sirhopps" should be-"SirHoops"
"Vice" should be-"Vise"
"Eenzettie should be-"Renzetti"
Etc, etc, etc,!!!
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
CaseyPNovember 16th, 2007, 7:59 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
i'll KISS this one:
get a rotary vise this time 'round. your hackle, ribbing, and any other material wound around the hook will suddenly look more professional.
and to go with it, consider the Ekich bobbin. works like a window shade and accepts any spool of thread; no more "thread control" woes. for once i got what i paid for. tools: flybinder has it down pretty good. my sissors are the most expensive thing in the tool tray; the bobbin threader is the least (dental floss threader), followed by the bent paper clip i use to spin loops.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
FalsiflyNovember 16th, 2007, 9:54 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
Other than the tools, which you will get great advice on, I would like to mention one other item often overlooked. It is the one item which changed my tying from so-so into scientific art (if there is such a thing). Pick up a copy of The Fly Tierís Benchside Reference by Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer. It contains a wealth of information on materials and techniques. This was published in 1998 so Iím sure there is probably something more up to date. If so let us know guys. Anyway, look into it if you havenít.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Jjlyon01November 16th, 2007, 1:25 pm
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
The Anvil Rotary vise that Flybinder speaks of is a great vise. The designer of the Ausable Wulff taught me how to tie on this fly. I have had no problems with this vise in my 4 years of tying. Also i bought a tool kit from Cabelas back when I started with strictly entry level tools, I still use them, although I have traded in the scissors because as everyone else has said a nice sharp pair of scissors is awesome.
"I now walk into the wild"
MartinlfNovember 16th, 2007, 3:28 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
I use a Dan Vise. It's had great reviews in the past, to which I'll add mine own here. And it won't break the bank. Casey's right about rotary vises, at least in my humble opinion.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3November 16th, 2007, 3:30 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Good advice, guys - no need to spend a bundle on a good vise, and even though I've not tied on a Regal, I've had enough knowledgeable tiers recommend Regal vises to me that I'm sure they're great. I have an HMH Spartan vise that I like (it was about $150). The rotary feature I find clumsy, so I don't use it much, but the vise is certainly capable of doing everything your average tier needs it to do. I was also able to purchase three different jaw sizes which are easy to interchange. Also (and this was a big consideration for me), I was able to buy a longer stand rod (9") for it, which puts the fly much closer to my eyes and allows me to brace my elbows on the tying bench to help steady my hands when I'm doing technical tying. I am convinced that most tiers would improve the quality of their technical ties and have fewer back and neck problems from hunching over their vises if they used ones with longer stand rods. You have to make sure the pedestal is heavy enough to support the longer rod, though.

I have Dr. Slick scissors for my fine work and they are nice, but you have to be careful with nice scissors not to bear down at all while cutting - you can drive one scissor into the other really easily and scar them both up. Never throw away an old pair of scissors! Use them for cutting wire and other tough materials. And, when cutting anything tough, always place the material as far back as you can in the scissors. After all, the reason you pay good money for good scissors is the one-millimeter section right at the point - only use the tips of the scissors when absolutely necessary and be very careful not to damage them.

As for thread and bobbins, I love the old Gudebrod system with the plastic bobbins (you never spend any time switching threads because you can buy as many bobbins as you have spools, for a pittance). Problem is that you can't get these anymore. I'm having a lot of trouble finding spools to replace my old ones. I also use expensive bobbins for fancy tying but I don't find they perform much better than the cheap Gudebrods. As long as a bobbin is smooth at the eye, you don't need it made out of NASA-grade ceramics and polymers. Buy the cheapest good ones you can find and buy as many as you can reasonably afford - sure beats threading them over and over.

My favorite flytying tool is the bodkin, but no need to get pricey ones. Instead, get a whole bunch of cheap ones or make your own. I can hardly ever find mine because I'm always taking them off my tying bench to use around the house for this and that. Can't have too many lying around, unless you have small children... as I do. So I limit myself to a few and try to keep tabs on them as best my absent mind can.

I used to whip-finish by hand, but I find that two good half-hitches with well waxed thread are as good as anything. No need for a tool for either technique if you ask me.

Last, don't be afraid to make your own tools or modify tools you've bought. Think about what it is you want to do and be creative about figuring out how to do it. I've developed lots of tools and techniques that serve me well and help give character to my tying. Nothing makes tying more satisfying than stamping it with your own ingenuity.

Hope that helps,
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
LittleJNovember 16th, 2007, 5:30 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
Can't go wrong with regal vises, as long as you don't need a true rotary. I just use the rotary to inspect the fly so it is fine for me.
FlybinderNovember 16th, 2007, 8:36 pm
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
You're 100% spot on, with the book recommendation!
Published in '98, or not........ even with some newer books out now, , the info in the Benchside still one of the best around and I doubt will ever "go out of style"!
Every tier should "have one, at the side of their bench"!!
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
Shawnny3November 17th, 2007, 4:25 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
"Vice" should be-"Vise"

For some of us, that's debatable.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
MartinlfNovember 17th, 2007, 10:17 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Ok Shawn, now you're encroaching on my territory. :) Actually, I've wondered about this spelling issue as I've seen it many times. I've conjectured that Europeans use the spelling "vice" regularly and that it's making inroads as we look more to them for flies and fishing styles. I may be all wrong here, and would be interested to learn more form our brethren abroad. As for your witty comment on the addictive nature of tying--nice one. Just be sure you spell my name right when you set me straight on this topic. Oh, and by the way, have you gone live yet with your website? I'm eager to see it.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CaseyPNovember 17th, 2007, 2:35 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
I am convinced that most tiers would improve the quality of their technical ties and have fewer back and neck problems from hunching over their vises if they used ones with longer stand rods. You have to make sure the pedestal is heavy enough to support the longer rod, though. (Shawn)

my Best Fishing Buddy bought me a Nor-Vise 18 months ago and i have never looked back. gone, indeed, are the tight shoulders and scrunched-up back. if you don't want to spend that much on a vise, you can get a "task chair" like people in offices use. they go down and up so you can adjust your height instead of the vise's. rotary + eye level work = superior results. IMHO...
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
FlybinderNovember 17th, 2007, 3:05 pm
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60

"Vice" or "Vise"???
Well, as I "leerned it, when I gets me a gooder edyukation in leern'in skool.........(It's win I gots huuked on Foniks tu!)

"Vise", is a clamping device which we use to construct the flies we use, when enjoying one of our most lovable of "Vices", fly fishing".

Fly Fishing, falls into the same "Vices category" as "Alcohol, Tobacco and Sex".(quote)"All become a treacherous addiction when practiced in excess,i.e."Becoming a "Vice".(end quote).

So, I don't think the local "Vice Squad" are a group of people that go around fixing tools for fly tiers!?1
Now, as to those "Over the Pond" getting in on it, I think if that happens on too frequent a basis, we'll all be writing such things as:

"Flye Tyer", "Fish'e", "Going angle" and "Having a fishing session".

But, then too according to the not so distant past, we here in America are all "Uncivilized Barbaric Colonists". Thankfully, they may be "Spot On"! "Eh, 'Ol Chap"??
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
LamNovember 17th, 2007, 3:35 pm
Lancaster, PA

Posts: 81
'ello guvna!!!
FlybinderNovember 17th, 2007, 7:02 pm
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
'Ello, to you, Lam!

Your points on the chair are well made. I tie a lot, I guess, by some standards.4-5 hours at my vise, (or, vice!?!), at least 5 days a week.
It used to be that I would "try" and tie this much, but simply couldn't handle the back/shoulder/neck pain after about 3 hours straight tying.

I finally did two things.............. went to Costco and bought an office chair with adjustable seat AND adjustable height to the arms.
On the arms, I took 4" thick foam rubber, attached it with simple rubber bands to the arms and now if using my pedestal vise, my elbows rest on the arms of the chair! WHAT a huge, difference!

I also invested in a set of "vise extensions" from Dyna King, that allow me to swing my vise out and away from my tying table and right into my lap, for rotary tying and for tying the smaller flies.
I didn't think up this vise extension idea, myself.My friend Henry Hoffman showed the idea to me. It's the way he's tied for years.
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
JOHNWNovember 17th, 2007, 7:14 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
OK all of the loverly semantics and spelling quips aside. For tools I still use the 19.99 kit I got from Gander Mtn. with three notable exceptions:
1. I have upgraded to a Renzetti Traveler Vise with cam jaws. I love the "tru rotary" action.
2. Ceramic or jewel tipped bobbins
3. Anvil ice tempered scissors
The old Thompson A knock off vis/ce still lives in my travel tying kit.

On the subject of vises the best advice I can give is to go to a shop that has both and try them out. Vises are like rods that way. You need to really feel them to know if they are going to work for you.

Take it for what it is worth.

"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
PsyflyNovember 18th, 2007, 10:26 am
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 18
I agree with all that's been said here. I'm a big fan of in-line rotary vices. A lot of good ones out there now at better prices than they used to be. One vice I've played with numerous times but do not own is the PEAK Vise. Love it! I use a Renzetti Cam Traveler. Works smooth and small enough to cart around easily on camping trips.

The second most important tool, in my mind, are scissors. I use WISS quick clips. They have changed so much about my tying and speed of tying it is an absolute second place behind an in line rotary vice.

All other tools are after thoughts to me. I use a threader of dental floss GUM threaders wound to a match stick. Fine needle, light weight for lacquer and various needs, Bobbins both ceramic and metal, both work fine. Second pair of scissors arrow point, for hair and heavier clipping. Flat, needle nose pliers to smash down barbs. Those are the most used items I have. All else is extras!
"If I might be judge, God never did make a more calm,quiet, innocent recreation than angling" Isaac Walton
Sirhoops23November 19th, 2007, 7:08 am
Bolivar, MO

Posts: 14
Again great range of advice fellas. I definately will take a lot from this especially going and tying on them. I had never thought of that. Along with the book and discussion on bobbins and scissors. As far as spelling nobody ever has to worry about me even noticing the difference.=)
HCBDecember 15th, 2007, 12:20 pm
Littleton, Colorado

Posts: 1
You will get a lot of good recommendations, so here are mine:

Vise: HMH Standard/Spartan, Renzetti Presentation
Bobbins: Griffin
Scissors: Dr. Slick
Thread: Uni-thread 8/0 and 6/0

The quality of equipment is so good nowadays, you will not be disadvantaged no matter what you choose among the top names. A lot of this is ergonomics. So I recommend you test them out in a shop first ... and if you patronize a good flyshop, they will be all too happy to let you sit at the vise and test the tools out on a few flies.

good luck
leave all fish behind

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