Best Fly Tying Vises: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

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If you want to catch the fish that no one else can, then you need to use lures that no one else has. This is why so many fly fishing aficionados tie their own flies. They can customize their lure and attract the fish that others can't. To do this, they use a fly tying vise. If you are in the market for a quality fly tying vise, then this review is for you.

Preview

Product

Jaws/Vise Type

Hook Size

Check Price

Rotary Fly Tying Vise - Peak Fishing Vise...

Peak Fishing Rotary

Collet/Full Rotary

From 2/0 down 

Griffin Montana Mongoose Vise

Griffin Montana Mongoose

Collet/Full Rotary

Size 4/0 To 28

Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise

Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly

Lever/Full Rotary

Jaw Capacity is 28 to 4/0

Regal Travel Fly Tying Vise

Regal Travel

Lever/Partial Rotary

Good for hooks up to 1/0 

Nor-Vise Fly Tying System

Nor-Vise

Lever/Partial Rotary

Accommodates all hook sizes 

Danica Danvise

Danica Danvise

Lever/Full Rotary

Sizes 22 To 7/0

Renzetti Original Traveler 2000 Cam Jaw...

Renzetti Original Traveler 2000

Lever/Full Rotary

Sizes 28 - 4/0


Why a Vise Should Be Included In Your Fly Tying Supplies

A vise is part of any good quality fly tying kit. It is a prerequisite for tying flies that work. Here are just a few reasons that you need a fly tying vise:

  • The vise secures the fly so you can use both hands to build it.
  • The vise allows you to move the fly without moving your hand position.
  • The vise steadies the fly, so it is easy to work on, especially with intricate parts.
  • With a vise, you can rotate the fly, which makes it easier to construct.

How to Choose a Quality Fly Tying Vise

Intended Fly Type

Most vises work with most types of flies. What you need to pay attention to is the size of the hook you plan to be using. If you plan on tieing something like extra-large saltwater flies or jumbo muskie flies, then you will need a particular vise. Otherwise, everything else should fit.  

Material

Vises will come made from aluminum, steel, or a combination of the two. All these options are very strong and durable, but aluminum is lighter in weight and more corrosion resistant.

Vise Type

A non-rotary vise is the most common and affordable version available. It will simply hold the fly in place for you. A rotary vise is preferred, though, because it gives you 360 degrees of movement in the fly. This allows you to wrap it easier, inspect it better, and generally construct a better fly. 

Base Versions: C-Clamp vs. Pedestal Base

A c-clamp base allows you to attach your vise to the edge of any flat surface and work from there. A pedestal base, on the other hand, is a flat weighted surface that the vice is attached to. The choice between the two is a matter of preference.

The benefit of having a pedestal base though, is that you can set the vise anywhere, even your lap. Base materials vary as well. The bronze pocket option is durable and easily portable, while a traditional bronze base is very stable but a little bulky. Aluminum bases are often the smallest and lightest in weight, but you sacrifice stability to achieve that.

Performance Features

When looking at fly tying vices, you should also assess how strongly it can hold the hook, how easy it is to adjust, what range of hook sizes it can accommodate, as well as the features of the jaw itself. It is essential to prioritize strength and ease of use.  

Accessories

Some of the best fly tying vises come with accessories. Look for holders for your bobbins, LED lights, material clips, magnifiers, and even profile plates to make tying your fly even easier.


7 Best Fly Tying Vises Reviewed

1. Peak Fishing Rotary

Our Top Pick!

Material

Steel and Aluminum

Jaws Type

Collet

Vise Type

Full Rotary

Hook Size

From 2/0 down

Base Type

Pedestal and Clamp Available

The Peak Fishing Rotary fly tying vise is easy to use, versatile, and durable. That’s what makes it our top pick. The jaws are made from a hardened and tempered tool steel that can securely hold a wide range of hooks as you work on them. The full rotary vise mechanism makes tying a fly very easy because you can move it exactly where you need it and how you need it. Stability and strength in movement combined with a certain amount of fluidity open up more possibilities when it comes to creative fly design. 

The vise is available with a c-clamp or a pedestal, and if you usually are c-clamp averse, you might want to reconsider this design. The lower rabbeted jaw is reversed to get a grip range from 2-1/4" to 11/16". The clamps jaws are also situated on precision guide rods that keep the jaw faces parallel.

That contributes to the secure grip, and since there is no rotating clamp screw, you won't run the risk of marking up or damaging any table you clamp to. The overall construction of the vise provides a very stable working tool that you will probably find yourself using for years to come. 

Pros
  • C-clamp construction that is more secure and less damaging to surfaces 
  • Strong jaw
  • Overall durable construction
Cons
  • Out of the box, some parts might have markings from machine manufacturing

2. Griffin Montana Mongoose

Best Rotary Vise For Fly Tying

Material

Steel

Jaws Type

Collet

Vise Type

Full Rotary

Hook Size

Size 4/0 to 28

Base Type

Includes pedestal and c-clamp

The Griffin Montana Mongoose fly tying vise is our close tie for first place with the Peak fishing rotary, so we decided to highlight it as the best rotary vise for fly tying. For starters, the vise sports the immovable hook holding power that you would expect.

Tempered steel jaws hold hooks from 4/0-28's. The strong collet jaws are on a precision full rotary system that utilizes a rotation lock screw and a fine tension screw so you can perfectly control the resistance in the rotation. That's the level of control you need to expertly make the flies you need. The more precision you can get out of your vise, the better you can craft each fly.

The overall design of the Griffin Montana Mongoose is optimized for ease of use. The addition of an extension handle allows a choice of a more extended rotating handle, for example, so you can mold the vise to suit your needs.

Also, the cam lever can be locked in a forward or backward position, which allows for more clearance while tying. The strength and versatility of the design alone make this vise a great option, but then there's also all the free accessories. These include a c-clamp, pedestal, bobbin cradle, material clip, supreme bobbin, hackle gauge, and deluxe carrying case. In addition to that this vise also comes with a lifetime warranty.   

Pros
  • Strong jaws
  • Ergonomic construction
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Pedestal base is a little light for its size

3. Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly

Best Beginner Fly Tying Vise

Material

Steel/aluminum clamp

Jaws Type

Lever

Vise Type

Full Rotary

Hook Size

Jaw capacity is 28 to 4/0

Base Type

C-clamp

The Griffin Odyssey Spider fly tying vise is perfect for any beginner. Its functionality is very user friendly and learner-friendly while also coming in at a beginner price. Still, as one reviewer points out, "I view it as a great choice for those with beginner or advanced fly tying skills." This vise is great for anglers at all skill levels.

The jaws maintain a reliable holding power with hooks of many different sizes. Adjustment of the jaws works off of two knobs, which allow you to dial in the exact amount of hold you need. This design will enable you to insert similarly sized hooks after finishing another fly quickly. 

You can then adjust the jaws height and the rotary resistance to fine-tune the functionality to the person using it. That is great for beginners and more experienced fly tyers alike. The c-clamp that comes with the vise has a good-sized bite and grips most surfaces very well, making the whole vise immovable.

Lastly, the bobbin cradle is included to keep the bobbin out of the way yet still usable. The bobbin cradle can easily be swung aside if needed. To top all of that off the Griffin Odyssey Spider fly tying vise comes with a lifetime guarantee and is 100% made in the USA.     

Pros
  • More affordable than other vises
  • Steady and versatile construction
  • Lifetime guarantee included
Cons
  • Some parts are plastic

4. Regal Travel

Best Compact Fly Tying Vice

Material

Aluminum

Jaws Type

Lever

Vise Type

Partial rotary

Hook Size

Good for hooks up to 1/0

Base Type

Pedestal

If you need a fly tying vise that you can take on the road and out on the water, then the Regal Travel fly tying vise is what you need. This compact vise packs a lot of style and functionality into a small package. The smaller size of the vise does come with some limitations like having a partial rotary instead of full rotary assembly, but that isn't nearly as limiting as you might think. You should be able to construct most of the flies you’ll need within the range of motion provided by this vise.

You still have a 360-degree turning axis only limited by the 220 degrees of up and down movement. All that movement comes on a small and lightweight aluminum base. You could easily balance this vise in your lap or on the deck of a boat and start tying flies.

Or as Regal themselves state, "Sometimes, you just need to tie on the fly…as in, on an airplane, in a car (not while driving), or at the end of the day in your hotel room."

The Regal Travel fly tying vise provides the durability and functionality in a small enough package that you can confidently use it almost anywhere you go.

Pros
  • Very portable
  • Excellent construction
  • Strong and lightweight
Cons
  • Larger hook sizes don’t fit well 

5. Nor-Vise

Top Of The Range

Material

Brass and aluminum

Jaws Type

Lever

Vise Type

Partial rotary

Hook Size

Accommodates all hook sizes

Base Type

Pedestal

The Nor-Vise fly tying system as it is called is different from your regular fly tying vise. It is a very high quality engineered piece of equipment that comes with a price tag to prove it. At first glance, the Nor-Vise might even look a little foreign to anyone well acquainted with most fly tying vises.

The basic principles are still the same, though, and the Nor-Vise even comes with a one hour instructional DVD to guide setup and use. The Nor-Vise is ultimately well worth it. The jaws grip any hook you might want to use and do so extremely securely. The rotary function is smooth and well balanced, too, so you can easily build your fly.

One of the greatest things about this vise is that it genuinely does work within a system. You can buy additional jaws to fit the vise, depending on your needs. The vise will also come with a matching thread post that is fitted to a board opposite the vise. The board, the post, the additional jaws, and other components work together as a fly tying system, unlike many others. Although the Nor-Vise is a bit of an investment, reviews have proven it worth the money.

Other anglers have commented things like, "WOW!!! What a fantastic tool," and even, "Good enough, it should be the last vice I have to buy."      

Pros
  • Excellent construction
  • Customizable
  • Accommodates all hook sizes
Cons
  • There is a learning curve

6. Danica Danvise

Best Under $150

Material

Steel

Jaws Type

Lever

Vise Type

Full rotary

Hook Size

Sizes 22 to 7/0

Base Type

C-Clamp (pedestal available separately)

With fly tying vises, quality and price are unfortunately pretty strongly tied together. Sometimes though, you can find a vise that exhibits high price qualities at a good value. The Danica Danvise does exactly that.

With true smooth full rotary action and powerful hook holding power that accommodates hook sizes from 22 to 7/0, you might expect the price to be $200 or higher. This vise, however, consistently clocks in at under $150. Other excellent features like the cam operated jaws made of tempered hardened steel or the jaw taper which increases strength at the jaw tips just add to the value.

The vise itself is made of molded Delrin resin, which is a very strong, lightweight material that cuts costs while maintaining quality. The is also makes the vise very lightweight and easily portable. Like some other vises the Danica Danvise also comes with an instructional DVD that goes a long way in highlighting the full functionality of the vise. Once you can use the vise in all the ways it was intended, you can really unlock the value in this affordable vise.

Sometimes it can even be found for under $100, and that led one reviewer to note that “For less than a Franklin you get a whole lot of performance!”.   

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Accommodates many hook sizes
  • Durable construction
Cons
  • Some plastic parts

7. Renzetti Original Traveler 2000

Good Value For Money

Material

Anodized aluminum

Jaws Type

Lever

Vise Type

Full rotary

Hook Size

Sizes 28 - 4/0

Base Type

Pedestal or Clamp

Similar to the Danica Danvise, the Renzetti Original Traveler 2000 is a good value for the money. In this case, though, the price tag, and quality, are a bit higher. This vise first entered the fly tying world in 1988 and has remained popular ever since, and for good reason.

It is near impossible to find any significant flaw with this vise. It is a compact vise with a fairly traditional design, and in many ways, there isn't anything especially remarkable about it. Yet, the sum of all its parts seems to just work. It is the kind of vise that people buy and then never buy another after because they don’t need to.

One review on their site goes as follows, “I have a Renzetti Traveler 2000 I purchased in 1988. I just updated the jaws from thumb screw to cam, and it's going strong."

That's how good this vise is. It covers all the bases you would want it to. A secure hold of hooks, a smooth and true rotary, and a stable base. Small additions like the Black Oxide finished patented cam jaws, a black powder-coated base, and the integration of a polyurethane O-ring all create a professional finish and feel to this excellent vise.     

Pros
  • Long-lasting construction
  • Compact size
  • High quality
Cons
  • Not suitable for very large hooks

Essential Fly-Tying Tools & Materials

  • Fly tying desk/table/station/bench
    You can use a fly tying vise on any flat surface, but a proper fly tying desk makes the whole process easier. These desks are designed to hold and organize all the materials you might need when tying a fly.
  • Fly tying bobbin
    A fly tying bobbin will hold and spool your thread so that it is easy to unravel as you are creating your fly.
  • Fly tying hooks
    Fly tying hooks are the base of your fly. You should have a variety of sizes and types so you can make any fly you need.
  • Fly tying feathers
    Feathers are the essential part of your fly that imitates the legs, wings, or antennas of the prey you are trying to model. Again, the greater the variety you have, the more options you have.
  • Fly tying foam
    Fly tying foam comes in many colors and thicknesses. It is used to make the body of your fly, so make sure you get the colors that match what your local fish like.
  • Fly tying magnifying glass
    A magnifying glass is an indispensable tool when tying a fly. You will need it to see some of the more intricate knots and structures you’ll want to make.
  • Fly tying scissors
    Fly tying scissors should be nimble and sharp—the more dexterity and precision you have, the better. Scissors especially designed for fly fishing are always the best.  

How to Tie a Fly with a Vise

  1. 1
    Gather all your supplies. This might include foam, feathers, thread, and a hook.
  2. 2
    Secure your vise. If using a c-clamp make sure it is tightened and firm.
  3. 3
    Place the bent end of the hook in the vise and tighten the vise until the hook is secure.
  4. 4
    Begin building the fly. Different fly types are built in different ways.
  5. 5
    Finish tying the fly with a whipping tool. This tool is designed to finish off tying the fly in the best way possible, so it doesn't unravel during use.

Fly Tying for Beginners: Tips & Tricks

  • How to tie a leader to fly line
    Insert the loop in the line through the loop in the leader then pass the entire length of the leader back through the loop on the fly line. This video can show you how.
  • How to tie fly line to backing
    To connect the fly line to backing, you should use an Albright knot as exhibited here. This tried and true knot seems to consistently outperform other approaches. 
  • How to tie a fly to the tippet
    Use a clinch knot to attach your fly to the tippet. There are other ways to go about it, but this knot has proven to be the best.
  • Best flies to tie for beginners
    One of the best flies for beginners to tie is the wooly bugger! It is versatile and covers the basics you will need to know for other flies. You can find other simple flies to begin with, too, and there are tons of great tips to get you started.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much does a good fly tying vise cost?

Most good fly tying vises cost between $100 and $200, while others can cost even more. You can find good fly tying vises for less, though. It is all a matter of what best suits your needs. The $100-200 price tag usually comes about because of the quality of materials and construction found in the vise. 

What is the best all-around fly tying thread?

Fly tying threads come in different materials and sizes. Nylon, polyester, and Kevlar are the most commonly used materials, so any of those used as a 6/0 thread is best all around. 6/0 thread is great for medium-sized flies, and it is strong enough to secure the fly yet low profile enough to not add too much bulk.

What is the best knot for tying a fly to the tippet?

The best knot for tying a fly to the tippet is the clinch knot. The knot is strong and simple enough, and this is what has made it so popular. There are plenty of videos and step by step instructions on how to tie the knot, and in time, with enough practice, you'll be able to tie it without even thinking about it.

What is the best UV resin for fly tying?

According to one comparative review, the best UV resin is Loon Flow. This is a light resin, though, so if you need something thicker, Bug Bond Original or CCG Tack Free is the way to go. UV resins vary across several factors, so it is always best to speak with an experienced local fisher to find what will work best for you.   

Are vises absolutely necessary for fly tying?

Fly tying vises are not absolutely necessary for fly tying but it is very highly recommended that you have one. Without a vise, you are basically tying a fly with one hand since your other hand has to hold the hook. This becomes complicated very quickly. Without a vise, you won’t be able to make the same quality of fly.   

Where can I buy the best fly tying supplies (like a vise)?

The best place to buy fly tying supplies is Amazon. You can find a wide variety of vises and other tools there that you won't be able to find elsewhere. The reviews and ratings make comparison shopping much easier as well, and this is especially important when selecting a new vise.


Conclusion

Hands down the overall best fly tying vice in the world right now is the Peak Fishing Rotary. It consistently provides the durability and versatility needed to make even the most complicated flies.

There are fly tying vises on this list for almost every budget and need out there, though, and none of them is a bad choice. As is often the case, you might find yourself getting one of these vises and sticking with it for years to come.