I had a chance to play with this vise for several
months this year. Odd looking creature, but actually,
very nice looking. I hesitated to do a review on this
product because I found good and bad things with the vise.
In one area it is probably as good as any vise on the market,
but in another area, it isn't adequate. If people buy this
vise for the type of tying it is best suited to, it will be
an excellent tool and have a great following for years to
come. However, please note the limitations of this vise
when you look to see if it will fit your needs.
The main framework of the vise is very solid and designed
to accommodate a variety of accessories without interfering
with the function of the vise or true rotary head. This is
a true rotary vise that is fairly easy to adjust and smooth
as a baby's backside in rotation. The head locks in place
with a thumbscrew to immobilize the jaw rotation as needed.
The vise excels in the realm of small flies. The rotary
head is easy to work with and around, and there is enough
space behind the fly to do things many other rotary vises
won't do easily. The jaws adjust easily for small flies
and hold small hooks extremely well. If you tie a lot of
small, trout-sized flies, this is a very good choice for
a rotary vise.
On the other hand, this isn't a good vise for saltwater or
bass flies. I don't think it was designed for any flies bigger
than standard trout fare. The base is too small to handle
the leverage applied to very large flies, and the pressure
it takes to spin deer hair on a bass bug will tip the
pedestal base over or at least make it wobble. The jaws
hold small hooks very well, but anything over about size
1 tends to slip under pressure. Definitely not designed
for flies bigger than trout flies. I played with adjustments
for over a month trying to get the jaws to hold large hooks
securely, but without a groove for large hooks, these jaws
let large hooks slip under pressure.
I suspect they will eventually place a groove in the jaws
for large hook holding capacity, and probably offer a clamp
mount or bigger base for larger flies. Until then, this is
an excellent trout fly vise, but not for saltwater and bass
If you're looking for a really good rotary vise for trout
flies, this is an excellent choice. If you tie a lot of
large flies, either look elsewhere or wait for these guys
to modify this vise for larger hooks.
Look for this vise at a dealer near you or contact DH Thompson
for the location of the nearest dealer, priced at $165 retail. ~ Al Campbell
DH Thompson, Inc.
200 Industrial Dr.
Hampshire, IL 60140
Ph: (847) 683-0051
Fax: (847) 683-0052