Product Reviews

This DINGO Is Not a Dog
by Denny Conrad

One day back in mid May of 2002 I received the following e-mail:

Hi Dennis,
Do you think there is a market for a handcrafted
Stainless Steel Fly Vice?
Please have a look at the attachments.
Peter Rodgers

So being not 100% interested I pushed it off to a back burner for a few days. Once I looked at the attachments and visited Peter's web site I became more interested.

What Peter did not know was that I was thinking about getting myself a better vise.

Now most of you know that I travel all over the States peddling hackle. What many of you may not know is that I started fly tying 58 years ago. My first vise was one I made in my fathers shop from a spring clothespin, bolt and piece of 2 x 6 for a base. It worked, was just not as comfortable to tie on as others I have used these many years. I think I have had the opportunity to tie on almost every vise ever put on the market. Some I liked. Some I thoroughly detested.

Being a Master Cabinet Maker I appreciate well-crafted tools. I prefer steel or wood to man made materials in my tools. I demand something that trips my inner trigger for the ascetics of my equipment. I am not saying the space age products are not good, just feel they do not suit me. To me a vise is a tool. I know I can tie good fish catching flys on almost any vise. I have learned to overcome built-in problems such as reaching over an obstruction, dimensional problems that do not fit my physical shortcomings such as fat, large hands.

Some time ago I realized that for my tying I could use a true rotary. I picked up a Dan vise and for the money it is a very good starting vise. I tried many vises that I felt would fill my desires. I had it narrowed down to a couple that suited me before the e-mail from Peter.

The first thing that shocked me was the price because it is listed in AU currency. Dumb me! I soon found out that at that time one dollar AU = .55 USD. It may change from time to time. This I could see was a doable price range for me because two of my options were much more. But would this vise I could not try out be worth spending the money on?

Peter offered me the opportunity to tie on it for one month and if I was not satisfied to return it for a full refund of my money. Now this sounds familiar because we offer a similar money back guarantee to our customers. Sending a bank wire transfer of funds made the order official and the wait began. Five days later I had a package from Australia. To me this was important to have a speedy handling of an order. In fact all of my communications with Peter have been excellent.

As it arrived

Dingo Vise

I have tied many flys on my new Dingo and, unlike in the past, I have no desires to have anything changed. It is perfect for my style of tying. It will hold all size hooks with a simple cam lever. The best holding I have ever experienced in any vise.

I seldom use the large jaws because I seldom tie large flys. However I have tried it and find it holds the big ones as well as it holds the little ones.

A few months ago a friend/customer of ours was asking about my new vise and low and behold, he ordered one. He contacted me several times before and after he placed his order. With his permission here are the comments he made to me about the Dingo.

"Once the initial email introductions had been conducted and the order verified, I sent Peter a direct deposit in Australian dollars. After Peter informed me he received my payment, my Dingo arrived in the mail just 7 days later! Communication throughout the transaction was excellent!

I found the rotary Dingo MkII to be actually four vises in one: a bench vise, a travel vise, a freshwater vise and a saltwater vise. For bench use, it comes with either a pedestal stand or c-clamp (or both can be ordered). For travel use, the Dingo comes with an additional stainless steel stand which allows the vise jaws to be used as a rotating head vise for streamside "match the hatch" tying. There is a set of jaws for freshwater size 2 to 28 hooks and a set of easily interchangeable jaws for saltwater size 2 to 12/0 hooks. And there is an optional zippered, heavy-duty cordura nylon carry case that stores everything.

size 32 hook The Dingo MkII is the F-16 fighter jet of rotary vises: sleek, aerodynamic lines; precision built of stainless steel for durability; ergonomically designed controls for quick adjustments; and super-grip jaws that "lock-on" to the hook target. The Dingo looks "fast" just sitting on the tying bench and begs you to take it for a "test tie!" ~ Richard Komar

I can not add to his expressions about this vise. Since then he has communicated to me that the advertised size of 28 is not true. He has tied several size 32s on his vise and loves it. I wonder where he got his hackle?

Vise Head

It is the best-crafted piece of equipment I have ever owned.

It will be the last vise I will ever have to buy.

I rate this vise a #11 on a scale of 1 to 10 in all aspects, especially price for value.

No, I am not going to sell his vises, I have not nor will I receive any kick back from Peter. You must contact him yourself and buy direct from him, as I know of no dealerships set up at this time.

As I finish this Product Review I have been notified that Peter Rodgers has now signed up as a Sponsor on FAOL.

Peter was an avid fisherman for many years and then 18 years ago was introduced to fly-fishing. His mentor loaned him a vise when he started tying.

Being a toolmaker by trade, realized what was on the market could not compare to what he was able to make himself. Many locals agreed to the point where he had to make several vises for friends and members of his local fly fishing club. Many friends and customers over the years suggested changes. Some of these were responsible for the Dingo we have today.

Dingo C-Clamp A friend of Peters, George Rowney wrote up the vise in his book, The Pursuit of Fly Tying. This prompted Peter to fill orders from all over. So you see it is not a new vise, only has not been advertised in this country much.

The vise comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Both the MKl and MKll will rotate through 360 degrees. The adjustable head has 4 index points, at 90 degrees apart, once the hook is held in place. This is so all angles of the fly can be observed and I find it a welcome addition.

The jaws are constructed from 420 surgical grade stainless steel, heat treated and hardened.

Other components are manufactured from 316 Marine Grade bar-stock stainless steel.


The pedestal base is 1040 carbon steel and is powder coated flat black and then baked.

The vise head has been bead-blasted, to eliminate light glare.

All other components are buffed and polished to a high luster finish.

If you are thinking about a high-end vise that is very competitively priced, check it out.

For contact:

Peter Rodgers
483 Alldis Avenue
Lavington 2641
New South Wales
International Phone: +61 2 6025 7272
Australian Phone: 02 6025 7272

~ Denny Conrad

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