Fly tying is a very versatile style of fishing, and with that degree of versatility comes a wide array of decisions. The most important of which is setting out to buy a good fly tying vise.
It’s a little hard to find one that combines well between the affordability of price and quality. But with enough research and information about how you intend to use the vise, you’ll be able to make your choice.
To narrow down the options, I’ve made this list of the best fly tying vises on the market.
Fly Tying Vises – Quick Overview
- Wolff industries Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise (Stainless Steel)
- Rotary Fly Tying Vise – Peak Fishing Vise (Stainless Steel and Aluminum)
- Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise (Brass)
- Wolff Industries Apex Rotary Flying Tying Vise (Stainless Steel)
- Griffin Montana Mongoose (Metal)
- Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000
- Super AA Chrome Fly Tying Vise (Stainless Steel)
The 7 Best Fly Tying Vises for 2020
If you’re big on smaller hooks and tiny flies, the Wolff Industries Atlas is the best option you can get.
Its jaws can effectively hold hooks of sizes 32 to 7/0. It enables you to make extremely precise adjustments, which is why it’s so good when it comes to working with smaller flies. You can even replace the jaws to get the most versatility out of this unit.
The Delrin sleeve bearings provide this rotary vise with a creamy and seamless operation. However, it lacks a bobbin cradle, which means that you won’t be able to rest in-between tying sessions.
And to look as great as it performs, the Wolff Industries Atlas comes with a blue pedestal that facilitates finding little hooks and bead heads you may drop.
- Built for heavy-duty use
- Pedestal and C-clamp variants
- Interchangeable steel jaws
- Lifetime warranty
- Sleek design
- Doesn’t include a bobbin cradle
- Doesn’t suit larger fly-tying
- The pedestal base has a plastic knob
This US-made vise is the ideal choice for smaller fly-tying. It does come at a relatively high price level, but the quality construction and versatility make it worth it.
It’s not the most aesthetic model on the market, the Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise is a very solid, smooth, and convenient option.
The Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise can hold size 30+ hooks, so if you’re looking for something that goes beyond small dries and nymphs, this would be a great upgrade.
Moreover, the jaws can hold hooks as large as 2/0, which means that you get a high degree of versatility with this vise.
You can choose either the pedestal or clamp base, according to your preference. Both will provide you with the same performance level.
Both also have durable construction made from brass and stainless steel –except for the plastic thumb screws for which you can buy brass replacements.
And although high-end vises don’t usually incorporate plastic in the construction of their tools, when you consider the fact this is a fly tying vise under 200, it seems justifiable.
- Equipped with a lifetime defect warranty in construction or material
- Comes with strong clamps that hold the hooks steady
- Durable construction
- Comes in both a pedestal or C-clamp variant
- A white-colored base for better visibility on whatever material you’re working with
- The plastic adjusting knobs are cheaply made
- The machine tool may leave scratches on the stem
If you’re looking for a very tough vise that will provide you with versatility and durability, you’ll find no better value for your money than the Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise.
The Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise is one of the best affordable rotary vises on the market.
It allows you to position the hook and make fine-tuned adjustments effortlessly.
However, it only has a C-clamp variant, so it’s not meant for portability. But that’s compensated for by the reliable and solid bobbin holder.
For an entry-level price tag, the Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise comes with many features that exceed entry-level expectations.
Its jaws are capable of holding a hook of size 28 to 4/0, so you can do a wide variety of tying on it from simple midges to more articulated hooks.
The only downside is that this vise comes with some plastic fittings and knobs that reduce its durability. But the US-built tool comes with a lifetime guarantee.
- Firmly holds a variety of hook sizes
- Lightweight and portable
- 360-degree rotation provides high maneuverability
- Lifetime guarantee
- Jaws are not sharp enough
- Not very durable –especially the bobbin cradle
A great bang for your buck would be the Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise. Although it doesn’t have the most durable construction, it’s still a pretty versatile and solid fly tying vise for beginners.
Looking for an affordable rotary fly tying vise that’s still packed with impressive features? That’s what you get when you buy the Wolff Industries Apex.
This US-made tool produces enough friction to compete with premium vises in terms of performance. It can accommodate flies of all sizes and provide you with spot-on rotation.
It has a small size, which makes it very portable, yet it’s very durable as it’s made from stainless steel.
The steel jaws tightly hold hooks from size 6/0 to 32. On top of that, the grooves are held together with the jaws to make it easier for the vise to hold larger hooks.
The inline rotary has a special design that makes all sides visible for inspections easily.
To give you a degree of customization, it comes with knobs that you can move to adjust the vise.
- Can be adjusted easily
- Can be inspected from all sides thanks to the 360-degree rotation
- Solid steel jaws that hold various hook sizes
- Bolts and screws have a tendency to come loose
The Wolff Industries Apex Rotary Flying Tying Vise is a great C-clamp rotary vise that gives you good performance for an affordable price. However, don’t expect huge hooks with this one.
The Griffin Montana Mongoose is a good value vise that suits intermediate to advanced level fly tying.
Having an all-metal construction makes it a very durable unit while the bobbin cradle, clamp, and pedestal base extend its usability and versatility.
Moreover, the sharp, heavy-duty quality of the vise is reflected in its performance. It performs as amazingly as it looks.
The jaw is able to clamp hooks of size ranging from 28 to 4/0, which is pretty versatile. However, it’s not as effective when it comes to tying smaller ones, so if you go for 30 bugs, you should consider another option.
You can use the Griffin Montana Mongoose from the comfort of your home or in the middle of your fishing adventure.
It enables you to make very precise, fine-tuned adjustments, and once you properly adjust it, it’ll sit very sturdily wherever you set it.
- Comes with both a pedestal and clamp base
- Includes a padded carry case
- All-metal construction
- Lifetime warranty
- Not the most affordable
- Angle of jaws cannot be adjusted
- Doesn’t work with flies smaller than 20
Generally, the Montana Goose is a fantastic value buy that offers all the basic features you’d look for in a high-end vise but at a more affordable price tag.
Although it comes at a considerably high price, the Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000 is one of the top-notch choices on the market.
But when you check the craftsmanship and quality of this vise, you’ll find the price justified as this unit is built to last a lifetime.
The Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000 feels very rock-solid and provides you with excellent adjustments that are easy to make.
Supporting hook sizes of 28 to 4/0, the Renzetti Traveler 2000 is a little less versatile than you’d expect from a vise of its price level. But it works very well and securely for hooks bigger than 20 or 22.
Moreover, the included bobbin cradle adds to the value of the vise by making it convenient and easy to use.
Finally, the Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000 is compact enough to be packed easily, but it still feels like a full-size unit that isn’t 100% travel-friendly.
- Great build quality
- Equipped with a practical bobbin holder
- Ample portability
- Only a pedestal base is included
- Not very versatile
If you’re looking for a vise with top-notch build quality and reliable performance, you should go for the Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000. However, you should be ready to pay a little extra and mostly work with larger hook sizes and bug-tying.
The Super AA Chrome vise is a fantastic choice for any entry-level fly fishing enthusiast that’s looking for a budget-friendly fly tying vise under 100 bucks.
Of course, affordability means you’ll be compromising some quality and durability, but it’s still good enough to last as long as you’re progressing toward intermediate and advanced levels.
Moreover, the cast iron clamp enables the vise to be rock-still when you attach it to the worktable, consequently giving you the most stable performance.
Its head can also rotate a full 360 degrees to let you choose the working angle that best suits you.
It is an all-purpose vise, and you can subject it to a number of uses apart from tying lures. It is light and portable so you can move it to preferred locations much faster and easier.
- Easy to operate
- Highly affordable price
- Easily adjustable preference
- Not very durable
This all-purpose vise can be used for more than just tying lures. It’s very light and portable, so it’s easy to carry around. It’s also very highly affordable, but not that durable.
How to Pick a Fly Tying Vise?
Before you make up your mind on which vise to get, make sure you’ve checked out each feature and evaluated how much it would suit your use.
Rotary vs. Non-Rotary Vises
Rotary vises come with many extras such as bells and whistles, which is why more experienced anglers prefer them.
They offer 360-degree tying flexibility, an ability to inspect your fly from different angles and rotate the hook for easier use.
But while they’re a lot superior to non-rotary vises, they’re also a lot pricier.
So if you’re a beginner who’s looking for basic action from an affordable device, you should go for a non-rotary one.
C-Clamp vs. Pedestal Vise
When deciding between these two, you should ask yourself: Where am I going to tie my flies?
If you’re going to prepare them at home, working from a stable desk, you could go for the C-clamp variant.
Contrarily, if you’re going to be tying them on the go, opt for the more portable pedestal vises. These are more compact and easier to carry around.
Your vise is going to be made either from aluminum or steel or sometimes a combination of both.
Aluminum ones are lighter and have better resistance against corrosion, so they’re good for pedestal fly tying vises that you’ll bring along with you.
On the other hand, steel vises are more powerful, durable, and offer a better grip. That’s why they’re great for C-clamp vises. And although they’re a little bulkier than their rivals, that won’t be a problem if you’re not going to move it around.
The jaws of your vise could be fixed or interchangeable. The latter is the superior option as it gives you the freedom and versatility to work with a wider variety of hooks.
This means you can tie large saltwater hooks or tiny midge hooks using the same vise, so you get the whole gamut.
However, fixed-jaw vises are more affordable. So if you could do without the versatility, you should go for one of those.
Types of Jaws
Not only do jaws differ in having fixed or interchangeable jaws, but they also differ in the types of jaws.
There are collet vises and level-type (parallel clamp) ones. Collet ones are one-piece jaws that resemble tweezers in an open position. Their jaws are pulled or pushed into a ring called a collet. They have sleeker profiles and are capable of exerting strong force onto the collet.
On the other hand, level-type vises are two-piece jaws that resemble wooden clothespins. Some models come with a small screw near the tip of the jaws to allow you to adjust hook-wire diameters. Other use a thumbscrew or a cam level to close the jaws by separating their “tails.”
Types of Vise Bases
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to vise bases, but the heavier the base is, the more stable its performance is going to be.
Bronze Pocket Base
These are tough, well-designed, and easy to carry around.
Bronze Traditional Base
Although these are a little bulky, they act as a very stable platform.
Aluminum Pocket Base
These are small, lightweight, and affordable. However, they only work with small hooks.
The Bobbin Cradle
Bobbin cradles allow you to rest your bobbin in-between sessions, so it provides you with more convenience.
And the best part is that if your vise doesn’t come with one, you can create your own bobbin cradle.
How to Use a Fly Fishing Vise?
Put the hook in the vise and make sure you attach it very securely. Most of the time, a vise will have two types of adjustment. One at the front, which adjusts the width, and one at the back to crank it down and hold the hook.
Make sure that you crank the back adjustment to hold the hook tightly. It’s important that the hook doesn’t move when you put some force on it so that it stays stable while you’re cranking your material on it.
Finally, purchasing the best fly tying vise on the market isn’t going to be an easy task due to the various choices available.
But if you’re a professional looking the most versatile, durable option and a superb investment, I’d recommend the Wolff industries Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise.
However, it may be a little pricey for some. If so, you can go for the more affordable yet effective Peak Fishing Rotary Fly Tying Vise.
Though I’d recommend the Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise for an affordable option with more versatility.
If you’re only a beginner looking for an entry-level vise with a very much entry-level price, there wouldn’t be anything more affordable and provide the same performance as the Super AA Chrome Fly Tying Vise.