Best Fly Tying Vise Choices In 2018 - Reviews and Buyer Guide

Fly tying vises have gained tremendous popularity over the last few years. The handy tools, however, come with different designs, specs, and shapes. So, how do you go about identifying the best fly tying vise?

Here’s a run-down of some top options to consider plus a buying guide to help you make an informed purchase.

10 of The Best Fly Tying Vise for the Money - Compare Chart

Whether you’re looking to tie flies or simply up your fishing techniques, deciding on what tool to go for is a matter of personal choice. Nonetheless, you want to make sure the unit you go for is well made and that it offers good value for money. Read on to find out what options there are in store for you.

10 Best Fly Tying Vise in 2018 - Review

1. Rotary Fly Tying Vise 

While shopping for a fly tying vise, experienced anglers often end up selecting the Rotary Fly Tying Vise with pedestal base. Thanks to its stainless steel construction, this unit is considered one of the most outstanding innovations. Being a rotary device further means that you don’t have to bend to get a comprehensive view of your tying materials. 

This unit boasts fine workmanship and its design is something worth admiring. Needless to say, it has sturdy jaws and a stable base. This allows you to tie the fly in a much more relaxed way with the C-clamp only functioning as a supplement. This further gives you the freedom to mount the unit even on a table-edge especially when fastening. 

Its price is pretty reasonable especially if you weigh it against the smooth performance exhibited by the unit. It may have some minor fiddling issues while engaged on larger hooks but it is mainly a well thought-out package.

Pros

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    Comfortable experience as far as material placement is concerned
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    Its C-clamp removes the risk of the vise toppling down when tying
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    It has an easy-to reinforce jaw
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    Can accommodate a wide variety of hooks
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    Optimized for optimal tying efficiency plus ease of adjustment

Cons

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    Some fiddling issues may be reported when working with larger hooks
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    You have to purchase the pedestal base separately

2. Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise

Looking for a fairly high-end fly tying vise? Well, this model from Griffin Odyssey is something you might want to check out. It boasts some pretty smooth rotary features. Its clamp is particularly nice and snug fitting and you can use it on any hook size from #4 to #22.

One unique attribute of this fly tying vise is its extra long stem which, of course, comes complete with a C clamp. The beauty of this is that you won’t have to worry about the hooks popping out of the vise. That’s a common problem with cheaper vises but not with this one. 

Being a Made in the USA brand means you also get some aspect of quality guarantee when you go for it. That’s not all, the unit has advanced technology which puts it way ahead of the competition. We’re talking about the c-clamp being entirely made of aluminum. We are also talking about the highest possible level of positive gripping which remains unrivaled among the most popular fly tying vises reviewed so far. Add that to the fact that this unit comes with superior quality steel and you probably have the best unit money can ever buy.

Pros

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    Despite being of extremely high quality, it is reasonably priced though not cheap
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    It boasts rotary design which increases its user-friendliness
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    Has a strong grip which is guaranteed to keep your hooks perfectly in place
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    Its jaws are made out of pure steel while its clamp is made of aluminum
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    It has an accommodative jaw capacity that adds to its flexibility

Cons

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    Small qualms would be that it has a relatively slow release

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3. Wolff Industries Apex Rotary Fly Tying Vise

Yet another one of the top contenders in the best fly tying vise list is this model from Wolff. It may not look like a big deal at a glance but a closer look at its list of features reveals a whole different story altogether. First and foremost, it comes with steel jaws which do a pretty good job of holding the hooks in place. Its entire body is made of a stainless steel construction which is just strong enough to keep you going for a few more years.

As far as flexibility is concerned, this unit’s in-line rotary design gives you both left and right advantages. That means you have an easier time making those much-needed hand-trying adjustments. We also like the fact that this unit comes accompanied by detailed user instructions. So, whether you are wondering how to adjust those vise head positions or even how to play around with the black wing nut, this unit has got that catered for. 

What’s more, each and every inch of details seems well taken care of. Your level of expertise as an angler does not really matter here as long as you’re willing to learn.

Pros

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    Tight screw jaws
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    Flexible in-line rotary design
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    Stainless steel construction
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    Accommodative hand tying adjustment
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    Accompanied by helpful operation instructions

Cons

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    The vise is not always smooth during the first few days of operation
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    The nuts tend to become loose over time

4. Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise

If smoothness of jaws is top on your bucket list, this little unit might interest you. For starters, this unit is a winner as far as aesthetics are concerned. Just a single look at it and you will discover that it looks like a fine piece of art. Its overall design might also remind you of something to do with German engineering. 

Beyond the looks, this unit comes with powerful jaws. These are made from fine material which also ensures they are always easy to adjust. Its overall stainless steel construction makes it one of its kind. It’s strong, sturdy and durable.

Yet another merit with this unit is that it is made using rotary design. If you have ever used a non-rotary vise before, then you probably have an idea how frustrating they can get. You have to lean forward in order to get a good view of the trying materials. That, however, is not the case with this quintessential system. Its simple design ensures you have both left and right access at your eye level.

Add that to the fine workmanship of the entire unit and you will discover just how much value it has in store for you. The icing on the cake is that it comes with a couple of extra accessories such as a bobbin cradle. Depending on the kind of unit you settle for, the bobbin holder doesn’t always come with all models. So, this is really a big plus as it can actually save you quite some bucks.

Pros

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    Its C-clamp holds the vise firmly
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    Has a heavy base for extra stability
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    Quite smooth
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    Good value for money
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    Can fit hooks from 7/0-32 range

Cons

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    Some suppliers supply it without a bobbin cradle
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    May have some fiddling issues when exposed to larger hooks

5. Nor-Vise Fly Tying System

No doubt, fly tying systems are some of the fascinating things you will ever lay your eyes on. And for sure, the Nor-Vise Fly Tying system is quite a looker! However, vises are not merely made for looks. The most basic task we expect of them is to clamp the hook as we get busy dressing a fly. But even then, this fly tying system doesn’t disappoint. 

This unit takes a really unique approach with its in-line rotary features. Besides, it comes with pretty powerful jaws which do a pretty decent job of clamping hooks. Its jaws are pretty standard and they look like a rod of steel split right in the middle. There’s also no taper on the tips. That notwithstanding, you get to enjoy unparalleled clamping power. You only need to learn a thing or two about adjusting the middle spacing and you’re good to go.

Clearly, the jaws use advanced technology and this is a plus to anyone looking for better value for money. You only need to get the shank near the axis to discover just how amazing this hook’s clearance is. Keeping in mind that this unit also comes with a bobbin kit on the side, the entire package can be a game changer for anyone looking to tie better and faster.

It is also worth keeping in mind the fact that this unit comes with precision ball bearings. These are all you need to improve your accuracy. But in case you find the going getting tough, you can always utilize the hour-long instructional videos that come free with this unit. In a nutshell, this is a feature-packed fly tying system that stuns many anglers.

Pros

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    In-line rotary feature
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    Has a firm grip
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    Relatively easy to operate
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    Aesthetically appealing
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    Heavy brass hubs
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    High quality, patented vise design

Cons

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    Adjusting the clamp requires quite some skills
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    Its jaws are not tapered

6. Regal Medallion Fly Tying Vise

This is a flagship product of the Regal Vise line – a company that has been in this business for over two decades. For starters, you get to choose between regular head and stainless steel head. The regular head comes with a standard jaw and is designed to fit hook sizes ranging from 22 to 1/0. 

If you opt for the stainless steel head you will get a small profile head with the jaws made from heat-treated stainless steel. The beauty of using steel is that it allows for precise machining and at the same time maintains durability. The stainless steel jaws are capable of accommodating hooks ranging from 32 to 2.

One thing that stands out about this fly tying vise is its ease of operation. You only need to open the jaws, insert the hook and just like that, you start tying. No adjustments are required even when one is switching from a tiny midge to a massive streamer hook. 

Another feather in this fly tying vises’ cap is that its head revolves around a 360-degree axis with an articulate 220 degree up-down turn. The best thing about it is that its base is made from a bronze traditional base. This means that no matter how hard you yank your thread, this vise will still remain stable all thanks to its reliable base.

Pros

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    High-quality finish
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    Easy to operate
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    Strong base for added stability
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    Great jaw power
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    Reasonably priced
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    Aesthetically appealing

Cons

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    Its spring is quite stiff
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    Hook may pop up

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7. Stonfo Transformer Fly Tying Vise

Fully loaded with interchangeable jaws, this unit from Stonfo boasts a shaft transformation feature. Thanks to this feature, it does a pretty decent job in almost every metric and that is without compromising on performance. All you need is a single click and this turns from an in-line vise into a tube-fly vise or even a streamer vise. 

If you’re having challenges with misplacing the necessary materials during tying, this vise can help resolve that and improve your productivity. This is more so due to the presence of an integrated tool rack which forms its pedestal base.

If you’re a left-handed angler then the Stonfo left-hand version will be of great help. It is designed just like the ordinary right-hand unit but it still offers the same awesome experience for fly tying. Besides that, you get a bunch of add-ons to make your tying sessions as fun as possible. For example, you get a free, round shaped bobbin cradle. As you know, a bobbin pin is important for reducing wastage and keeping the right levels of tension. 

Besides the cradle, you also get a bunch of other interesting features ranging from parachute pliers, pivot thread cradle, Allen keys, and spring material clip. Thanks to these add-ons, you should have no difficulties operating the unit. What’s more, each fly tying vise comes with a free instruction manual which is quite helpful for newbies.

Pros

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    Great looks
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    Strong jaws
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    Plenty of add-ons
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    Highly adjustable head

Cons

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    Its base is lighter compared to other units
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    Its price is a bit on the higher end

8. Griffin Montana Fly Fishing Mongoose Fly Tying Vise

If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly choice, this is certainly the best fly tying vise for those on a budget. One of the hallmarks of this unit is that it has a cam lever that does a pretty decent job of locking things up. Indeed, this lever locks your fly tying vise by either locking it in a forward or backward position. This, of course, gives you just enough room to rotate the whole head based on your specific needs. In addition, you also get highly powerful jaws which handle hooks ranging from 28 to 4/0.

The unit further features a pedestal and C-clamp. The latter allows you to mount the vise at the top edge of a table so you can see the entire unit from a better angle. Planning to travel with your fly tying vise in tow? Its pedestal will definitely be of immense help. Another plus with it is that its base is so flexible that it allows you to adjust the viewing aspect of a fly with no pain of unscrewing the clamp or even tightening it up.

No doubt, the Mongoose offers a pretty competitive deal all thanks to its strong jaws that can accommodate hooks of even less than 6/0. So, if you are looking for a top performing vise, one that isn’t overpriced, this is a deal worth looking seriously into.

Pros

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    360-degree smooth rotation
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    Extremely easy to operate
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    C-clamp and base readily available
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    Covered by lifetime warranty
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    Comes with a free carrying case

Cons

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    It might be a bit challenging to adjust this unit for certain flies

9. Griffin Odyssey Spider Cam Vise

This unit is a stunner as far as design and durability are concerned. For starters, it spots a noticeable spring at the jaw. This spring provides you with a much-needed power to tighten up the jaws. As you know, the tighter the jaws, the better the experience you can reap from your fly tying vise. 

This unit, however, has too many moving parts which mean without this screw you would struggle to find the perfect adjusting feature. Thanks to its thoughtful design, though, you can tie almost anything on it with no major issues at all. Did we mention how strong its jaws are? Well, the unit has an incredibly powerful grip that can be adjusted to accommodate hooks ranging from 20 to 2 in size.

If you’re an aggressive angler, then you’ll like the fact that this vise works to the mark without budging. You can, therefore, count on it to do a stand-out job in tying, all thanks to its 360-degree rotary design.

Pros

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    Quite advanced in technology
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    Moderately priced
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    Perfect for those who travel regularly
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    Strong jaws

Cons

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    You have to get used to adjusting it
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    Jaw mounting could have been sharper

10. Dyna-King Barracuda Fly Tying Vise

This stainless-steel made fly tying vise comes with an iron block which provides it with much-needed stability. Besides that, this unit has an incredible hooking range as it accommodates anything from 8/0 to 22 length. Its trekker is pretty lightweight plus the overall build of the machine is made with durability in mind. Looking to take your flies to a whole new level? This unit offers you an incredible experience even when using larger flies for trout, Musky, Pike and more.

Being a true rotary vise, the Dyna-King stands tall among top choices made by professional anglers. Besides, its pedestal is designed in such a manner that you can take it anywhere with you with no qualms.

Pros

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    Tough, steel jaws
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    Smooth ball bearing rotation
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    Smooth ball bearing rotation
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    Capable of tying large flies
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    Precision ball bearings

Cons

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    A bit pricey
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    Material clips seem is a bit too far back

Buying Guide - Which is the Best for You?

Clearly, in the land of fly tying vises, no two or three vises are built exactly the same. In order to pick the best deal from the pack, be sure to take the following tips into consideration.

*Vise Style 

There are three main vise styles to choose from: non-rotary, rotary and true-rotary. What you need to know is that non-rotary vises are cheap but quite basic. Rotary vises offer more tying flexibility but also come at a higher price tag. The true rotary variety allows you to rotate the hook. This is the kind of flexibility needed to tie most average-sized trout flies.

*Base Types

Here, the competition is between pedestal and C-clamp bases. The pedestal base is suitable for anybody who travels frequently. This is because it is quite versatile, stable and yet sturdy. The C-clamp base, on the other hand, offers an even stronger base that can be attached to a table top. This is ideal if you mainly work from your home.

*Hook Size

This boils down to your style of fishing. If you normally fish a size 22, then there’s absolutely no need to go for a large vise. Keep in mind that tiny, slender jaws may not provide you with the kind of grip needed for a wholesome holding experience. Consider going for larger and laid back jaws, preferably ones made of steel.

*Rotation and Adjustability

One key differentiator between different vises is the rotation mechanism. You want to go for a unit that is capable of rotating and smoothly so. Note that not all vises are rotatable though others can be rotated up to 360 degrees. 

*Warranty

Warranty is always a good way to shield yourself from making a fraudulent purchase. It’s, therefore, a good idea to go for a unit that offers you adequate warranty coverage. This ensures that you’ll get compensated should something go awfully wrong with your fly tying vise.

*Smoothness of Jaws

Different vises come with different kinds of jaws – some stiff, others smooth. Faced with such options, it is always a good idea to go for jaws that are easy to open and close. You want to make sure that your selected jaws are easy-to-adjust and that they’re smooth enough to mold around the part and maintain a steady hold on it. 

*Pricing

Although price should not be your benchmark for determining the value of a product, it is always a good idea to take it into consideration. Basically, you should avoid going for units that are either too cheaply priced or too expensive. If you are a beginner, it would be a good idea to start with an under $250 model. You can keep upgrading as you learn the ropes. If you’re looking for something really crazy and amazingly superior, then you can even clock up to $1,000. 

Final Words

As with any other industry out there – the more the options, the merrier. Indeed, as far as finding the best fly tying vise is concerned, identifying the best option available requires just the right level of commitment. After all, you deserve to invest in the best functionality – don’t you?

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