I’ve been tying flies for over 45 years. During that time, tying for personal use and commercially, I’ve used a lot of tying vises. One thing that I’ve learned, some vises can handle intermittent, light use, but only well engineered vises, with quality materials, can hold up to years of tying.
While there are many good vises currently available, those of the best quality are often very expensive. On top of that, many are not convenient for use as a travel vise. But there is one vise that I can recommend as both a daily use vise and a travel vise, the Renzetti Apprentice Fly Tying Vise.
The Apprentice is a straightforward vise, without complicated engineering or overly complex functions. The vise has a threaded barrel or collar type head mechanism that is easily adjusted to fit a variety of hook sizes. The black oxide jaws are then closed by pressing down the tightening arm. The head has a basic rotary function, so the vise can be used as a stationary or rotating head. I used the Apprentice with hooks ranging from size 4 through size 22. It held the hooks solidly. The vise also has an 8″ hinged stem, allowing the head to be adjusted to whatever angle you prefer. The vise can be purchased with either a C-clamp or pedestal base.
The other feature I like about the Apprentice is that the vise can be taken apart, so that it is more convenient for travel.
Using the vise is straight forward. Put the vise together, adjust the head angle and the initial jaw spacing, and lock the hook into place with the lever arm. The Apprentice holds hooks very securely, without the need for readjusting the jaw tension. The rotating feature is smooth and is much appreciated when you need to see the fly from all angles. However, it’s not a true rotary vise, as it doesn’t come with a bobbin cradle. The pedestal base is heavy enough to keep the vise from moving during tying, but is not too large to be cumbersome. Basically, it’s a great vise. You get Renzetti quality for a great price (pedestal version is $165.00 USD at the time of this review).
Conclusion: If you are looking for a top quality fly tying vise, one that can be used for both your home tying station or as a travel vise, one with a price that won’t break the bank and yet will last a lifetime, consider the Renzetti Apprentice Fly Tying Vise. I don’t think you’ll be sorry!
Share Your Experience: Have you used the Renzetti Apprentice Fly Tying Vise? What is your favorite vise for home and travel? Do you prefer a rotary or non-rotary vise?
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