A Man Of Many Vises

Vises...instead of vices...on a fly fishing blog...HA!


Stupid jokes aside, I scored a new Peak Rotary Vise the other day cashing in some holiday gift cards, and I have to say I'm really pleased with it. I've sort of settled into a fishing sweet spot where I don't really need to acquire specific items anymore, rather I've been "upgrading" items that I tend to use frequently to ensure their usefulness lasts for the long haul.

I've been using a Danica Danvise for the past few years, and while it probably has at least a few more years of use in it, the entire body is made of nylon and I found the rotary mechanism to develop a slight wobble over time. Also, the dimensions of the vertical shaft aren't standard, making it incompatible with most bases & accessories, so while it's been a workhorse, it wasn't an ideal long-term solution.

Danica Patrick, not a Danica Danvise

After unpacking, assembling, and playing around with the Peak for an afternoon, I have to say I'm very impressed, albeit in a very small sample size. It's rock solid, the jaws do what they're supposed to, and the rotary feature is smooth. No wobble in this vise. The materials and construction are such that I don't think I'll have to worry about exercising the lifetime guarantee for repair or replacement.

The only thing I'm not sure I care for about it are the nylon screws, particularly the one that manages the tension on the rotary mechanism. Just seemed odd (aesthetically) that the vise comes out of the box with two plastic screws when everything else about the vise is all metal and basically bullet-proof. However, I've read that you can buy replacement brass screws if you want, so hey Peak, why not just provide the brass screws to begin with? Whatever.

Rather than retiring the Danvise, it will become my travel vise. Or actually, it will come to work with me alongside a pencil box full of materials so I can tie during my lunch break. It's perfect for travel because it's extremely lightweight and very capable. I definitely got more than my money's worth out of it over the years and would highly recommend to anyone looking for an inexpensive full rotary vise that can handle various hook sizes, from tiny midges up to serious streamers.

Danica Danvise, not a Danica Patrick

As for my old backup vise, the inexpensive clamp model that comes with those pre-fab beginner fly tying kits? I think I need to donate/gift it to someone. It works fine, I just don't need 3 vises. Anybody want it, just let me know...I'm certain we could work something out.

So what to you tie on?  Regal, Renzetti, HMH, Norvise? Or maybe a Peak, Danvise, or no-name like I've been using? I don't think there's a bad choice out there, would love to hear what's on your bench.

Comments

  1. Mike I have a Regal Medallion...17 years and still holding hooks.

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    Replies
    1. Those are beautiful vises. Made in New England, correct? A perfect match.

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  2. You'll love the Peak I think. I've had mine for years and cranked out a couple thousand flies so far. Have fun.

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  3. I just got a Regal Medallion. I could not be happier! I'm relatively new to tying, and not really interested in rotarty for wrapping. The medallion holds a hook like nothing I've used before (broke a hook trying to pack on one more clump of deer hair on a popper the other night) and the rotation it has allows me to check the fly and trim hair at all angles!

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    1. Regals are absolutely beautiful. Awesome you've found something you like and should last you a very long time.

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  4. My primary vise is the Griffin Montana Mongoose.
    I have a really nice Belazzia that is an all hand made vise that was produced for only a few years back in the 1980s.

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    1. Very cool. Would love to see photos of the Beliazzia some time. Got to appreciate quality craftsmanship.

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  5. Mike, love that vise! I have been using mine for a couple of years now too.

    One thing to point out - you mentioned that you didn't love the nylon/plastic screws, especially for the rotary...

    I agree with you that its less than beautiful for sure, but I have found that I like them as-is, because I don't have to worry about over-torquing when I tighten, and because I've found the plastic "gives" just a little, which seems to make it easier to choose a tightness level other than completely loose, or completely tight.

    I would imagine the brass/metal screws are a little bit more of "all tight or all loose."

    Beyond which, I know brass is softer, so it shouldn't affect the metals, but in my minimal experience with using brass screws and other metals, its not foolproof. I believe that the plastic screw will extend the life of the vise by wearing out instead of the threads or metal on the vise wearing out.

    Use it in good health and enjoy!

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    Replies
    1. I probably should have included a photo of the brass screws. They aren't all brass, rather brass with plastic tips...for the exact reason you mention, they have some "give" and will not mar any of the other metal parts. Here's a link if you want to see what I mean:
      http://www.peakfishing.com/ViseOptions.html

      My issue was more aesthetics/cosmetics, not function. You've got this all metal vise with a pretty brass-colored collar, and then a dull, black plastic screw coming out of it. Don't mind the other plastic screw used on the bobbin rest so much, since the whole collar is plastic.

      Glad to hear you like yours. I'm liking mine so far now.

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  6. I have the Peak, absolutely love it. I tie everything from midges to bass bugs on the standard jaws. I'd suggest getting the little bolt-on rotary handle extension, it's pretty handy. I also replaced the screws with brass...

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I've been eyeing some of the accessories, that was one of them. My Danvise had the L shaped handle, I liked it a lot. Happy to hear from another satisfied Peak owner.

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  7. I've been using a Dyna King Kingfisher since I first started tying and have no need to replace it. It's really held up over the years. But if I was going to buy a new one it would be a Peak.

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    Replies
    1. Too many products are too "disposable" these days, gotta appreciate well-built products that stand the test of time.

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  8. Love the peak, but I'm looking into a regal/c clamp style for travel tying.

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    1. Sounds like a good travel option. I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever you choose.

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  9. Wow, Michael, looks like I am a little late to the fly tying party! I own the exact Peak Rotary Vise as you picture here and find it to be outstanding quality. I have tied on this vise for (4) years now after replacing an older Renzetti Vise. I have also picked up several of the options for the vise that Peak makes and really like how it all comes together. I will never own another vise as this one will outlast me......... If you take a look at my blog header you will see my new tying desk equipped with the Peak Rotary and several of the options in place. In addition, they are produced right here in my hometown of Loveland, Co. just about (10) minutes travel time away. Made in America and home grown!

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    1. Awesome Mel. If it's good enough for you, then it's plenty good for me. I'll take a closer picture at your website header. Interesting they're made right down the road from you, but guess that'll happen if you live in Colorado. Hope you got a hometown discount! :)

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    2. Nope, Michael, I paid full price just like you........ Their accessories are a little pricey, but, great stuff. I am all in on Peak Rotary Vises and gear.

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  10. I enjoy my Peak vise too. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I tie on a DynaKing Ultimate Indexer and a Regal Traveler as my travel vise. There is something just unique and cool about the Regal, but I miss the true rotary of the DynaKing when I tie on the Regal. The fact that you don't have to adjust the jaws on the Regal is definitely nice.

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  12. Solid purchase and solid vise, Mike. I love mine. They also have a several jaw options for midge and large flies. I've been tying from 22 to 6/0 on the standard jaws.

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  13. Awesome, glad to see all the positive comments on the Peak, looks like the next purchase!

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