If you’re an avid fly fisher like me, fly tying is a great way to enjoy your hobby – even when you can’t be on the water! Tying your own flies  can save you money and teach you more about fish – and it’s great fun too. But you do need a few essential tools to get started, and a fly tying vise is one of the most important!
There are a lot of different fly tying vises on the market, and comparing models can get pretty confusing. If you want to spend more time tying flies and less time shopping around, read on! We’ve found the best fly tying vises around right now!
Choosing the right fly tying vise will depend on your budget, the type of flies you want to tie, and when and where you will use it. So as you can see, there’s a lot to consider.
Read on to find the best fly tying vise for your needs. We’ve covered everything from budget models (that still work well!) to premium rotary fly tying vises that will take your hobby to the next level. Plus, you can discover exactly what you should be looking for in our Buyer’s Guide to the best fly tying vise.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the right fly tying vise is out there!
Here’s everything you need to know to find the best fly tying vise for you!
Rotary or Non-Rotary?
Rotary vises allow you to see your fly from every direction and turn it 360 degrees. This makes it easy to get the best angle for fly tying so that you can tie very precise, neat flies.
However, rotary vises tend to be much more expensive than a non-rotary model. So, you’ll need to consider your budget when deciding which is the best fly tying vise for you!
If you’re just starting out, you might want to go for a cheaper non-rotary model. But if you take your fly tying seriously and spend a lot of time at the vise, then splashing out on a rotary model will make a huge difference.
Clamp or Pedestal?
The two main types of fly tying vises are the C-clamp vise or the pedestal base vise. Clamp vises are handy because you can attach them sturdily to any table or desk to create a dedicated fly tying space.
Where pedestal bases have the advantage is that they’re portable, allowing you to tie flies on the go. Vises with a pedestal base tend to be lightweight and compact, so you can take them with you wherever you go.
You want a fly tying vise that is well-made and durable, so it will last you for years. The best fly tying vises tend to have an all-metal construction – plastic parts tend to wear out or break more quickly.
Aluminum and steel are the most common materials used for fly tying vises. While aluminum tends to be more lightweight and corrosion-resistant, steel vises are stronger.
Before you buy, make sure to double-check what size of hook the vise can hold. This is especially important if you like to tie large streamers or tiny midge flies. Some vises have a wider range, or you may need to buy specific jaws instead.
When looking at different models, you’ll find that a fly tying vise will either have interchangeable jaws or fixed jaws. If you can, go for a vise that has interchangeable jaws as this feature will give you greater versatility. It allows you to tie big saltwater flies and fiddly little flies with the same vise.
Just bear in mind that vises with interchangeable jaws tend to cost more. But you could save money in the long run if you invest in one model that can handle all sorts of flies, so you don’t need to buy more than one vise.
Some premium vises come with a warranty that can range from 1 year to a lifetime guarantee. Having this warranty can bring greater peace of mind because you’ll know that you’ve got a product you can rely on! If anything does happen to your vise, the manufacturer will repair or replace it for you (although you may need to pay a nominal processing fee.)
If you like to take your time when fly tying, a bobbin cradle is an essential feature to look out for. The bobbin cradle lets you rest between tying, without messing up your work so far. You’ll find it comes in handy when you’re in the middle of a long fly tying session and need to take a short break!
The Best Fly Tying Vises: Our Reviews!
Now you know what to look for, let’s get onto the fly tying vises themselves. Here’s our round-up of the best fly tying vises on the market!
Renzetti Traveler 2304
The Renzetti Traveler is a high-quality, compact vise that is ideal for taking out with you. It’s made from durable aluminum that is fully anodized so that it can withstand the elements. This makes it corrosion-resistant, even if it comes into contact with saltwater.
Another benefit of the Renzetti is that it’s a rotary fly tying vise, allowing you to see and tie your flies from every angle. This makes it easier to be as precise as you need to, without contorting into awkward positions.
The Traveler 2304 has a sturdy 6×6 inch base that provides plenty of stem support, making this model strong and sturdy. And when it comes to versatility, you won’t be disappointed. This vise can hold hooks from size 28 right up to 4/0, allowing you to work on everything from small to large flies.
This model has all the features you need, from the bobbin cradle to the materials clip and rotary tension screw. The cam jaws are hard and sharp.
While the Renzetti Traveler 2304 comes with a premium price, this vise is well worth the money. It’s hardwearing, precise, and versatile, offering everything you need to tie flies of all sorts and sizes. We love that it’s easily portable, allowing you to tie flies wherever you are!
- Very lightweight
- Compact and easily portable
- Anodized aluminum is corrosion-resistant
- Features a bobbin cradle
- Not as sturdy as a steel vise
Peak With Pedestal Base
If you’ve got your heart set on a rotary vise but you’re on a tight budget, check out the Peak Fishing Vise. It’s robust and compact, with a pedestal base that allows you to take it anywhere. It also comes in a C-clamp model, if you prefer a stationary vise for your home fly tying station.
But most importantly, it’s as affordable as rotary vises come. This vise will set you back around $155-170, depending on where you buy it. That’s very reasonable for a vise of this quality!
The Peak vise has a streamlined yet efficient design, specifically for fly tying. It’s constructed from a combination of aluminum, stainless steel, tool steel, and brass. This vise can withstand frequent use with no signs of wearing out. And what’s more, it comes with a fantastic lifetime warranty.
The steel jaws specially hardened to give them a more secure grip on your hooks. The jaws can handle a wide range of hook sizes from 24 to 2/0.
The stainless steel pedestal base is very sturdy, with handy pockets to hold the materials you’re working on. Plus, it’s easy to find the right hook or piece against the matte white base.
In conclusion, this rotary fly tying vise offers excellent value for money. It’s hard-wearing and provides all the features you need for a beginner/intermediate fly tier. The only drawback is that the plastic screws don’t seem to be made to the same quality and may wear out over time. But that’s a minor thing to note in a vise that is otherwise impressive!
- Great value for money
- Sturdy base with handy ‘pockets’
- Compact and lightweight vise
- Excellent US-made construction
- Generous lifetime warranty
- Suitable for any hook from 23 to 2/0
- The plastic screws are lower quality than the rest of the vise
If you’re looking for a smaller vise that you can take anywhere, the Regal Travel vise fits the bill. It’s compact while also being well made with a sturdy construction. This makes it perfect for taking on the road, so you can tie flies wherever you are, according to the situation. It’s also lightweight for easy transport.
Regal is well known for creating top-quality products for anglers, and this vise is no different. It may be small, but it lacks nothing when it comes to the build and materials used. The Regal Travel vise is built to last, with a robust jaw mechanism and aluminum base. It’s kitted out with the Regal Regular Jaw Head, which is suitable for any hook from size 22 to 1/0.
You’ll have no trouble holding hooks firmly in the jaws, which have an excellent grip. The articulating head also allows you to get the perfect angle to tie intricate knots.
However, as the Regal Travel vise is on the small side, you may struggle to tie larger hook sizes with it. But were this vise excels is in allowing you to tie small to medium flies, no matter where you are.
- Great value for money
- Handy, compact size
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- You can tie any hook size from 22 to 1/0
- The jaws have a firm grip
- The smaller base can tip occasionally
- Best suited to tying smaller flies, rather than large hook sizes
- It’s not a rotary vise
Griffin Odyssey Spider
The Griffin Odyssey Spider is a low-cost rotary vise that offers you everything you need to tie some excellent flies! Without breaking the bank, this entry-level model has the most important features we look for in a vise, including a bobbin holder and full 360-degree motion.
You can attach the Odyssey Spider to any table or desk in minutes, and it will hold securely. Then, you’re all set to get started tying your flies! While it’s not portable, it’s a fantastic rotary vise on a budget.
If you want to create a fly tying spot in your house, this is the best affordable vise around. It offers superb control over your work, while the fully-rotating head makes it easy to manipulate your materials for a neat finish.
The Griffin Odyssey Spider is also versatile enough to handle all sorts of hooks, so there are no limits to what you can create. You can take your pick from the Spider with cam or without, according to your needs.
And if you’re still not sure, it comes with a lifetime guarantee. So, there’s no need to worry about damage or breakages over time. This vise will be with you for years!
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- Very versatile
- This rotary vise offers a full 360-degree range of motion
- Affordable price
- Plastic nuts are low in quality and can come loose
- Not portable
Griffin Montana Mongoose
As with all Griffin products, the Montana Mongoose was designed with us fly fishing enthusiasts in mind. The Montana Mongoose costs more than the Spider, but it’s well worth the investment if you can spare some more cash.
Its refreshed design is more efficient than ever, with an all-new rotation lock screw and fine tension screw. These additions give you greater control over the rotation, so you can get as precise as you like with your flies.
You’ll be comfortable even on long tying sessions due to the smart design of the Mongoose rotary base. When in use, it’s very stable – perfect for adding tiny details to your flies. It comes with both a pedestal base and a C-clamp for optimal versatility, allowing you to set this beauty up at home or take it with you.
The Montana Mongoose also comes with a convenient hackle gauge, a bobbin cradle, a ceramic bobbin, and a material grip. You can pack it all away in the included carry case for safe storage or transport. We love that you can choose between the pedestal or clamp base, as this makes it suitable for all conditions. This vise will truly meet all your needs in one handy model.
- Includes a lifetime guarantee
- Suitable for a wide range of hook sizes
- Full 360-degree rotary fly tying vise
- Strong steel jaws
- High-quality, US-made construction
- One of the more expensive fly tying vises on the market
- The instructions lack detail and are quite confusing
Regal Medallion with Pocket base
The Regal Medallion is an iconic fly tying vise that looks as good as it performs. This workhorse vise is suitable for anyone from beginners to pros and will meet your needs effortlessly.
With a lightweight bronze pedestal base, you can easily take this vise on your fly fishing trips. It’s compact. yet hardwearing and practical. It even has useful pockets on the base to hold your materials while you work.
The jaws are made from high-quality materials that ensure a firm grip. The Medallion’s jaws can handle any hook from a size 22 right through to a 1/0 hook, making it ideal for tying all sorts of flies,
The Medallion series includes a range of different models, such as the Big Game vise and the stainless steel model for saltwater. That means there’s the perfect Medallion vise for everyone!
- Compact size
- Handy pockets on the base
- Strong jaws have a firm grip
- This rotary fly tying vise has a full 360-degree range
- Suitable for a wide range of hook sizes
- Not the cheapest vise on the market
Dyna-King Barracuda Deluxe
If you’re willing to spend a considerable chunk of money on a vise, then check out the Barracuda Deluxe from Dyna-King. It’s a stylish, full rotary fly tying vise that is a joy to use. The bearings are super smooth, and the sturdy base prevents tipping, no matter how heavy-handed you are.
This premium vise is made in the US and constructed with careful attention to detail. The Barracuda Deluxe has hardened stainless steel jaws and brass appointments. It comes fully equipped with a bobbin hanger and an adjustment forcing cone and can handle hook size of 8/0 to 22.
Superb workmanship and smart design set the Barracuda Deluxe apart. If you’re looking to invest in a rotary vise that will last a lifetime, this is one of the best vises around!
- Hardened steel jaws grip hooks – no slipping with this vise!
- Excellent craftsmanship
- Quality materials
- These vises have a sturdy base
- Choice of pedestal or clamp base
- You’ll need to buy midge jaws if you want to tie tiny flies
- It also can’t handle very large streamers
Who makes the best fly tying vise?
There are some reputable companies that specialize in making fly tying vises. You’ll get the best quality if you buy from one of these dedicated companies, such as Griffin and Regal.
Why tie your own flies?
Tying your own flies a great way to extend your fly fishing hobby off the water. It’s fun to experiment with different tying techniques, and there’s nothing like the achievement you get when you hook a fish with one of your own flies.
You’ll also save money you would otherwise spend on commercial flies (so you’ll have more money in the pot for other fly gear!). But most importantly, you can learn a lot about the fish and their behavior, which will pay off when you’re back on the river!
The Wrap Up
So there you have the ultimate guide to fly tying vises. We’ve reviewed the best products on the market, with something for every budget and need! What vise will you go for? Let us know in the comments below!