Tools and Materials

Quality material make better flies

Quality tied flies start with knowledge, quality tools and quality materials. Cheap feathers and materials purchased in a hobby store are not meant for fly tying. The colors fade and often times the feathers are bent, broken and brittle. Buy the best materials you can afford at a fly shop. Materials purchased in fly shops are made for fly tying. I also can not stress enough to support your local fly shop when ever possible.

Classes can be taken at most Trout Unlimited chapters or fly fishing shops or they can direct you to a location that has classes. Often times classes are held throughout the Winter months at most fly shop locations around the country.

Fly tying tools vary in price from cheap overseas vises to custom made and everything in between. Over the years I’ve tied on most of the brand name vises such as Regal, Renzetti, Dyna-King, HMH and others. Consider what your budget is and buy the highest quality fly tying tools that you can afford. Cheap vises that don’t securely hold a hook are frustrating to tie on. Get a good vise. Scissors and bobbins are the same way. Bobbins that break your thread are equally as frustrating and scissors that dull quickly are just a waste of money.


There are many to chose from

When it comes to vises there are many to chose from. You can purchase a cheap Ebay find or pay for a custom made vise that cost thousands of dollars. The choice is yours but as a guy that has been tying flies for 45+ years I've come to appreciate a high quality vise. 

The job of a vise is to securely hold a hook. There is nothing worse than getting a fly half finished and have it fall out of the vise.  While a cheap vise might hold a hook well when you first purchase it but as time goes on.....the hooks will start to slip. Learning to tie flies with a hook that keeps slipping with just add frustration. Take my advice and purchase a vise made by one of the major vise manufactures who offer warranties and have replacement parts available. Below is a link to vise manufactures.

Vise Manufactures

Most quality manufactures produce entry level vises all the up to their top on the line. Decide on your budget and purchase the highest  quality vise that fits your budget. All of the vise manufactures below offer various models to choose from.


Dyna-King  I tied on a Dyna_king Professional vise when I use to tie flies commercially for ten years. I tied tens of thousands of flies off that vise and it never failed me or wore out. DK is a highly recommednded quality vise manufacture.  I still have two Dyna-King vises that I tie on today. Dyna-King's rotary vises are fantastic.

Regal Manufacturing "The Bulldog Vise". I have tied and still do tie on Regal Vises. They are simple to use, squeeze the handle, insert the hook and release the handle. The hook will be securely held in the jaws. The jaw system is simple and requires no adjustment going from one hook size to another. I currently own three Regal vises. My favorite is the Regal Revolution with the stainless steel jaws. Just a super vise to use. 

HMH Precision Fly Tying HMH has been making high quality vises and tools since 1975. I purchased my first HMH vise back in the 80's but later sold it. I recently purchased a new MHM Standard vise and it has quickly become one of my favorite vises to tie on. The quality of machining and finish on the vise is outstanding and it holds a hook really well. No slippage at all once properly placed in the jaws. HMH offers a full line of vises to choose from. I have my sights set on their top of the line TRV vise.

Renzetti Vise "The Ultimate in True Rotary." I owned my first Renzetti vise in the 80's and tied off and on with it for about ten years. In recent years I purchased two more Renzetti vises in the traveler series including a Renzetti Traveler blacked out salt water vise. I give a big thumbs up to that vise. Renzetti also offers a full line of rotary vises that will give you years of trouble free tying.

Norvise Norm Norlander the founder of Norvise designed the Norvise fly tying system. Its a true rotary vise that doesn't just rotate but spins very fast with just a single spin of the handle. You can apply materials while the hook is spinning. It takes some getting use to to can speed up your tying time and material application very quickly. I used one for about 6 months. Check out the Norvise System of tying and accessories.

Peak Fishing Peak Fishing makes a few different models of rotary vises including both pedestal models and clamp styles.  I bought one of their pedestal Base models a few years back. I didn't care for the jaws on the vise as they seemed to large for my liking but they held a hook very well. The base on the pedestal model I had PRV-G2 was heavy and kept the vise in one place.  I have to say I loved their pedestal base. The Peak is a very popular model of vises.

Wolff Industries Wolff makes a line of vises in Indiana. I have never used one or have seen one in person so i can't comment much on the vise. It appears to be well made but I'd have to experiance one to fully comment.

Stonfo Vise Stonfo is another vise I've never tied on or seen in person. Made in Italy from quality materials with various models to choose from.

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