vice not vise

vice not vise

t.z. | Friday, 8 September 2017

I´d like to woffle a bit about vices. The question which vice one needs comes up almost as much as which rod one should use. The right one for the job is the answer.

The job is to hold a hook. Period, not more not less. Some say it also needs to rotate the hook. Fair enough - should you be tying the type of flies which benefit from that specific technique.

The problem with holding hook is that these bent needles (that is a hook) are slippery. Reason is the hardened metal and the finish of the hooks. We want strong, sharp hooks which do not open or break. So the bent needle is "forged" at the bend to add strength, otherwise it would straighten too easy. However, if the forging process goes wrong - meaning pressing the bend too hard, the metal becomes brittle and breaks too easy.

Vices hold the pieces we work on by clamping them. That is the case in the majority of the scenarios. So if that vice is clamping too hard at the forged part, the hook can become brittle and lose it´s strength. That is at least possible. However, many vices do not hold the hooks good enough in my experience. Admittedly my requirements are extreme since I use Dyneema thread and animal hair which I tie in real hard.

The vices clamp is made from metal. This metal needs to match the job requirements too. That is mostly the real difference between the vices. Some vices clamps can actually \"chip\", meaning the the very tip of the clamp breaks off when holding the hook. So be aware of that when setting the hook in. Don´t grab the hook too short, or too much, in front of the clamp.

The clamp is closed in different ways.

a) a spring loaded mechanism which is forced open via a lever and closes by itself. The Regal vice is the most known, but also expensive example. There are \"copies\" of the Regal on the marked, mostly from India or Pakistan. They work equally well, apart from the metal of the jaws. It can chip more easily compared to the stainless steel jaws of the Regal. If you consider a Regal, make sure you get one with the stainless steel jaws. Stonfo also has a spring loaded vice which gained a lot of popularity lately

b) Screws. One or two screws pulling the jaws together. There are a few examples out there which use this approach in a very successful way. These vices sport rather big enough screws.

c) There are various apparatuses combining a screw and lever mechanism pushing the jaws together.

d) The other approach is to stop the hook from rotating - as I would describe it. This needs much less force and so does not put as much stress onto the hook. The hook is held in an eye at the end of a long screw which is pulled in against a surface.

I tried to describe them technically without rating and leave it to you to decide which type of mechanism appeals the most to you.

Budget, is also a question which is up to you. You get what you need in a vice for under 50 dollars. Everything more is fancy and appeals to the fisherman (and his pals) - which of course is something people are very happy to pay a lot of money for. The latest I heard of was vice for 1.175 GBP which per today is 1.500 USD - that is onethousandfivehundred bucks, dough, bread, tamales, scratch, moolah, cheddar, Cheese, guap, lettuce, paper, scrilla, scrill, stash, chips, cake, cabbage, Benjamin, Benji, loot smackers, simoleons, ducats or whatever you preferred nomenclature is ... OK, the flies of that thing come with a catch guaranty, I´m sure ................. not.