The Best Fly Tying Vise: Which is Right For You?

fly tying vise

123RF (Nikolai Hamel)

When it comes to selecting a fly tying vise, the choices are daunting, to say the least. There’s an enormous spectrum when it comes to both quality and cost, some vises being wildly overpriced, and some being tremendously underrated. Our list will help you select the fly tying vise that’s right for you, without breaking the bank or sacrificing quality.

If you’re totally new to fly tying, then you’ll be interested in reading through our list of the best fly tying kits for beginners – most options there even include an amateur vise along with all the tools and materials you’ll need to get started! Don’t forget to grab an instructional book on tying from our list of the best fly fishing books while you’re at it!

What Are The Best Fly Tying Vises?

Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great price point
  • Jaws can hold size 28 to 4/0 hooks
  • Litetime Guarantee
Price: $75.94 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
colorado anglers ez rotary vice Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Exellent price point
  • Solid constuction and hardware
  • Super smooth rotary vise for the cost
Price: $64.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Orvis Ez Rotary Vise Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes both a weighted base and a C-clamp
  • Crank-driven rotary that provides versatility when wrapping thread
  • Small, compact size makes this a wonderful travel vise
Price: $49.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
renzetti traveler 2000 vise Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Holds size 28 to 4/0 hooks
  • Great quality hardware
  • Built rock solid
Price: $189.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Regal Medallion Fly Tying Vise Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Beautiful, classic aesthetic
  • Excellent quality materials and hardware
  • Incredibly smooth rotary function
Price: $275.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Wolff Industries, Inc. Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Offered with pedestal and clamp base
  • American made, built heavy duty
  • Holds 7/0 to size 32 hooks
Price: $149.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Stonfo Transformer Vise Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Interchangeable jaws for tying different style flies - three vises in one with just a click
  • Pedestal base with integrated tool rack
  • Shaft locking positions every 45 degrees, adjustable height, reversible for left hand tying
Price: $590.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
peak fishing rotary fly tying vice Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Built solid
  • Holds size 30+ to 2/0 hooks
  • Available as a pedestal or clamp base
Price: $164.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Tiemco Solid Vise Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Excellent option for tying the tiniest of flies - suitable for hooks sized #32 to #4
  • Rock solid pedestal base
  • Simple, straightforward design is great for no-frills tyers
Price: $340.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Griffin Montana Mongoose Vise Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Pedestal and clamp base included
  • Holds size 28 to 4/0 hooks
  • Padded carry case included
Price: $178.68 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Zephr Travel Fly Tying Kit With Pedestal & Clamp Base Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great value travel vise with carry kit
  • Includes a nice set of 12 tying tools
  • Pedestal and clamp base included
Price: $114.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise

    Pros:
    • Rotary vise with bobbin holder
    • Jaws can hold size 28 to 4/0 hooks
    • Litetime Guarantee
    • Great price point
    Cons:
    • Only has a clamp base
    • Bobbin holder is built delicately
    • Some plastic pieces of hardware that could potentially loosen

    The Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise is hands down one of the best value, affordable rotary vises on the market.

    If you want a unit that won’t hold you back in terms of positioning the hook and making fine-tuned adjustments, this is one of the cheapest options out there. The ‘feel’ of this vise will of course not be as rock-solid as for example a Regal Vise, but the function is quite comparable.

    This vise features a C-clamp base for attachment to a table or desk rather than a pedestal. It also includes a bobbin holder, which is a massively underrated feature in my opinion that is shockingly often not included on even the most expensive vises. It’s marketed as an entry level vise, but the only thing that’s truly entry level about this unit is the price tag.

    The jaws will effectively hold a size 28 to 4/0 hook, so this unit has some serious range in terms of what you can tie on it. Both beginners and experienced fly tyers will appreciate the versatility of being able to tie midges to articulated game-changers! 

    There are unfortunately a few plastic fittings and knobs with the Odyssey Spider, but you have to once again consider the wildly low cost and weigh the pros and cons. You shouldn’t, however, have any issues with the hardware other than the aesthetic.

    On a brighter note, this vise is built in the USA and the brand offers a lifetime guarantee!  

  2. 2. Colorado Anglers EZ Rotary Vise

    Pros:
    • Exellent price point
    • Solid constuction and hardware
    • Super smooth rotary vise for the cost
    • Fairly wide adjustment on the jaws, this will hold size 20+ to 3/0 hooks
    Cons:
    • No bobbin holder
    • Might be a bit small for your liking
    • Only offered as a C-clamp base

    Here is our top pick for the best value, budget rotary vise. The EZ Rotary Vise by Colorado Angler is the perfect option for the first time fly tyer as well as a great choice of upgrade for someone looking to purchase their first rotary vise.

    You’ll have a hard time ever spending more than $100 on a fly tying vise after trying this unit out, it performs exceedingly well even for highly experienced tyers.

    This is the vise that I purchase for friends and family when I see a growing interest in fly fishing. I’ve watched several fellow anglers start on this vise and grow to become excellent tyers without feeling the need to upgrade. Bottom line, whether you’re a newbie or you’re ready for a rotary option after learning the basics with a beginners’ fly tying kit, there’s no need to spend the big bucks with this highly affordable option. 

    The rotary action is surprisingly silky smooth with this option, and the all-metal adjustment knobs feel solid and secure when fine-tuning your positioning. The quality of the clamp base is also adequate – if you don’t have a strong preference for pedestal vises then you’ll find nothing wrong with it. 

    The jaws on this unit can effectively hold up to 3/0 hooks so this is a good option for tying bigger streamers and saltwater flies. You may find the jaws are challenging to secure size 20+ hooks with, but with a little patience and practice, you can tie even teeny tiny bugs with this option. 

    All in all, a killer fly tying vise for any and every angler that should hold up for years of heavy use with the proper care! 

  3. 3. Orvis Ez Rotary Vise

    Pros:
    • Includes both a weighted base and a C-clamp
    • Small, compact size (6½"H x 5¼"W) makes this a wonderful travel vise
    • Built from durable machined stainless steel and aluminum
    • Crank-driven rotary that provides versatility when wrapping thread
    • Smooth rotation for effectively drying epoxies
    • Highly affordable
    • Orvis guarantee
    Cons:
    • Simple rotary vise with minimal adjustments/positions for manipulating difficult to tie flies
    • Some complaints about the jaws not providing a tight enough grip
    • Not ideal for tying tinier flies much above size 20

    The Orvis Ez Rotary Vise is a brilliant entry-level vise and/or compact travel vise that comes included with both a pedestal base and C-clamp to match your preferred tying style and the context of where you’re setting up!

    If you’re new to the world of fly tying and are seeking a beginner level vise that won’t hold you back as you gain experience, this is a wonderful go-to. If you already have some experience on the bench and are looking to upgrade to a rotary vise or like the idea of owning an option that can convert to either a pedestal or C-clamp base, then you’ll be equally pleased!

    Built from durable machined stainless steel and aluminum, this vise has a great feel without the astronomical price tag. It won’t feel like an absolute anvil if that’s what you’re looking for, but given the price point and materials here, this is an impressively solid option.

    It’s compact size and lower overall weight furthermore make this one of the ultimate travel vises worth buying!

    Orvis has crafted this bad boy to feature smooth rotation for effectively drying epoxies and designed it with a crank-driven rotary that provides impressive versatility when wrapping thread. 

    For the cost, it’s tough to beat the quality here, and you can rest assured you’re covered if any components malfunction with Orvis’s excellent customer guarantee!

  4. 4. Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000 Vise

    Pros:
    • Great quality hardware, this vise is built to last a lifetime
    • Built rock solid
    • Holds size 28 to 4/0 hooks
    • Nice bobbin holder
    • Travel ready, but not too small!
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive
    • Pedestal base only
    • Can hold up to size 28 hooks, but not the ideal option if typically tying small bugs

    The Renzetti Traveler 2000 Vise is one of our top picks for a great quality fly tying vise that hasn’t quite yet entered the unreasonably expensive price bracket. Yes, the price tag is certainly high on this unit, but the craftsmanship and quality is excellent – this is a vise you should own for a lifetime.

    The build of this vise is what makes it so great. It feels rock-solid when you’re tying and has excellent adjustments that are simple and easy to operate. The rotary action is smooth and the pedestal base is designed to feel completely secure. Like the Regal also included on this list, this is the type of vise you can tell is top quality just by setting it up.   

    The jaws will hold a size 28 to 4/0 hook, but some customer reviews insist it gets a bit tricky tying on hooks much smaller than size 20 or 22. If you’re looking for a vise upgrade for tying really tiny bugs, consider a different option. For those fly fishermen who only occasionally tie the tiny stuff, the Renzetti Traveler will work just fine for you. 

    There’s a nicely oriented bobbin holder with this option which you already know to be a brilliant feature if you’ve ever used one. It’s nice to free your hands up in any way possible when tying.

    Although this is marketed as a ‘traveler’ vise, it’s not so small that you’ll become frustrated with its size during longer tying sessions. It packs nice, but still feels as if it’s a full-size unit! For those with the funds, this is hands down one of the best value options on the market! 

  5. 5. Regal Medallion Fly Tying Vise with Pocket Base

    Pros:
    • Beautiful, classic aesthetic for the traditionalist fly tyer
    • Excellent quality materials and hardware - this vise will last a lifetime
    • Bronze pocket base can be switched out for other bases by Regal
    • Incredibly smooth rotary function
    • Effectively holds 1/0 hooks making this a great vise for tying bigger flies
    Cons:
    • Quite expensive
    • No bobbin holder
    • Cannot hold flies smaller than size 22 effectively

    If you know anything about fly tying vises, you’ve heard the name Regal. This brand builds arguably the best vises on the market, although for quite the cost.

    The Medallion Vise with the Pocket Base is one of Regal’s less expensive options, though still an absolutely legendary fly tying tool that will last a lifetime based on its quality of construction.

    This unit is certainly excessive if you’re just getting into tying, but boy oh boy is it a pleasure to tie on if you already have some experience. Budget buyers are better off choosing a less expensive option, but for those looking for an upgrade or those interested in starting on a top quality unit, this is a great go to. Check out some of Regal’s other fly tying vises here – but beware, they get a LOT more expensive! 

    This is the type of fly tying vise you’ll bequeath to a grandchild someday. The craftsmanship is impressive, to say the least – you can really tell the difference between this unit and less expensive brands just by picking it up. It’s heavy duty for its size and rock solid to tie on.

    This is, of course, a rotary style vise. The mechanics, knobs, and joints are remarkably smooth with this unit, it’s truly satisfying to operate.

    The jaws will fit a size 22 to 1/0 hook, so this particular unit is not suitable for tying super small bugs. For bigger streamers and saltwater flies, however, this is a great option. The Medallion is offered with Regal’s “Midge Jaws” for those interested in this vise but typically tie microscopic patterns!  

    In case you’re wondering why Regal vises have such high price tags and customer satisfaction, it’s all in the materials. Bronze pedestals, heavy-duty hardware and stems all combine for a piece of machinery that’s just downright superior to the budget options.

    Is it necessary for tying great flies? Absolutely not. Is it a luxury to tie on such a solid and classic looking vise? More than you could ever imagine! 

     

  6. 6. Wolff Industries, Inc. Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise

    Pros:
    • American made, built heavy duty
    • Offered with pedestal and clamp base
    • Holds 7/0 to size 32 hooks making this a great vise for tying tiny bugs
    • Replaceble steel jaws
    Cons:
    • Not ideal for tying larger sized flies
    • No bobbin holder
    • Plastic knob on the pedestal base

    Here’s a very nice quality vise that’s both smooth and strong at a great price point. Wolff Industries, Inc. builds some pretty killer vises for the cost that are more than adequate enough to keep you away from the $300+ options on the market.

    The Atlas Rotary Vise, along with many of their other units absolutely competes with some of the higher-end brands, and at half the cost!

    This option is particularly great for tying super small bugs, featuring jaws that effectively clamp size 32 to 7/0 hooks. If you need something for big sloppy streamers, then you would be wise to go with a different option, perhaps the Regal Medallion or Renzetti Traveler also listed here! That being said, the jaws are replaceable so if you like the price and style of this vise then you can buy separate, specialized jaws for it down the line. 

    This is a silky smooth rotary style vise built with Delrin sleeve bearings for a super creamy feel. The adjustments are impressively precise, and all the hardware feels solid as a rock. There’s, unfortunately, no bobbin holder, but this may or may not be of much importance to you – there’s, of course, ways around that detail! 

    I also personally like the look of the blue pedestal, it’s a sharp aesthetic and also makes it easy to find little hooks and bead heads you drop! It’s also super heavy, so don’t worry about any instability when tying.

    Wolff Industries, Inc. builds this vise as well as their others in the USA, and furthermore, offer a lifetime warranty. This is a dependable brand that builds dependable products, no doubt a solid choice of intermediate to advanced vise that you will tie on for years and eventually pass on!    

     

  7. 7. Stonfo Transformer Vise

    Pros:
    • Integrated fast coupling device on the head and attachments which convert it to an in-line vise, tube-fly vise or streamer vise.
    • Pedestal base with integrated tool rack
    • Includes a rounded shape bobbin cradle, parachute plier, adjustable spring material clip, pivot thread cradle, allen keys and instruction manual
    • Adjustable rotary tension
    • Shaft locking positions every 45 degrees, adjustable height, reversible for left hand tying
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive
    • Some might not like all of the moving parts to this vise if you prefer a simple and straightforward option
    • Some anglers may not like the integrated tool rack and find it to be cumbersome - it's a matter of preference

    The Stonfo Transformer Vise is a high-quality, super versatile pedestal option that can be modified to tie virtually any style fly by attaching one of the three included interchangeable jaws!

    This option features an integrated fast coupling device on the head and attachments which convert it to an in-line vise, tube-fly vise or streamer vise in moments!

    Adjustable rotary tension, shaft locking positions every 45 degrees, and adjustable height add even further versatility to this fly tying beast. It’s even reversible for left-handed tying!

    The pedestal base features an integrated tool rack so you can keep your essential tools on hand, and the brand even includes a rounded shape bobbin cradle, parachute plier, adjustable spring material clip, pivot thread cradle, Allen keys, and instruction manual with this purchase!

    For those seeking a do-everything style vise rather than a specialized option, this is an excellent quality go-to that’s built to be both exceptionally robust and smooth. Without a doubt one of the top options for anglers who tie a variety of patterns!

  8. 8. Peak Fishing Rotary Vise With Pedestal or Clamp Base

    Pros:
    • This vise is built solid with stainless steel, brass and aircraft aluminum
    • Holds size 30+ to 2/0 hooks
    • Available as a pedestal or clamp base
    • Built in the USA
    Cons:
    • Customer complaints about machine tool scratches on the stem
    • Thumb screws are plastic
    • Some might not like the aesthetic of the white pedestal base, it's a matter of preference

    This rotary vise from Peak Fishing has a very cool, almost industrial look to it. The aesthetic doesn’t lie with this one, this is a tough as nails option that will feel super solid underhand while tying at your bench.

    The rotary action is impressively smooth, and a convenient bobbin holder is incorporated into the design.

    Peak Fishing lets you choose whether you want this vise as a pedestal or clamp base – both options are built nicely so it’s really a matter of personal preference.

    The vise is all brass and stainless steel other than the plastic thumb screws, but you can actually purchase brass replacements from Peak Fishing if you want this bad boy to be all metal! Some tyers insist metal fittings are superior, and you don’t see any of the high-end vise companies incorporating any plastic components into their products. Let’s be honest, at this cost plastic thumb-screws are not a deal breaker, but it’s radical you can switch them for attractive brass if you choose to!    

    Where this fly tying vise really excels is its ability to hold size 30+ hooks. If you’re looking for an upgrade from your learner’s vise that’s better suited for tying microscopic dries and nymphs, this could be a great option for you. The jaws will also hold hooks as large as 2/0 making it impressively versatile in terms of what you can tie on it! 

  9. 9. Tiemco Solid Vise

    Pros:
    • Excellent option for tying the tiniest of flies - suitable for hooks sized #32 to #4
    • Simple, straightforward design is great for no-frills tyers who prefer a rock-solid vise without all the bells and whistles
    • Pedestal base is super solid
    • Excellent quality hardware and quality of craftsmanship
    • Anodized center housing
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • Lacks features, add-ons and accessories for the price point
    • Not an ideal option for tying bigger bugs and streamers

    The Tiemco Solid Vise is a brilliant option for those serious fly tyers seeking a top-notch vise option that’s great for spinning up the tiniest of nymphs and dries – capable of tying on hooks sized #32 to #4!

    Tiny bug enthusiasts will love the grip strength and precision this option provides for tying on exceptionally small hooks. This is a simple and straightforward option with minimal adjustments, yet it lacks nothing you need whatsoever.

    The higher price point stems from the quality of construction, which therefore allows for silky smooth adjustments and a rock-solid feel. This is the kind of vise that you sit down in front of and go “wow” if you already have some tying experience and know the difference in feel between entry-level and expert options.

    For those who prefer a pedestal base and a simple overall design, it’s tough to beat the quality for the price point here. Those anglers that find this option attractive but are seeking an option for bigger bugs and streamers as opposed to smaller flies, will definitely want to check out the Tiemco Solid Heavy Duty Vise – it’s rated for hook sizes #16 to #2/0 and both comparably priced and designed.

  10. 10. Griffin Montana Mongoose Fly Tying Vise

    Pros:
    • Pedestal and clamp base included
    • Holds size 28 to 4/0 hooks
    • Padded carry case included
    • All metal hardware
    • Lifetime warranty
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive, this is more or less the threshold before you enter the BIG bucks
    • No adjustmnt for the angle of the jaws
    • Jaws are fairly large, not the best option for tying tiny flies much smaller than size 20 comfortably

    The Montana Mongoose Fly Tying Vise by Griffin is an excellent value, intermediate to advanced level option. This is a quality built tool featuring rotary action, all metal hardware, a bobbin holder and both a clamp and pedestal base.

    This unit is praised for its ability to make very precise, fine-tuned adjustments and also for how solid it feels to work on. The rotary action is downright awesome – once properly adjusted, this bad boy will hold whatever you’re working on stone-still at any axis point.

    You can tell this vise means business just by looking at it – all the joints and hardware have a sharp, heavy-duty aesthetic that is reflected in the performance of the device. Even the bobbin holder has a clean, professional look to it!

    The jaws will clamp size 28 to 4/0 hooks effectively, so this option is fairly versatile in terms of what you can tie on it. It might be a bit tricky tying the super tiny stuff, but if you’re the type of fly fisherman or woman who’s tying size 30 bugs than you ought to buy a vise with jaws that’s geared towards hook sizes that small (Consider the vise option by Peak Fishing listed here if this sounds like you).

    All in all, an excellent value buy that provides you with essentially all the features you would want in a high-end vise, without the astronomical price tag. Another winner from Griffin!

  11. 11. Zephr Travel Fly Tying Kit With Pedestal & Clamp Base

    Pros:
    • Pedestal and clamp base included
    • Includes a nice set of 12 fly tying tools
    • Great travel vise, this unit is built both solid and compact
    • Includes a carry case
    • Great price point considering the included tools!
    Cons:
    • The smaller size may be a bit awkward for use as your main vise
    • Some plastic pieces of hardware included in the design
    • Some complaints about the jaws not coming together super precisly for tying super tiny bugs

    I love the Zephr Travel Fly Tying Kit from Creative Angler. This is a super-inclusive set of tools along with a rotary vise, that is in our opinion, a better alternative (albeit more expensive) to the beginner’s kit by Umpqua listed here.

    This is the toolset/vise combo to buy mostly because of the quality and style of the vise. It’s nothing particularly amazing, but it’s a reliable rotary vise that features both a clamp and pedestal base.

    If you’re serious about entering the world of fly tying, then why not start with some solid tools and a vise you can tolerate tying on even long after you develop some skills?

    The toolset includes two bobbins and a threader, a bodkin pick, two pairs of scissors, rotating hackle pliers, a dubbing twister, tweezers and even a hair stacker for when you develop some more technical skills. The toolset alone is more or less worth the cost of this kit, especially when you consider there’s a convenient carry case included that houses everything!

    Yes, there are some plastic fittings and hardware with this vise, but you get what you pay for. It’s still a totally adequate vise that even advanced tyers wouldn’t be upset with using. Keep in mind that the jaws are not ideal for tying really small flies if you’re interested in whipping up some size 22+ dries and nymphs. 

    A great value buy for a new tyer looking to acquire some tools as well as a vise, or the perfect travel set for an already accomplished fly tyer who’s looking for a road trip option to take along on fishing excursions! 

Tying Your Own Flies

Whether you're targeting trout, striped bass or pike, there's an incredible satisfaction when it comes to catching fish on your own flies. After landing a memorable catch, nothing is cooler than knowing you're the one who fooled the fish through and through. 

It all starts with some fly tying materials and a vise that you learn to master!

Rotary Vises Vs. Traditional Vises

This list focuses on rotary vises, the only style vise in our opinion that you should be purchasing if you're serious about tying, or want to start with something that's the most conducive to learning. These style vises allow the tyer to fully (360 degrees) rotate the clamped hook in order to add material and build the fly at whatever angle or orientation is needed.

You can certainly tie great flies on a traditional style vise, but this is the future of fly tying and you would be silly to invest in anything else.

Fly Tying Vise Quality

We've included some of the most budget options worth buying, as well as some higher quality vises for those who appreciate the best. A top-notch vise is truly a delight to tie on, but the price points are certainly intimidating. 

When making your choice, consider whether you should spend your fishing funds on a high-end vice, or a budget option along with some new tying materials!

Whatever streamers, nymphs or dry flies you're planning to create, we've tracked down the best introductory vise or upgrade for you!

Travel Vise

Seeking a vise you can bring on the go? A travel vise allows you to bring some materials on your fishing trips and then match the hatch spot-on, no matter what's being eaten out there!

A good travel vise should be particularly durable in order to handle the abuses of being packed in a fishing bag, lightweight and compact for easy transport, and of course equipped with quality adjustments for precise tying.

Some of our favorite picks for travel vises include:

See Also:

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