The best fly tying vise is going to not only going to suit your tying needs but also your travel needs. You should know if you want to travel with it or use it as a stationary piece of equipment. Some tyers like to have two for this purpose.

A heavy base that can stand alone on the table in your main tying room. Or something that can easily fit into your travel bag and it can be whipped out at a moment’s notice and a fly could be tied within minutes.

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So, below we’ve got a couple of different vises that can help you out with both of these needs. On top of that, we also go into depth on what a vise will do for you and talk about the different parts of a vise.

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#1 Best Vise Overall: Griffin Montana Mongoose 

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Best Fly Tying Vises

If you’re buying fly tying equipment, then without a doubt the most important bit of fly fishing gear on your bench will be the fly tying vise. Here’s a list of the best fly tying vises currently on the market.

1. Colorado Anglers 2001 EZ Rotary Vise

  • Jaw Type – Lever
  • Mount Type – C Clamp Mount
  • Pros – Ultra FIne jaws, and a 360-degree rotation
  • Cons – Not very stable and easy to bump release hook while tying.

The Colorado Anglers 2001 EZ Rotary Vise is a solid mid-range fly tying vise. Perfect for the angler who wants to update to something a little bit nicer but doesn’t want to drop $100 or more on a piece of equipment.

It might be the best vise for fly tying mid to larger sized trout flies, or small to medium-sized bass flies.

It’s not large enough to handle anything bigger and is not stable enough to handle very small or precise trout flies.

Because it’s a clamp style base it could do well as an at-home vise or for travel. Easily pack it in your bag and you could quickly hook it up to a table in your hotel room the night before a trip, or anywhere with a lip that the clamp can hold onto.

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2. Griffin Odyssey Spider Vise

  • Jaw Type – Cam lever
  • Mount Type – C Clamp
  • Pros – Very fine jaws make it easy to tie flies, and the cam lever makes it easy to remove flies
  • Cons – Not very durable and can be flimsy

The Griffin Odyssey Spider Vise rotary allows you to move the fly within the vise without actually having to take it out. Saving you time and effort while tying.

It’s also 100% adjustable. Meaning that you can be more organized while tying a fly. Which is something all fly tyers need to be. Also, it comes equipped with material spring and bobbin holder.

The jaws of the vise are extremely fine. Making them perfect for tying flies in just about every size range. Feel free to tie zebra midges in the winter and then large streamers come springtime.

It will also do a decent job of flies like the Wooly Bugger, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Parachute Adams, and Bunny Leeches.

You’ll see that the cam lever makes for easily inserting and removing of your fly.

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3. Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise

  • Jaw Type  – Lever
  • Mount Type –  Pedestal
  • Pros – Excellent all around vise. strong and stable
  • Con – Pricy

The Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise is the top fly tying vise on this list. It’s made to last a lifetime. If you’re a die-hard fly tyer then this is the vice you should be looking at. Strong and durable enough that it can last you year after year without showing too much wear and tear.

You’ll find that the jaws hold sizes from a #28 all the way up to a 4/0. Meaning you can tie just about any fly you want on this thing. If you enjoy throwing tiny flies to trout and big streamers to bass then this is ideal for you.

The material used is Stainless Steel, Tool Steel, Aircraft Aluminum and high-quality brass which helps increase durability. The larger base allows for more stability as well as supporting the stem.

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4. Super AA Chrome Fly Tying Vise

  • Jaw Type -Lever
  • Mount Type – C Clamp
  • Pros – Easy operation and a 360-degree rotation. Great for beginner
  • Cons – Limited fly tying ability and not durable.

The Super AA Chrome Fly Tying Vise is the best fly vise for someone who is thinking about getting into the hobby of tying your own flies. The cheap price point means you don’t have to invest too much money into it.

The C clamp mount means you hook it up anywhere you have a table or a lip that can hold it. Again, the best tying vise for a beginner because you don’t need to have a table designated for tying. Use and table in the house.

The stainless steel jaws are completely adjustable. Allowing you to tie a range of flies in different hook sizes. The 360-degree heads allow for comfortable working angles.

The vise is very easy to operate and is not very complicated. Someone looking for a budget vise, or new to tying would get great pleasure out of this vise.

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5. Griffin Montana Mongoose Vise

  • Jaw Type –  Lever
  • Mount Type – Pedestal and clamp
  • Pros – Base and clamp mount allows you to tie wherever and whenever
  • Cons – Difficult to tie small flies and weight is unbalanced.

The Griffin Montana Mongoose Vise has been redesigned by Griffin to increase its efficiency. The installation of new screws allows for complete resistance control when rotating the vise. The delrin block is one of the smoothest you’ll find.

The cam lever can be both locked in the forward or the backward position. This helps you to have better clearance when you’re tying your flies.

The way the Griffin Mongoose is designed will allow for more hand room while tying. Ensuring you’re able to tie flies without having to worry about bumping the vise or snagging your hand on the hook.

The steel jaws will also hold size #28 hooks all the wat to a 4/0. Giving you the ability to tie just about whatever you want. You’ll also get a C clamp, bobbin cradle, pedestal, material clip, supreme bobbin, hackle gauge, and a case to carry it all in.

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Features Of The Best Fly Tying Vises

When thinking about buying a vise you have to take into account what you plan on using it for as well as its features. Each vise is going to have positives and negatives that you’ll need to take into account.

Top Vise For Fly Tying

So, below we go over in more detail all the different parts of the vise and how it can benefit you. Feel free to use the information to help you when looking for a vise of your own.

Jaw Type

There are two different types of jaws. There is a collet and lever type (parallel clamp). Collet is a one-piece set of jaws. The jaws are closed by pulling or pushing them onto a ring called a collet. You’ll usually do this by moving a lever or cam.

Fly Tying Vise Jaw Types - Close up of vise jaws

A lever-type is similar to a wooden clothespin. This requires a two-piece jaw, fulcrum, and a mechanism to close the jaws. Usually, This is operated by using either a thumb screw or a cam lever.

You’ll also find set jaws and interchangeable jaws. The reason for this is for tying small and larger flies. Some jaws are made only to tie smaller nymphs and dries, while some are made for big streamers. If you fish and tie both of these types of flies then you need the interchangeable.

If you only tie one type of fly then a large or small set of jaws will work perfectly for you.

Mount Type

There are two different types of mounts as well. A pedestal and a C clamp. Some vises even come with both. So if you prefer using one or the other you’ll have the option to use the one you enjoy tying flies with.

What mount type you choose boils down to what you prefer. Many people enjoy using a C clamp at home where they know they have a table that it can fit. While smaller and more compact vises with pedestals are used for travel.

Types of fly tying vise mounts

However, some prefer to do the exact opposite. The base is great because you know you tie a fly anywhere there is a flat surface. Table, rock, ground, your friends back. While the C clamp can only be used in spots that had a lip for it to hold onto.

So before buying one, think about where you plan on tying and if you would like to travel with it. It will make your decision easier.

Type of Flies

If you’re a saltwater fisherman or a maybe even targeting muskie or bass then you’ll need a fly that will hold the larger hooks needed for these flies. A vise meant for trout flies is not going to have a set of jaws large enough to tie a 5/0 hook.

tying a fly in a fly tying vise

The same goes for tying smaller flies for panfish or trout. Something with master jaws that is meant to tie a bass popper will probably not be delicate enough to hold a #22 midge pattern, or a smaller Adams.

If you enjoy throwing midges to trout and poppers to bass then look for something that allows you to tie both. Most likely a vise that comes with interchangeable jaws, or just happens to have a very dynamic set of jaws.

Rotating Head

A rotating head is typically going to be preferred by someone who is an experienced fly tyer. This is because it allows you to get a full 360-degree look at your fly and lets you tie from different angels.

Fly Tying Vise Rotating Head

Because of this, they are typically pretty pricy. Which is a reason experienced tyers like them. So, if you’re just starting out then don’t worry about getting a rotating head.

You’ll be able to tie exactly what you need without one. But when you make the jump up to more complicated then it would be worth it to get something that can rotate 360-degrees.

Bobbin Cradle

The bobbin cradle allows you to rest your bobbin in between sessions. It’s not something you really need to have, but the convenience of it is very nice.

Fly Tying Vise with Bobbin Holder

These are also not that hard to make on your own. You could easily craft one yourself to meet the specs you need. So if you find a vise that has a cradle but is more expensive than one without it just know you can save some money and you create your own.

Build Material

A vise is going to either be made of aluminum or steel. Sometimes they could even be a combination of the two. An aluminum vise is going to be lighter and will be more resistant to corrosion. Which means they’re ideal for travel vises that come with a pedestal.

Fly Tying - First Wraps Around Fly Hook

A steel vise is going to be way more durable, stronger, and will have a better grip. Making them perfect for C clamp vises. Even though they are going to be heavier and bulkier than an aluminum vise you still won’t have an issue traveling with it or moving it around your house.

Again, it all comes down to personnel preference and what you’re looking for in a vise.

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Conclusion

With the information above you should be able to pick out the best fly tying vise now. There are many different options and each one is going to save a different purpose.

So if you’re a hardcore fly tyer and looking for an upgrade then use the list above to help guide you to the right vise for you.

The same goes for the novice. If you felt overwhelmed before hopefully you now understand what you need and how you should be using your vise.

Now go out and pick out your vise and see how it feels. Check out any online shop or local outfitter that may carry them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or carry this list with you to help you make the right decision.

Some images in this post are courtesy of Shutterstock.

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