Rotary Vises are not some magic slicer, dicer, or with
special attachment make julienne fries. It is a vise,
which rotates a hook shank on the hook shanks axis. A
Rotary Vise has a knob to lock the vise head so it will
not rotate. So if you don't want the hook to rotate for
a certain part of the tying it will remain stationary.
When your start tying on a rotary vise, it is the same
as a stationary vise.
From the lock wrap to secure the thread, the tying in of
a wing (dry fly), dressing the hook shank with thread,
or securing the tail hackle it is still the same as a
stationary vise. What makes a difference between a rotary
and stationary vise is when you start going back towards
the eye of the hook with the thread. It allows for the
laying of a dubbing loop, ribbing, tinsel body, floss,
or collar hackle without having to fight a bobbin hanging
beneath the hook.
Instead the thread is palmered forward, and half hitch
behind the eye, and the bobbin is hung out of the way,
on a bobbin hanger. The while holding the dubbing loop,
ribbing, tinsel body, floss or collar hackle in one
position you rotate the hook and spin the material onto
the hook shank with a constant tension and more uniformed
and controlled wraps.
If you are adding a beard or other material beneath the
hook shank, instead of working underneath the hook, you
just rotate the hook over and work on top, where it is
easier to position and properly secure the beard or other
You don't have to remove the hook from the vise to turn
the fly over.
I will not claim it will speed up your production, but it
sure makes tying a lot easier. I also think it improves
tying efforts by eliminating fighting with a bobbin
hanging beneath the hook, which is in the way when you
are trying to wrap some material onto the hook shank.
A Rotary Vise will not make those 20 extra pounds you are
carrying around magically disappear, or make you teeth whiter,
or cause your hair to become thicker and more manageable.
It only allows you more accurate control of the material
that you apply to the hook shank as you turn a bare hook
into a piece of art.
My personal opinion, they are well worth the money.
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board, here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to