Trucos de montaje

About Buying a Vise
By A.K. Best


When you go to your local fly shop to select your vise, compare the various models. Listen politely to the salesperson as he expounds on all the advantages of his favorite vise, but don't forget your own needs for a second. Do you tie mostly streamers? Then you need a sturdy vise with large jaws. If you tie a lot of deer-hair Bass Bugs, I recommend that you get a heavy-duty vise that clamps to the tying bench. Pedestal types slide all over because the pedestal is never heavy enough. 6/0 thread will move most of them before the thread breaks, and Monocord will move all of them. To be heavy enough, it would have to weigh in excess of ten pounds. A good C clamp that will accept a 2-inch-thick workbench is the best choice. Another advantage of the C clamp is that the vertical standard or rod that holds the jaws is longer, thereby allowing for more height adjustment. I've never found a pedestal vise with the jaws far enough from the pedestal.

If you tie a little of everything, you'd be wise to select a vise that will accept size 2 streamer hooks down to a size 24 dry-fly hook. Only a few vises will do this adequately without changing jaws, which I believe is a very important feature.

Open and close the jaws several times. Is the action smooth? If you feel roughness, the mechanism has not been finished properly. There are burrs on the moving parts. Do the table clamp and its adjustment operate smoothly? If you can wiggle anything, do not buy it. Remember, you're paying hard-earned money for something that's supposed to work right, not almost right.

Check out the jaw adjustment to allow for different hook wire diameters. If you need two hands to make this adjustment, it's one hand too many. Jaw adjustment should be quick and simple. Are other adjustment knobs large enough to snag materials as you tie? Don't buy a vise with oversize adjustment knobs. At the same time, beware of the vise whose adjustment knobs are too small to use comfortably.

One thing that I really dislike in any vise is a highly polished chrome finish on the collet and jaws. An hour or more of trying to focus your eyes on a dry-fly hook next to all that reflection can create a headache from eyestrain that will last into the next morning. You can take nearly all the glare off the highly polished and chromed parts by buffing them with a strip of very fine emery cloth. Clean all the grit from the jaws and collet opening before you begin to use your vise after the buffing process with a couple of blasts from a container of canned air. If you don't keep the jaw shoulder and collet opening clean, the grit from the emery-cloth operation will cause unnecessary wear on those surfaces. If you tie on a daily basis, these surfaces should be cleaned once or twice daily. No lubrication is suggested, since any oil or grease will only collect grit. If it makes you feel better, you can use "nose oil" from your face. It works great and doesn't collect dust.

If your vise's collet has any small Allen-head screws, you should put a small drop of rubber cement or Pliobond on the edges of them. This will prevent the screws from working loose and falling into your waste bad, or worse yet, on the floor. In either case, the screws will be lost forever, and your vise will be nearly useless until you can find the exact replacement. Be careful that you don't get any of the cement into the hole where the Allen wrench is inserted or you won't be able to get it in.

No matter which brand of vise you choose, I suggest that you purchase one that has at least partial rotation of the jaws. Complete 360-degree rotation is best, but you can probably live without it. It's a lot easier to roll the jaws to examine the other side of your fly than it is to change your entire upper body position and probably scorch your forehead on a hot lamp in the process.

You should have to buy only one vise in a lifetime, and you ought to buy it from your local tackle dealer. The reasons for purchasing all your tying needs from your local fly shop should be so obvious that I'm not even going to mention them here. Buy the best vise you can afford and one that accepts a wide range of hook sizes. You may think that all you're going to tie the rest of your life are size 12 and 14 trout flies, but you couldn't be more mistaken. ~ AK Credits: Excerpt from Production Fly Tying by A.K. Best and published by Pruett Publishing Company. You can find a review of the book: here.


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