Best Saltwater Fly Tying Vise: Our Top 5 Picks

September 2, 2021

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A saltwater fly tying vise is one that will allow you to tie efficient and strong flies for saltwater fishing. It is important for this type of vise to withstand salt and moisture, as well as provide the right kind of stability so one can tie flies with precision.

But, how does one pick out the saltwater fly tying vise that is the best in the market?

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

Best Saltwater Fly Tying Vise

The following sections will offer a review of some of the best saltwater fly tying vises. Each of them have been picked out for their stability, durability and ease of use, among other things.

The reviews are followed by a brief buying guide on how to choose saltwater fly tying vises.

Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise – Fly Tying

The Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise has been designed such that one has no trouble adjusting the vise in accordance with the thread. It is made of extremely durable and strong materials, such as stainless steel, tool steel, brass, as well as aircraft aluminum. 

This is also a hardened and tempered tool that is able to grip hooks securely, no matter what the size of the hook. It has a large base that allows you to set the vise anywhere without worrying about the device being unstable.

The steel base is also powder   making it even more durable and long lasting. Since the coating is white, it also allows you to see the materials you are working with as the backdrop provides a contrast.

What We Like 

  • The steel base also comes with an integrated hook or bead pocket. The pocket has rounded edges which allow you to remove it easily.
  • The pedestal also has non-marking feet that allow you to place it on any flat surface without worrying about the vise scratching it.
  • This is an American-made vise that comes with a lifetime guarantee. One does not have to worry about navigating customer care in another country.
  • The steel jaws adjust to different types of hooks very easily.


What We Don’t Like

  • The vise uses plastic screws instead of metal.
  • Several important components come as add-ons that one has to pay for separately.

Renzetti Saltwater Traveler Cam Vise with Pedestal Base

The Renzetti saltwater traveler also comes with a pedestal base, although this one is not powder-coated white. The vise is available as left-hand or right-hand models, which is extremely useful as rarely do companies account for the needs of left-handed people.

The pedestal base also ensures that it is able to withstand a lot of pressure. You can work with the vise without worrying about it moving, as the pedestal base will absorb any pressure applied to the apparatus.

This model has been made to emulate Renzetti’s classic Traveler series. The main difference is that this one has been made for use in saltwater. No matter how large you fly, this vise will provide a great grip.

What We Like

  • This vise has been designed such that it can easily hold #4-8/0 hooks.
  • You can work with even larger flies without worrying about the vise being unstable.
  • The vise also comes with a material clip and a spinning attachment that makes it ideal for use in saltwater operations.
  • The vise is available in two different designs – one designed especially for left-handed people and another for right-handed people.

What We Don’t Like

  • The base of the vise is dark, so it can be difficult to see the material placed on it. There is a greater chance of losing hooks against the dark backdrop.

Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise

The Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise is made in the United States and comes with a lifetime guarantee. This is a great vise for beginners. You will have all the tools at hand to tie flies of various sizes without being overwhelmed by the apparatus.

This is also a 360-degree rotating vise that will provide a lot of mobility and access to odd angles while you are working with the fly.

The vise is also made with some of the finest materials. It also offers incredible jaw capacity that will ensure that you can tighten the fly without worrying about how much the vise can handle.

What We Like

  • The vise has a jaw capacity of 28 to 4/0 which makes it extremely versatile.
  • This is a 360-degree rotating vise that also comes with a bobbin cradle and a C-clamp.
  • This is a product made in the United States and comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you do not have to worry about waiting a long time for service or delivery.
  • This vise offers several benefits and features, especially to someone who is new to the fly tying game.
  • While the jaw does not have separate grooves for hooks of different sizes, it does a great job of holding the hooks, no matter the size.

What We Don’t Like

  • The vise does not come with a pedestal base and it needs to be fastened to a table.

Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise

The Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise is another great example of a full rotary vise. It has a durable and strong stainless steel construction. It also has a knurled end knob which is able to adjust the tying friction very well. The apparatus is also rust-proof, which is an especially important feature to have for a saltwater fly tying vise.

The final finish of the vise includes a Teflon brushing, which is able to give it a smooth feel. The apparatus is made entirely in the United States. It has an incredible hook range of 7/0 to 32.

What We Like 

  • This is a full rotary vise that provides incredible mobility. 
  • It has 0-1 steel jaws as well as a hook range of 7/0 to 32 hook range. Both these features ensure the vise provides a great grip and stability while tying. 
  • The vise also has Delrin sleeve bearings that add another layer of durability and strength.
  • It has a separate tying friction, as well as a spindle lock that makes the operation a lot simpler. 
  • For more convenient wrapping, there is an extended finger pin that has a ball end. One can locate the finger pin on any of the pre-drilled positions. 

What We Don’t Like

  • Many of the parts that look like metal are actually plastic.

Colorado Anglers Super AA Vise 

The Colorado Anglers Super AA fly tying vise is an incredible all-purpose vise. It offers a complete 360-degree rotation for better mobility and access to different angles while tying the fly.

The apparatus is extremely easy to operate and it can be used by beginners as well as those who have intermediate to advanced knowledge of fly tying.

It boasts of stainless steel, tapered jaws that one can adjust to get the right fit for the hooks. It comes with a cast-iron clamp that can be fastened to any table. 

What We Like

  • This is an all-purpose vise that can be used along with ties of various sizes. It can also accommodate hooks of various types.
  • There is a heavy-duty cast iron clamp that will provide incredible stability.
  • The full 360-degree rotating head will allow you to work from various angles without having to get into awkward positions to tie the fly.
  • The stainless steel tapered jaws will give you a great grip no matter how big or small the hooks you are using are.
  • There is a conveniently placed spring that allows you to line your material based on the order in which you will need to use them.

What We Don’t Like

  • The arm can be a little difficult to adjust and use.
  • It does not come with a clamp base.

How to Choose a Saltwater Fly Tying Vise

Choosing a saltwater fly tying vise can be challenging at times as you need to find an apparatus that will be able to withstand the specific conditions that saltwater presents.

The following are some of the factors that you may want to be cognizant of while choosing a saltwater fly tying vise.

Stability

The stability of the vise is of the utmost importance. Fly tying is a delicate activity and even the slightest disturbance or movement in the wrong direction can mean that you have to start all over again.

It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that the vise has a stable base.

Ideally, it should come with a pedestal base that allows you to place the vise stably on any flat surface. A stainless steel pedestal base is the best choice.

If a base is taking up too much space, you can also consider a cast-iron clamp that can be fastened to any tabletop. The ideal is to make the vise as stable as possible so it does not shake while you are working on tying the fly.

Jaws

The jaws of the fly tying vise also make a big difference as the quality of the jaws is what will determine what kind of hooks the vise can hold. If the jaws are tapered, then that is even better as that will allow the vise to hold hooks of various sizes.

Again, stainless steel is the best option for the jaws. The material lends the jaws durability and strength and also allows the jaws to be adjusted so that hooks of various sizes can be fit into them.

Durability

When it comes to any product, durability is certainly one of the first factors you must consider. However, this is especially important for a fly tying vise—a saltwater fly tying vise no less!

The vise should ideally be built with durable materials that will not rust in the face of prolonged exposure to saltwater. It would also be beneficial if the surfaces of the vise are powder coated or have a Teflon coating.

This will not only give the vise a smooth finish, but you will be able to enjoy a more durable and strong product.

Besides, a fly tying vise should be a one-time expense. You do not want to keep buying new ones every fishing season. A single saltwater fly tying vise should easily last you a few years without requiring too much care or maintenance. 

Adjustability

It goes without saying that the saltwater fly tying vise needs to be adjustable in every meaning of the word. Whether it is the jaws that need to be adjustable, or the head that should be able to rotate 360 degrees. You should not be stuck with using threads or hooks of a single size only because the vise cannot adjust to a range of sizes.

A rotating head will also provide you with different working angles while you are tying the fly. Fly tying needs a lot of precision so if you can get to the work object without having to get into awkward positions or messing the setup, that is a great feature to invest in.

Features like extended finger pins and a separate tying friction are an added bonus, although you can also do without them.

Ease of Use

Most importantly, a saltwater fly tying vise should be easy to use. If you spend hours simply figuring out the apparatus, you will end up losing crucial time that could be spent fly fishing.

Of course, any mechanical device is likely to have a learning curve. But at the same time, it should not be so complicated that beginners and people at an intermediate level are not able to use it with ease.

A saltwater fly tying vise should be versatile enough that it can be used by fly fishers across the board, regardless of their skill set.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the frequently asked questions one may have about saltwater fly tying vises or about fly tying in general:

Q. Is It Hard to Tie Flies?

At first, it can be a challenging task as one does need to have patience and dexterity to be able to master fly tying. There are several tools that one can take the aid of in order to become better at fly tying.

In the end, it is only practice that will make one perfect. You can begin with a preliminary fly tying tool such as a simple bobbin or vise. Gradually, as you become more confident in your techniques, you can add more tools to your kit.

In short, it is not necessarily difficult to tie flies, but you certainly need to put in the time and the effort to become better at it.

Q. What Is Dubbing in Fly Tying?

Dubbing, or ‘dubbin’ as it is often referred to, is the name given to any kind of fuzzy material (whether synthetic or natural), that is used to twist around a thread. This material is used to spin a fly body. 

Q. What Is the Spring for on a Fly Tying Vise?

While you are tying flies, the spring will allow you to hold all the material you will need. This is typically a coil spring made of stainless steel that one can wrap around the barrel of the vise.

While you are tying the flies, you can simply start pressing all the materials you will require onto the coil.

The spring will hold all the materials together so you do not have to step away from the vise to gather all your materials. Everything will be conveniently together in one place. 

Q. Is It Expensive to Tie Your Own Flies?

Fly fishing is certainly not the cheapest hobby but it does not require too much maintenance other than putting in the hours required to practice and perfect the art of fly fishing.

If you are clear about where to spend the money, then this need not be a very expensive hobby. The initial equipment you spend on is a one-time investment, provided you buy a quality product.

So, things like a fly tying vise and other materials are what you cannot skimp out on. When you have purchased good quality materials, there should not be too many other expenses after.

Wrapping Up

A saltwater fly tying vise can be a difficult object to get right when you are out in the market for fly fishing tools. Saltwater is not known to present the easiest type of conditions for tools of any kind.

There is always the fear that metal will corrode when it interacts with saltwater. Therefore, it is important for a saltwater vise to be made of materials that will be durable in such situations, in the event that you use it onboard.

The saltwater fly tying vises that have been reviewed above are some of the best in the market. They offer stability, strength as well as durability.

Most of these are also useful not only for beginners but even those who are at the intermediate or advanced skill level. Of these options, you are sure to find one that works best for you!

Happy Hunting!

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