When people start tying flies, one of the first questions asked is what type of fly tying vice should I get? I had written a fairly detailed article about this subject, but it got erased accidently. I will try to rewrite it later in more detail, but here are a few of the facts.
We purchased eight fly tying vices for our Rocky River fly tying group in 2010 because I owned one and had found it very satisfactory. It was inexpensive by vice standards and I suspect a copy of the Renzetii. I decided about 2015 that I should get a new fly tying vice because mine was not pretty or slick with fancy features. I was prepared to spend $500.00 assuming I could find what I was looking for.
The first thing I did was go to the fly fish Ohio and review all of their recommendations. That was a good exercise, and if you are looking, you should read their article here.
The vice I chose was the EZ Zephr Rotary Vice ($45.00 to $60.00)
The comments below are from the first reviewer on the Zephr EZ Rotating Vice. It was $45.00 when I bought mine, but since then we have purchased 2 more for our fly tying class and they were about $60.00. A real plus on the vice now is that the jaws have a lever for tightening the hook in the jaws. The older model uses a set screw that requires the use of a Allen wrench. There were several reviewers for each vice and this was the first one for the Zephr EZ Rotary. Do not confuse this vice with the Orvis EZ vice
Jim's Comments - .While this vise isn't a Hook and Hackle branded tool, it's one of the only places outside of EBay that we could acquire one. The EZ Rotary comes in as the least expensive 'true' rotary tying vise on the planet. The box is nice and it was packed in a fitted foam insert. The C-clamp worked great and held the tool very well. My main vise is a Renzetti Traveler with the knob adjustable jaws. The EZ was clearly designed with the Traveler as a guide. While I'm not a big fan of all the wacky adjustments the EZ has, the fact remains, it's infinitely adjustable. It probably has more machined aluminum than the Traveler and comes across as a stouter tool. That said, the EZ jaws weren't even close to the quality of the Traveler. I'm no fan of Renzetti's use of 'O' rings to tension the back of the jaw with a compression spring at the front to keep them open but the EZ has no spring at the jaw front so they have a tendency to flop around when open. This wasn't the end of the world but the EZ has slippage when holding really big hooks. I did like the fact that the EZ has a thumb screw holding the jaw in place as opposed to a slotted screw, on my Renzetti. The only real tool you'll need to adjust this vise is a 2mm hex wrench for loosening the rotating parts of the vise barrel. This is one of the best vises coming out of the Pakistani/Indian vise market and, for the price, you also get true rotary functionality.
Jim's Rating - 3.20
The entire article at Fly Fish Ohio is very interesting reading because it will give you details about lots of vices. After studying about which vice I wanted to upgrade to I decided that I would save the money and did not need to upgrade as there was nothing better unless I wanted to get into tying flies other than trout flies. Salt water flies, steel head flies and others require larger hooks and consequently might need a larger vice.
Jack This article is updated July 13th, 2018.