Fishing Fly tying

Fly tying: Why use a rotary vise?

I’ve been tying (well, some would call it that, anyway) for a good 20 years, and while I tie generally for necessity and a bit of the pleasure that keeps me connected to fly fishing on days like today, when it’s all of 9 degrees outside, I’m not terribly accomplished at the vise.

But I have learned a few tricks over the years that not only make tying easier, but make my flies better. Whip-finishing a fly by hand was a big thing for me a decade or so ago. So was finally investing in a rotary vise that allows me to flip my fly over and easily inspect its undercarriage.

But rotary vises have come a long way in just the last decade or so. They are now almost considered a “must-have” among really inventive tiers, simply because, as Tim Flagler demonstrates in the video above, they can shorten the time it takes to accomplish some of the more mundane tying tasks, like ribbing a fly, for instance, or applying UV resin without the dreaded “sag.”

My rotary vise isn’t as slick as the one Tim uses above, but it does help me tie better flies. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.