What’s a Rotary Vise?

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A rotary vise is a type of fly tying vise that has jaws that rotate with an extension on a horizontal axis of rotation. It allows for easier inspection and rotation of the fly, making it easier to tie materials. However, it requires consideration when adding extra material to the fly.

A rotary vise is a type of fly tying vise, which is a tool used in fly fishing. Fly tying vices have jaws that hold the hook tightly as the fly tying piece wraps around the thread or other material needed to create a fly. The jaws of a rotary vise rotate with an extension that has a horizontal axis of rotation, unlike conventional vise where the jaws rotate about their center line. The hook must be able to turn fully more than once in the same direction without stopping, but must also be able to turn both clockwise and counterclockwise.

Many fly anglers who have tried a rotating vise find it has several advantages over a non-rotating vise. An advantage is that the fly can be rotated in any way, allowing it to be inspected from all sides. Such effortless fly spinning makes it easier to tie almost any fly material. It is usually easier to tighten or loosen the hook holding mechanism as the jaws also rotate. The vise also has a rotation lock that completely locks out the extension, allowing it to function as a non-rotating vise.

When it comes to adding extra material, rotation is a big plus. A rotary vise works well for dubbing, which is simply applying the fur to the thread and creating a fly body from the wound threads. The dub is wrapped around the shank of the hook by turning counterclockwise.

The rotation of the vise is a great help when adding material that doesn’t easily stand straight. This method can be used to add material with or without a coil cradle, which allows the coil to rest between tying operations. Adding ribs also works faster with a rotary vise. If the ribs start to become uneven or snagged, a simple twist in the opposite direction can quickly correct the problem.

While the ability to rotate the vise has some advantages, there are a few things you need to consider to get the most out of a rotating vise. Each time you turn the vise, the wire and material wrap around or come off the hook, depending on which direction it is turned. This means that you will need to add more turns of wire before spinning or remove them after spinning. Otherwise, the tied thread will loosen or extra thread will be added. This problem can almost always be avoided by adding a cradle to the vise, which will keep the line away from the fly.

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