I've been tying flies for almost 2 years now and have been using a rotary style vice bought off eBay for about £15. To be honest it has served me well and has helped produce many flies in that time, but there are one or two things that annoyed me with the design and the ergonomics of it.
Fly tying is a hobby that is destined to be a part of my life for the foreseeable future so I'd planned to use my visit to this years BFFI to have a close look at a couple of the vices I'd chosen to be potential candidates for replacing the old model.
To be honest I was impressed with what I saw and found it hard to walk away without a purchase but I think that looking at the vices gave me the realisation that for someone that has spent his whole working life involved in engineering then I should really try and come up with my own creation.
Its a thought I had considered before but the awareness of the amount of time that such a project would take had led me to the route of considering a purchase rather than making my own.
Anyway...after plenty of thought and scribbled sketches and a few weeks of working 'after hours' on the vice I came up with a prototype which was later tweaked to produce the finished product. I have given it some quite extensive testing over the last week and I am finding it a joy to use.
Regardless of how happy I am with the vice I have to report that the quality of my flies has unfortunately remained at the same standard, but I'm sure to enjoy the practising that little bit more.
A few of the recent flies tied on the new vice