I’m rather fond of vintage fly tying vises …I guess that’s why I have so many of them. When I first started collecting them I figured I would buy just a few and be done with it …after all, how many different types could there be? Well, as it turns out there are a lot of them and what follows is just a sample. The smallest of my vises is just 4″ tall, while the largest is 12″.  Some are rather ordinary while others are quite ornate. The most commonly seen construction is with jaws of steel and a clamp made of brass …but there are variations. The vast majority of early fly tying vises are English.

~ Click On Pictures To Enlarge ~

Tiny 4.75″ Vise Of Brass And Steel. I’ve Never Seen Another Like It.
This Vise Is Pictured In The 1909 Hardy Brothers Catalog And Can Be Worn On The Thumb Or Screwed Into A Suitable Surface For Use. It Measures Just 4″ From End To End. See Advertisement Below.
A Very Rare Vise
6.5″ Vise With A Rotating Gut Hook.
Allcock’s “Powell” Vise. Model No. 6324. A Most Impressive And Rather Massive Vise. This Circa 1915 Vise Measures 8″ Tall And The Head Both Rotates And Pivots, Which Is Highly Unusual For A Vise From This Era.

A 4.25″ Victorian Era Hand Vise. Note The Two-Piece, Hinged Jaws And The Nickle Plating. The Handle Is Solid, Whereas They Are Almost Always Hollow.

A Commercial Fly Tyers Table Vise

The Vise With Fixed Gut Hook Is 5.5″ Tall And The Tiny Vise On The Right Measures Just 4.5″ in Length. The Vise On The Left Is Most Unusual In That The Jaw Closure Is a Single Piece, Rather Than A Post And Wing Nut.
A Variation Of Allcock’s “Sliding Pillar Vise”, This Model No. 5776 Features Replaceable Jaws And Is 9″ Long. Note The Single Screw In The Jaws, Rather Than A Post And Wing-Nut, As Is Most Often Seen.
9″ Vise With Replaceable Jaws By Unknown Maker. A Very Regal Looking Tool.

Vises With Replaceable Jaws

This 12″ Holtzappffell Made Vise Was Sold By Farlow As The “Hawksley”. Circa 1913.

This Magnificent Vise, Marked “Paul Young, Detroit”, Measures 9.5″ Tall From The Jaws To The Bottom Of The C-Clamp. According To Bob Summers, Who Worked In The Young Rod Shop, This Vise Is Circa 1935 And The Highest Grade Offered.

The Paul Young Vise, Folded And Ready For Travel. Ingenious.

5.5″ Vise With Scarce Nickel-Plated Finish Throughout. Circa Turn-Of-The-Century …Not The Last Century …The One Before That.
This Vise Is By The Same Maker As The One Above. Refer To Comparison Below.
Both Vises Share The “Star” Marking, But They Differ In Size And Finish. The Vise On The Right Is .75″ Taller And The Jaws Are .25″ Wider.
11.5″ Vise With Large German Silver Clamp

A Hand Vise Mounted In A Machinist’s Clamp. Very Clever.

This Absolutely Tiny Vise Is Just 3.75″ Tall And Is Marked “J. Buck”. This Is The Smallest Vise With A Clamp I Have Seen.


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