How to Make a Fly-Tying Vise

How to Make a Fly-Tying Vise
A fly-tying vise is used to clamp and hold a fishing hook so you can dress it with a variety of materials. The basic components of a fly-tying vise, whether a commercial one or one made by hand, are a base that is solid, a stand that holds that jaws or clamp to the base and a set of jaws that will adjust and hold a hook firmly.


Difficulty: Challenging

The Cheapest, Easiest Vise

Things You’ll Need:
  • X-Acto knife
  • Vise grip pliers
  • Shop vise
  • 3/8-inch rod coupling
  • 3/8-16 die
  • 3/8 all thread rod
  • 3/8 coarse nuts
  • Washers
  • Silver solder or brazing rod
  • Flux
  • Torch
  • Steel or copper-bottomed pan
Step 1
Clamp a pair of vise-grip pliers around the handle end of an X-Acto knife.
Step 2
Now clamp the handles of the vise-grip pliers in a shop vise.
Step 3
Loosen the knurled nut on the blade end of the knife and push it toward the handle.
Step 4
Work the bend of a fishing hook into the blade gap of the knife.
Step 5
Turn the hook and X-Acto clamp into the knurled nut and then tighten the knurled nut to hold the fish hook firmly. Before the hook becomes tight in the vise, orient the hook in the direction you want for tying.

A Vise with a Movable Base

Step 1
Before purchasing your X-Acto knife, measure the handle diameter to make sure you can thread it with a 3/8-16 die.
Step 2
Thread the aluminum handle of the knife.
Step 3
Install the rod nut half the length of the nut on the knife handle.
Step 4
Screw the all-thread rod into the rod nut. Screw a 3/8-16 nut on the all-thread rod above and below the rod coupling to lock it in place.
Step 5
Silver solder or braze the other end of the rod to a large steel or copper-bottomed pan.

Another Alternative

Step 1
You can also buy an old small pair of vise-grip pliers at a pawn shop.
Step 2
Braze or silver solder a piece of all-thread rod to the handle of the vise-grip pliers so the rod is vertical when the pliers are horizontal or at an angle to the horizontal plane.
Step 3
Braze or silver solder the opposite end of the rod to a weighted base such as a frying pan, a steel or copper cooking pan or a heavy steel plate.

Tips & Warnings

If you want the X-Acto knife to be oriented at an angle rather than vertical, simply bend the all-thread rod to the angle you want. You may want to weight the pan so it doesn't move around as you work.
Verify that your base is a metal such as stainless, mild steel, cast iron or copper. Do not attempt to use aluminum or an aluminum alloy. It will melt.
Exercise care in inserting the fish hook into the vise so that the point doesn't cause injury.

Article Written By Jerry Watson

Jerry Watson began writing professionally in 2003 and currently writes for Technorati and various other websites. His work has appeared on The Building Network, eHealth Forum and other online sources. Watson's first novel, "The Antiquarian Chronicles," is available through bookstores online and nationwide. He graduated from the Long Ridge Writer's Breaking into Print course.

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