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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Peak Vise Review

Durability is its middle name


I have tied on many different vises through the years - some for the long term, and others just long enough to get a whip finish on my first fly.  I started tying on a rotary vise about 10 years ago and I'm truly addicted to the rotary feature.  Even though I don't wrap all of my materials on the fly rotary style, I struggle to tie a fly without being able to rotate the vise to see what is happening on the other side of the action.  When the peak vise came out, it intrigued me, and it looked like it had all the right moving parts to be a major player in the vise market.  

The very first thing that I recognized with the Peak vise, and their other products (see review for the Peak Hair Stackers HERE), is that they are made from the highest quality materials.  The vise is essentially all metal, and has a very simple, durable, and functional design.  I got the rotary vise with the regular jaw, the saltwater jaw, and the midge jaw.  I really place a lot of value in being able to tie on a wide range of hooks with minimum adjustment.  Even though I had to change jaws to go from a #32 to a 4/0, the change is very simple and easy to do.  The midge jaw was probably my favorite, and I tied flies from #32 (yes...  fish eat them) to about a #8 comfortably.  The standard jaw was the most versatile, and I was actually able to seat a #32 in the jaw, but the midge jaw was more functional for the micro stuff.  The regular jaw can almost handle anything, and I tied from #20 to 4/0 with no problems - just place the bigger hooks a bit further back in the jaw.  The saltwater jaw would find a place on my desk if I were tying from 1/0 and up, and tying deer hair, wool, etc.  

My favorite part of the vise was definitely the pedestal base.  The c-clamp is great, and is probably the most robust clamp you will use, but the pedestal is very well thought out.  Not only can you position the vise in different spots on the pedestal, it is heavy, and huge.  Those two H's are absolutely must haves for a pedestal bases.  When rotary tying, the vise might have the tendency to tip if the base isn't big enough.  It also has a cut-out that allows you to put hooks, beads, etc in a spot where they won't scatter.  With this stability, I can rest my fat fingers on the vise and grab onto it without fear that it will tip over.  Comfort is KEY!

There were a couple things that, in my opinion, could be a bit better.  It seemed like I needed to put a lot more pressure on the jaw when securing the hook than some cam operated jaws.  I know that vise will hold a hook with less pressure, but with less pressure the hook would slightly slide up and down.  The only other thing was that the vise didn't come with a material clip (which can be purchased separately).

My overall assessment is that this vise is probably the best vise that 1 1/2 hundred dollar bills will get you.  If I were stranded on an island with this vise, a box full of hooks, and some materials, I'd be a happy camper because I'd know that it would last until the love boat came to rescue me.  Oh yeah...  last but definitely not least, it's made in the good ol' USA!

Since I have written this review, my 10 year old daughter has commandeered this vise and will not let me tie on it anymore.  The fact that she knows that she can just throw a hook into it and not have to mess with it is a big deal.  Also, I know that she won't break it even if she gives it the typical 10 year old kid treatment!

~ Cheech

ate
4/23/13
FlyFishFood  Review
Product
Rotary VIse
Manufacturer
Peak
Reviewer
Cheech

Score
Comments
Quality
8
Made out of very durable pieces that will last a lifetime.  The standard jaw will hold most hooks.
Price
9
Best vise for ~ $150
Practicality
8
This vise is great for the price, and is comfortable to tie on.  Made in the USA!  My only concern is that you need 3 jaws to have positive lockout for any hook.

4 comments:

  1. Great review! This was the first vise I purchased 4 years ago, and I have been in love with it ever since. I was amazed at the versatility and hook range of the standard jaws. Don't think I'll own another vise.

    I have the c-clamp, but I do want the pedestal base so I can tie anywhere.

    USA!

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  2. Really love my peak vise. Been using it for around 3 years. It's been nice and very versatile.

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    Replies
    1. Yep. Very versatile, and I'd probably tie more on it if my daughter hadn't commandeered it from me.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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