Wasatch J ViseAverage Rating: 9
Retail Price: 449.95
The vise is a design by South African tier Jay Smit. He and Wasatch have been collaborating for several months to develop the complete system. The vise is solidly built; in fact it is over engineered to last a lifetime. There is a tube fly attachment under development, and a micro jaw is available now. Jaw change over takes less than 15 seconds. The vise comes with a centering gauge for rotary tying. It is available with black, red, or blue accents.
The base is maple, with several unique features. It weighs a respectable 5 lbs. when fully loaded and it also has a clamp feature for those who do aggressive rotary tying. The bobbin rest is built into the base and it goes in and out of position better and faster than any I've seen. Also, since it isn't mounted on the vise stem when it is in the down position, it is completely out of the way of the tier.
There is storage for thirteen tools built into the back of the base and I recommend that the tier drill a 1/16" hole in a convenient location for the bodkin. Two brass hook/bead cups are built in and there is a large well routed into the wood to capture small bits of material. The laser art is by Jason Borger and features his well-known Danica mayfly.
Reader Submitted ReviewsSubmitted by EZ
ALTHOUGH NEW TO TYING ON A STD VISE,FOUND THIS ROTARY VISE A **OH, WOW**
EASY TO USE AND ADJUSTMENTS ABOUND.
SOLID,STURDY,BUILT WITH QUALITY STANDARDS.
GREAT INVESTMENT FOR MY FLY TYING LIFE.BOBBIN REST EASY TO ADJUST/USE/STORE.
I DON'T POLISH BRASS.
Submitted by TKupa
I have over thirty vises in my collection including some of the highest end vises in the market and the Wasatch J Vise is clearly in my top 1%.
Here's what I look for in an exceptional vise:
1. Quality of materials and engineering ( I live in a highly corrosive environment and the metal used is important. This vise gets a 10
2. Hook holding ability and ease of use in setting jaw width and clamping hooks without marring .This vise is one of the best if not the best...10!
3.Unencumbered access to the fly with both hands. Another 10.
4. True rotary function."J" arm is a simple and very clever way to make alignment very easy. 10 for simplicity and cleverness.
5.Can it handle a wide range of hook sizes? Most vises claim they can handle a wide range but few can really ccomplish the task. There are always tradeoffs in design if you want to make a vise that does it all. Wasatch clearly saw the problem with one set of jaws holding 28-4/0 hooks. They elected for two sets of easily changable jaws that perform well for their given size range. 10 points for having the guts to admit you can't do it all with one.
6. Although I am a vise-aholic and have invested way too much in this habit, I do think it's important to recognize the best value. 10 points for best value.
None noted. Some may find that the micro jaws hard to open but the cleaverly designed mechanism holds small hooks better than anything I've seen.
Submitted by tsNGDEfrN