Fly fishing is about as far away from the 'standard' coarse fishing, I am used to, as chalk is to cheese. What's more it has a language of its own too. What with tippets and leaders on the line and don't ask about the fly tying, it is all a foreign tongue to me! I can't see me doing any fly fishing for a while. Apart from the fact that I don't even have a rod yet, we are in the process of packing up our house ready for a move out of London, after living here all my life and the best part of forty years in this house.
That said, it will give me some time to study the art and to have a go at a spot of fly tying. It is the entomology that interests me, matching fly to the time of year and to the species is fascinating to me. Once I have worked out what insects are about and what the fish will eat, the job of making a fly replica and then convincing the fish to feed on it is what it is all about to me.
|Renzetti Master Vice, several hundred pounds of pure class|
Looking to the other end of the scale, there are the cheap so called 'beginner's' vices. These can be as low as a few pounds for a fixed vice and not much more for a rotary model.Most of these appear to be cheap copies of the classic style. Mostly of eastern origins, poorly made and really not fit for purpose. I am sure they will have put more people off than they have inspired. With my eyes wide open, it occurred to me that with a bit of thought and application, I might be able to modify and improve one of these cheap vices into something that is at least serviceable. I will invest in a decent vice in the future but for now I plan to make do with something a bit cheaper. A hunt through the on-line auction listings found a likely candidate, a "Fully Rotatable fly tying vice with bobbin cradle" priced at £19.99 including postage. This I had to see. A few mouse clicks and the deed was done, one vice bought, paid for on its way to be inspected.
|It all looks a bit cheap and nasty in its tatty box|
The finish is crude and the plating on the rotary knob is has blackened. The jaws are rough and set far too hight to rotate the shank of the hook in line and coaxially with the head, making it pointless even if the rotating mechanism was journalled well enough to perform so.
|Even after assembly it looks cheap and nasty. The best bit is the bobbin cradle that does not look too bad. As you can see the jaws are mounted far to high to allow the shaft of the hook to rotate in line and coaxlually with the head|
|The jaws have a very thin coating of black paint that is already scratched and worn|
The bearings need looking at and replacing, a roughly cut off lump of plastic tube wit a bore that is not even central is not helping. The coarse thread used to join the brass bearing housing to the vertical support will not lock tight and will need some 'assistance' to prevent it from coming lose. The pin on the rotating wheel suffers from the same problem.
Other minor irritations include a clamp that will not grip a smooth surface and thumb wheels that are just uncomfortable to use and almost impossible to tighten enough to grip the vertical support.
I am sure I will be able to rectify most of these faults. I will not be able to turn it into a Renzetti, but I should be able to make it usable while I save the pennies for a better made vice. I will let you know how I get on...