Monday 22 March 2010

The Jvice

With so many glowing detailed reviews out there regarding the Jvice I thought I’d talk about why its such a fantastic vice for me for tying big flies on. I first came across the Jvice while over in Cuba and learned that it was manufactured by a chap called Jay Smit in Kloof, 30 km north of where I grew up in Durban South Africa. I’ve tied on several vices over the years….not all my own I might add, and all seemed a little rickety. I use strong thread on my surf and pike flies as I like to secure my materials rather tightly and often found these vices to sometimes topple or move around when pulling down. The great thing about the Jvice is regardless of whether you have it in the table top mode or laptop mode the Jvice feels solid & sturdy. The weight of the oak wood tying station which also doubles as a pedestal base combined with the silicone feet, give it stability I haven’t felt with other vices. Although I haven’t used the laptop mode yet, I still like that I have that option available to me if out on a boat or by a river.

I don’t know about you but I’m the worlds worst when it comes to keeping order in my man cave, Lena often says that it falls nothing short of an Amsterdam whore house so to have 10 x 8 mm holes drilled in the backing board for me to slip an assortment of tools + bobbins down is a god sent, not only that but the 7 larger holes are used for keeping head cements, super glues and smaller containers with dumbbell eyes or hooks close at hand. Small details like this which other vices don’t offer, have drastically improved the way I keep order around me. What truly has improved relations with myself & the missus around the office has been the handy waste basket that slides on and off the main body shaft whenever its full. “A marriage saver basket” is probably a better name to describe it. Yes there are similar products on the market but not many come with the vice when you order one. (A tidy work station, is a safe work station, & a safe work station is a happy work station….I say!)

Anyway, I ordered the Jvice Gooseneck kit (See website) with additional saltwater streamer attachment for keeping my long tails from flapping around when I’m bug-bonding my heads. This is a must have feature for those that tie long flies and I can’t praise this piece of kit enough. It’s easily attached by way of an allen key screw when needed.

The top spring clip can be swiveled out of the way, reducing clip pressure, to allow the materials to be easily pulled into the clip during tying. Once the tail has been spread to the desired shape the top clip is swiveled into place securely holding the fibers while epoxy is applied. What’s also fantastic about the streamer attachment is that it rotates with the fly as you apply your UV Resins or epoxies making epoxy control and application extremely easy.

Another great feature to the Jvice is the tube fly attachment which needs to be ordered extra if you are looking at up grading your existing vice. I tie as many pike & saltwater flies on to tubes as I do onto hooks and changing from jaws to tube attachment is made with 3 easy steps.

1st take allan key (Supplied) and extract the grub screw from the front of the vice

Then slide out the jaws elbow

The tube fly attachment then screws easily onto the front of the GooseNeck vice. It has a collet clamping mechanism to lock the pin and the tube which is then locked in place by turning the front cone. Once the rotary crank has been locked the attachment doesn’t move at all. Needles are interchangeable and are available with 1.7 mm pin for Salt Water and 1 mm for freshwater fly's. I’ve spoken with Jay to see whether he could widen the 1,7 mm needles end cap, as larger tubes seem to slipping when I butt them up against the front cone. Its nothing major but if you do tie with larger tubes ask for this feature when ordering

Lastly I’ll talk about the jaws with this vice. One can either have the Standard Jaws, Pro jaws or the midge jaws. I settled for the pro jaws purely because of the larger hooks I tie onto. What makes these jaws stand out from many other vices jaws are the little recesses that have been cut into the jaws themselves, so once you have the hook between the jaws in its specific recess and you have tightened up the 3 stage jaw cam your hook stays put. Since receiving this vice just before Xmas I’ve tied a good couple thousand flies and not one hook has slipped in the jaws. Jay you’re a genius mate.

This vice does have a number of other fantastic features & attachments for all you trout bums tying smaller flies so don’t be mistaken into thinking this is just a big fly vice…its not. Sure there are loads of great vices on the market and everyone has their own preferences about a specific brand or model, but I can honestly say that this truly is one of the best vices I have ever used within the price bracket range it comes in. Not only that but it can be transported around in a handy carry case & has a lifetime guarantee. Well that’s until Jay snuff’s it ! I haven’t even talked about how smooth this vise rotates and locks, purely because its what you’d expect form a truly well thought out piece of engineering. If you are in the market for a new vice then get hold of Jay and he’ll answer any questions you have. It’ll be the best investment with regards to your fly-fishing you’ll ever make.

I would just like to state that I have not been paid in any way or form to write this short review or am in no way sponsored by Jvice. Its just a fantastic vice that’s all.Follow any of the Jvice links to visit the website


Ulf Hagström said...

I've seen it live, seen some of what it can do and from what I have seen it looks to be a top notch vise! I just might invest in one myself in the future!


Dave Oates said...

getting Santa organised as we speak!

Dustin's Fly Box said...

Awesome review!! I plan on getting this vise in the near future