Having tied saltwater fishing flies for 25 years on a cheap Indian fly vice, last month I figured it was time to upgrade!
After a bit of research on the web, I discovered some reviews of the Dyna-King Trekker vice. Dyna-king have a strong reputation for high quality engineered products, and after weighing up the pros and cons of alternatives, decided to dive in and order one from Untamed Fly Fishing. A week later the new vice arrived – and I have to say I’m very happy with this product.
The Trekker is the small brother of Dyna-king’s range of rotary vices and is designed for the travelling fly-fisher. However, I’ve found it to be just about ideal for my home-based fly-tying. It’s relatively light-weight (just over 300gms) and compact and can be brought out and packed away quickly so as not take up space on my home office desk (an important consideration as I’m currently writing two books and teaching and my home-office is a mess at the best of times!).
It can hold hooks from 9/0 down to #22 (so pretty well anything I would tie for saltwater and freshwater applications) and holds hooks tight enough that the hook will bend before coming out! The rotary nature of the vice is new for me, but I’m beginning to wonder how I tied flies without this!
I opted for the C-clamp option rather than the pedestal base, as this suits my current work desk where I do all my fly-tying. The C-clamp comes with a clever additional piece of machined aluminium called the ‘outrigger’ which provides rock-solid stabilisation once the vise is clamped to the desk. There is also a lightweight bobbin hanger which is handy for some tying operations, and I opted for a trim bag which fits neatly on the vice and catches all those trimmed bits of feathers, wool and synthetics.
To celebrate the new purchase, I decided to tie up one of my woolhead mackeral flies on a 4/0 Gamakatsu SL12s Big Game hook. I developed this fly some 18 years ago, when targetting yellowfin and albacore tuna out at Brown’s Mountain. After much trial and error I found these flies fished through a cube trail were pretty deadly on finicky tuna. Anyway, you can see the result in the accompanying photo – its a pretty neat fly and ended up undoing one of Pittwater’s finicky kingfish the other day.
So overall, I’m very happy with the Dyna-King Trekker and can see many long hours being spent turning out fishing flies long into the future. If you’re in the market for a new fly-vice, this is one you should definitely look at!