Reader Reviews: Nor-Vise

Fly Tying, Fly tying Vises, Product Reviews — By on July 19, 2011 2:46 pm
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Rating: 9.8/10 (44 votes cast)

Manufacturer Description
Precision ball bearing and heavy brass hubs enable the Nor-Vise to also work like a spinning wheel for dubbing like you have never seen before. Perfectly shaped and textured bodies, with all dubbing materials, can be created, without wax, better, faster and much easier than by any other method.

The Nor-Vise concept is to position the hook shank on the centerline of rotation and then turn the hook rather than wrap hand over hand around the hook. A thread post, aligned with the center of rotation, permits material to be “turned” or “spun” onto the hook without the tying thread being wrapped on at the same time.

The Nor-Vise system will accommodate a variety of jaw designs that can be quickly and easily mounted onto the vise arbor. Although all four of the different jaw designs will handle nearly any fly-tying situation, from very tiny and delicate trout flies to large saltwater patterns, these different designs each excel in certain applications.

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Rating: +12 (from 16 votes)
Reader Reviews: Nor-Vise, 6.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

48 Comments

  1. Keith says:

    The BEST rotary vise for tying I have ever owned. Extremely versatile and worth every penny.

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    Rating: +4 (from 10 votes)
  2. Bruce Potter says:
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    The best vise I have ever used. It speeds my tying and the quality of my flies. Norm is always available for advise.

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    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
  3. Clarence Lehr says:
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    I purchased the Nor-Vise two years ago. This vise is very adaptable and well worth the purchase price. This is more than I can say about all those other vises that preceeded the Nor-Vise which I now conside a waste of money.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  4. Troutbum says:
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    I tied with this vice for years; it cannot be beat for dubbing, and Norm is great! The ONLY reason it is not full stars across the boards is because I now live/tie in Colorado and found the jaws lacking for the very smallest tailwater flies I tie; be advised we’re talking 24-28 range; if you dont tie anyting smaller than a 20, maybe a 22 depeding on the shank/gap, this will be your fave vice, and last forever. One of the true great “made in America” products left.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  5. carl reisig says:
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    I have used this vice for years—
    No other vice (I have five) begins
    to get close to it.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  6. Malcolm Francis says:
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    In the past I have used a number of different vises but the Nor vise is out on its own in terms of quality, flexibility and functions. Take my word for it you will not find a better vise any where, you will find you can complete a fly in half the time and have a finish any professional tyer would look on in envy. The Nor vise is excellent for creating great dubbing brushes as well, so stop thinking about it, contact Norm at Nor Vise and enjoy the ride.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  7. Bill Lutz says:

    If I could afford a NOR-VICE I’m sure my comments and rating would be very similar. For now I’ll have to stay with my old HMH.

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  8. Runan Neethling says:
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    I have owned a few different vises of the years, including a number of other “high-end” vises. What sets the Nor-vise apart is that it is a “spinning” vise, not only rotary. It has revolutionised my tying, not only in terms of speed but also in finished quality. No going back for me.

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    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  9. joyce says:
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    I have used my Norvise since he first patented them..and it is still going strong. No problems, and no other vise spins and lets you dub in such a wonderful, spinning fashion. I love this vise and would not go back to the others I had before it. It is worth every penny. And the automatic bobbin is a must, even if you don’t tie with Norm’s vise. Norm has wonderful tutorials online and is helpful if you ever have a problem.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  10. TyroneFly says:
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    I love this vise. The rotary feature has a learning curve, but well worth the time to learn. The ability to swap out components makes this an extremely versatile tool.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  11. KEVIN says:
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    I was recently given a Nor Vise to use and found it took some getting used to.

    My only bug bear with tying on the Nor Vise relates to(curved)scud hooks and some Czech style hooks.
    They don’t lie perfectly straight in the vice and are difficult to work with compared to tying in other vices. No problem tying with any straight shanked hooks at all.

    Overall, a clever design and definitely durable.

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  12. George vosmik says:
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    Top of the vices! If you don’t have one you need to get one! I tie all sizes and types of flies with the three holder options with great results. Oh, Yes, they catch fish and fisher persons!

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  13. Markus Weiß says:
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    I love this vise.

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  14. Charlee Barnes says:

    I have been using my Nor-Vise for about 20 years. Love it, wouldn’t trade it for any other vise. I spin dubbing of all kinds without any problem. I use the rotation to wing a lot of different things (dubbing, hackle, ribs, quill bodies, even on small flies. A few years ago, I purchased the small jaws, and can easily tie down to size 32 on them. The standard jaws work fine for me down to a size 20. Either set of jaws work fine as a “stationary” vise with the friction screw to hold them. I have never found the need for a second vise, and only use my other vises for teaching, and photographing flies. This may not be the vise for everybody, but its the only one for me. When I travel, I take it with me. I even have bases that I have left at destinations (friends and relaitives,) that I travel too often. I made a light weight frame base to put in my travel kit.

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  15. Charlee Barnes says:
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    I have been using my Nor-vise for over 20 years. It is the only vise I use, I have built a portable base to fit in my travel kit, and it goes where I go. Since all my wooly buggers are dubbed, I spinn a lot of dubbing with it. I use the inline rotation for wrapping hackle, ribs, quill, and herl bodies on most of my flies. A few years ago, I purchased the fine point jaws, and now I can tie down to size 32 with these. Most of the time, I am tying much bigger patterns, and the inline jaws work fine for everything larger than a 22. Either set of jaws can be locked in place and work just fine as a “stationary” vise.

    This may not be the vise for everyone, but its the only vise for me.

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  16. Lee Chertavian says:
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    This is the best vice I have used. However, I think the Nor-vise automatic bobbins are even better and really complement use of the vise. Having tied with them for over a year now, I despise returning to a regular bobbin. Do yourself a favor and try both.

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  17. Tom Cooper says:
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    With a stable of many vises to choose from, and having used “traditional’ vises for the better part of 50 years, I didn’t think this old dog could be taught a new trick. Well, this old dog still has some hunt in ’em because I found the ‘non-traditional Norvise to be extremely easy to use and it is now one of my ‘go-to’ vises for many applications. A beautifully engineered system at a very affordable price.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  18. David Holmes says:
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    I lucked out: I started with this vise and have never had a reason to change. Elegantly engineered, very well made and with outstanding service and “coaching” from Norm.

    As others have said, the automatic bobbin is outstanding, as is the post to hang the bobbin from. I got the small jaws in addition to the regular ones, and haven’t found a fly yet that I can’t tie with one or the other (although I don’t tie large saltwater flies – there’s a third set of jaws available for that.)

    Don’t hesitate – if you want the most functional vice I’ve ever seen or used, spend the bucks – it’s still a great deal.

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  19. tc says:
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    Over the years. Ihave bought. And used. Just about every high end vise. They all have been good and worth. Their cost. I eventually end up giving them to my tiding buddies who can’t afford them. However. I just. Can’t. Let. Myself. Give the norvise away.I want to keep it for myself.

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  20. Ken Sherraden says:
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    I tye year round and from time to time use different vises, but my Nor-Vise is still my favorite and most often used. The Nor-Vise is a great product and I have always had great friendly and timely service. A Great American Product!

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  21. Clint Gaskill says:
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    Purchaced the standard Nor-Vice at a show a couple of years ago. After watching Norm demonstrate it’S capabilities, I just had to have one. Best investment I have made in quite a while. I tie wet flies, bass flies and large streamers for trolling. Hasn’t let me down yet.
    OUTSTANDING PRODUCT!!!

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  22. Camo Max says:
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    I have 6 vises including the Nor-Vise. The Nor-vise gets all the work as it is far superior to any of the other vises I own. I invested in the traditional jaws as well & use these when tying flies using scud type hooks.
    All in all the vise is brilliant. I don’t see the need to ever buy another brand vise.

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  23. Camo Max says:

    Further to my comment above, I’m an Aussie & I had to purchase the Nor-Vise from the USA. I have since purchased other bits & pieces for it & communicated with Norm.
    The service is brilliant & Norm does everything he can to keep a satisfied customer very happy.

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  24. Mark says:
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    I’ve had this vise for many years. I purchased two (one for my buddy and one for myself) at a fly tying show when I used to work for REC Components. I also bought his bobbin with multiple spools. I have enjoyed it for years and love the spinning feature. It is made extremely well and of course is made in the U.S.! If you want a vise that will be there for your lifetime and beyond, this is the vise for you!

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  25. John mcnally says:
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    I’ve only been tying for two years and decided to take the plunge and buy this as a beginner ” money well spent IMO” . The build quality is fantastic and very well thought out , the quality of the flies I know turn out is outstanding “in my eyes anyway” . As for value I think it’s one of the best you could own for around the £200 Mark , simple to use and takes most of the complications out of tying .

    You won’t go wrong with a Nor-Vise

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  26. witz says:

    Nor-vises owned by people who can’t spell vise should be confiscated and given to people who can spell it but can’t afford a Nor-vise.

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  27. Pete says:
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    What more can be said about this vise? Its built to last, is versitile
    And support from norm is always top notch. I never need to buy another
    Vise. Nor-vise is the only one for me!

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  28. Irv Lewis says:
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    I bought my Nor-Vise after watching Norm demonstrate it at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset in January. I took a week or so for me to understand the vise and to use it properly. I have a very large selection of vises in my armamentarium but have reached the point where I only want the Nor-Vise. I am still amazed every time I spin dubbing or wrap a hackle around the thread before applying it. I have been tying for 65 years and was starting to get jaded but this vise has re-awakened my old enthusiasm. Also the retractable bobbin is marvelous.
    Try it, you’ll love it.

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  29. Pomper says:

    Wery good product!!!

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  30. Bjarnfinnur Sverrisson says:
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    I can´t find any problem using this vise.
    Great produckt the vise and also the bobbin.

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  31. Rich Reitz says:

    Vice & Vise. In England and elsewhere, it’s spelled VICE.

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  32. KPitt says:
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    While there is a bit of a learning curve it is pretty easy to become versed in the uses of this vise, both through the DVD that comes with it and the YouTube videos. Where do you find customer service better than Norm’s? I ordered a travel kit on a Saturday and he still e-mailed me that day to tell me it would ship on the Monday!
    I bought the pointed jaws to tie small flies and it holds very small hooks with little trouble. I love the vice, the price and the functionality!

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  33. John McNally says:
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    Fantastic Vice ! Had mine around a year now & still find it a joy to use . Very very well made & will last me a lifetime , the quality of my things has increased ten fold but in half the Time ! Money well spent in my opinion I also own a Law and CF 9000 which are now redundant 😉 .

    In short you won’t go wrong with a Nor Vise ” thanks Norm ”

    John

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  34. Gary Thomas says:
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    I have been tying flies for around 40 years and over that time I have bought just about every vise on the market. When I first saw Norm at the Pasadena Fly Show a few years ago, my first reaction was, yeah, another gimmicky vise, but, within a few minutes watching him tie I decided to buy one. After tying for around 40 years, it began to be a chore to tie, the Nor-Vise has brought the fun back in my tying and has really speeded up the process. My opinion is that the Nor-Vise is the very best product on the market.

    I now need to buy the attachment for tube flies!

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  35. Wayne says:
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    As with others I have tied on most of all the top end vise’s on the market and some that are custom made. The Nor-Vise is the only one I will die tying on. It is well built and I never see a way to wear it out. If you like good honest people Norm is the guy, a great person and a very good tier, he will show you ways to tie faster and smarter, and build a stronger fly with the Nor-Vise. After owning one I started carrying them in my shop. When I saw what it can do it is my only personal vise from now and forever!

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  36. Brightontrader says:
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    I just bought one plus bobbin from the USA to UK, forgot about VAT which was a shock, not Norm’s fault, misordered on-line and called and got him and changed order, refunded paypal, what service, amazing.

    I am a beginner tying my own (too rich and into great gadgets) but am already producing professional looking nymphs 2 weeks later. Having a few issues with tensioning the bobbin holder with uni stretch but will master it eventually I am sure.

    The table is great and screwed down vise is steady even for me still a little cack handed. It looks like an overkill for me and more for the professional as its so quick but I love it and don’t regret the spend at all.

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  37. Jeff says:
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    American, need I say more!!! OK, I will.
    Quick to order, Quick to ship, Quick to tye,
    No regrets!
    If you can’t tye win you order it, you will win you receive it.
    The man thet designed it must be a precision engineer.
    Thanks,
    Norm

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  38. fflutterffly says:
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    Love is a strong word and while I’d love to apply it to this vice! Everything about this American made product is top notch. You tie flies more efficiently with regards to time on the vice. Dubbing and dubbing brushes are easy. With several exchangeable jaws I tie salt down to 26 with no problem. My vice is now worn and tired. The brash needs to be polished and new jaws ordered, but then again any relationship you have with equipment wears it down and maintenance is needed. My only problem with the vice, if I needed to find one, would be in the processes of having to remove the jaws to place the thread winder in position. Tedious. Petty I know but I just can’t out right say this is the most perfect vice to date. One honest problem I have is during tying the locking cylinder comes loose if I brush against it. Again, something I know Norm would take care of if I simply called him.
    If you tie a lot this is the vice. Construction, versatility, all wrapped in one beautiful piece of enjoyable equipment.

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  39. fflutterffly says:

    Sorry my ratings are wrong. Now that’s better

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  40. Paul says:
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    Everything has already been said, so I’ll just add to the chorus of approval. As a machinist, I find this vise very well-crafted. As a designer, I find its design to be extremely clever and absolutely magnificent in function. As one who ties……all I can say is “Where have you been all of my life?” The Nor-vise has significantly upped my game. I’m tying faster and better than I ever have in the past. Well done Norm! Well done!

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  41. cumberlandguide says:
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    After reading all the comments already posted, it seems that most of the key benefits of the Nor-Vise System have been mentioned. I would like to add my praise by mentioning some less obvious advantages from my experience.

    I began fly fishing 35 years ago and first tried tying with a “traditional” vise 5 years later. After a few years I gave up tying in frustration. It was too time consuming, felt awkward, and unsatisfying. Until recently I still fished, but bought my flies. I was never satisfied with the quality of commercial flies – especially in recent years.

    I watched a friend work on his new Nor-Vise and was so amazed and impressed that I ordered one the next day. I have added additional jaw conversions, automatic bobbins, and other accessories sine then and am getting ready to expand my system even more. Those who have praised Norm and his customer service are right. He is one of the finest people I have ever dealt with. He takes pride in what he does and makes everyone feel important and appreciated… something not often found these days!

    For those who mention a learning curve or adjusting to something new, I find that it is more a question of forgetting old bad habits. The Nor-Vise is very simple to learn and use unless we still have a traditional mindset

    I am finding not only a new love of tying, but an unexpected growth in my interest and creativity with Norm’s system. I am trying many new techniques, sizes, and types of flies with curiosity and enthusiasm. I am proud of the quality of my flies now (and the results they produce) and finally find tying a relaxing and rewarding pastime. With my Nor-Vise System I am confident that there is nothing I can’t tie with great quality.

    The Nor-Vise is the best there is – bar none! Its quality, flexibility, and ease of use will make anyone better. Keep it up Norm. We need more like you in this world… on the water and off!

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  42. Richard says:
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    I came across the Nor-Vise system while browsing the Internet looking at all of the different fly tying vises. After watching Norm demonstrate the Nor-Vise and spending time doing my due diligence, I decided to buy the Nor-Vise system. I was looking for a system that would be easier for someone that has severe arthritis. I was right, the Nor-Vise was the best choice. Norm is the absolute best to deal with. I added to the system over a six month period until I had the entire system. I can now tie any type of fly from the largest down to size 20 even with arthritis! The last addition was the ability to tie tube flies. I can tie the largest tube to the nanotube without any difficulty at all. As far as I’m concerned the Nor-Vise and Norm Norlander are the best. American made of course! I recommend them both to everyone and anyone interested in buying the best fly tying equipment made.

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  43. Gary Thomas says:

    I have owned dozens of vises over the last 40 years. After 40 years of tying it became a chore, but, the NOR vise has brought back the fun of tying. It is by far the best and fastest way to tie.

    One of the best additions was the midge jaws and the lighted magnifier. In the last 3 or so weeks I’ve tied over a 100 dozen different midges for my San Juan River trip and haven’t got burned out while tying.

    Norm is a great person to talk to and will spend time on the phone with you when you have questions or comments.

    Thank you Norm for great service and the best vise I’ve ever owned.

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  44. clifford skoog says:
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    Can’t say enough about this vise, have had it for years and all the new jaws still fit it.
    I have two heros in the fly fishing and tying world.
    They are both real gentlemen and professionals.
    One is norm norlander the other is Davey mcphail.
    Kudos to you both.

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    Absolute fantastic. Have used it for round 5 years. Best vise ever built. And better yet – the bobbin holder. Amazing.

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  46. Lenny Englander says:
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    I own more than a dozen vises including top of the line Renzettis. I love them all, but NOTHING compares to Norm’s vise. It makes tying easier and less mechanical. i’ve started tying the Salmon Classics and it has made the endeavor ever so much easier. Thank you Norm!

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  47. Doug Broadie says:
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    I have been using Norm’s vice for at least 15 years and nothing is even close to it. I will use a standard vice if I’m weaving bodies for my flies, but that is just because I’m too lazy to turn the vice head on. It is expensive, but it’s American made and you get what you pay for. I have a number of attachments and I like the tube flies that I can produce for bass and northerns.

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  48. Brad says:
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    Started tying flies with a very inexpensive vise. Tied for about a year and just thought it was so much work/fun.. had to be a better way. I saw some other vises, read reviews, looked at prices and finally decided to get this one a try. 6 years later, there has been no issues, no problems, nothing but quality craftsmanship in production, designed by a “fly fisherman” who KNOWS the needs and hiccups of most other vises, and if you stick with this vise, you will be amazed at what you can tie and how fast, accurate and perfect your flies can be. There may be other vises out there for less money, but save your money and buy a “real” vise, made in AMERICA, solid, smooth and just fun to tie with. The bobbin’s are an amazing advance as well. If you have never used the automatic bobbin’s….. you are missing out on the best bobbin on the market. Along with the bobbin post… (included in the kit)….. they compliment the vise so well it’s hard to believe. Sure they are a little more expensive… but fast, accurate, smooth, and until you tired this vise….. you will never know the closest thing to perfection.
    BB

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