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So I don't have one, nor am I thinking about buying one. But, I'm very intrigued by the videos of Norm tying on the Norvise on his website. He has a nice fly tying area, n easy way of explaining things, and he explains his techniques so that I learn things that I have applied to my standard vise tying techniques.

For our size 18-22 Colorado nymphs and dries, would this vise be practical? It seems it is more for streamers and larger patterns even though you can convert to a midge jaw. Just 2 questions I have when watching those vids from time to time. Flygal has one, don't ya?
 

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I have a Nor-Vise and have had for several years.

I was surprised to hear that several guys stopping by at West Denver had mentioned they'd bought a Nor-Vise after seeing me tie with it. Apparently I was the only person tying on one there this year.

I recently purchased some replacement jaws (small, in-line) and the difference is spectacular. Norm re-designed how the spring works on the jaws and what an improvement! I can easily slide a size 22 scud hook in there and it isn't going anywhere. Yes, that means it can handle seriously dinky hooks on the same jaws I tie big bass and pike flies on.

If you do parachutes, there is now a gallows tool that screws into the top of the vise assembly. I was tying dandelion midges a few years ago - much longer post, and I cheated and created a substitute 'sorta-gallows' with some 30# mono, a spare pair of english style hackle pliers, and a heavy duty swivel, which looped onto my lamp - I got the gooseneck lamp that attaches to the bobbin rest post. Was more of a mostly-horizontal gallows, but for what I was doing, it worked great. (you have a post that's something like 1/2" long before you even get hackle around it and have to wrap it with thread)

Now here's the thing, I have seen only videos of the midge jaw in action. It's not going to 'spin' as freely due to the inherent weight of the jaw - the alignment handle helps more with actually lining up the hook - you unscrew it for tying. If you tie a lot of patterns that require going down past the bend of the hook, this might be worth some consideration. I have successfully tied down to 22's on my old jaws (which I now realize weren't as tight as the new ones.)

I'm thinking of picking up some smaller hooks now. You'll be amazed how well you can handle 16/0 thread on one of the self-retracting bobbins - no having to wind the spool back if you pulled out too much thread, and thread tension is a snap. Made tying all those jujubee midges tolerable.

This vise is a dream for tying anything that you have to wrap stuff around a hook. Especially fine rib, hackle, dubbing, etc. Turn the hook instead of wrangling with material hand over hand. You'll be surprised what you can do with it.

Doing those extended body callibaetis last year was a blast. And if you wanted to know, I have tied a body for a size 22 PMD on a smaller pin - looked amazing - just too bad they're so little the fish don't seem to care too much!
 

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Re: Nor-Vise--Can we get an update from fishingal?

I, a curious fledgling fly tier, was wondering if fishingal could give an update on her use of the Nor-Vise?

Is it, with the small in-line replacement jaws, working for you on the very small flies?

Have you had a chance to use the midge jaws?

Thanks!
 

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I may be the only other person (other than fishingal) around who has one of these. I love it for streamers, and with the midge jaws, it's great for flies size 26 and smaller-holds them as tight as a Renzetti, and at flyfishing shows, Norm shows you that he can break a number 2 hook held in the vise. After a long hiatus, I have gotten back to using it for flies in the 18 range. You can wrap wire around a copper john really uniformly once you get to know it. Overall, I'm very happy with it.
 

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New jaws have been like having a new vise. Maximum crank tightness - can handle light wire hooks to a size 22 without a hitch. What a difference.

I have toyed with the idea of midge jaws. Thanks silicone boy for comments - saw some TMC 518 hooks at Front Range anglers and got all these insane ideas while there... may eventually have to stop by again and pick some up! Now those are *dinky*! Goes down to a size 32!
 

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I don't know why they make 'em. But they do. Okay, maybe some size 30's?

*I'm kidding, okay!* :)
 

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Y'know, I was thinking about this last night while experimenting with some different materials.

One thing I use all the time is the quarter-turn locking system that's integral on the Nor-Vise - pull back on the hub and the jaws spin freely - or slide it back towards the jaws and you can lock the jaws rock steady at any of four angles (0, 90, 180, 270°), or use the screw adjustment on the top, and have as much adjustment as you can wrap your head, or your fly, around. Sometimes it's helpful to have the hook on its' side while you're trying to make sure your material is on, say, the 'bottom' side of the hook, which is difficult to do from the 'top' of the hook, but equally tough from the direct 'bottom' of the hook too.

What other vises offer this feature? I have absolutely no idea!
 

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That's the advantage of all the rotary vices (the ability to access the fly from all sides), but I don't know of any that lock. The big advantage of the Norvise, of course, is that you can spin materials around the fly rapidly. For those who can't visualize what I'm talking about, check out the videos at norvise.com.....When I first saw Norm tying with his vice at a fly show here in town a few years ago, it blew me away how fast he could whip out a woolly bugger, make a dubbing brush, weave peacock herl, etc. I bought it on the spot despite what I thought was a fairly high price (less than a DynaKing, or mid level Renzetti though)
 
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