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Discussion Starter #1
Hope this is the proper place to post this since it gets more views than the Gear Talk section. I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a Nor-vise for a while, then Pete offered one for sale at a decent price but I was too late. Then Ryan followed up with one that he was willing to part with. That got me to thinking--How come?? The shops I've inquired at say that once you tie on one you'll never go back to conventional vises but the shop vise is either a Regal or Renzetti, never understood if the Nor-vise is the "cat's meow" why wasn't the shop using it. This is the main reason I haven't bought one yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they aren't great vises. I wonder if some of you guys that have used or are still using them would please share your experiences and opionions (both pro and con) since we all know that no piece of equipment is perfect. I would be particularlly interested in Pete's and Ryan's comments.

Rando
 

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d'PhlightlessPhlyPhisher
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IMHO...

Rando...
Being a former military heavy airlift pilot, I really enjoy technical machinery that WORKS! The Norlander WORKS and I like it alot!

I've met Norm and watched him tie...his vise is especially handy for "production" tyers since, once you get comfortable with its' feel, idiosyncrasy, and conveniences, this rotary fly tying "lathe" is a true pleasure to use. (safety goggles optional?!)
Dressing a hook is done at the speed of heat...Dubbing brushes are a breeze...Palmering a pleasure!
It grows on you!
Mine is a salt water rendition (larger/more mass) with the newly designed "cam-lock" jaws...Combine the vise with Norm's Automatic Bobbin and you can quickly reach new levels of speed and comfort...
I LOVE this tying tool!

That being said...I also have a Dyna-King big-boy that's tricked out with whistles and bells...it too is a pleasure to work with...I've got it in an old seasoned "flight pubs" case that I pack when I'm tying away from my home station.
Much more "conventional", it's a bullet proof work horse and, once you get over the sticker shock, it's a doozie and the last vise you'll ever need to buy.
The Automatic Bobbin works great with this one too!

Watch Norm's instructional video...Play with the Norlander and Automatic Bobbin for a while...give it a rest for a while...try it again...it GROWS on you as you get comfortable with the unique capabilities. (The newly designed cam-lock jaws are really NICE!)

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
 

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try doing a search on this site. There have been a couple of good discussions.
 

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Just to add to the discussion.
I sold my Nor-Vise because I just do not use it enough. I have 3 other vises so #4 was an option.
Truthfully, I never did het used to the Nor-Vise technique, but many of my fly-tying colleaugues do use it almost exclusively. For production work, it's a whiz. So I would not worry about getting one or comparing it to other vises. If you do get one, put your other vises away for 6 months and tie a lot on the Nor-Vise, then you can really compare the different approaches. Better still, spend some time with another Board member who use the Nor-Vise a lot and learn from them. I did not do this!
 

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d'PhlightlessPhlyPhisher
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Nor-Vise Limitations...

With the Auto Bobbin and the new Cam-Lock chuck, I can't see any of note, despite the nay sayers...IMHO...

I've been down in the "bunker" today...playing with my tying "lathe" and some fuzzy ideas.
The attachment shows what I did on my Norlander...
'Most time consuming aspect was waiting for epoxy to cure...
(Mr Baracuda is still in his travel case...)
 

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So Pete,

While you were down in the "bunker" did you happen to find any of THESE?
 

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d'PhlightlessPhlyPhisher
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Kush...The place was infested!...

...'had to call Terminex!
No more little glo-in-the-dark critters!
I understand the survivors were "deported"...sent packin'!:hehe:
 

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Speyladdie
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Rando
I have used Norms vice for a few years now.The more I use it,the more I like it.
Practice,practice,practice.Take your time and just use it.You may be a while before you get comfortable with the vise but when you do I can promise you that you will be able to do things with this vise that you can't with other vise's.
I can tie probably 80 % of my flys with the regular jaws,but for smaller flys I like to changs jaws to the smaller type jaws.The new inter changable head deal.
Try to find some one who already owns a Nor Vise and sit with them to learn some of the tricks.
Most of the fly fishing shows that I attend in the US I usually see a couple of guys tying on the Nor Vise.If you see them ask questions or just sit and watch them.
Good luck and have fun tying.
Speyladdie.:smokin:
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Rando,

The Nor-vise is a very well-made vise. However, it has some quirks which I do not like. This doesn't mean that it is a bad vise, it simply means that some folks very good tyers like and many more do not.

The things I do not like about the Nor-vise: 1) I find myelf pushing the lock off the vise shaft when tying sending it into free-spin when least expected, which causes a lot of trouble for me since I hold materials in with only 2 to 4 turns of thread; 2) I cannot add just a touch of resistance to the vise shaft mechanically like I can with my Barracuda, to make tying beard hackle or cheeks on salmon flies easier; 3) I cannot change the rotating axis of the hook to keep the hook rotating on the vise center-line, this is very easy to do with the Barracuda; the jaw does not hold large hooks a securely as the Barracuda does.

The folks who like Norm's vise, love it and usually will not use another vise. But, like I said earlier, the majority of the best tyers do not like tying on the Nor-vise. It does some things very well, and others less well. Also, I've have noticed that most folks Onot all) who like the Nor-vise do not sit down and tie 3, 4 or more dozen flies at a single sitting.
 

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d'PhlightlessPhlyPhisher
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...If you apply a smudge of sticky wax to the shaft under the locking mechanism (so that it slightly resists sliding) you can control any inadvertent movement and eliminate the unintended release of the rotary lock.
...On my larger salt water version there is a brass thumb screw that can adjust rotary "resistance" and allows free-spool or fixed-in-place. A smaller Nor-Vise that I got on e-bay (years ago) does not have that brass thumb screw...an older model?!
...Axis is fixed but by moving the hook in the jaw you can easily find centre. The new jaw has a cam-lock...Nice!

I just got off the phone with Norm...he confirmed that the newer models do, in fact, have the thumb screw to adjust rotary friction.
He also mentioned that he is getting more and more production tyers who tye flys that you see in the shop bins...intended to be fished...they do 12,000+ a year and use only his Nor-Vise.
The guys who spend HOURS creating "masterpieces" intended to be placed under glass and NOT under water don't need the speed and ease of operation...Go phigure!
 

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The locking mechanism can still be inadvertently released even with the application of the wax that was suggested. And large hooks will not be able to be placed on the vise's axis of rotation not matter how much you try to do so by moving the hook up or down in the jaw. Likewise, it is very difficult to get each and every hook in the same place in the jaw, which also adds to hook wobble from the shank not being in line with the vise's axis of turning.

I've known or know several professional tyers who tie in excess of 12,000 flies/year who do not like the Nor-vise. I used to tie 15,000+ steelhead flies/year (40% of them spey or G.P.'s) for several shops in Washington state and I did this on a vise other than the Nor-vise. Not all those who tie a lot of flies for money use the Nor-vise, most use a vise other than the Nor-vise. The Nor-vise is a very well-made vise (as I've already said); however, that doesn't mean it is the best vise for most people. Also, both very small flies and very large ones are not the easiest to tie on the Nor-vise.

And taking care in your tying to make sure you tie only the best flies possible with the best materials you can find has nothing to do with whether you tie flies for framing or fishing. All the best tyers tie very high quality flies whether they tie 50 dozen or 12,000+ dozen/year. In fact, if someone wants a fly from the best tyers to frame, they simply take it out of a stock box of flies that were tied for fishing, the same way I saw Al Troth do it, and then the tyer includes a signature card to prove the fly was tied by him.

My intentiion is not to knock Norm's fine vise or to knock how others feel about the Nor-vise, it is simply to point out that just because some folks really like his vise, it doesn't mean that it is the best vise for you. And unless you are going to use the vise to make dubbing brushes the speed difference between the Nor-vise and the other quality true rotary vises on the market is so slight as to be meaningless.

There are very valid reasons why nearly without exception the best tyers use either the Renzetti Master or the Dyna King Barracuda vises instead of the other well-made vises on the market.
 

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d'PhlightlessPhlyPhisher
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I tyed these today on my salt water cam lock Nor-Vise...
I experienced NONE of the "problems" of which the Right Honourable Flytyer speaks...
The Baracuda is now my travel vise...
Both are beyond swell...
Every one who tyes has their own opinion (you know what "they" say about "opinions")...their own "pick-of-the-litter"...

I don't like to crank out dozens at a time and tend to tye ideas (see atachment) then tweek/refine them...I have NO difficulty centering the hooks in the jaws and with NO wobble (very simple if done properly)...a little practice goes a long way...
Same for the Dyna-King! Same for EVERYTHING!

So...Rando...
If you are looking for a vise...check them out at length...
It's sort'a like a marriage...rush into it and beware...
Worst case: You'll be sending some gal you can't stand a check ever month while she lives in your house while you don't...
Go for quality and rotary...And try BEFORE you buy (from a local shop!) You support them and they will support you.

Avoid junque! Do it right the FIRST time and you'll only have to do it once...unless you're a spoiled gear head like me who has no wife/no kids and a passion for the finer things in life (like a nice vise or two)!

:razz:
 

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I just ordered a nor vise with the dubbing tray. It's like golf and spey rods. There may be specific tools for specific jobs. Not having excessive amounts of fly line, rods, reels, flies and now vices, would be like trying to do a brake job on my jeep with just duct tape and a pair of vice grips. I have a killer crate of craftsman tools I've collected over time too. Now a real fanatic would have several vises at one table and move the fly around the table. There would be giant piles of fur and bird skins in the middle with this and that spread everywhere. And then have several TV's with different fly tying videos going at the same time. Oh man oh man I love this sport.

Matt
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Matt,

Piles of bird skin, furs, feathers, and body materials only get in your way when tying. And the videos playing on several TV's also interfere with tying. Put some quality music on the stereo instead and only put the materials you are going to use for a given fly on the tying table to keep your sanity. Keep the piles of bird skins, furs, and feathers in storage containers to prevent bug infestations. And watch out for hook points to keep poking holes in your fingers to a minimum. Most of all, enjoy the insanity of fly tying and watching the reactions of non-fly fishers when you tell them what you do on dark and stormy nights.
 

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I'm actually pretty meticulous. Everything in zip locks, very neat and orderly, organized by size, species etc. My fishin' buddy hates it. Says I'm too neat. I just like to be able to march order my tying equipment quickly when the kids are around. It was just a dream to be a slob.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Snowman
Yea, that was me. Would like to give the vise and bobbins a try if you have them and don't mind. Sounds good to me on Monday. Will try land line tonight or Sunday but in the mean time, blow the dust off your gear.

Rando
 
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