Before I get into this one, I'm going to start by pointing out the obvious; I have never had any advertising or marketing photos on this blog. And that has been intentional. I want this to be a place where folks can come and not have to wade through ads, banners, or any other marketing crap; because we get more than enough of it on an average day, and not just from the radio, TV, or magazines - everything you look at these days seems to have a logo or corporate name on it. So, that said, please forgive this blatant vise-kissing.
Yes, I have left my HMH vise and ran off with a new squeeze - a Regal.
For the past several years, Mike McAuliffe, a Regal Vise rep, has approached me at every tying show and asked me, "Are you married to your vise?" And I've always replied, "Yes, we've been together since 1982, and I can tie blindfolded on it." And having known Mike for years, he usually would chide me a little and tell me what I'm missing. No pressure, just confidence.
To make a long story short, I've had my HMH vise for 30 years now, and it is a great vise. It's been all over the country with me, and it is still as solid as it was the day I bought it. So, while waiting to go to the banquet at the Fly Tying Symposium last fall, I was talking with friend and Central PA guide, Eric Stroup, and John Blackmerat of Regal Vise, and Eric asked me why I didn't tie on a Regal vise. I said I was married to my HMH. They both laughed. And then Eric said I really should try tying on a Regal. John offered to lend me one, and I agreed to give it a ride.....
The next day when I showed up at my tying station, low and behold, there was a Regal Stainless Steel pedestal vise on my table, with a note asking me to try it out for the day. So I did, reluctantly. My HMH sat to the side, moping; it didn't even move the entire day!
At the end of the day, Mike came over to me and said take it home and use it for a while. So I did. And over the next couple of weeks I went back and forth using the Regal and my HMH vise, and slowly found myself using the Regal more and more.
It's now February, about two months since I first started using the Regal. I now tie on it every day, and the reasons for the change are simple (literally and figuratively). To insert a hook of any size, all you have to do is squeeze the lever; it opens the jaws, and then you release the lever when the hook is in the appropriate position, to close the jaws. Then tie your fly. When you're done with that fly, you squeeze the lever to release it, and then stick in another hook of any size - no adjustments, nothing, it's that simple. With the "other" vise, there are adjustments to be made when switching hooks to get the proper jaw pressure to hold the hook, and you always had to make sure the jaws were were not turned to one side or the other. With the Regal, the jaws are fixed in place.
The HMH still sits on my tying desk. It has stopped the whining, and instead now brags to the Regal about how it taught me everything I know, how it had me through my best years, traveled with me, and even taught my kids many important lessons, ad nauseum.....
And the Regal ignores it. After all, it is Regal - www.regalvise.com
So there you have it. Thanks for reading.
Tie some up, and sharpen your hooks!