I thought that you might like to see this ‘one off’ vice that was hand-made by Marc Petitjean for me! Marc designed the vice to make photographing flies easier, or should I say quicker. Once a fly is placed in the jaws of the vice, the vice head can be removed and placed into one of the very precisely engineered 4 head slots. This gives the impression of true rotary (through the camera) creating a 360 degree effect both horizontally and vertically !
Photographically this means that I can photograph a fly from above, underneath, the side and from the front without changing focus, moving the camera or the pedestal. Pure Genius!
Heres a nice little film from the science channel showing how a Regal vice is made. Although a good few minutes viewing, they could have made a better job with a little advice on how a vice is used from a real fly tyer… That being said, a good vice and a good advertisement for our craft! Enjoy.
THE SPOOL TOWER
There are constantly new tools, gadgets and other fly tying paraphernalia being launched as a must have for your fly tying bench. The truth be known, most of them are re-invented copies of existing tools or just down right useless, creating only more clutter on the tying bench for you to keep in order. That being said, once in a while you come across an item that actually does help keep things in check, the spool tower is one of them!
I was recently made aware of this storage system at EWF by its creator Herwig Haas from friends of fly fishing in Bavaria. Probably the most difficult piece of fly tying tackle to keep tidy is spools of thread, wire, floss and beads as over the years we acquire so many different sizes, colours, spools etc that can quickly create a state of chaos on the tying bench!
The plastic discs and base tool housings rotate smoothly.
The spool tower retains all the immediate spooled item that is being used of thread, floss and wire in neat easily rotatable discs that hold six spools each.
The transparent discs make finding the correct stored spool simple and the deep retaining spool hole keeps the thread end in place and eliminates the problem of them unwinding. The tower also takes small polythene spool sized tubs, that are available with or without a small hole in the lid. These make easy access and storage of beads, cone heads and other small materials that you use often.
The tower fully loaded
The towers can be personalised and extended as and when you require more levels by purchasing the extra levels needed. The discs rotate smoothly and the towers are sturdy and well balanced, even when one tower is loaded with tubs of Tungsten beads and the other with spools of tying thread. For those of you that don’t have a permanent tying bench or if you travel often with your tying kit, a tidy caddy can be purchased that the towers neatly slid into keeping everything in place when packed away.
For more information and prices visit:
Well, back home after another phenomenal weekend at the SiM fly festival in Castel di Sangro, Italy. To meet each year with some of the finest fly tyers in the world and spend time together in such wonderful surroundings is a really gift and I wouldn’t miss it for anything. This year I am truly honoured and more than a little bit proud, to have received the ‘Claudio D’Angelo’ award for best international fly tyer 2016. I would like to thank you all, fly tyers of the world, old and new, for your constant support and never ending inspiration…