When I first got into tying, I was lucky enough to have a father in law with an old vise to lend me. This was good for me as my wife didn’t want to spend the money. She kept telling me over and over again that she didn’t believe that I would stick to tying flies…. I had to show her!! After a few months of tying, I had proved that I would stick with it and I started looking around at vices. I was drawn to a Regal stainless steel jaws vice, as it looked like a vice of high quality, and the price looked great as well! I was intrigued by the rotary vices, but I was hesitant because of the prices. I ended up with the regal vice, and I loved it. In the meantime, Gilbert ended up finding a Renzetti rotary vice. I always joked around that I didnt need or want the rotary, but I was jealous!
I finally convinced my wife that I “had to have” the rotary vice. I sold my regal and wound up buying the Renzetti Presentation 2000. It is a great vice, and I keep wondering to myself why I didnt make this decision years ago! I have been able to tie flies faster, and I will only get better at utilizing the rotary feature.
There is one thing that I had to do to get this particular vice working for me. It comes standard with a ratcheting feature. I did not like this at all. It makes it so you can only rotate your flies one way. It was already driving me crazy after one fly! Luckily, this can be reversed. There is a small black nut located on the very end on the outside of the big silver knob (see #1 on picture). After loosening this screw, simply tighten the big silver screw that it screwed into, and then tighten the little black screw back up and the ratcheting feature will be disabled. This will then allow you rotate your vice in either direction.
Another nice feature with this vice is the ability to change the angle of the jaws. This will allow you to quickly change the angle as you switch between different sized hooks and maintain a level hook while using the rotary feature (see #2 on picture below).
The Jaws hold hooks without slipping. I have tied some flies on hooks ranging from sizes 6-22, with only a quick adjustment of the screw on the end of the jaws before using the cam to lock the hook into place and I have not had any problems.
ren. presentation 2000
Overall, I love this new vice. It is easy to tell after using it that it is a high quality vice. If you have’t tied with a rotary vice, I highly recommend it. It has helped me tie flies faster, with a higher quality. Being able to rotate the fly around as you tie allows you to see the fly at all angles to ensure a good tie. You will not be disappointed if you upgrade to this vice!
I look forward to tying many heavy, tungsten beads euro nymphs that are sure to catch many a fish!!!
The Tungsten Embryo has caught everything from Steelhead to Bull Trout to Alaskan Rainbows, dollies, and grayling. Not to mention just about every other salmonid species in the western US. It is an egg pattern with a tungsten bead embedded in the center to add the weight necessary to get the egg near the stream bottom where it belongs.
Steelhead Caught on Tungsten Embryo
Bull Trout Caught on Tungsten Embryo
Alaskan Rainbow Caught on Tungsten Embryo
If you are wondering how to tie flies that quickly get into the feeding zone of fish, tungsten is the answer. In the past I wasn’t a huge fan of the ever successful glo bug because it had no weight to it, and required significant amounts of split shot to get it down. Soft otter eggs fell into this same category of trout/steelhead egg patterns, and after years of moderate success I finally came up with an egg pattern that I have found to be significantly better. I’ve now been fishing this pattern for four years now and have found great success with it. It is extremely durable, and without a doubt either the hook will dull, or you will break off before the body of this pattern will fall apart.
Loon Outdoors has a product called UV Fly Paint. It is a UV curable material that comes in three colors, red, orange, and yellow. All three can be used on this fly, but red and orange are my preferred colors. I’ve also tried many different colored tungsten bead under this material, but silver has a very subtle shine from beneath the material that I personally prefer regardless of the outer material used.
Give this pattern a shot, you won’t be disappointed.
Hook: Dai-Riki 135 Sizes 8-12
Bead: Silver Tungsten 1/8-7/64 depending on hook size
Thread: UTC 140 FL Pink
Egg Material: UV Fly Paint (Red, Orange, or Yellow)
This is the first fly in which will be a series of flies that you will find in our European nymphing fly boxes. We will explain which hook and tungsten bead sizes we use.
I wanted to start with the Dragon Warrior for a few reasons: it’s one of our favorites, it catches fish like crazy, and because I just watched Kung fu Panda 2 just the other day. This fly was originally created to match the color combination of Po (flabby panda!). We have been fishing it for about a couple years now and it has produced fish in every river that we have fished it. It is very effective in french style nymphing in the smaller sizes(16 and 18).
Here are the sizes that we carry with us to every river:
Size 16 with a 3/32(2.5mm) tungsten bead
Size 18 with a 5/64(2.0mm) tungsten bead
You could try some other larger or smaller sizes but these two sizes have been perfect for us. Check out our fly tying tutorial of the Dragon Warrior to learn how to tie it. You wont be sorry. Tie it up in the two sizes we mentioned and make sure you have plenty of them.
I also make sure I have plenty of Rainbow Warriors. This is the same fly but with a pearl tinsel as the abdomen instead of a black holographic tinsel. I carry these in the same sizes I mentioned above for the Dragon Warrior. Refer to our video of the Rainbow Warrior for additional tying instructions.