How to Construct a Vice for Homemade Fly Fishing Supplies

Written by gerry arlen good
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How to Construct a Vice for Homemade Fly Fishing Supplies
Vice grips make a usable fly-tying vice. (vice grips, plier image by JoLin from

Using homemade fly-fishing supplies is an easy way to increase your terminal tackle inventory without spending a lot of money. In almost every case, you will be attaching materials to a hook so a vice is needed. The vice will rigidly hold the hook while fur, feathers and synthetic materials are attached. The vice must hold the hook securely, while you apply pressure when winding thread, wire or materials so an adjustable locking device is needed. Different sized hooks will require adjusting the vice gap, and to allow hands-free use, the vice must lock.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 pair small vice grips
  • small bench vice
  • 2 wooden blocks, 1/2-by-1-by-6 inches

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  1. 1

    Mount a small bench vice onto a sturdy bench. Open the vice jaws and place the stationary handle of the vice grips between two blocks of wood while closing the bench vice jaws on the wooden blocks, securing the vice grips in place. Make sure that the adjustment screw on the vice grips extends below the wooden blocks so that easy adjustments can be made.

  2. 2

    Place a hook into the vice grips, adjusting the gap so that the hook is held securely at the bend without crushing it. Sit down in front of the vice and open the bench-vice jaws slightly to allow adjustment of the vice grips. Adjust the angle and height of the vice grips so that the hook shank is parallel to the floor and at elbow height. This angle and height will reduce fatigue while tying flies.

  3. 3

    Attach the fur, hair or synthetic materials to the securely held hook and when finished, open the vice grips to release the hook. Inspect the hook for any damage that may indicate that the vice grips where too tight. If damage to the hook is visible, adjust the gap on the vice grips.

  4. 4

    Remove the vice grips and wooden blocks when finished. Inspect the wooden blocks for damage and replace as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Vice grips come in many sizes ,so select the size based on the size of hooks used. For example, you may wish to use large vice grips for saltwater flies and small vice grips for freshwater trout flies.
  • Trimming hair and fur while making flies will require periodic cleaning of the vice grips.
  • Ensure that the hook is securely held by the vice grips because pulling and tugging while applying materials can cause the hook to fly out.

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