Thursday, February 7, 2013

Are You Married to Your Vise?

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!  

8 comments:

Richard Strolis said...

Matt,
somehow after the tying and talking with you at the Marlborough Show, I had a feeling your marriage to the vise would be on the rocks. Here's to your new relationship. Welcome aboard.

Brk Trt said...

Although I am not a pro tyer in any way, I too have had a beautiful relationship with a Regal.
Here's to your new partner.

micah said...

Matt,

I spilled coffee on some kind of invoice over at your table. They may be looking for a check when you show up at Lancaster.

Will said...

Enjoy it Matt. I have two amazing parents. Both were teachers and of humble origin. When I was in 3rd grade and got into tying and fly fishing (two things they had no experience with) they could see how much I loved it. The following christmas, they took me to the regal factory, at the time in the villiage of Tulley in Orange - a couple towns over from where they live. I picked out a pedestal, and jaws and was given an amazing tour of the smallish machine shop that housed their vice, and at the time, reel making. That amazing vice has done many things with me. And now I sit here in my office and it's off to my left ready to go. I'm 38 now, and have tied on it every year since that super happy christmas when I recieved it. Regal makes an amazing vice. You will get decades of use out of it, and your kid's probably will too... You should go up and fish their local river, the millers this year!

John M said...

You know I trust you implicitly. However, I knew your HMH history and knew, at some point, the Regal Temptress would get you....thx to our friend Mr. Mc, it's the only vise I've ever used. :-)). Welcome to the Family!

Jessie said...

I have to admit I left my HMH Spartan for my Regal Medallion as well. Although the Spartan is now my backdoor man, traveling with me occasionally.

Carl Pennington said...

Welcome to the team

Mr. Q said...

Can I borrow your HMH now that she just sits and brags about how much she taught you....as you know I tie on a Regal, she does what is needed, but refuses to teach me anything.....the ..... hasn't said a word too me yet...