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Anvil Apex Vise

First Impressions.  Did the vise come in an attractive package?  Was it well packed and would the packaging serve as storage for the vise?  2.00

 

Directions, literature, parts lists and documentation?  Does this vise come with a set of directions that explain care and maintenance of the product?  Are there illustrations of the parts in case you need to order an accessory or replace a missing part?  Are there well written directions explaining calibration and set-up of the vise?  1.00

 

Vise fit and finish.  Is this a well finished product?  Did it communicate quality right out of the box?  2.00

 

C-Clamp quality:  Is the clamp well designed?  Did the clamp provide a solid, immobile mounting system for the vice?  Did it remain tight through a long session of tying?  Did it mark, or have the potential to damage the surface of the table to which it's clamped?  2.67

 

Vise stem finish, adjustability and length. Is the vise flexible in placement for a number of tiers and table heights?  2.33

 

Smoothness of operation of vise jaws.  Were they easy to open and close?  Are the jaws easy to calibrate for various hooks?  Do the jaws remain in the calibrated position or is it necessary to readjust the jaws after a few flies?  2.00

 

Rotation and adjustability.  Is the vise capable of rotating?   If so, was the rotating mechanism smooth and robust?   Use N/A if this vise doesn’t feature rotability.  2.67

 

Jaw grip, hold and clearance.  Does the vise hold the hook stable under both vertical and horizontal pressures?  Is there access to tie on any type of hook in the normal size range?  Can it reliably hold different sizes of hooks?  All vises must hold a minimum of size 20 to 2/0 to rate a 4 or better unless they are purposed designed and labeled as being designed for a specific hook size (tube, midge or saltwater, for instance).  2.33

 

Accessories. Is the vise capable of being customized with a bobbin cradle, material clip, background card, parachute tool, waste receptacle, etc.?  A good vise should have a material clip included as part of its design. 2.00

 

Reviewer’s Choice.  There is no category for this.  This is a gauge of “goose-bump” factor.  Did you like this vise?  Could you forget about the tool and do the job?  2.33

 

Country where manufactured?  USA

3.82 Overall Rating

MSRP   $99.95

 

Jim's Comments -  If there were a MilSpec (Military Specification) for a fly tying vise, I'm sure the Anvil company would get the contract. This is truly the Hummer of fly tying vises. Just about every aspect of the Apex is overbuilt. The entire vise is made from stainless steel, with hardened jaws. The finish is bead-blasted and attractive. The head can be leveled for tying Clouser minnows or angled to tie tiny dries. The fit and finish is great and the vise comes standard with a pedestal base and a c-clamp. Out of the box, the vise is a little cranky in that, the cam lever for the draw collet doesn't operate very smoothly but I imagine the action will soften up in no time with repeated use. The jaws were the only part of the vise I would probably have any issue with. They're not replaceable. Of course, there is only a friction pin holding the jaws to the cam lever but replacing the jaws is something that's probably best done at the factory. The jaws seem a little small for tying larger flies in the 4/0 range but the addition of two machined grooves in the jaws gives them a little extra grip. The vise instructions state that you should use the groove to index hooks in the proper size range and that the bigger the hook, the farther back in the jaw it should be mounted. The rotation can be adjusted with a set screw but the vise comes out of the box with the rotation a little stiff. The c-clamp didn't have any cork to protect the finish, on a table, but that's negligible. This is a lifetime vise that will server it's user for a very long time.

Jim's Rating - 4.20

 

Joe's Comments - I like the design of this vise. It's becoming clear, to me at least, that I’m not full rotary kind of guy. At least not in the sense of using rotary tying techniques. This vise has the ability to be adjusted to any head angle and to easily and silkily rotate. Again, like the Atlas, this vise will improve with use as the rotary mechanism breaks in. I think there is small shortfall in not threading the stem to accept an extension - tying with a c-clamp is very dependent on table height. My TV tray was just a bit short and there was no way to make an adjustment. On the other hand, the vise comes with an excellent solid pedestal base and the height on my tying desk was perfect. This is a superb fly tying vise that will hold anything from a size 22 midge (or smaller if you can see them) to a size 3/0 saltwater hook. It does so easily, simply and efficiently. There is plenty of clearance to tie and the vise has excellent "hand feel" - a WINNER!

Joe's Rating - 3.65

 

Mark's Comments - This is great looking vise and has the looks of a big dollar vise. It comes in a nice package and has some directions with it although there are no pictures for us picture challenged folks, The Jaws hold well and the cam is simple and smooth. I like the rotary function although I thought it was a bit stiff even though it was very smooth and that could not be adjusted.

Mark's Rating - 3.60

 

 

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Manufacturer's Comments -

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