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Cabela's Master 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?  1.67

 

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?  1.0

 

Vise fit and finish.  Is this a well finished product?  Did it communicate quality right out of the box?  1.67

 

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?  1.67

 

Rotation and adjustability.  Is the vise capable of rotating?   If so, was the rotating mechanism smooth and robust?   Use N/A if this vise doesnít feature rotability.  N/A

 

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).  1.67

 

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. 1.33

 

Reviewerís Choice.  There is no category for this.  This is a gauge of ďgoose-bumpĒ factor.  Did you like this vise?  Could you forget about the tool and do the job?  1.0

 

Country where manufactured?  India

 

1.60 Overall Rating

MSRP   $29.95

 

Jim's Comments - When I saw the word "Master" on the box if this vise, I expected far more than I got. The vise has a nice cam and the clamp works well. All the parts are heavy machined metal and the stem is chromed. There are three jaws included but you have to use the pin included with the vise itself or you have no hope of mounting the other jaws. The fact that you have to mount the accessory jaws using a very small cotter pin that will probably get lost facilitated the purchase of a lynch pin that clipped into place. The way the cam lever is machined prevents you from using anything but the original system. Far from useful. This 'master' vise falls more squarely into the trainee category.

Jim's Rating - 1.70

 

Joe's Comments - The packaging isnít anything fancy. Not by a long shot. Opening the box you see the vise head, a c-clamp base, a conical metal set of jaws and a ball shaped metal set of jaws. Neither of the extra sets of jaws is identified as such and there is no explanation of how and when they should be used or how they are installed. The jaws set up in the vise right out of the box are cylindrical in shape. It took me quite a while to figure out how to adjust this vise. Itís not all that intuitive and instructions, even if they were only poorly written ones, would have been welcome. I can imagine a rank beginner being very, very frustrated right away. The barrel of the c-clamp features brass colored accents and looks nice from a few feet away. In the hand the vise clearly shows its inexpensive nature. The stem of the vise has a decent polished finished. The rest of the parts are clearly stamped. Itís not a bad looking vise, but youíll never confuse it with a top-of-the-line machined model. The barrel for the stem of the vise is oversize by about 1/16th of an inch, making first set-up feel sloppy. Once the locking bolt is tightened into place the oversize nature of the fit didnít seem to matter, though. The first fly I tied on this vise was a size 4 Mixed Media on a thick wire stainless steel hook. Once I had the chuck and collets properly set-up for the hook the cantilever cinched securely into place and the hook was held firmly. As can be imagined by itís Spartan design, there were no gadgets or doodads to impede complete access to the fly. The angle of the jaws was comfortable for my tying style, but the shaft of the vise was just a bit short. Provisions for an extension piece would have been nice. This might be an issue if youíre very tall, or if you tie from a low desk. Conclusion: This is a barely functional, temporarily useable piece of gear. It really needs a brief instruction manual with a parts illustration.

Joe's Rating - 1.80

 

Mark's Comments - This vise is very crude and simple and while it does work, and comes with 2 extra sets of jaws, the cam was very hard to adjust, the standard jaws were rounded and didn't have much clearance around it. The adjusting screws needed pliers to break them loose. While most of my fly tying is done at a last minute before I go fishing, this vise would make minutes seem like hours and while most vises have something to offer, I am struggling here to find anything positive to say.

Mark's Rating - 1.30
 

 

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