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Griffin Blackfoot Mongoose

 

First Impressions.  Did the vise come in an attractive package?  Was it well packed and would the packaging serve as storage for the vise?   4.67

 

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? 4.33

 

Vise fit and finish.  Is this a well finished product?  Did it communicate quality right out of the box?  4.67

 

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? 3.33

 

Vise stem finish, adjustability and length. Is the vise flexible in placement for a number of tiers and table heights?  4.67

 

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?  3.67

 

Rotation and adjustability.  Is the vise capable of rotating?   If so, was the rotating mechanism smooth and robust?   Use N/A if this vise doesn’t feature rotability.  3.67

 

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). 4.00

 

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. 4.33

 

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? 4.33

 

Country where manufactured?  USA

 

 

 

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4.17 Overall Rating

MSRP   $145.00

Jim's Comments -  Now we're talkin'!. This is obviously Griffin's attempt at taking market share away from Renzetti's highly successful Traveler series. This is another of Griffins vises with the stem extension. A great idea. I liked look of this vise right out of the box. The case it ships in, is a great idea and very handsome. A true rotary vise with adjustment in the rotation tension along with an easy way to set the bobbin cradle. The head holds a wide range of hooks. What more could you ask for? I only had a few of issues with this vise. The C-clamp didn't have any cork on the underside to keep it from marring a table top. It's also a different design from the rest of Griffins line. That said, the edges of the clamp are rounded and it may not matter. - The vises rotary head design is something new as well. It's a spring loaded tension adjustment held in place by the back knob. My Renzetti travelers head tension is a bitch to adjust. Once it's set, everything's ok but the Mongoose is far easier to adjust. My only gripe about rotation is that there isn't a looser setting. Something very easy to do on the Dan Vise and Peak.  I'm thinking it will ease up over time as the bearing points on the rotary axle, in the Mongoose head, are greased O-rings, that will loosen up over time. The other issue was the set screw on the rotation tension adjustment was very hard to set. One thing I think may come back to haunt Griffin is the fact that they use plastic heads on all their set screws. I'd have to question to overall longevity of such fasteners. Overall, a very nice, well outfitted tool that will probably outlive it's owner.

Jim's Rating - 4.30

 

Joe's Comments - A real winner, I liked this vise. It's nice looking, smooth and well machined. It isn't as silky as some of the super high-dollar tools I've tied on and it won't hold a hook with a death grip like my beloved Regal, but you'll never, ever have to make an excuse that you didn't buy a professional quality tool. The rotary function is buttery, the jaws are well sized for most freshwater and light saltwater tying. I may just buy one of these to keep around for tying on the road and, especially, when I want to tie a fly where the rotary function makes a difference, especially flies like palmers, Catskill dries and delicately ribbed streamer bodies. This is a great vise!

Joe's Rating - 3.70

.

Mark's CommentsThis is the vice for me! It comes with a great plastic carrying case, excellent directions, a material clip, a riser extension, and a bobbin cradle. High quality is written all over this one and a lot of thought went into the design. Only thing missing is an option chart with part numbers. Another plus is the package says it has a "Lifetime Guarantee" and is "Made in USA", those two are seemingly absent from most vices today.

Mark's Rating - 4.50

 

Manufacturer's Comments - We try to keep the cost of our tools down without sacrificing quality.  Our 1A and MT Pro are great little vises for folks who would like to learn to tie, but don't want to spend a lot. They're simple to use and will hold a hook firmly. Both of these vises will be available next fall in a pedestal version.  We feel that our vises meet the needs of tiers looking for a US made vise that won't empty their wallet, provide hook holding ability , quality and capability of providing many years of tying.

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