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Renzetti Apprentise

First Impressions.  Did the vise come in an attractive package?  Was it well packed and would the packaging serve as storage for the vise?  3.83

 

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?  4.17

 

Vise fit and finish.  Is this a well finished product?  Did it communicate quality right out of the box?  3.83

 

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?  4.00

 

Vise stem finish, adjustability and length. Is the vise flexible in placement for a number of tiers and table heights?  3.67

 

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.  3.50

 

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).  3.00

 

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. 3.33

 

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?  3.33

 

Country where manufactured?  USA

 

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3.63 Overall Rating

MSRP   $99.95

Jim's Comments -  The Renzetti Apprentise was in interesting dichotomy. It has a nice design with fairly versatile jaws but the entire package seems a little pricey for what you get. I've been tying on a Renzetti Traveler for a while now and I've gotten used to the way those jaws work. Setting up and adjusting draw collett jaws of any design was quite foreign to me at the outset. The Apprentise uses draw collett design and has made a pretty refined product. You adjust for different sized hooks by turning the collar at the business end of the jaws. Completely different from any other design out there, today. You'd think that the ease with which the jaws remove would portend a series of different jaws, but it doesn't. The jaws seem small but they accommodate the range of hook sizes listed in the documentation. The operation was butter smooth right out of the zip lock bag, the vise came in. The c-clamp doesn't have cork or foam protection for wood tables but it's one of the smoothest operating c-clamps going. The head can be leveled out or angled and I like the fit and finish. This is a good, solid vise design, that is light as a feather, but the one thing I really don't like is the price point. From what I've seen from other makers, at just under 100 dollars, this isn't enough vise for the money. My guess is that if Renzetti lowered the price point by 20 or so dollars, they wouldn't be able to keep these things in stock. As it is, you can get more vise and more features for the same or less money

Jim's Rating - 4.50

 

Joe's CommentsAt first I was a bit surprised to see this vise packaged in a plastic bag with a backing card. That's a bit unusual, but it's better than the really cheap cardboard boxes that a couple of the vises came in. The Renzetti was a bit rough out of the bag. The threads on the locking collett were a bit sharp and there was some edging left from the cutting process during manufacture. A quick clean-up with a bodkin tip and a coating of light silicone grease brought the action back in line, but you won't mistake this for a high-end machined unit. That said the C-Clamp was one of the better designs with a very positive grip. The jaws are smallish, but held everything I threw at them with aplomb. I especially enjoyed tying some size 10 soft hackles as the petit jaws and open design really made access simple for working with the soft silk and fragile widgeon feathers I used. I think this might make fine travel vise; it's very light-weight and packs flat. It might be fragile for a long term main vise, though I doubt a tier could do more than leave a mark or two. This is a thoroughly practical and serviceable tool that will provide any tier, beginner to expert, with a stable platform on which to tie the fly. If your thing is big jigs, saltwater flies or spun deer hair bugs you might look elsewhere, but for the mainstream casual tier this is a fine purchase.

Joe's Rating - 3.20

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Mark's CommentsTypical of Renzetti's namesake, this vise is quite light, made out of some type of aluminum that looks like it was borrowed from NASA. The vise comes in a simple zip lock bag so its easy to see what you are getting. This vice has a rotary function, but I thought it was a tad bit loose when it was time to adjust the tension to what I felt comfortable with. The locking cam is very simple to lock without having to get all white knuckled to get it clamped like so many others.  It was easy to get the right level of tension. This vise comes with a single set of jaws and, while they worked quite well, I am not a fan of rounded jaws.  I feel I loose maneuverability around the hook with that type, so I personally opt for something that has pointed jaws.  That's my personal bias and your mileage may vary.  Overall a nice quality vise with some time and effort put behind the design..

Mark's Rating - 3.20

 

 

Manufacturer's Comments -

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