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Peak Vise Review – Fly Tying

Peak vises have gotten really popular over the last several years. They offer an affordable alternative to Renzetti, Dyna King and Regal vises.

Being a Colorado company, I am obviously biased towards them.

However, they really do offer affordable vises that will last for years. I have had my Peak rotary vise for about 7 years, and have tied thousands of flies with it. Not a single part has failed on me, and I have never had to contact peak with issues. This speaks volumes about their quality and longevity.

This article will dive into the pros and cons of the Peak rotary vise. Hopefully it will guide you in your decision about which vise to get.

Overview Of The Peak Rotary Vise

Most vises out there look pleasing to the eye, but the Peak is quite plain in its appearance. It certainly doesn’t turn heads like a Renzetti vise does. This can definitely turn people away from the Peak, and I understand.

However, Peak vises are built with industrial quality. All of the parts are over-engineered so they won’t fail. Every component of the Peak vise is just beefier than other competitors. It can take a beating, especially when traveling.

One of my favorite parts is the pedestal base. It weighs in at 7 lbs, and is one of the best bases I have come across. Due to the heavier weight, it won’t tilt or slide around at all. Renzetti’s bases are much smaller, and they can definitely slide around on you sometimes.

Peak Non Rotary Vise

For tyers on a tight budget, the non rotary option can be a good choice. For $125, you’ll get the same Peak components in a slimmed down package. Rotary vises aren’t mandatory, and you can tie some great flies on a non rotary.

Many novice tyers may want to consider Peaks non rotary option. Lots of fly shops will use them for fly tying classes due to their low price and high performance.

The Peak Vise Jaws

The standard peak jaws can hold most hook sizes, but not all. It is best for medium to large sized hooks, since the tips are pretty rounded. For tying size #20-#26 flies, it isn’t the best option. The standard jaws come on most peak vises, and are included with the purchase.

For tying smaller flies, the Peak midge jaws are recommended. These are a finer jaw that allows you to hold very small hooks. For tailwater fisherman needing to tie small bugs all the time, I would recommend the midge jaws.

Then there are the saltwater jaws. These jaws are very stubby and rounded, and can hold extremely large hooks. They are meant for saltwater anglers and guides who are constantly tying big flies.

Replacement jaws are about $45 each, but they last a long time. I have had my standard jaws since the beginning (6 years ago) and they still work! I could use a new pair, but it’s just amazing how durable they are. Pretty sure I have tied close to 10,000 flies on this vise – without replacing the jaws.

The bummer with Peak is that they make you decide between jaw models. Renzetti jaws allow you to hold any hook size, which is way more convenient. I wish peak would come out with a better “universal” jaw like Renzetti has. Many fly tyers produce a wide range of flies, and it would be nice to have 1 jaw that could accommodate that.

Peak Vise Rotary Function

The rotary function is quite smooth, and it doesn’t require maintenance. The tension knob allows you to control the rotary tension very easily. Some folks like a looser rotary, while others prefer stiffer.

The spinning handle at the back is large enough to be functional and comfortable. I really enjoy using the rotary function on the Peak vise. It is still as smooth as the day I got it.

Price Of Peak Rotary Vise

The Peak rotary comes in at just under $200, which is comparable to the Renzetti traveler models. Many folks will go with a Renzetti Traveler because they look better, but the Peak is a great option as well

I think considering the longevity of this vise, the price is justified. Like I said, I have not had to replace any parts since I bought the vise. For under $200 and then no additional costs, I think any tyer would benefit from this purchase.

For the frugal fly tyer who wants a lifelong vise, the Peak is a great choice. Once you get the Peak, there won’t be a reason to upgrade unless you want to.

Optional Accessories

One of my favorite additions to my Peak is the profile plate. This is a white piece of plastic that offers a clean back drop for your fly tying sessions. Since tying desks get so dirty, it can be hard to focus on your fly. The profile plate allows you to focus on your fly, and not whats behind it.

The Peak profile plate comes in at $28, and I think it is well worth it. I have 20/20 vision, but the profile plate really enhances my tying experience.

I also like these foam pads that I got for the vise. They are made by Hareline and they are called Fly Racks. You can insert your flies into them during a tying session, and then put the flies in your fly box later. They also allow you to dry any glue or epoxy you used on your flies. It costs $4 for 2 racks, which is quite cheap.

Conclusion

With the wide array of vises on the market, it can be hard to pick just one. Although Peak vises aren’t the nicest, they provide long term usage and durability. I think they are a great option for guides and hardcore fisherman. Especially for the frugal angler, the cost and performance of the Peak can’t be beat. Mine has stood the test of time, and I think yours will too.

I highly encourage new fly tyers to check them out. The world of fly tying can be very enjoyable.