We All Have Our Vises, Mine’s a Regal

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My Regal Medallion Photo by Louis Cahill

My Regal Medallion Photo by Louis Cahill

I made my first tying vise.

I know what you’re thinking, but this vise was not a pair of hemostats duct taped to the back of a chair. I grew up in a machine shop and own two metal lathes and a host of other tools you won’t find at the Home Depot. My vise was sweet. Perfect center axis rotation with a lever at the rear, brass jaws, curly maple base, the works so when I decided to buy a vise my expectations were pretty high.

I decided on the Regal Medallion and I love it. The one thing I sacrificed was the rotary lever at the rear of the vise. Regal offers this in their Revolution series but I opted to save the extra cash and I have not been disappointed. The Regal Medallion is an elegant design with a couple of powerful features that make it an outstanding vise.

The key to the Regal design is the jaw. It is the most powerful tying vise jaw I have ever used and yet the simplest. I was skeptical at first that a spring loaded jaw could deliver the power I expected. It makes me crazy when a hook moves in the vise and that is my first requirement, a powerful jaw. Once I got my hands on a Regal to try I was shocked at its power. Hook movement is not an issue.

The Regal jaw could not be simpler to use. Simply squeeze the release lever to open the jaw and release it to close. There is no adjustment necessary for different hook sizes. I also like the fact that Regal offers several different jaw designs and allows you to customize your vise to suit your needs. I chose the stainless steel jaws which hold hooks from size 2 to 32 and has a very slim profile for tying small flies. I have been very happy with them.

The vise head is a rotary style which is a must for me. It operates smoothly and you can adjust the tension making it firmer or easier to rotate. The pitch of the head is easily adjustable as well and does not require a tool, other than to set the tension. I like this feature because I find I like to tie smaller flies with the head pitched up to a 45 degree angle.

The Medallion is available with several different bases as well as a clamp or a spike that can be driven into a stump or picnic table. The vise is really stout. I can’t imagine what it would take to break one. I travel with mine in my checked luggage all the time and have not had a problem.

It’s seldom that a piece of gear exceeds my expectations. My Regal vise has. I guess I’ve taken it for granted. It only occurred to me to write about it after I tied on a friends vise the other day. I couldn’t get it to hold the hook tight enough and broke it trying. It really made me appreciate my vise. I’m buying my friend a Regal.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 
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16 thoughts on “We All Have Our Vises, Mine’s a Regal

  1. This is the vice my local fly shop recommended when I started tying and it works flawlessly, so easy, perfect design. It was the only vice I had ever used, but recently, like Louis, I have had the opportunity to try out some friends vices (fly tying vices that is) and there is no comparison – I love my Regal!

    Greg

  2. Love my Regals! After tying on a few other vises commercially for a decade I picked up a Regal Travel vise to take along on to trip to Alaska and was impressed enough with it that I looked in to the rest of their line. I now tie on a Regal Revolution and have never been happier with a piece of equipment I own, let alone a vise. Simple, durable, reliable…bad ass.

  3. I also love my Regal. I bought mine from Trout Unlimited, so in addition to the great features of the vise, the base is cast with the TU name/logo.

    Love it so much I gave my other vise to my 11 year old for tying.

  4. I would not mind seeing your vise that you built. I too was a former machinist and built my own. I’m still using it today. I love seeing the creativity in home made stuff!

  5. I’ve had the chance to tie on a regal and they are very nice indeed. If I had done so before purchasing my peak, I might have gone with a regal. One of the things that I do like about the peak is the ability to change the jaws since I do tie a large variety of flies of all sizes. But to read above that someone has had the same vice since before I was born really says something about the quality and function of the vice.

  6. Hello Louis,
    I enjoyed your article and you are right on the money about the essential part of what a flytying vise should be designed for – To Hold The Hook! Regal does that like no other vise incorporating a deceptively easy design that has earned it the name “Bulldog of the bench vises”. You certainly won’t be surprised when I tell you that many commercial tying houses use Regal vises simply because they are solid, simple to operate and last forever.
    One other point I might mention is that Regal is the only vise company I know that will allow you to customize your vise, so that if you want the in-line rotary feature of the Revolution, coupled with your Medallion Stainless Jaw model, it is available. No need to pine for that rotary lever anymore!

  7. I’m in the market for a tying vise. It will be my first one. Thank you all for your comments. It helped me reach a decision on the Regal with Stainless steel jaws and bronze traditional base. This vise is beautiful . I am going for dry flies on relatively smallish hooks. Maybe I can now spend my time tying flies rather than researching and reading about vises!!

  8. My father gave me a Regal vise for a college graduation present 28 years ago and I’m still tying with it today. Decided to get a midge head for tying zebras and tiny bwo’s. Wouldn’t think of getting another vise-worth every penny.

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