When I originally saw the photo of this vise entered by George Layne, I thought I was looking at one of the oldest fly tying vises we’ve ever seen in the vintage tackle contest. Well, it kind of is and it kind of isn’t. What it turns out George has is a great example of an angler’s ability to adapt non-fishing wares and make them fishy. I’ll let Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog explain.


Dr. Todd says:

“This is a very interesting nineteenth century device that was adapted for use as a fly tying vise. While I don’t think it was originally intended for this use, it certainly would make a fine vise for tying creatures like the deer hair mouse (which, by the way, dates from the 1960s or later). This vise is missing the chuck that goes into the end which would allow the user to tighten the head on the hook in order to facilitate the tying process. It has a lot of character and age and I think it should be worth around $30 to a fly tier or fly fishing tackle collector.”


It’s certainly different, George! Thanks for sending, and keep an eye on your mailbox because there’s a set of Berkley Aluminum Pliers headed your way.

If you’ve already sent me photos of your vintage tackle, keep checking every Thursday to see if I chose it for an appraisal by Dr. Todd. If you haven’t and want to enter the contest, email photos of your old tackle to, along with your name, mailing address, and story of how you acquired the gear. If I use it in a Thursday post, you get a pair of Berkley Aluminum Pliers (above) worth $50.