It has been a while since I have come across a new fly tying vise that really impressed me. I have been tying flies for more than 45 years now and have used more brands and models of vises then I can count. I now use the Griffin Montana Mongoose Vise and I think it's a great vise. I like it so much I just added it to my website. But the Mongoose has been around for a while now. I wanted to bring some new technology to my website. I decided to search for new companies and try new products.
Recently I've come across a fairly new company to the US called Stonfo. They manufacture a line of vises and tools that really impressed me. I ordered 2 of their vises the Kaiman and the Transformer to see if they were as good as they looked. Being a manufacturing engineer for over 35 years, I am super critical of machining quality. I gave them a thorough inspection upon arrival. Much to my delight they were beautifully machined and as good or better then most high-end vises I've seen. Their fit and finish was second to none. The quality of components is first class. Ball bearings that will last a lifetime, high-grade stainless steel and aluminum, ergonomically machined levers and cranks, rubber covered knobs and clamps and a mirror-like finish on all components.
The Kaiman vise utilizes spring pressure to rigidly hold size 28 to 5/0 hooks. The head is made from stainless steel with hardened steel jaws. It has an inline rotary axis that will rotate 360°. One cool feature is that it will snap into place at 90° increments. This is nice when you are trimming heads, placing eyes and coloring with markers. The head can be adjusted to any angle using the provided Allen wrench. The locking lever can be changed to either side for left or right hand users. The base comes with rubber feet that provides solid steady placement. Each vise comes with a material clip, Allen wrench and instruction book. This is an excellent mid-priced vise that will last even the most avid / professional tier for many years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RygB-aCUf2g
The Transformer vise in my opinion is the best new vise to come out in years. Its price is well below vises that are not even near its quality and advanced innovations. It's called the Transformer because it's 3 vises in one. The quick disconnect coupling will transform your vise into a standard vise, streamer vise or a tube fly vise in a blink of an eye, without any tools. All 3 heads are included as well as the pins and accessories for the tube fly vise. It is a true rotary vise that smoothly rotates on ball bearings. The hook shank is held inline with the axis of rotation. The material clip (included) is adjustable and clamps the material where you want it. Each vise comes with a bobbin cradle + parachute attachment (very cool). This attachment is made from stainless steel and it's twice the diameter of any I've seen. The parachute post clip is included. The vise base is nice and heavy with rubber feet. There are 2-dished areas for hook and bead storage and holes for your tools and accessories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72ZVsnns_rI
When you think about how many hours you sit in front of a vise compared to the time spent fishing and what you are willing to pay for a new rod and reel every year, I think the cost for good quality fly tying tools is well worth getting the best you can afford.