Renzetti Traveler Product Review

The Most Popular Vise in the World!

Much like picking out a new fly rod, choosing a fly tying vise can be tedious and overwhelming.  There are quite a few choices on the market and everyone has their own opinion on what you should choose.  Over the years, we at St. Peter's have fallen in love with Renzetti's products and in particular, the Traveler series of vises.  When it comes to ease of use and durability, the Renzetti Traveler is hard to pass over.  The Renzetti Traveler "True Rotary" Vise was first introduced in 1988...and according to Renzetti, it has become the most popular vise in the world...a claim we find hard to argue with.  From jaw to base, it offers the "True Rotary" feature Renzetti is known for, as well as easy portability, unquestionable hook holding power, and an affordable price.

The Renzetti Traveler vise comes in essentially 3 different models.  The 2000 series, the 2200 series and the 2300 series.  The main difference here is in the vise's finish.  The 2200 and 2300 are anodized with either a silver or black anodized finish respectively.  The 2000 series we lovingly call the "Retro" as that is the original Traveler finish with brass fittings (this is also by far the most popular model).  However, all three models feature the same "True Rotary" action and cam jaw assembly with amazing hook-holding power.  From personal experience, the Traveler's jaw will securely hold hooks from size 28-4/0, without having to change jaws.  And not just "kind of" holds REALLY holds hooks.  The Renzetti Traveler cam jaw is rock steady with two points of tension to ensure every hook will neither move nor pull out of the jaw during taught thread wraps.  Other vises in this price category are no match on this front, and you typically have to buy three sets of jaws to do the job of one Renzetti cam jaw.

I have mentioned Renzetti's "True Rotary" feature more than once.  A lot of vises on the market tout a "rotary" feature, but nothing compares to the Traveler's rotary action.  Most "rotary" vises just mean that the vise head and jaw can rotate 360 degrees.  However, without "true" rotary, this results in the fly flip-flopping off plane when the jaw is spun.   The Traveler's "True Rotary" feature allows the fly to spin 360 degrees on a center axis...meaning the shank of the hook never spins off the plane of the vise head itself.  To accomplish this, Renzetti has crafted an adjustable jaw that sits at a perfect angle to ensure your hook is on plane.  True Rotary allows for precise dubbing, ribbing and palmering of materials.  Most tiers, myself included, purchasing a Traveler may not use the true rotary feature immediately, and you do have the ability to lock the vise head in place so it doesn't spin.  However, slowly but surely you will start to use the rotary feature.  At first it's just a convenient way to flip the fly and check your work on the side of the fly facing away from you.  Eventually, you will start to wrap materials by using the rotary function in place of the hand-over-hand technique.  Using the True Rotary function will help you produce aesthetically better flies in half the time.

Check out the video review for an example of these features, including the "True Rotary" action:


All Traveler vises come with a removable bobbin cradle and your choice of either a black powder-coated pedestal base or C-clamp.  If you have a dedicated tying station at home, the C-clamp is a great option (just make sure your tying surface is an appropriate size to affix the C-clamp to).  The pedestal base is perfect for tiers who will likely be mobile, traveling (get it?), or whose significant other might frown upon clamping a vise to your expensive dining room table!  To put icing on the vise cake, all Renzetti Travelers are hand-made in the USA, which is always important to us at St. Peter's.  Additional accessories are available to customize your vise, but the Renzetti Traveler alone is worth the price of admission.  If it's time for a vise upgrade, look no further than the selection of Traveler vises offered by our friends at Renzetti.  Your fly tying will thank you!