Saturday, October 9, 2010

My New Old Vice

Regal vices have always been number one in NZ, that's if you could afford one. I guess years ago they were around the $250.00 to $300.00 NZ dollar mark and back in the day this was a lot of cash for a high school lad. My first Regal was purchased from "The Tackle Box"in Chrtistchurch, where I once worked as part-timer. It was the standard regal with no rotation or leverage up and down. I've used it for years, only ever had one hook ping out, it's an old faithful, the jaws are still holding firm since the mid-80's. That one has now been passed on to dad and may have been used after his recent renewed interest in tying. (Although in all honesty he's probably using his old Indian vice.)

The other regal I picked up was for around $70.00 when I was living in Japan. The shop just wanted to get rid of it as it didn't seem to suit the tiers over there. Something about hook size. Anyway they have C and F and other fantastical vices to chose from.

Here's where the story gets interesting. While purusing our local internet auction I came across a Regal in all it's glory, advertised as new with rotating head, the up/down movement and a large clamp. It looked great. So like the trout to the fly I decided to buy it. I was so excited by the thought of being able to turn my fly upside down, nothing else seemed to matter. On arrival all looked good apart from the positioning of the jaws. So I contacted Regal in the states to ask them about the jaw positioning. They were extremely helpful. According to them however, this vice is an antique. possibly brought out on one of the first four ships to colonize NZ. They haven't seen this model since the early 80's and don't carry parts for it.

Anyway it performs well and now I can turn my fly upside down. And hey, I have a new antique!

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