There are two primary fly-tying vise stands. Both are common and widely used. Some vises come with one or the other. Few come with both. They are the C-clamp and the pedestal base.
There are passionate groups on both sides of the fly tying table. But I’m here to set the record straight.
What is a c-clamp
A c-clamp vise stand connects to the side of a table via a clamp. The clamp is typically made of steel or some hard metal with a bolt on the bottom that you screw to tighten against the table.
This is great for working on the edge of the table where you can easily discard material to the floor or trash can below.
What is a pedestal base
A pedestal base is a flat piece of metal that the vise mounts to. The pedestal can be sat on any flat surface like a table or even a large book on your lap.
You can tie flies literally from anywhere if you have a flat surface to set the pedestal base.
When are each useful
The c-clamp is an excellent vise mount for permanent locations like a fly-flying bench. The clamp does not take up any tabletop space which frees up room for other material preparation.
The pedestal base is perfect for traveling and allows you to tie flies anywhere. Iâ€™ve tied flies in a boat, in a car, and in my lap at camp. All of these places lacked a table to mount a c-clamp to.
If you do not a dedicated fly tying table, a pedestal base makes setup much easier. And more adaptable. I use to tie flies either in my garage, office, or kitchen table depending on the weather (and type of fly tying).
Which is the best
I believe the pedestal base is the best and most versatile of options. The benefits of a c-clamp are small and many do not have a dedicated full-time fly tying vise. And if they did, you could easily use a pedestal base too.
Most pedestal bases can be tightened to fit almost any fly-tying vise. And any vise including rotary and non-rotary fly tying vises can be mounted to either a c-clamp or pedestal.