Wolff Industries - Atlas Vise

articulated squidRon over at Southwest Custom Rods has started to carry the Wolff Indiana Atlas and Apex vises. I jumped at the chance to steal both vises from him and do some tying on them!

These were formerly known as Anvil USA vises but Wolff Indiana which was the manufacturer of them for Anvil USA purchased the rights from them to continue to sell directly as Anvil USA was going in another direction with their product line.

My first impression when picking up the vise is its SOLID. Other reviews I've read about this vise compare it to a Humvee, and I'd have to agree, its very well built.


This is a full rotary vise made from stainless steel, made in the USA and carries a lifetime warranty. The jaws are made from tool steel and can hold hooks from 7/0 to 32 securely. There are grooves in the jaws to help hold the larger hooks which really helps. The rotary function has a separate rotation friction and lock out. The friction on the rotary lets you get that perfect sweet spot where the vise can be rotated and left upside down, on its side or any angle inbetween while tying. The ability to lock the vise from rotating is a nice feature when you need to crank down on a fly and do not want it to rotate on you. The finger pin for rotating the vise can be re-positioned into any of the 4 available holes, or removed completely if desired to fit your tying style. The vise can also be converted to right or left hand easily by just moving the knobs to the other side if needed. It comes with both a large heavy pedestal base, and a nice machined C-Clamp.altlas vise full

Jaw adjustment is easily done using the knurled knob above the cam lever on the jaws. The jaws can be moved up or down to get the perfect rotary on whatever hook size you're using by loosening the knob and moving the jaws up or down. Locking the jaws is done by rotating the cam lever up and has a lot of travel to the fully locked position. I found you can accomodate quite a few hook sizes without adjusting the jaws just by flipping the cam far enough to hold the hook securely and not worrying about the full lock out. The jaws taper to a fine point and make tying on even the smallest of hooks a breeze.

atlas vise close2

The friction adjustement for rotation is adjusted using the knurled knob at the end of the vise. Depending on your style of tying you can have a nice solid friction to hold the jaws at any angle during rotation or if you like them loose, the vise does it all with a simple adjustment. Lockout is performed by turning the knob mid vise a turn in and pins the shaft at any angle you desire. The long finger pin can be moved to any of the 4 holes in the end cap of the vise easily to accomodate your tying style, or even removed completely if that's your thing.

atlas vise close1

The pedestal base is very large, not the typical small rectangle, but a full square of solid steel powder coated in a nice photo blue color which makes it easy to see small hooks, beads, or materials sitting on it. Rotation when on the base is solid, the vise doesn't rock or feel like its going to tip at all. The machined lug for the vise stem is very nice and again, solid. (seeing a theme here?)

atlas vise close4atlas vise close3 

The included C-Clamp is nicely machined and holds very well. My only complaint is that when using the C-Clamp the vise is far too low for me when tying. I would have liked to have seen either an extension for the stem of the vise, or the ability to move the pedestal lug onto the C-Clamp to help raise it up. There is another clamp available from them called the "Versa Clamp" that might solve this problem for me, I'll check that out and update.

atlas vise clamp

Only other minor complaint I have is that there is no included bobbin cradle. To perform a lot of the rotary tying techniques you need a bobbin cradle. Terra Tools does make a universal cradle that fits perfectly as well as a handfull of other manufacturers.

They do include a material clip as well with the vise as shown in the pictures, but I'm interested in trying out the clips made for the Peak and see if they fit.


I'm in love with this vise! I've been tying non-stop on it since I picked it up. I just contacted Ron from Southwest Custom Rods and placed my order for one to replace my current Danvise. The vise has a MSRP of $149 but Southwest Custom Rods is offering them up at a special price, contact them for more info.

articulated squid


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