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Renzetti traveler from circa. 1999

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  • Renzetti traveler from circa. 1999

    Though Renzetti had it all. Before you cut me, hear me out. When you spend $400 you really get a work of art, I spent close to 105 but now I have a vise that has features of a $150 vise and after the other mods It will be even more adjustable and usable by a pro! But, I had to make a few reversible modifications and 1 or 2 non. I will discuss the permanent mods before I actually perform the work. Anyways, go get a coffee or go take a bath room break. Then sit down and get comfy.

    So I acquired this vise on eBay just recently. See below for link to the actual vise I bought. I thought fine nice! I dated it to about 1999 I found a pic of my vise in a advert from 1999 post-62212-0-98333000-1514756799.jpg"This pic of the advert was also followed by this reply "Found this ad in a Fly Tying magazine I used to subscribe to from 1999. #2 lists as a Presentation 4000 alright, just a very early one" I am not trying to plug another forum just trying to cite the pic Bottom left is it.

    Anyways. The vise despite being perfectly usable had some undesirable features. Such as a soft shaft material and a hard set screw instead of nylon tipped set or a teflon.nylon thumbscrew! So I decided to pull out my tap and die set and measure the threads. I measured and measured 1/4 - 20 and 8 - 32 Whichever is larger is the base lock was 3/8 long and the other set screw one 8 - 32 are 1/2" long and are the smaller thread size. Here are some pics of the vise and the new thumb screws in. IMG_20190311_232034500.jpg Here I am measuring the threads. IMG_20190311_232145440.jpg My tap and die set is a Mac Tools TD117combos for a link to see more about my tap and die set.

    IMG_20190314_205717295.jpg Messy Ole desk with new set screws in! IMG_20190314_210216854.jpg Won't be needing this but I will keep it for its history IMG_20190314_205900439.jpg Heres how the screws came.

    NOW for the perma mods. I plan to drill a hole on each side left and right where I put the arrow IMG_20190311_230140688.jpg I know it has a super smooth and sophisticated tension system that predates and out performs nylon pensioning thumbscrews. But I cant keep appearances up without ad least 1 thumbscrew roationg head tension. So at the end it will have 3 separate tensions for rotational force. the Teflon insert in in tight so i am sure it won't shift during drilling Now i can dial in any pressure great or small till the cows come home.

    I dont have pics But I will post some to show yall the head disassembled and the special considerations I have to account for to be able to successfully and non jankily attach 2 additional tension knobs by tapping and drilling and deburring and finally testing,

    The very first thing my pretentious best friend fly tyer and high end pattern tier told me it had no tension knob I said here look and try this. Tension and tighten tension and tighten till you like the rotational force "not bad he said." What I gotta do round here for some respect buy a presenation 400? Ha! After the mods I am sure that I will be more effective sitting there looking at the vise and not using it. I haven't done any tying but I love refurbishing modifying. I also bought a ukranian vise with the intention of modding it

    What do guys think about it all. Question Comment like or whatever yall do around here and discuss any thing that comes to mind!
    Find great deals on eBay for 223425032869. Shop with confidence.
    Last edited by TigerTiger; 03-14-19, 09:01 PM.

  • #2


    • #3
      Hey, I'd love to see what you are doing for the rotation tension adjustment. I have a pedestal Traveler and love it but the rotation tension screw doesn't stay adjusted over repeated use.
      - Jed Green

      "I will make you fishers of men" - Christ
      Bamboo rods, Clear streams, and old Jeeps


      • #4
        Few notations on the vintage Renzetti Traveler. I use a Traveler I bought new in 1996. Traveler came out in 1988 so mine was in the 8th year of production. The early Renzettis didn't have the black adjustment knob screw on the head. Tiger indicates he is going to add one by drilling and tapping at the bullseye in the last photo. I don't consider that to be a tension adjustment . Imo it is a stop knob for when you want to tighten down to completely stop rotation putting the jaws in a fixed position. The actual tension adjustment was and is today by use of the two knurled gold colored nuts (gold nuts back then) on each side of the handle. Tighter is by putting more squeeze on the two teflon washers you can see in the photo on each side of the head. To adjust rotation tension you loosen the outer nut first and then tighten or loosen the other nut closest to the head. When you get the amount of tension you want, you hold the inner nut and re-tighten the outer nut. If you are not locking the jaws in one position the black knob nut should be loosened. I've never had the need to lock the jaws in one place. One other thing many don't know is the 3 hole positioning of the jaws for larger or smaller hooks. There are 3 holes for the screw that holds the jaw assembly in place. The hole in the center is for middle of the road size hooks. The hole farther out towards the jaw tips is for the largest hooks. The other hole closest to the closing knob (or cam lever) is for the smallest of hooks. Five or six years ago I bought the replacement cam jaws and took out the knob screw jaws. Cam is much better.


        • #5
          I think the changes you are making are fantastic.. Even better, it is your vice, you saved money, and it will last for years. I am older, so I guess I like things with some age.. I am also aware that there are many new products for fly fishing that are amazing. I have the same Traveler engineer Ole Man has, but use a Regal mostly, because like you said , to me it is a piece of art. Thank you for sharing this with us.