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Jon Larrabee holds two engineering degrees, mechanical and manufacturing. He loves to fly fish, recognized as an excellent fly tyer, fly reel designer and builder, vise designer and builder, and tube fly enthusiast.

There is something worth saying about John Larrabee

Skip Clement, New Zealand

By Skip Clement

I introduce HMH because they have everything a fly tyer needs to get into tube fly tying, or tying in general. Anything from a tube tying vise adapter to a tube vise and all the other accoutrements you’ll ever need. HMH pricing is fair; the quality is ‘A’ plus and client communication is revolutionary in the day and age of contacting non-English speakers as company representatives.

NOTE: I do not receive any free products from HMH.

Jon Larrabee owns HMH. He is 53 but has the energy of a guy in his 20s, and he needs that energy to run the HMH Vises almost singlehandedly.

If we yell loud enough, Larrabee may start remaking these beautiful Edward Vom Hofe-like fly reels. First established in 1867 in New York, Edward Vom Hofe was responsible for many early innovations, including a spring-loaded drag system and a click and pawl.

HMH is sneaky big

They ship daily to US destinations and at least once a week internationally. The features on their tying vise models are a testament to Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).

The standout design feature of all HMH vises is everything is where it should be. No part of any HMH vise will prematurely fail. You can buy a $200 HMH vise or a $500 vise and be assured your daughter or son will likewise be handing down your HMH vise to new beneficiaries.Jon Larrabee became a skilled fly tyer early in life under the care of his father’s fellow professor.

Jon’s summers began as a camper at a boy’s wilderness character-building outdoors camp in Canada. Then, as its guide/counselor

The camping experience was built around total outdoor immersion, starting and ending the outdoor experience in tents and canoes for six weeks.

As the only ever non-adult counselor at the storied Canadian outdoor experience camp, he would be responsible for the physical and mental well-being and teaching life-sustaining bushcraft skills to boys much older than himself, 18 and 19 years old.

In an interview, Jon said, “Long before buying HMH from my friend, Bill Hunter, we talked about my buying the company almost ten years ago.”

Edward Vom Hofe original belonging to Larrabee. Expensive – a collectors item.

About Jon Larrabee and KISS

Jon Larrabee re-registered as a Maine guide. He had been a licensed professional guide at 17, but then college and work got in the way.

Larrabee adopted a creative philosophy that he lives by today. It’s called KISS (Keep it simple, stupid), an essential design maxim that resonates throughout the creation and price points of all the views he designed, hand-built, and manufactures today.

The company’s two inception vises, Standard and Spartan, were popular out of the gate and part of the reason for buying the company from Bill Hunter, HMH’s founder and personal friend of Larrabee’s.

Most intermediate to master tyers know HMH Vises and every professional fly tyer knows Jon Larrabee. Beginners should be confident aligning with HMH. They are buying quality, won’t need to comb the internet for parts and pieces, and everything will stay intact under everyday use.

One of the biggest complaints from newbie fly tyers who bought or received as a gift a vise made offshore and sold in big box outdoor stores and Walmart is jaw failure. After some use, it won’t hold a hook, and plastic parts break. Years ago, I was okay using a $50 vise and its packaged accouterments as my travel vise. Its jaw broke while tying Crazy Charlie’s while in Belize – a pair of lodge-borrowed vise grips saved the day. I gave the miniature tools and busted vise to my guide, Leo.

If you see HMH Vises at your favorite fly shop, you can be sure that the owner/manager is a knowledgeable fly tyer, knows a quality vise, and probably understands the benefits of tube flies.

All HMH vises are 100% Made in the USA. Better, 100% made in Maine. NOTE: Some plastic parts are made in New Jersey.

Jon has degrees in mechanical engineering and manufacturing. He has built fly reels and continues designing and building fly-tying vises.

Larrabee can design and make almost anything

Larrabee’s strongest suit is engineered design and engineered manufacturing systems. Before owning HMH, he had a trail of work hires and successes with major companies needing to change gears, make something new, or introduce a new manufacturing system.

No one ever regretted trusting John Larrabee

HMH Vises has been making high quality fly tying vises, tools and materials since 1975. Our goal is to manufacture the best in fly fishing products to the outdoors enthusiast. Our products are ones we use ourselves and have been tested on the coast of Maine, in the Maine Woods or in the Canadian bush.
Jon Larrabee is the principal owner of HMH and is a skilled engineer and machinist with over 35 years of experience as a canoe guide and fly fisherman and is passionate about building, finding and selling products that exceed your outdoor expectations.


Lefty Kreh [1925 – 2018) and Dave Whitlock [2022 – 1934], James Spicer [InTheRiffle], Kelley Galloup, and many more pro tyers have relationships with or had a relationship with HMH.

“You buy an HMH and tie with everyday for a lifetime” — TJ Douglas


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