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About SurfMariner

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  • Birthday 05/18/1954


  • About Me:
    Started Van Staal Engineering in 1987. Created the first Van Staal reels in1993 ran the company successfully until 2001. Started ZeeBaaS in 2005 as a new surf reel brand with great success (THEN!) . Started 3-TAND fly reels successfully in 2010. Started the Subaqua spinning reels successfully in 2015. Sold the Subaqua spinning reels and Vonaqua fly reels to Zebco to add to the Van Staal brand. Currently started a new series of reels as the Visser Reels brand. Ready to launch Spring of 2020
  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Designing, Engineering challenges, Fishing, watches
  • What I do for a living:
    Managing my current company Visser Reels. New development efforts will be implemented soon for designing new spinning reels that will surpass anything I have created before. It will be the accumulation of more than 25 years of design knowledge that will be reflected in the new reels.

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  1. Just for fun! I designed this for a Chinese company here in China a few years ago. They did make prototype samples. The spin-cast reel is mounted underneath with the line going through the very short rod tip. The illustration has the rubber band missing but you might get the idea! To load you simply use both hands to pull the band back and catch it in the notch of the arrow. The trigger also pushes the reel button to release the line at the same time the arrow is released. It worked very well, but the funny thing is that it did not get approved, and rejected for the market by the Chinese Government. We need to count our blessings that have our freedoms to design and build just about anything in the USA we can think of. Don't let the progressives take those rights away or we will lose those rights and become just like those other stiffs that do not like us to have our fun! Happy New Year!
  2. Thanks for asking me about where things stand. I have not been responding as quickly because for me it has been very busy. Please contact me directly any time, this forum is great and very informative but as an manufacturer we have to be carful how information is interpreted and explained by some on this forum that do not know the fine details. Our plan is to control final assembly in the USA, that will minimize any quality issues. We are working very hard to get past this first stage of introduction. We know that we have a great platform in our design on which to build many other models as well in the future, especially when I am back in the USA 100% and that will be sometime in March of 2021. A recent question we got was about the handle stem thread showing discoloration. This is not rust! That part is machined from high strength stainless steel. The discoloring is from the heat treatment. One customer very early on, broke his handle because the parts were not heat treated properly. We ended up exchanging all handles out there, inventory and in process handles to eliminate this problem. On another note, Please be sure the screws holding the side cover are tight! We had some reels with problems because the screws were loose from the factory. We will help anyone that has a questions! We strive to be the best and when I am back I hope to meet up with many of you so I can learn from your experiences! that's our common goal, and have fun at doing it too. I can't wait to be back in our great country the USA! Happy New Year to all you guys Thanks!
  3. I just see your post! Thanks!
  4. Drilling a hole will not cause any sealing issues. We are not relieving pressure inside the housing, that is a big area. I mean to relieve the pressure between the spool shaft and the inside of the pinion bore. The step on the spool shaft will compress oil as it approaches the internal step in the pinion bore. Adding a hole at that location will allow the oil to escape. We are working on this and will let everyone know when we feel comfortable to put oil in the reel.
  5. Ok, I will do so, thanks! Let me know if you replaced the clutch, and what brand? Lets keep this discussion going, we look forward to get oil in our reels with reliability of course.
  6. We will also keep working on this soon and see what might be causing that. I am pretty sure it is happening inside the pinion bore that is stepped and the spool shaft! On the down stroke oil will get compressed given that bump. We will drill a small hole in the pinion to let the oil escape. If this solves the problem, We will evaluate adding that pressure relieve hole. I will advise the results. We like the idea of oil because the lubrication goes everywhere and servicing is a much cleaner job. In addition if an seal fails, you would know very quickly and catch any water entry before damage occurs.
  7. The seal can be removed by putting some pressure from the back using a round pin pushing on the stainless drag washer. The front seal is only retained by a lip on the edge of the seal bore it will push out! About the other questions, Yes we are planning for oil as well. In my opinion it is the best way to lubricate all the internals. We are just in the initial stages with our reels and plan for lots of options. I designed the reel so that updates and upgrades are simple for us to add in the future. Our first goal is to make sure the reels perform as we intended. We appreciate all input to achieve our goals. About the black anodize, and hard coat, at this point we do not see this as a problem! Also thanks for the bushing suggestions I will consider this for sure. We will have optional knobs available early next year and will get some samples out to some of you at no cost for helping us with all this great feedback!
  8. Regarding the small screw for the bail conversion, it is possible that somehow the screw for the smaller conversion kit got in there. Can you please measure the screw diameter and let me know. You can email me at One more thing to note! The internal slider, the support rail and spool shaft are not just anodized. We use high quality hard coat anodize that allows for very little friction and long durability for the sliding surfaces. We will have other knobs available and welcome any suggestions. Thanks for the feedback to help us to improve!
  9. Assembly is still very limited in Connecticut, Mostly critical areas. This will change this coming year when our longer term plan is implemented to manufacture critical parts in the USA and of course final assembly. I will be back in CT then, heading this up at our product development and service center in Seymour CT to continue designing and building top shelve reels.
  10. Thanks very much for the review of our VISSER reel! I think that most of you understand that any new reel entering this tough market might have some QC issues. No matter how hard we have worked to insure that we get it perfect the first time, Guys like yourselves will find them. That will only make our reels even better, and I promise that we will address any issue quickly! My goal was to bring you guys a new style reel design with different gearing, that would surpass my older VS and ZB designs. I felt we needed an new generation of reels and it looks like we are on our way. I will not shy away from hearing about criticism and view that only as reasons to improve. So thanks again! I am extremely busy so will not answer too many individual questions, but we will work very hard to bring you the best spinning reels possible. Rob Koelewyn
  11. Thanks for asking those questions. Frankly, testing in the surf has been limited. I designed these new reels for both the surf and inshore/offshore use. With some of the test for surf fishing or skishing that's been done I have high confidence that they will perform as designed. Does that mean that we are going to have zero problems? Of course not! There is always a small chance as there is with any mechanical device. However giving the track record of my previous designs, know that every effort has been made my me to be even better with features that will be very much appreciated in time. What I state on the website or Facebook will need to prove out by my customers in time if I am right. If by chance there is an issue or there are specific questions, our product development & service center is located in Connecticut. I will personally always be available and hope to fish with some of you so at least I can enjoy the results of this hard work for close to 3 years developing the new VISSER reels series.
  12. Thanks for waiting guys, they are coming! Manufacturing a reel of this quality level is difficult. When we receive parts even slightly out of specification, they get rejected and send back to the supplier. Quality is an absolute must! Unfortunately this delays the product release date. However, we are past much of that now and are working very hard to get the new reels released. I hope to make an announcement by this weekend. Thanks for your patience, Rob
  13. Time will tell if the new reels are what I am saying they are. As you well know it is a long road from concept to proven design. Many issues with the VR are not design issues, They are quality issues! Many times in China manufacturers take a short cut without the knowledge of the customer. I have a huge amount of experience with this and have stopped many issues in its tracks before they shipped those reels to the USA. We have taken this problem out of the hands of the Chinese manufactures since we do our own assembly and QC all parts and processes before they even reach the assembly bench. Regarding our exposure, this is a slow roll out, we are producing limited numbers and do not want to overpromise a lot to our dealers. Creating a lot of hype is not what our plan is now! After we get our footing, there will be plenty of time for that. The first production is already sold out due to pre-orders we have gotten. The other big difference is that I will be back permanently in Connecticut and always accessible to address concerns and fish hard myself hopefully with some of you! That will be fun and live the experiences for myself as well.
  14. Yes, the VR is also my creation. That reel certainly can be used to swim out to the rocks in my opinion. Initially Van Staal had to explain the new VR when it came out because they did not want to lose sales of the VS so they promoted the reel in a lower class than the VS. Regarding our new VISSER Reels, we will promote it in a higher class than the VS or ZB because of the way it is build, sealed and tested! I am fully confident that it will meet those expectations. Thanks for the great questions!