DZ

VS 300 serial numbers

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I want to get an idea of how many VS 300 reels have been sold. Each one has a serial number, the VS 300 I have is #519. I know a bunch of you guys have the 300. What's the highest/newest 300 on this board? Anyone have a retro converted one yet?

Lastly a little history on the VS reel concept that I'm sure some of you know about.

Bill from THE SURFCASTER catalog in Conn. had the reel designed and was to be the exclusive dealer when the reel was being designed and developed. Bill took names and orders for the reel before it was released. The designer (Van Staal) apparantly decided to reneg on the deal with The Surfcaster and market the reel on their own. This was a very sore topic when I called Bill and asked him when the reel I ordered would be ready. So the idea and reel were Bill's. I'm not sure if he's glad or sore based on Van Staal's performance to date.

DZ

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Dennis, I've heard the same legend, and those who keep their old catalogs can see the "U.S. Surf 300" advertised in the 1992 edition of The Surfcaster. However, perhaps the Koelwyns have their own side of the story, in all fairness. If it is true, Bill apparently learned the real value of a handshake deal biggrin.gif I've had my own issues in the past with Bill, too, over his Crack parts policy. I had to ship the reel back to him at my expense so he could screw on a $1.50 spool knob (at least it wasn't a $92 Van Steal one). He wouldn't send me the knob itself, even though I was on the Vineyard, on vacation, and needed it "right then and there". I can understand his not wanting people stockpiling parts, but fer Pete's sake, I only wanted ONE, not a dozen of the things rolleyes.gif

 

Well, at least he didn't charge me labor for screwing the thing on. Besides this, I don't have anything bad to say about him or his business, they've always come thru for me.

 

I've always strongly suspected that VS was the people who used to machine those heavy-duty replacement spools for the Crack 300 for Bill. I noticed, they vanished from the catalog the same year the VS 300 came out. Makes sense, Bill designed the reel and went to a company he did business with in the past for the machining of it.

 

There's no question the 300 was his design--the only issue is what soured the deal.

 

I know you're looking for 300 numbers, but my 250 is #1584. I don't know the serial # of my 200 offhand. It's in the 2000s, that I know.

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From the V$ website, without so much as a cyber bat of the eye...

 

Once the machine shop was well established, Koelewyn turned his attention to fishing, a sport he had begun to enjoy in the early 1990s. After a year or so with the traditional fishing equipment, he found that he did not like the quality of reels he had been fishing with. Koelewyn concluded that there was no product available that would satisfy his needs. So he started to engineer his own line of reels.

 

The first product he came up with was the VS300. It was made from aluminum, anodized for protection, and its gear case was sealed and oil filled. Koelewyn did not want to rely on traditional market researchers, so he sought the opinion of his friends and family members. They tried the reel, loved it, and gave some suggestions. With that, Van Staal Fishing Tackle was launched. The experts told Koelewyn that no serious, self-respecting fisherman would pay the estimated $300+ for a spinning reel, but Koelewyn was determined to prove them wrong.

 

Only took him a year or two after taking up fishing to come up with this all by himself. Wow. rolleyes.gif

 

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Bill from Surfcaster told me the story in person while I was working a 1995 fishing show in Hartford. He felt cheated to say the least. But as we all know the truth is somewhere in the middle. I have been told there have been a total of 10,000 reels sold, I don't know the breakdown of how many of each. Should I say breakdown......

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Bill--I've seen Koelwyn in action. He used to spend a long weekend at MV, usually the end of the Derby, being a sponsor of it. The first VS reel I ever tried was one that a buudy won for finishing in third place in the all-species Grand Slam. At the time they donated a 300 for first, a 250 for second and a 200 for third. Engraved with the Derby logo and their placement, too. As the reels got more expensive, the prize structure was revised. Now it's a reel of unspecified size for first, a pair of pliers for second and a surf bag for third.

 

I didn't see him this year. Then again, we didn't get out to the beach most nights until well after dark, and were usually off the beach, or at the weigh-in, right after sunrise. So, we didn't have too many opportunities for our paths to cross wink.gif

 

[This message has been edited by Ditch Jigger (edited 01-19-2001).]

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Highest VS 300 serial # I've seen is just under 1500. It was acquired during the 1999 season though.

 

[This message has been edited by Steve M (edited 01-19-2001).]

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Oct. of 1993, I took a look at reel #230? I wanted something more modern and sand/waterproof then my penn 706. Prices for parts/service were high, but reasonable. The reel felt good, but only 230 made so far. Would the company servive? What about future parts and service? I think I paid around $400-$430 for a VS 300 and an extra spool. Sure, it would probably cost twice as much over the years as the penn, but so what. Over the next few years, so many people stopped me to ask about the reel. Casts far? Yes. Waterproof? Yup. Problems? Few and minor. Reliable? Sure. Cost? For every 6 persons who laughed at the cost, one would see the quality and say maybe next year if I save I'll have one. So many guys were considering getting one. What does it take to convince a fellow fishing fanatic to buy one? Maybe that corroded Japanese reel that has to be sent away for parts at the beginning of the season. Or the big fish you loose because the penn anti-reverse gives out for the second time or a reel full of sand that won't work. 4 years ago, I recommended Van Staal to anyone I met. 2 years ago, I recommended the reel, but thought the prices of the reel, parts and service had gotton ridiculous. Today, a new, improved VS 300 and extra spool will set you back $881. Add 3 years of service and you are over a grand. Many of the doubts I had about the company are stronger today. No, Van Staal won't go chapter 11. The plant is half the size of a Stop and Shop! The equipment, tools and metal knowledge are there for aeronautical or auto industry? products. The reels are just a sideline, Rob has a beachfront summer home in Charlestown, RI! Van Staal has made quite a name for itself over the last 9 years with it's spinning reels (and surf bags), but any product is only as good as the company behind it. People will always pay more for established quality, provided it maintains its standards and customers don't feel cheated pricewise. I urge Van Staal to reconsider it's current pricing stratagy. Ten years from now, will the reels still be regarded as the finest surf reel; or an expensive toy on a few millionares yachts?

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DZ, my VS300 was 882...However after sending it back for repair about 3 weeks ago I got a new body with a new number, #1492...Don't think anyone has a newer number than that.

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21 year old post but somehow I hadn't found this until after I joined today and made a post about looking for information on one that I have. Mine, if real, is in almost mint condition and has stamping # 328 on it. Does anyone on here have photos of theirs that I can use to compare to mine to verify if it is real or not?

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1 hour ago, ChickenFreckle said:

21 year old post but somehow I hadn't found this until after I joined today and made a post about looking for information on one that I have. Mine, if real, is in almost mint condition and has stamping # 328 on it. Does anyone on here have photos of theirs that I can use to compare to mine to verify if it is real or not?

 

E0867609-F2D3-4B2A-94A1-E1E37BF88D9C.jpeg

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