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Van Staal VR - Real Reel Report

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I have had an interest in buying this reel for a while.  I have known this reel as the Trydent SeaProof, the Blue Marlin BMT, The 3-Tand Submariner, The RK-Sports Sub Aqua and now it bears the name Van Staal VR150.

 

I want to mention that Van Staal has been good to me over the years.  This is the 15th Van Staal I have owned (If I remember them all).  I have owned every size and version except for the 300 size and the new X series. I have received exceptional customer service buying replacement parts directly from Tulsa and through River's End. More than once I was given "upgraded" parts without charge. I currenlty own 3 Van Staal including the new VR.

 

I am also a very happy customer of ZeeBaaS.  I have owned 3 and currenlty own 2.  ZB has delivered exceptional customer service and support.  I am excited I have some new aluminum bumpers on their way to me to replace my fugly plastic bumpers.  I will post these when I receive them.

 

I ordered the reel from River's End 1/25.  They don't currently do web sales, but I think they will soon.  I called them and ordered this the old fashion way.  They processed my order and I received the reel today 1/26 - about 24 hours turn around.  Pretty good people over there.  They do have a few more reels in stock for those that are looking.   In addition, they are a Van Staal repair center so they can repair your reel if for some reason you have issues.  Their repair guy "Q" is very good.

 

Back to the VR :

 

Lets Compare it to a ZeeBaaS27 - Van Staal VSB150 - Van Staal 150N

post-24331-0-64943300-1453857254_thumb.jpg

 

Lets get inside

post-24331-0-21515100-1453857423_thumb.jpg

 

Deeper

post-24331-0-67827700-1453857453_thumb.jpg

 

Even Deeper

post-24331-0-42609000-1453857478_thumb.jpg

 

VS150 Bail - VR150 Bail

post-24331-0-35655900-1453857547_thumb.jpg

 

VS150 Gear - VR 150 Main Gear

post-24331-0-86723200-1453857615_thumb.jpg

 

ZB Body - VR Body

post-24331-0-19758000-1453857666_thumb.jpg

 

ZB Pinion - VR Pinion

post-24331-0-09308400-1453857703_thumb.jpg

 

ZB - VR Rotor Cup "thingamombobber"

post-24331-0-36314900-1453857744_thumb.jpg

 

So what are my first impressions?

 

1) Don't sell your reels yet, this reel is not at the same level as the ZeeBaaS or Van Staal VSB/VS

2) There is a distinct "knock at top and bottom of shaft travel and slight wobble in the rotor (worse than VSB but better than VS150N)

3) The reel is NOT smoother than ZeeeBaaS or VSB, but is smoother than the VS150N

4) The main shaft on the VR has much more deflection under pressure than the ZB, VSB or VS

5) The finish on VR is inferior (even without scratches direct from factory)

 

The Bad:

 

Lubricant leaking from the main body/rotor cup "thingamombobber"

post-24331-0-27692800-1453858113_thumb.jpg

 

O-Ring to seal body

post-24331-0-91210600-1453858229_thumb.jpg

 

Scratches brand new in box:

post-24331-0-48820900-1453858269_thumb.jpgpost-24331-0-25916300-1453858332.jpg

 

The ZeeBaaS and Van Staal VSB/VS series are not water proof.  Both are very water resistant and require maintenance to prevent damage.  I cannot see this current design being superior to ZB in any way.  Due to poor pinion removal design on VSB/VS service is easier on the VR then the other VS reels.

 

I will add a video of the noise my VR makes when reeling.

Edited by ged

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Forgot to mention:

 

The Delrin handle (also found on 3-Tand Fly Reels) feels cheap and I hate it

The drag even when loose never allows the spool to spin freely like the VS/VSB reels

The drag clicker is quiet, but mounted internally - I remove my drag clickers and haven't gone inside the drag yet

Edited by ged

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Main shaft keeps coming out with new lubricant even though I have wiped it off at least 10 times.

 

post-24331-0-64975200-1453860357.jpg

Edited by ged

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When my ZB and VS piss lube onto the main shaft that means water can get in.  It is possible that there is just too much lube in my pinion assembly and that is the source of the lube on the main shaft. 

 

Only one way to find out if it leaks....

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I use Rheolube on my pinion gear and 90W gear lube as well.  I get oil leaking. I fish heavy current (CCC) and I believe when the spool (main shaft) is extended it puts a lot of pressure on the main shaft and I get oil passing through the quad seal onto the shaft. 

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If Iam not mistaken the knock your feeling at the top and bottom is the transverse guide rocking from one side to the other. The ZB has that issue if the nut isnt tight enough or if it's to tight and the guide gets cocked a little

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If Iam not mistaken the knock your feeling at the top and bottom is the transverse guide rocking from one side to the other. The ZB has that issue if the nut isnt tight enough or if it's to tight and the guide gets cocked a little

You may be correct. There is a lot of clearance between the side cover and the traverse guide rollers

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