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Subaqua - Van Staal VR

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Posted (edited) · Report post

So I picked up my Subaqua today in a break from hunter education. I have had a few hours to start to compare the reels side by side. Big thank you to Smitty for selling me this reel for a fair price - and making this review possible.

I need to edit some pictures before I go into detail. Before I do, I think so additional background to get started:

Rob K. designed this reel. He has been involved in Van Staal, ZeeBaaS, 3-Tand, Trydent, Blue Marlin, RK-Sports and now Van Staal again. What a long strange ride it has been... This particular design has already passed down from every company listed with exception on ZeeBaaS

So let's see what Van Staal did to change the Subaqua

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Look at these reels.  Even at first glance the finish on the rotors are different
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17.4oz for the VR150
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16.4oz for the Subaqua 5 (There is a good reason for this - but that will come up later
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The Subaqua came with two of the tools, but they are about half the thickness of Van Staal tool 
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Main shaft keying is the same so spools are 100% interchangeable
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Rotor are copies, but machined either from different material or a different way (or both) The finish on the Subaqua is superior. It has the machining grooves like VR side covers.  It is polished and much sharper looking than the VR. (it is also actually sharper - more on that later)
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The main gears are the same size and interchangeable (They are made from different material - more on this later)
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VR Body
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Subaqua Body

Edited by ged

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Posted (edited) · Report post

What is different?
post-24331-0-51021700-1459648664_thumb.jpg

The Subaqua has some drain plug in the body - not sure what RK was thinking here
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Top drags are almost the same.  The VR has an additional keyed drag washer and the spool is keyed to accept the washer
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Bottom drags and assemblies are essentially the same.  The Subaqua had one less washer, but I removed one from the VR when putting it back together to correct my line lay issues.
post-24331-0-04228100-1459648746_thumb.jpg

Closer look at the Subaqua rotor and the finish difference between that and the texture finished foot

Edited by ged

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Most important to Subaqua owners - is my reel a paperweight or can I use Van Staal VR parts?

 

post-24331-0-91728200-1459648867_thumb.jpg

 

Subaqua with VR pinion, side covers, handle, rotor and spool

VR with Subaqua pinion, side covers, handle, rotor and spool

Edited by ged

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Spool lip, and could be one less washer in drag, Like the spool lip on the VR better. Keep the post coming.

Edited by lberthelon

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Good luck with the Subaqua. You must be on the few that ever got their reel. Will VS service the Subaqua or are you on your own? All I can say is that I'm glad VS got into the game and sorted out all problems. I hope RK never comes out with another reel design on his own again,

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Thanks GED for breaking down the 2 reels and

making the comparison.

 

So from what I am reading and seeing, VS pretty

much didnt to a damn thing to the reel other than

slap there name on it! Badge engineering at its

best.

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The Subaqua was always a great design and now has what it needs to succeed.

A few tweaks, a new name, good marketing and a great company to produce and back it.

Edited by recoil

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post-24331-0-11071800-1459685943_thumb.jpg

 

The Subaqua doesn't have the T10 hardware the VR has on the handle knob - good thing the Subaqua knob is a lot better than the delrin knob on the VR

 

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Not sure how a reel leaves a shop missing a part, but it is what it is.  looks like I will be putting the VR part on this when it becomes available.

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post-24331-0-18520400-1459686469_thumb.jpg

 

One of the few changes Van Staal made was to the spool. Although the drag system is the same, it now looks like a Van Staal. The Subaqua spool lip has holes drilled on the edge that have edges. This should not matter when fighting a fish, because the the line will be on the roller and not against the spool lip under pressure.

Edited by ged

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Great thread. thanks. Will VS do service and warranty the Subaqua reels? 

Service is easy, but I doubt VS would touch one. As for warranty, the 1 year warranty on the Subaqua will expire before Van Staal has parts available.

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Thanks GED for breaking down the 2 reels and

making the comparison.

 

So from what I am reading and seeing, VS pretty

much didnt to a damn thing to the reel other than

slap there name on it! Badge engineering at its

best.

 

I will do a comparison on a spreadsheet. Very few meaningful changes.

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