MD_Fish_X

Van Staal VSX 150 Drag Upgrade?

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31 posts in this topic

So I've had my Van Staal VSX 150 for about a year now. Ever since I got it though, I felt that the drag was too light. When locked down tight, I could turn the spool without much effort. I didn't return the reel and just fished it with drag locked tight every time - I know I shouldn't have been.

 

I'm currently going through my reels for maintenance. In the process, I checked out the drag for my Shimano Stradic FK 3k and 4k and both have much more drag output than the VSX. I quickly searched to see if I could upgrade the drag on the VSX myself, but it looks like it's not as straight forward, because it is sealed drag.

 

My question is... Has anyone upgraded their VSX drag? If so, how? Currently, I don't think that it has enough drag to handle spring stripers in the 35lb+ weight class - I'd have to worry about getting spooled. I still have about a month until the 1 year is up on the reel, but I'm not sure if VS will identify it as a "problem" since mechanically, it's fine... It just doesn't perform.

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So, I kept searching for VS drag service and it looks like all I need is a split ring pliers to remove the c-clip and I should have access to the drag washers... Now I only need recommendations on the replacement drag washers. I am thinking that I’d need a thicker washer material to increase the drag output.

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Few years back my buddy acquitted a VS with a sketchy drag. After inspection, it occurred to me that they were very close to some Penn HT 100's I had for a  squidder. Not having anything else I used the Penn's. That was five seasons ago now his favorite reel.

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12 mins ago, Wire For Fire said:

You drag shouldn’t be loose with the nob tightened down ... I bet something funky with you drag stack.. maybe put together wrong or missing something .. 

I bought it brand new... I guess it's still worth a look.

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1 hour ago, XBMX said:

Few years back my buddy acquitted a VS with a sketchy drag. After inspection, it occurred to me that they were very close to some Penn HT 100's I had for a  squidder. Not having anything else I used the Penn's. That was five seasons ago now his favorite reel.

It looks like the HT 100 drag system isn't too expensive... But there are so many variations. Do you recall what the size (model #) was?

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29 mins ago, digirambo said:

It looks like the HT 100 drag system isn't too expensive... But there are so many variations. Do you recall what the size (model #) was?

In our case, I just replaced the VS washers with Penn HT's for a Squidder. The diameter was very close. If larger just trim with scissors to match adding a light coat of reel grease. 

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Send reel into VS and have them fix it.....no need to re-invent the wheel.  Once working properly, the standard vsx drag system should be more than sufficient for your needs.

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1 hour ago, digirambo said:

I bought it brand new... I guess it's still worth a look.

Yea even new , ive heard of few similar problems .. if you got a service center near by go there or call or email vs they will make it right 

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VSX drag stack are correct, however, the stack are using thinner carbon drag,so it does not fully get compress lock down..  so when fully drag lock down, the spool still could be turn..

1. send it back to vs to correct the issue.

2. add one more octagon metal disc.

 

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Great, thanks for the feedback. I just dropped it off at UPS and sent it out to Salt Waters tackle in NY. Hopefully it’ll have the issue resolved. I was hesitant at first, because from my previous experience, drag output issues are arbitrary and not so black/white.

 

If I’m not happy when it’s returned to me, at least I know that there are couple of options now!

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3 mins ago, Bunker_Bill13 said:

I always thought the drag on mine didn’t go as tight as it should too. 

I’ll report once I get it back from service. Planning to tie line directly from the spool to a scale. I’ll compare with similar sized reels, including Stradic FK 4k and BG 4k (These are smaller, but drags on these reels are very nice).

 

I know that tying line directly from the spool to a scale is improper way of measuring drag - that’s why I’ll be comapring with two other reels.

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1 min ago, digirambo said:

I’ll report once I get it back from service. Planning to tie line directly from the spool to a scale. I’ll compare with similar sized reels, including Stradic FK 4k and BG 4k (These are smaller, but drags on these reels are very nice).

 

I know that tying line directly from the spool to a scale is improper way of measuring drag - that’s why I’ll be comapring with two other reels.

Awesome sounds good!

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On 11/12/2018 at 5:24 PM, Bunker_Bill13 said:

Awesome sounds good!

I go the reel back from Saltwaters Tackle and here are my results:


Disclaimer #1: Measuring drag output by directly pulling from the spool is probably NOT the proper way to measure drag. The focus is on comparing three reels between specs and measured.
Disclaimer #2: I don't fish with drag locked down. I like to leave 1/2 turn or more buffer.

 

Measuring Device: Fish Fun Digital Scale rated at 110 lbs.

 

Measuring Angle: Parallel to the main shaft of the reel, off the line roller, as it would be going through the guides of a rod.

 

Direct Pull Results with Drag Locked Tight:
Reel #1: Shimano Stradic ST4000XGFK, Current retail price: $210, Spec: 20 lb drag, Measured: 18+ lb drag
Reel #2: Daiwa BG4000, Current retail price: $110, Spec: 17.6 lb drag, Measured: 7-9 lb drag
Reel #3: Van Staal VSB150XP, Current retail price: $870, Spec: ? lb drag, Measured: 6-8 lb drag

 

I'm disappointed in the VSX drag and I may try to upgrade it next season. I target 30-40 lb stripers in the spring and late in the spring, I sometimes catch cownose rays (bycatch). I need good drag to get a decent handle on cow stripers and cownose rays.

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