NYNistler

Van Staal Recommendation

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I will preface by saying it's been 8 years since I have fished the surf due to moving out of NY. When I was a regular I had a VS150 and a VS200, so I am familiar with those reels.  Now I am in Minnesota, fishing freshwater, and I'd like to get some input from you guys on the versatility of some of the more recent Van Staal models. Although it's designed for a different type of fishing, I feel that saltwater gear is simply more durable and not as fragile as most freshwater gear. And, after spending hour after hour in the surf, I'm not overly concerned with weight or how "smooth" a reel is.  I'm more of a bulletproof coffee grinder type of guy.

 

That said, does Van Staal market some of their smaller reels for freshwater? No one around here has ever heard of Van Staal, but I think between musky, larger northern pike, sturgeon, some of the larger species in Lake Superior, and yak fishing, there could be a decent market for Van Staal outside of surf.

 

For me specifically, I would like to know if you would recommend a Van Staal model, and which one.  I am considering getting one Van Staal reel that could be used for the following types of fishing: 1) something that can handle getting banged around and dunked while fishing from my yak, 2) something I could used on the one 9' surf rod I kept for targeting musky, and 3) something that could be used during the occassional trip I make out East (not likely to be overnights at Montauk, but some light to medium shore fishing). Any recommendations on a Van Staal, or am I trying to cover too many bases with one reel?

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If you're not dunking your reel regularly, I think you'd be much better served by a reel like a Shimano Stradic or Diawa Ballistic LT for a fraction of the price. Much smoother and finer drag adjustments. 

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2 mins ago, VanStaalSteve said:

VSX100- use it all the time for freshwater. It’s like a tank. 

This is the exact reel I would recommend ... I like a bailless reel and this one can take a beating if that is what you want to do. I prefer an 8 foot rod for the 100 though. I am fond of the 150 on a 9 foot rod. I use both reels for Albies and the 150 picks up a little more line ... might be good for burning baits for musky. Still a little bit of a work out but manageable.

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2 hours ago, xjclint said:

Vr50 is small but it's the only one that I would recommend. Very small though just to warn.

Me and my brother used our VR50's mainly for striper fishing below dams and loved it. We've pulled in the occasional bycatch of 40-50lb blue catfish and paddlefish without any problems.

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Just like your situation, I moved out from NY to Alabama a couple years ago. I found out that I still have a good use of all my van staals from 100 to 250. I generally use vs150 on 9' or 10' surf rods when fishing the tail water below dams for stripers, and sometimes a vs250 on 11' when the 30 pounders are around. VR50 and vs100 are all great options for 7' bass rods, I have caught plenty of hybrids and large mouth basses. If you are thinking of getting only one reel that will fit all situations, choose the VS150. Its large enough to be put on surf rods for Montauk, yet its light enough to be paired up with a 7' rod. 

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I appreciate all of the input. My gut tells me to get a 150 again. Wish I would have kept the VS150 I sold in 2011.  Even fishing out East, I will probably stick with the 9' rod I still have, so the 150 size will be nice. It should be a good setup here for musky, and I can stick with my small Penn Battle for yak fishing.

 

I have never had my hands on the VR line. Is it safe to say I wouldn't want a VR50 on a 9' rod in the surf? And, other than spool size and weight, is there much difference between the VR125, VR150, and VR175? 

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5 mins ago, NYNistler said:

I appreciate all of the input. My gut tells me to get a 150 again. Wish I would have kept the VS150 I sold in 2011.  Even fishing out East, I will probably stick with the 9' rod I still have, so the 150 size will be nice. It should be a good setup here for musky, and I can stick with my small Penn Battle for yak fishing.

 

I have never had my hands on the VR line. Is it safe to say I wouldn't want a VR50 on a 9' rod in the surf? And, other than spool size and weight, is there much difference between the VR125, VR150, and VR175? 

I had a vr50 on my 9 ft for a year and got many nice fish with it up to 40". It was a little tip heavy but not by much. Most guys will tell you it's not ideal but I thought it was fine. The biggest issue was knuckle busting for me. Once my warranty was up I cut my bail shorter just so I wouldn't have to worry about it.

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