Snapper Popper

Custom rod/reel advice and builder recommendations

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19 posts in this topic

On 9/13/2021 at 1:45 PM, Highlander1 said:

Pretend your smarter than you are, if your not dunking a VS or ZeeBaas, the reasons to buy them don't exist. As CallMeFish posted, he chooses his Shimano Saragosa over the VS every time he isn't swimming and I don't think he's in the short line. I think its best if you try a VS for an hour or so, 15 minutes should convince you its not what your expecting from over a several hundred dollar reel. Looks good, others admire it, boosts your confidence (so should saving over 50%) and it does well under water. Other than that, see my first post, durability, phewww, you can't believe the cost of parts or service and I never mentioned that part until now. I've seen unused VS's leak all over themselves sitting on a shelf, used ones do it more often. I would not say they are durable by any means, money pits maybe, but durable and VS are not often used in the same sentence together.  


Most of us can't fix them ourselves, the design is similar to a Penn 706Z but I can tear a Z apart down to springs and screws in 20 minutes and put it back in another 20, the VS needs to go out for a minimum fee of at least $100 and thats just for them to take a look see, parts are off the chart. Oh, you can buy a special wrench for another measley "C" note or so, allows you to open one up, closing it is another situation, good mechanics get stumped. 


Buy yourself an extra spool, you could probably buy the Saragosa for around the same amount. I'm not a VS basher, they have their place, but if your not getting them wet, their place is somewhere else.  

A note on parts. I dropped my saragosa a few months ago on my floor in my house and broke the drag knob. I order 2 drag knobs for it directl from shimano before i ended my fishing trip. And got them a week later for somewhere around $20.


it took nearly a year to get my visser warratied (granted I was waiting for the next gen, so benifit of the doubt here) after I sent it in for a service and it wasn’t repaired.


i’s assume my vr 201 will be less like shimano and more like my visser. Maybe not as long but you get the idea.


and the saragosa isn’t even one of the highend reels shimano makes. 

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On 9/13/2021 at 10:13 AM, Callmefish said:

Mark is pretty backed up atm, expect to wait. That probably goes for any custom rod builder that going to be recommended to you this time of year.


as far as a VS,  if I’m not getting wet I’m grabbing my saragosa sw-a over it everytime.

Mark is a good guy and has a great shop he does nice work too but it took 5 months this past winter/summer (Feb to July) to get new guides on 2 rods. I was pretty disappointed how long it took so be prepared to wait.

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Another builder to be consider and highly recommended is Al Goldberg.

He is the one who mastered rod building.

But he doesn't take to many orders lately.


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Recently Mark has built CTS Vapor Trail 13” for me. It’s taken 3 months (May-August ). To reduce time you can buy guides and give them to Mark. I paid $350 for labor only.

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