zachb34

Star VPR

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About a year and a half ago, I was in the market for a rod to match with 4000 Stradic FL. Like a lot of us, I'm a sucker for quality gear and wanted something nice. I searched the internet and couldn't really come up with the reviews I was looking for so I just wanted to take the time to write my thoughts for those that may be looking at the same rod now or in the future.

 

To start, the model I chose is the VI12255S70. It's a 7' rod rated for 12-25# line and has a lure rating of 3/8 - 1-3/4 oz. I bought this rod to be an all around inshore rod, but also planned on it being my main setup surf fishing for snook in South Florida. For anyone that has done this type of fishing, these fish feed in ankle deep water and long casts usually aren't necessary. I liked the feel of the 7 footer in the store, and its easy to fish inshore on my kayak as well. 

 

To start, I'll focus on the components. This rod has the Fuji blank touch reel seat, and I'll be honest this is what sold me in the store. It's just so comfortable and fits my hands perfectly. While I fish artificial exclusively, any added sensitivity this gives probably won't make a difference but it really is a pleasure to hold this rod. The cork grips have a premium feel with your standard cork and then the edges are capped with a more dense solid cork. This looks good and feels better. Most of my rods are full cork grips, but I'm really digging the split grip on this rod. The guides are lightweight Fuji KLs with SIC rings and give the blank a magic wand feel, it's like they aren't even there. I haven't used any high end titanium torzite guides or anything like that to compare them, but I'm very happy with these. Most importantly though, is the blank. It feels like a high end Loomis IMX, GLX, NRX bass rod or something like that. When looking at the blank, its pretty thin and hard to believe this is a 12-25# class rod. I've had multiple other anglers ask about it on the beach and always let them cast it and get a feel for it and they're always shocked how stout it is compared to it's diameter. I'd say the rod is pretty true to its rating and as I usually fish the beach with just one rod, it gets used for everything. I have no problem throwing a 1/8 oz jig head and a 3" DOA CAL, a mirrodine, number 10 xraps, and all the way up to a Gambler Big EZ with a 1 oz jighead. I haven't landed any slob snook with it, but it's handled some 28-34" snook no problem inshore and did it with ease on the beach. It has no problems handling juvenile tarpon in the back country when I stumble upon them. I landed a 28 pound jack crevalle in an inlet with it, and while that wasn't my target species and would definitely say I was undergunned, the rod handled it like a champ. Due to passing boats and other anglers I locked down the drag and hoped for the best. I was able to land this fish in about 30 minutes. The Stradic got hot due to the drag, but the rod never seemed like it was going to fail or anything like that. 

 

Reading this, I obviously have high opinions of this rod, but for those of you reading this post, I think it'll be more beneficial if I compare to to some other inshore rods I own that you may have some experience with. I'll start by keeping it in the star family with the Seagis. The Seagis is a great rod and I think its pretty hard to beat for the price. I own a 7' 8-17# spinner and a 7' 10-20 casting version. While not an apples to apples comparison, you can definitely tell why the VPR costs more. Seagis rods are pretty stiff throughout the blank and also really lightweight, and so is the VPR. While they both have some power for their class with a fast action, The VPR is just so much more crisp. Im going to say it again, it has that magic wand feel. The guides are better, and the cork feels like an upgrade of the Seagis for sure. To me the Seagis is a great blank, with solid components, but leave room for improvement. 

I also own a 7'6" St.Croix avid inshore spinning rod that's a 8-17# class rod, a 14-30# spinner and a 8' avid inshore casting rod rated 17-40#. Still not apples to apples, but you can get an idea of how the rods feel throughput the lineup. The VPR feels more crisp than the Avid Inshore, and although I like my VPR more, I wouldn't go as far as saying one is better than the other. In my opinion, the Avid Inshore rods, feel very stout in the first 7/8 of the blank, some might even call them a broom stick, but they still have a somewhat soft tip. To me, the VPR has more of a linear action throughout the rod where as the Avid feels stout and then you can feel the weight transfer to the tip towards the end of the cast. When casting you can sort of feel the recoil after the cast in the Avid while the tip oscillates a little before coming to rest whereas the VPR seems to snap back to an unloaded position almost immediately. 

To conclude, I'd recommend the VPR to anyone willing to spend the money for it, I plan to get one of their surf rods as a dedicated beach tarpon setup along with some bridge fishing and what not mixed in when I can, but for now my St. Croix Avids do the job. I'm sure there are some custom blanks that can compete with it like some of the phenix rods, Rainshadows, etc., but I want to use these high end stock rods for a few more years before I go the custom route. If this review was helpful to some, I wouldn't mind going in depth on some of the other rods I've mentioned in a separate post since it always seems like its hard to find good info on gear in this price range. 

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I have the model below. Got it new from a friend who owed me a favor. I have the KLH guides on my model which are higher than the standard KL. I believe it starts with a number 20 ring. These guides are stainless with SIC. 
 

I also use the Stradic 4000 on mine. I get great casting distance using the 4000 but in my opinion a narrow 3000-4000 class spool will get your max distance. 
 

I did not pay a dime for the rod but at the 279 dollar price point? For me, its too high for a 7' fast action rod. I am sure I am not alone. Star should have gone with the KLH guide and Fazlite or Alconite ring and be at a better price point for the consumer. Temple Fork delivered with the same type of blank, KL guides and Fazlite Ring and at at a more fair price of 179. I feel the Star rod is a 100 bucks over price compared to other brands. 


 

 

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38EBB02C-D4E3-4FF3-B01B-412F5B7B44F8.jpeg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Couple of weeks ago I bought a 11' Star VPR spinning rod. I bought it for a cut bait soaking rod and for puppy drum. It's 3 -8 oz. I first used it with mono, rod cast very good , Only screw up's were from me. I tried to cast it to hard. It's an easy casting rod, guides are great. I have now switched to 30# braid, I'll report how she handles with braid. Rod is light, It's a great rod for the price. I have a few Star rods.

Edited by hunter123

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2 hours ago, The Riddler said:

I have the model below. Got it new from a friend who owed me a favor. I have the KLH guides on my model which are higher than the standard KL. I believe it starts with a number 20 ring. These guides are stainless with SIC. 
 

I also use the Stradic 4000 on mine. I get great casting distance using the 4000 but in my opinion a narrow 3000-4000 class spool will get your max distance. 
 

I did not pay a dime for the rod but at the 279 dollar price point? For me, its too high for a 7' fast action rod. I am sure I am not alone. Star should have gone with the KLH guide and Fazlite or Alconite ring and be at a better price point for the consumer. Temple Fork delivered with the same type of blank, KL guides and Fazlite Ring and at at a more fair price of 179. I feel the Star rod is a 100 bucks over price compared to other brands. 


 

 

F613125F-04D1-461C-A1BB-3BC43DBB43C3.jpeg

38EBB02C-D4E3-4FF3-B01B-412F5B7B44F8.jpeg

I believe mine has the KLH as well and I just misspoke in my original post. Differing opinions of the rod are great, gives other future buyers a different perspective. I haven't fished or even handled the Temple Fork rod you mentioned, they don't seem too popular down here. Typically I see a lot of star rods down here but they're usually a Stellar Lite or occasionally a Seagis. 

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2 hours ago, zachb34 said:

I believe mine has the KLH as well and I just misspoke in my original post. Differing opinions of the rod are great, gives other future buyers a different perspective. I haven't fished or even handled the Temple Fork rod you mentioned, they don't seem too popular down here. Typically I see a lot of star rods down here but they're usually a Stellar Lite or occasionally a Seagis. 

The Temple Fork is a slightly softer tip than the VPR. Be a good rod for 1/2-1oz spook rod.

 

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9 hours ago, zachb34 said:

About a year and a half ago, I was in the market for a rod to match with 4000 Stradic FL. Like a lot of us, I'm a sucker for quality gear and wanted something nice. I searched the internet and couldn't really come up with the reviews I was looking for so I just wanted to take the time to write my thoughts for those that may be looking at the same rod now or in the future.

 

To start, the model I chose is the VI12255S70. It's a 7' rod rated for 12-25# line and has a lure rating of 3/8 - 1-3/4 oz. I bought this rod to be an all around inshore rod, but also planned on it being my main setup surf fishing for snook in South Florida. For anyone that has done this type of fishing, these fish feed in ankle deep water and long casts usually aren't necessary. I liked the feel of the 7 footer in the store, and its easy to fish inshore on my kayak as well. 

 

To start, I'll focus on the components. This rod has the Fuji blank touch reel seat, and I'll be honest this is what sold me in the store. It's just so comfortable and fits my hands perfectly. While I fish artificial exclusively, any added sensitivity this gives probably won't make a difference but it really is a pleasure to hold this rod. The cork grips have a premium feel with your standard cork and then the edges are capped with a more dense solid cork. This looks good and feels better. Most of my rods are full cork grips, but I'm really digging the split grip on this rod. The guides are lightweight Fuji KLs with SIC rings and give the blank a magic wand feel, it's like they aren't even there. I haven't used any high end titanium torzite guides or anything like that to compare them, but I'm very happy with these. Most importantly though, is the blank. It feels like a high end Loomis IMX, GLX, NRX bass rod or something like that. When looking at the blank, its pretty thin and hard to believe this is a 12-25# class rod. I've had multiple other anglers ask about it on the beach and always let them cast it and get a feel for it and they're always shocked how stout it is compared to it's diameter. I'd say the rod is pretty true to its rating and as I usually fish the beach with just one rod, it gets used for everything. I have no problem throwing a 1/8 oz jig head and a 3" DOA CAL, a mirrodine, number 10 xraps, and all the way up to a Gambler Big EZ with a 1 oz jighead. I haven't landed any slob snook with it, but it's handled some 28-34" snook no problem inshore and did it with ease on the beach. It has no problems handling juvenile tarpon in the back country when I stumble upon them. I landed a 28 pound jack crevalle in an inlet with it, and while that wasn't my target species and would definitely say I was undergunned, the rod handled it like a champ. Due to passing boats and other anglers I locked down the drag and hoped for the best. I was able to land this fish in about 30 minutes. The Stradic got hot due to the drag, but the rod never seemed like it was going to fail or anything like that. 

 

Reading this, I obviously have high opinions of this rod, but for those of you reading this post, I think it'll be more beneficial if I compare to to some other inshore rods I own that you may have some experience with. I'll start by keeping it in the star family with the Seagis. The Seagis is a great rod and I think its pretty hard to beat for the price. I own a 7' 8-17# spinner and a 7' 10-20 casting version. While not an apples to apples comparison, you can definitely tell why the VPR costs more. Seagis rods are pretty stiff throughout the blank and also really lightweight, and so is the VPR. While they both have some power for their class with a fast action, The VPR is just so much more crisp. Im going to say it again, it has that magic wand feel. The guides are better, and the cork feels like an upgrade of the Seagis for sure. To me the Seagis is a great blank, with solid components, but leave room for improvement. 

I also own a 7'6" St.Croix avid inshore spinning rod that's a 8-17# class rod, a 14-30# spinner and a 8' avid inshore casting rod rated 17-40#. Still not apples to apples, but you can get an idea of how the rods feel throughput the lineup. The VPR feels more crisp than the Avid Inshore, and although I like my VPR more, I wouldn't go as far as saying one is better than the other. In my opinion, the Avid Inshore rods, feel very stout in the first 7/8 of the blank, some might even call them a broom stick, but they still have a somewhat soft tip. To me, the VPR has more of a linear action throughout the rod where as the Avid feels stout and then you can feel the weight transfer to the tip towards the end of the cast. When casting you can sort of feel the recoil after the cast in the Avid while the tip oscillates a little before coming to rest whereas the VPR seems to snap back to an unloaded position almost immediately. 

To conclude, I'd recommend the VPR to anyone willing to spend the money for it, I plan to get one of their surf rods as a dedicated beach tarpon setup along with some bridge fishing and what not mixed in when I can, but for now my St. Croix Avids do the job. I'm sure there are some custom blanks that can compete with it like some of the phenix rods, Rainshadows, etc., but I want to use these high end stock rods for a few more years before I go the custom route. If this review was helpful to some, I wouldn't mind going in depth on some of the other rods I've mentioned in a separate post since it always seems like its hard to find good info on gear in this price range. 

I also have the 10-20lb model & you nailed the review. Very solid rod.

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I’ve personally owned 3 of the Star VPR surf rods and two of them blew up fighting fish, rod did not perform as it needed. I also do agree that the rod is overpriced for the components that it has. For less money you can get a Lamiglas Carbon Surf, ODM DNA, or Tsunami Airwave Elite which are all far superior rods IMO compared to the VPR.

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