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Van Staal reels

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I have been thinking of getting a Van Staal reel. I service my own reels, 95 % Penns. Would I have to send it to a Van Stall service center for grease and general maintenance?  How is the made in China quality on them ? Thanks.

Capt, Frank Mundus. The man, the myth, the legand.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Since you are mechanically inclined the VS reel is very easy to service.


The seals and quad seals are all standard items and can be ordered online.

Unfortunately VS has not made a service kit since the X series came out.

The kit would contain the seals, lube and the tools needed 

Side cover wrench which you can get by without.
There is a quad seal installation plastic tool and a metal tool that lets you know if the quad seal is airtight..

Maybe someone has an extra kit to sell you.

If not you will need to send in the reel for general service



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You can do a basic self-service (clean and lube) without special tools. The kit would have a special (non-marring?) wrench to open the side plate, but you can get by with a standard 8 or16pt wrench. I found an Antique wrench at a yard sale that is perfect for my VS 250 side plate.

I highly recommend searching (here and google and Youtube) for Van Staal Lockup issue. If you incorrectly reassemble the side plate, you can lock up the reel and due to the anti-reverse bearing in the side cover, you will not be able to unscrew the side plate to remedy the problem (that's the short version- some guys have been successful in unlocking and there is at least one post on SOL about it) Craig Cantelmo has some good videos on YT about doing the maintenance and avoiding lockup. 


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9 hours ago, hunter123 said:

Thanks, so you do need special tools to work on them?

The quad seal should be replaced as this seal is around the main shaft and is first in line to keep water out. Same goes for the seals on the side cover.

You might be able to do it without the tool.

To service the pinion assembly you need another special tool not available from VS. Not to worry though, I’ve only had one main bearing replaced on 3 reels in 17 years.

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