IT’S not every day a frequent offshore kayak angler is handed a premium threadline reel and matching jig rod and instructed not to provide the combo with any maintenance other than a light spray with freshwater after each trip.
With this brief, I introduce the results of an extended eight month product test of the unbailed Van Staal VS150 spinning reel loaded with 30lb braid and matched to a 30lb Fin-Nor 601 TL jig rod for use in open coastal waters.
As most kayak fishers know, it’s virtually impossible to keep saltwater away from the guts of any reel used in serious offshore situations. With that knowledge I was extremely excited about the prospect of a “hose and go” reel that is fully sealed and boasts a 100 per cent waterproof drag. I was also rather sceptical that the VS150’s internals would hold up to my extremely high abuse levels and relentless oceanic immersions on the kayak.
Given its intensive eight month battering, Van Staal has delivered a reel that should absolutely thrill any serious open water ‘yak, beach or rock fisho. The single piece of bar stock aircraft aluminium that’s used to manufacture the reel body barely generates surface scratches as it’s bashed about the ‘yak through the surf zone.
With 300 metres of 30lb braid, the line capacity is perfect. The handle, gears, rotor and line bearings still turn flawlessly and all seals remain free of saltwater penetration. In addition, the advertised 30lb drag has held up spectacularly to punishment from some solid kings.
What’s more, the Van Staal VS150 is a saltwater performance product that completely eliminates the ‘yak fisher’s fortnightly requirement to strip, lube and rebuild their reels. At the same time it also delivers the type of strength, fish fighting performance and durability I expect from its premium price point.
For info on Van Staal reels go to: www.jarviswalker.com.au