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Which Size Van Staal VS Reel Should You Choose?

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

So much to choose from, so little time...

Let's break it down for you, simply, easily and to the point. We are all busy and don't need to be reading blog posts that are the length of encyclopedias!

Simply put, it's the Baby VS. Kind of an odd man out in our opinion. Too small to be a real contender in the surf reel wars. It's only 0.8 oz lighter than the mid range VS150. Line retrieve is slower than the VS150 and Capacity is on the low end as well, unless you plan to use14 pound FireLine or something similar, you'll likely not have the capacity you are looking for.

That said, if you are planning on using this reel on a 7' or 8' surf rod or from a boat, it still might make sense but anything longer than an 8' rod and it's just too small. You'll most likely be able to empty the spool if used on a 10' rod or longer.

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A sweet reel if you plan to use it on a 6' to 9' rod. If you like fishing a light rig, this might be the reel for you. It's just perfect on an 8' surf rod, has plenty of line capacity, drag, 30" of line retrieve and is of course super durable.

If your a Cape Cod Canaler, this just might be your best choice. It's strong enough to pull in the big stripers but small enough to carry and cast all day. If you like Mono, or use it to fish around rocks, you may want to step up to the VS200 though.

Surfcasters around the world use this reel as their primary surfcasting reel.

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This reel hits the sweet spot for many anglers. It's amazingly popular along the striper coast, along the rocky shore around Montauk NY and all up and down the East Coast. At 21.6 oz it's not too heavy for a full day of casting, the line capacity is outstanding, it balances well with 10' to 11' rods and of course it's super durable.

Many surf anglers view this as the perfect surf reel. A true tank with great looks and style...

Whether you like to use Mono or Braid, this reel will do the trick. At approximately 220 yards of 20 pound mono and 500 yards of 40 pound braid, this model has more than enough capacity to satisfy any surfcaster.

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The VS250 is basically the same reel as the VS200 but with a larger spool. This reel is nicely suited for larger more aggressive fish like small Tuna, small Sharks, even some smaller Rays. Once you target species over 150 pounds or so you may want the larger spool, but 600 yards of 50 pound braid is enough for most anything you might encounter.

If you like to fish heavier vintage glass rods or rods like the Lamiglas 1205 or 1201M it feels right at home. If you tried this on a 9' rod, it would certainly feel mismatched. It's just too big.

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This is the big boy on the block! Some anglers like this reel because of its fast retrieve. At 40" per turn it's fast enough to get through challenging currents and also great for vertical jigging.

School Bluefin Tuna are no match for this bad boy, that's for sure. And at 24 oz it's not too heavy for surfcasting either. The big wide spool helps with casting distance and the absolute insane amount of line makes this a tool to be reckoned with for sure.

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The Bottom Line:

  1. VS100 is a great reel for light tackle, no longer than an 8' rod and about 14 pound test braid.

  2. VS150 is a great all around reel for lighter, smaller rods in the 6' to 9' range. If school bass is your thing and they are close to shore, this will be a solid choice.

  3. VS200 is maybe the perfect surfcasting reel. It fits on a wide range of rods, from 9' to 12', it's light weight and holds a ton of line. It's my favorite by far.

  4. VS250 is the slightly bigger brother (in spool size only) of the VS200. If you love the VS200 but want a larger spool, this just might be the reel for you.

Click below to enlarge the specification table.

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