How to Choose a Van Staal VSX2
Using the correct reel for your needs is a relatively easy way to maximize your experience on the water. While there is an array of different nuances that couldn't possibly be covered by a single reel, these guidelines should at least help you narrow down your options and ultimately present you with a reel suited for the job at hand. Shop VSX2 Here
This is the new baby (if the baby did steroids) of the Van Staal lineup. It is a beefcake of a boat reel, but can also hold its own on a 8-9 foot light surf rod. It has a sturdier frame and main shaft than its lighter counterpart, the VR50, which gives it a nice place in the Van Staal lineup as a heavier duty compact reel. It has a high enough line retrieve speed to keep up with the cadence of a spook or the speed of Albie fishing, and more than enough line capacity. All Van Staal bails are manual so you don’t have to worry about it snapping back on your line. If you're looking for a small, fast, lighter setup that can take a beating this is a good option for you. It pairs well with most inshore spinning boat rods or 8-9’ surf rods.
This model fills the slot as the best option for a light surf setup. While it doesn't excel at doubling as a good boat reel like the 50 size due to it not having a bail and being a little bigger, it does compliment a surfcasters needs well. It holds 460 yards of 20lb braid compared to the 50’s 360 yards, and is only 1.8oz heavier. It will match up well with most 8-9’ surf rods and lighter 10 footers. Its faster retrieve speed also keeps it in the game for a good Albie shore reel by day, and striped bass reel by night.
The 150 has been a staple Van Staal size for over 30 years. It now comes in a bailed and bailless version, giving both the boat and shore guy a great option. Two main things differentiate the 150 from the 100. The first is that the 150 is the smallest body size to line capacity ratio. This gives the shore angler the lightest possible setup, with the most possible line. While this does increase its weight over the 100, it allows for it to balance well on not only 8 and 9 foot rods, but also all 10 footers. Where the 100 is a great 8 and 9 foot light surf combo, the 150 is a great 9 and 10 foot surf combo. The second main difference is the retrieve speed. The 150 is 5 inches per turn slower than the 100. Where this might make the biggest difference is when eeling and jigging. If you do a lot of bucktailing, you may lean towards the 100 for its quicker line pickup, and if you eel a lot you may want the slower retrieve of the 150. This isn’t to say that you cant eel with a 100 or jig with a 150, but if you have a preference this may help tilt the scale one way.
This is the all purpose size of Van Staal. Moving into the 200 size class, lightweight setups are pushed to the corner. The 200 sized reels can handle everything from tog and bass to schoolie tuna. The 200 pairs well with a 10 footer and lighter 11 foot surf rods. Similar to the 150, this is a good reel for the surf and boat guy as it can be converted to a bailed reel, which the 250 cant do. The roughly 3 inches less per turn compared to the 250 might be something to consider if you fish places where you burn your lure or jig back after a certain point in retrieve; this might make a difference for you but otherwise your deciding factor may rely on the rod and weight.
The 250 might be the most common surf reel size, though it's probably close in popularity in the surf to the 200. The 250 can do just about anything in the surf well. If you fish eels, you can just reel it slowly, if you jig you have plenty of line retrieve, and it holds enough line to get you through messy commando trips (though a spare spool is never a bad idea). It’s only around 1.2oz heavier than the 200 as it uses the same body and internals, just a larger rotor and spool. The 250 balances best on an 11’ rod, and generally feels a bit big on 10 footers.
This is the mothership of the series. The 300 comes in 27oz (which is a little heavier than the stella 14k) with a whopping 50 inch per turn. This is definitely the reel for canal guys and those that chase tuna often. It holds 480 yards of 80lb braid which we believe is enough to land a humpback whale (though we haven't tried it yet). It fits 11 foot and 12 foot rods, and excels at jigging. It is without a doubt the canal choice, but it does not feel like overkill for the regular surf. It also makes a phenomenal tuna choice, but we need to convince them to put a bail on it.