Thursday, August 4, 2011

Van Staal VM150 Spinning Reel Review ongoing report

Update:  March 18 & 19th 2012:
link to report: Spring Cod Fishing - Cox Ledge Report

I brought the VM150 up to Rhode Island and paired it with a custom Seeker Hercules Inshore Light or GTS70L blank.  The rod is designed to jig up to 12 ounce and has a soft S-Glass composite tip.  The reel matched up well and I ended up jigging pollack.  This time I spooled up with Daiwa Samurai Braid (8 weave braid), which has a diameter of 0.14 (mono).  It fit about 270 yards.  Very thin line for breaking strength of #70lbs.

Previous Update from 2011: 

My VM-150 stood the test of 4 trips:

18 Hour Seabass - NJ
This reel shared duty during my last offshore jigging trip in the winter of 2010/2011.

The Atlantic Star was it's first conquest out into the deep blue.  It's job was to crank 5lb Black Seabass from 300 feet depths. 

#50 Amberjack - NC
April, 2011 I put the reel through it's paces with screaming 100 yard drag runs, and re-runs from Amberjack.  Although again the reel shared duties it does the job for mid sized AJ's and I was told would make an excellent Grouper/Snapper reel.

The other two trips out I plugged off the beach. The reel has never felt under-gunned.

The only thing I wish it could have is more capacity so I can put enough PE5-6 or #60 Jerry Brown on it so I can max out the drag when jigging for pelagics. I guess I cannot wish this reel to be a larger VM -250 (please... we have all wanted for so long :p)
The drag is smooth, but that is expected from a reel in this class. I do like the handle after all this use. There is a definite Van Staal "cranking-power" with the VM. It will continue to test it through this fall. Hopefully the extra spools become available as well.

I did notice that the hex screws on the main body were loosened up after the last trip.  I took a tool to is and actually made 1 complete turn on most 2 out of 4 screws... 

More test to come as I am jigging Nantucket in the near future.  I will report on the continued usage. :D


  1. How do you like the VM150 so far and if given the choice between this reel and the Penn Torque 5 what would you choose? I'm looking for a new reel to use for light jigging, white seabass, and sturgeon fishing in the west coast. I have the larger Stella for the big game so any feed back would be appreciated. Are these feels suiteable for shore jigging as well? Thanks.

    1. Definitely like the VM150 as I have confidence with it. Penn Torque is a raved about reel, however I can't give any details as so for I haven't fished it, rather held it in my hands only. cheers.

  2. Where Van Staal Black VM150 was manufactured?

    1. All VM reels are manufactured in China. No issue with the quality though as Van Staal holds its standards and assures top notch quality control.

  3. I purchased 2 VM150's in Sept.2011. I only used the reels that season, since we were hit with hurricane Sandy 2012. When I went to use the reels this season 2013, I noticed that one of the reels was hanging up at the top of the stroke. I took the reel home and removed the spool and the handle to see if I could find what is causing the binding. What I found shocked me. The main body of the reel was rusting through, do to electrolysis, thus letting salt water into the reel compt.I have been a surf fisherman for over 40 years, and by the way still have my original reels and rods. Names will not be mentioned. I take very good care of my equipment, and never in my wildest dreams expected this.
    What happened next was even a bigger surprise, I contacted VAN STAAL ,and spoke to a woman in the customer service dept., She acted as if she could care less, and kinda insinuated that I bought a cheep reel, and told me that the reel is out of warranty, and their is nothing they could do for me. I explained the reel was only used one season, and could you look at it, and then make a decision. she answered, send to one of our service centers and maybe they will help me. ARE YOU KIDDING ME !!!!

    Bottom line I will did contact the service center, who was very helpful, and sympathetic to my concerns, they told me that they will look at it, and probably have to send to the main branch, the place I called first.
    We will see what happens.

    Very Dissatisfied Customer