Van Staal "C-VEX" fly fishing reels
by Justin Anwyl
Manufacturer: Van Staal
Reel Series: C-VEX
Price : $580-$630
Weight 8.5oz - Spool Diameter 3.5" - Arbor Size 2.20" - Spool Width 1.40" - Line Capacity 250 yds / 20lb - Line Weight WF8
Weight 9.6oz - Spool Diameter 4.2" - Arbor Size 2.74" - Spool Width 1.14" - Line Capacity 230 yds / 30lb - Line Weight WF10
Weight 10.1oz - Spool Diameter 4.2" - Arbor Size 2.23" - Spool Width 1.20" - Line Capacity 350 yds / 30lb - Line Weight WF12
Simply stunning. These reels are simple, strong and yet light with an ultra smooth drag. They come in three choices of colour (Gold, Silver or Black) and in three different sizes (WF8, WF10 & WF12).
The larger models 9/10 & 11/12 have interchangeable spools with a universal frame and drag allowing you to switch line weights without needing to change spools.
The drag is totally sealed making it 100% waterproof and protecting the reel from the attrition that salt water can put upon it.
In a Perfect World
These reels sole purpose is to stop big Striped Bass. They are precision engineered and built to withstand the impact large Bass, False Albacore, Bluefish and Bonito can put against you. Both Albacore and Bonito run so quick that you can hear your line cut through the surf making their body temperatures actually heat up to the point they need to slow down, these reels help you temper those massive runs.
These reels are made in Tulsa USA and are not cheap but if it's seamless quality and reliability you expect from your kit you won't be disappointed.
The C-VEX series is anodized and sealed water tight, it's name is derived from the convex engineering that makes these reels among the strongest on the market:
This year I revisited the Eastern Seaboard in Southern New England with four clients and teamed up with Dan Woods, Ken Perry and Ed Mitchell to pit our wits and test our kit against Bass, Blues and the mighty False Albacore. We had a number of rods and reel combinations ready to put to work and I decided to match a C-Vex VS 912 with a Beulah 10 wt loaded with an Orvis "Depth Charge" line.
The reel is practical as well as precision engineered but the gearing is one of the best I have ever used. Every notch on the drag saps the strength of even the strongest fighting Albacore and I soon began to understand how important these reels really are.
On the one occasion when it really mattered I was struck by an albacore which ran too quickly for my gel spun backing which resulted in the braid looping over itself and potentially jamming. This occurred due to the backing being spun on too lightly and a fast running fish will effectively cut too deep into the existing braid. The only thing I could do was to ratchet down on the smooth drag of the C-Vex fly reel to literally stop the fish from taking the braid down to the problem area on the spool.
The rod was given full compression and the reel did the rest of the job, the fish was simply unable to run and for a species with one of the best conversations of weight to kinetic energy of any fish in the sea this is simply unbelievable.
The picture below is testament to the excellent properties of the Van Staal C-VEX.
Sometimes in life the salt water guide puts you on fish, sometimes the client casts straight into that zone and hooks up and just sometimes, even when everything comes together you need a bit of luck to help you out.
C-Vex fly reels by Van Staal could stop a Polaris so it's good to know that in a world where quality is so often compromised, these pieces of engineering do what they were designed for - stopping big fish, fast!
Thank you Van Staal for another memorable photograph in my fishing album!
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