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Reel Review


The best Okuma spinning reel yet, the technologically advanced VSystem
 

Date: 7/17/06
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Okuma
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 9.05 + BEST VALUE AWARD!

Introduction:
Okuma’s spinning reels continue to grow in popularity due to a strong portfolio of quality products at very attractive prices. The Okuma VS (V-System) reels are the new marquee spinning reel for the company, and makes use of a plethora of new-fangled technologies, including Okuma’s own patented EOS elliptical oscillation drive gearing and an exciting dual force drag system.
 

Okuma VS-20 Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 4/190, 6/110, 8/90
Gear Ratio 5.0:1
Line retrieve per crank 22 inches
Weight 8.8 oz
Bearings 12BB, 1RB
Additional Features All aluminum construction, dual force drag, elliptical oscillation system, corrosion resistant bearings, spare matching aluminum spool, hydro block water tight drag seal
Origin Made in China
MSRP $149.99

 

The sharp looking Okuma VSystem 20

 
Impressions:
Okuma has transitioned from a primarily OEM manufacturer to a bona-fide branded solution. It has been over three years since we last reviewed an Okuma product, and in that time Okuma reels have gone from just having mainstream products to producing a full range of solutions from value to full fledged premium offerings. The VS (V-System) reel represents the new flagship spinning reel for Okuma, a position once held by the Metaloid just a few seasons back.

 

The VS reel looks quite different from Okuma's in the past, and features a more compact body

The VS reel comes with an assortment of features that not only set it apart from the rest of the Okuma lineup, but from just about any other spinning reel out there. The company has put a lot of resources into designing not only new reels, but new technologies that improve both the durability and performance of all their spinning reels.

Okuma bundles a nice carry pouch which is great for storage

 

I was eager to see just how much of an improvement the VS reel represented over the Okuma’s that I have field tested before. For our tests we decided to look at the VS-20, which is the second smallest reel in the VS series. In all there are actually eight sizes available to anglers, ranging from the tiny V-15 to the saltwater oriented V-80. The V-15 through V-20 sizes all make use if 12BB + 1RB while the V-30 size and up all have three additional bearings. The V-15 through V-40 all feature a faster 5.0:1 retrieve ratio while the larger reels make use of either a 4.5:1 or 4.8:1 ratio for extra power

 

That's right, 13 Bearings in this bad boy

 

Our initial inspections of the VS-20 yielded some pleasant surprises. For starters this is one of the only packages that actually include two equally high quality spools in the box. Most reels at the 150 dollar price point come loaded with one scaled back spare spool.

 

Zander tests the casting ability of the reel

 

The next thing we observed was just how solid this reel felt. The VS-20 weighs in at 8.8oz, that’s a bit heavier than some of the competition. (example: .9oz heavier than a Shimano Stradic ST1000FH which has the exact same line capacity) So why the slight extra weight increase?

 

We tied on small jerk baits on our 8lb line and proceeded to test the drag against stripers

The answer rests in the Voss's liberal use of alloys. Unlike some of the lighter competition the VS reel makes use of metal throughout. There is no graphite on this reel, in fact the frame, sideplate, and spool are all made out of aluminum.

The Voss's retrieve feels "even and powerful"

When we go back and compare the reel versus the Stradic you also need to take into account that the VS also makes use of many more bearings and a dual drag system…all of which all add minute amounts of weight to the overall package. But that’s not all…also unlike most reels out there that even cost twice as much the drag knob on the VS is also aluminum as is the eye-catching forged 1-touch handle.

A bearing supported line roller helps lay down line evenly
 

Next Section: Get on to the tests already!


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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