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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Reel Review


The best Okuma spinning reel yet, the technologically advanced VSystem (continued)
 

Real World Test: To test the VS-20 we decided to target both largemouth bass and striped bass. The VS-20 is actually small enough to be used as a trout and panfish reel, but we also believe that the reel’s robust gearing and drag design allow it to match up nicely to much larger fish. To complete the combination we spooled up with 8lb and 6lb Trireme XL and paired the VS with a Glooms Drop Shot rod.

 

The VS20 features a coated bail and titanium nitride coasted spool lip

 
Casting:
When it comes to casting the VS reel performed well. Key to proper casting is spool diameter and an even line lay. Even when we spooled up the reel we noticed that line was distributed evenly throughout the spool, no funneling here. The reel features an oversized roller mounted on a ball bearing to help reduce line twists.

 

The reel was powerful enough to pull bass out from wooded structure

In addition there was no discernable rotor wobble to cause irregular line distribution. The Voss's spool is deliberately equalized with second generation REES II technology. What this essentially means is that a computer balanced weight is placed within the rotor for precision balancing. Not only does this benefit casting, but also helps give the reel a smoother feel during fast cranking. To help line spool off with less resistance is a titanium nitride lip found on both spools.

The tiny anti-reverse switch is positioned directly behind the rotor

 

Retrieving: During our tests we drop shotted for bass, threw cranks, darter heads, and even retrieved jerk baits in pursuit of stripers. The best way I can describe the Voss's retrieve is “even & powerful.” The VS makes use of both E2BB (Extreme Elements Bearings) and HOB (High Performance Bearings). E2BB’s are high grade stainless steel bearings and make use of ceramic balls which generate less friction and are more corrosion resistant. HOB bearings are the same as E2BB’s in design, but make use of high-grade stainless balls, both are designed to last over 10 times the normal period of traditional stainless bearings.

 

A look at the underside of the micro-click drag adjustment knob

While the bearings play into the smoothness equation the VS feels different than traditional reels due to their exclusive oscillation system. The reel feels smooth, but not fluid-like smooth similar to a Shimano. Instead the VS feels very connected to the gearing, a bit more like a Van Steal or an Accurate. EOS (Elliptical Oscillation System) is an Okuma patented design, and is used throughout their mid-range to premium reel lineup.

The drag is sealed behind the "Hydro Block" rubber gasket

 

The EOS design makes use of elliptical shaped gears which are engaged 100% of the time to deliver a smooth powerful spool stroke. Have you ever had a reel that felt somewhat disconnected, or even seemed to twitch while the spool peaked? This is not a factor with the elliptical design, and other benefits include a more even line lay and increased lifespan of the gearing.    

 

The spool is ported for weight reduction and superior balancing

Drag: With a striper on the line during our test I could feel the difference in drag performance. Because I was fishing with just 8lb line it was important that the drag perform flawlessly. I normally would not fish jerk baits with such light line, or a spinning reel of this size, but the Okuma VS oozed confidence as I played fish after fish in with a drag that was surprisingly smooth under pressure.

An identical spare spool is included in the package

The drag pressure in the high end proved to be very extremely good, and I was able to make minute adjustments on the fly with the micro-click knob. Okuma has hit a home run with their new DID (Dual Force Drag) system, which incorporates two drag surfaces. These drag surfaces sandwich the spool and when adjusted even pressure is applied to both surfaces. There is a hydro block system that reduces moisture and foreign contaminates from entering the multi-disk drag system under the knob. In terms of raw stopping power the Okuma VS outclassed just about every correspondingly sized reel in the lab, outputting 8.9lbs of drag pressure, that’s 1.9lbs more than similarly sized 1000 series reels.

the underside of the spool is flat to match up with the dual force drag
 

Next Section: Ergonomics, Applications, and Ratings


 

 

 

 

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