Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel Review [2020 New Release]

This Shimano Vanford spinning reel review has been written to give you all the information you need to make a buying decision about whether this reel is suitable for your needs.

The Vanford is the official replacement of the Stradic CI4+, which was a favorite of many experienced anglers. If you have a Stradic and love it, then you will love the Vanford as well.

A new release in 2020, the Shimano Vanford is a great upgrade and worth having a look at to add to your tackle bag.

Like all of Shimano’s new reels this comes with X-Protect and X-Ship which is a waterproof coating on their gears which gives both improved water resistance and less friction leading to a smoother casting and retrieval motion.

Let’s dive in to the full review.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel, VFC3000XGF
  • CI4+ Body: This material is an advanced version of the original CI4. This highly technical carbon material maintains 2.5 times more rigidity than CI4. While improving lightness and rigidity, the body...
  • MGL Rotor: The new design of the MagnumLite Rotor produces unprecedented light rotation. The rotor profile is now asymmetrical. The bail arm mechanism, which was previously situation on the same side...
  • Hagane Gear: With amazing strength and durability, the HAGANE Gear is at the very heart of the reel. Shimano, through the application of state-of-the-art technologies, gives you the long-lasting...

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel Review

Let’s get straight into the features and specifications so that you can compare them with your other favorite reels, and then we will go into our own thoughts and insights.

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel Review

Features

  • Extreme Durability due to the Cold Forged Hagane Gears
  • The Material is CI4+ – CI4+ is 2.5 times stiffer than Ci4 which is used to reduce the weight of the reel
  • Fast Rotation from the MGL Rotor – This is designed to reduce the weight by 25% and requires 22% less inertia
  • Light and Smooth Reeling
  • Water Resistant Line Roller and Roller CLutch
  • Improved Casting Performance due to a Long Stroke Spool
  • X-Protect and X-Ship for waterproof coated gear materials

Specifications

DESCRIPTIONBEARINGSMAX DRAG (LB)GEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)BRAID CAPACITY (LB/YDS)
VANFORD 10007+16.65.5:12510/95
VANFORD 2500 HG7+1206.0:1405/140
VANFORD 40007+1246.2:110115/230
VANFORD COMPACT 3000 HG7+1206.4:13510/200
VANFORD COMPACT 5000 XG7+1246.2:14020/260

Vanford vs Stradic Ci4+

Let’s begin with a discussion on the aesthetic design of the Vanford – I absolutely love it. The red and black styling is very similar to the popular Stradic.

There are a lot of similarities between the Vanford and the Stradic. They have taken the best parts of the Stradic that everyone loves and applied some subtle improvements.

The max drag, gear ratio and weights are very similar between these two models. However, the Vanford is consistently lighter and comes with an additional ball bearing.

Let’s use the 1000 size as an example:

ModelBearingsMax Drag (LB)Gear RatioWeight (OZ)
Stradic Ci4+ 10006+16.65.0:16.7
Vanford 10007+16.65.5:16.3

The Vanford also comes with a 5000 size which was not available on the stradic.

One of the main disadvantages of the Stradic was the drag washers were not as durable, so the Vanford has added carbon drag washers, so hopefully we will see an improvement in the durability going forwards.

Shimano loves applying complicated terms to their fundamental principles of design and construction. But don’t let these bamboozle you – just know that Shimano spends a lot of time caring about the design and construction of every individual part which leads to improved performance and higher durability.

But let’s explore what some of these terms mean.

Shimano Hagane Gear

Hagane Gear

The Hagane Gear is Shimano’s main drive gear technology – the materials used, the way it is designed, and the way it is constructed. The Hagane Gear is found in most of Shimano’s new reels and is one of their key advantages. If you notice a difference between Shimano reels and their competitors

SilentDrive

SilentDrive is the marketing term that Shimano apply to their high quality machining of individual parts. This applies to the drive gear, wormshaft, wormshaft pin, and wormshaft gear to give the smallest clearance possible, by constructing the parts to the highest tolerance.

This eliminates wobbles and unnecessary movement and friction – which gives this reel an extremely smooth and silent performance.

The idea is that if the individual parts are designed and constructed to the highest level then the overall body design will benefit, and it proves in practice.

With this reel only released in 2020 we obviously haven’t been able to use this reel for long but time will tell and I am very confident that it will continue to impress.

MicroModule Gear II

The MicroModule Gear II is the gear tooth surface design. This allows for the gears to link together without loss of power or any movement that would cause noise or vibrations. It is one of the additions to this reel that give it just a smooth and silent retrieve.

Long Stroke Spool Technology

The long stroke spool technology is simply the way that the line is laid back onto the spool so that it optimizes the respooling movement.

Just one thing to note – the long stroke spool technology does not apply to the 500 sized reel as it is too small to accommodate it.

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel Review

Official Shimano Vanford Video

The video below is the official Shimano Vanford marketing video, so it will show all of the advantages of the reel (but not the disadvantages). So have a watch to see the reel in action:

Conclusion

In conclusion, I am a big fan of Shimano and their constant technological improvement. Their reels from a decade ago still perform well and their new gear continues to impress.

The Shimano Vanford is no exception. The Stradic Ci4+ is a brilliant reel, and its replacement does not disapoint. I have no doubt that you will be seeing plenty of Vanfords appear over the next summer bass fishing season.

Hopefully this Shimano Vanford spinning reel review has given you some ideas and insights to help make your decision.

If you are looking for more information then check out Shimano’s official page.

If you have any questions then please leave a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as we can. I would also be keen to hear from anyone who has already bought a Vanford and has your own experiences to share with our readers.

Happy fishing!

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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