Shimano Vanford Review 2024

Shimano is a Japanese reel brand that is very popular with anglers around the world. Renowned for its durability, good looks and affordable price tag, there’s no reason why this is a favorite brand for many anglers.

Today I will introduce to you a new product of Shimano, which is Shimano Vanford. Created based on the Stradic Ci4+ series – a product that has stormed the market and received a lot of appreciation from users. That has partly shown the quality and technology that Shimano Vanford carries on them.

Hopefully through the article “Shimano Vanford Review”, you can make the correct decision on whether to include it in your collection. If you are looking for a quality saltwater spinning reel, you can refer to my following article: Top 8 Best Spinning Reel For Saltwater 2024

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel Reviews

Now hot off the press is the brand new Shimano Vanford spin reel series and these will replace the iconic Stradic Ci4+ spin reels which have been one of the most popular and highest selling spin reels in the market now for some time. So the big question is is the Vanford a worthy upgrade to the Ci4+?

Now when you compare the specs of the Ci4+ and the Vanford you’re going to find a lot of similarities between the two models and that’s because Shimano has taken the underlying technology of the Ci4+ and used it in their design of the Vanford. And then added some subtle improvements let’s look at that in a bit more detail.

vanford reel review

So you can see from this table that both the Stradic Ci4+ and the vanford come in 1000 2500 3000 sizes and the Vanford now includes a 5000 size but what you will notice is that the bearings the drag capacity the gear ratios and the weights is very very similar between both. But with some subtle improvements to the vanford so if we have a look at 1000 which both have a three-kilo drag compacity. Weights are very similar to the 2500s both have a 9-kilo drag capacity again the weights are very similar. 

Now visually we were always pretty impressed with the aesthetics of the Ci4+ range models they had a really nice color scheme and they had a really nice color scheme and they had sleek cutaway angles which made them look like a really high-end reel.

Now Shimano has gone with a different approach with the Vanford probably what you would call a little bit more plain. Not quite as appealing as the Ci4+ models instead moving to simple yet contemporary design with straight lines. The logic here however is that shimano was designing the Vanford reel at the same time that they were designing the Zodias rods. And they’ve really tried to pick a color scheme and a design that complement each other.

Shimano Inc. VANFORD 500 F
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There are some subtle improvements that Shimano has taken from their higher-end reels such as the Stella and the Twin power and put into the Vanford. And when you do hold it you can feel that it does feel a little bit lighter and a little bit smoother. And that’s thanks to Shimano’s Hagane micro module gearing system, micro module gearing system, and MGL rotor. Shimano have added felt drag washers into the smaller ranges. They’ve added carbon drag rushes into the bigger models. Shimano has added X-protect into this reel and that’s an Ipx8 certified waterproofing system that is there to protect your reel from saltwater sand and dirt, particularly in the bail, handle, and the gears. So hopefully this Vanford in time will be more durable than the existing Stradic Ci4+ model.

There’s also an improved ARC spool design which actually has a higher lip which is what you see with the higher-end reel such as the Stella and the twin power. And the logic here is that it allows the line to peel off that real easier, giving you increased casting distance.

Vanford Review

Top Features, Pros and Cons

As introduced above, Shimano Vanford is the latest product of Shimano. Built and developed on top of Stradic Ci4+, continuing the great technologies of the previous product and adding new features. Not only helps it cast better, farther, but also smoother retrieval. Let’s take a closer look at the main features on this reel:

  • CI4+ Body: This is Vanford’s main material, which is an upgraded version of the original Cl4. Consisting of high strength carbon material, which is 2.5 times harder than Cl4. They have also been improved to make them lighter while increasing stiffness. This can help reduce their size and weight
  • MGL Rotor: This new design produces unprecedented light rotation. The rotor profile is now asymmetrical. The bail arm mechanism has been moved to the opposite side. This technology aims to increase balance, increase sensitivity, durability, optimal arrangement of rotor thickness.
  • Cross Carbon & Waterproof Drag: This tensile material offers more drag settings, along with the smoothest Shimano drag performance ever.
  • X-Ship: Provides extra strength to the gears, keeping the gears engaged during movement. This helps the gears stay in place when subjected to maximum loads. The benefit is that friction between the spool shaft and gear are eliminated. This technology increases casting distance and works better with lighter baits.
  • X-Protect: Combination of waterproof technology and maze structure, water channel. This technology increases water resistance to high levels and does not reduce the performance of gears and rotors.
  • Hagane Gear: With incredible strength and durability, HAGANE gears are at the heart of the reels. Modern technology makes them extremely quiet and comfortable for a long time. Designed using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology, affirming Shimano’s trademark for durability and strength.
  • S A-RB Bearings: There are shields on both sides of the bearings that reduce the chance of salt or sand interfering with the bearing’s rotation.
  • Propulsion Line: This is Shimano’s new spool, which provides a casting gap and helps prevent the formation of wind knots.
  • Long Stroke Spool: This is the technology of Stradic lines, which helps the spool to increase line traceability, increase casting distance, and reduce the possibility of line tangles.
  • Silent drive: Increase the accuracy of parts, eliminate the smallest gaps, wobbles eliminated to the highest tolerances.
  • Micro Module II gearing: Modern gear surface technology, perfect pursuit design. Further improving smooth gear feeling and reducing sound.
  • One piece bail: The One-Piece Bail allows the line to travel unimpeded to the line roller. Its seamless design reduces friction and alterations of tangles or cuts to the arm.
Vanford reel Review

Vanford is the latest addition to the MGL reel series. Vanford is the latest addition to the MGL reel series. A lightweight rotor made out of Ci4+ material. The advantage of using this reel is that they have a super-fast rotation startup and -stop. This fast startup is especially useful when the water is shallow, and you need the lure to start moving immediately after it touches the water.

Another feature of the new Vanford reels is the long-stroke spool. A spool is 4mm higher than the previous Stradic Ci4+ model. Because of the higher stroke of the spool, the line is wrapped on a larger surface. This allows you to cast further and more accurately. Vanford combines micromodule II with a Silent drive system. Super smooth reeling, no vibration coming from your reel, which allows you to focus only on the ones coming from your lure.

Questions & Answers

Really keen to know what reel you find better between the SOL III and the Vanford? anything that really sticks out between the two? – I have used the SOL3 and Vanford now for 5 months. Without a doubt, I’d pick the Vanford. In fact, I’ve put a couple more Vanfords. The drag is so much better than the sol 3. It sounds so much nicer and feels so much smoother. Which is the opposite of what I thought when I bought them. The only downside is the bail arm is quite flimsy but it’s not a big drama and equivalent to the C14+.

What about line capacity? I looked at a Vanford and Stradic Ci4+ together and I think the Stradic has a little more from memory. – 100% the stradic fits more line on the spool. I had a stradic 2500 and a vanford 2500. I had 2 x 150 meter brand new 15lb braid packages same brand and size for each reel. The Stradic had to be slightly backspooled, the Vanford only fit 85% of the 150m on. So the Ci4 holds more line. But 140m is generally plenty of lines.
I’m gonna get the Vanford it weighs less than the ci4+ which is so good for me I am only jigging so that’s better for me?  – You won’t be disappointed. I’ve used it so much since this video and it’s really grown on me. Super light, can handle a good fish and the drag on it is amazing.


Overall, Shimano Vanford is a reel worth the money and worth buying. With it, you can experience the best of Shimano technology. They can be used for both saltwater and freshwater.

We hope our “Shimano Vanford Review” article has helped you get an overview of this reel, as well as make a decision whether to add it to your collection or not. See you in the next posts, good luck!

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