It’s a bold move by Shimano who has released the New Shimano Vanford 2020 spin reel and retired an old Aussie favourite. That’s right the new Shimano Vanford spin reels will replace the popular Stradic Ci4+ reels. The Vanford has taken the looks and feel of the iconic Stradic Ci4+ and added some welcome improvements in performance and durability. This news comes as Shimano also release a new range of Zodias rods. Suggesting that the new Zodias rods and Vanford reels are a match made in heaven. But how will this reel be received by the public? The existing Stradic reels are synonymous household name.

You can buy a Shimano Vanford spin reel here or you can buy a Shimano Zodias spin rod here

Watch a detailed and honest assessment of the Vanford reel compared to the Stradic CI4+ reels.

Many of the beginners, weekend warriors, serious fishos and tournament anglers we know own an existing Shimano stradic Ci4+ reel. Regardless of their fishing ability, these reels have been popular amongst consumers because of their performance and affordability. Which they have paired with Zodias, Jewel, Maikuro, Catana, or Raider fishing rods depending on their experience and budget. So it’s a bold move to ditch one of the most popular reels in the market which has a reputation on name alone. However, at first glance, we appreciate some of the improvements.

Vanford Vs Stradic subtle changes

Now when you compare the specs of the Stradic Ci4+ and the Vanford you will notice a lot of similarities between the 2 models and that’s because Shimano has designed the Vanford using the existing Stradic CI4+ body.

Let’s look at that in a bit more detail. If we look at the sizes available both series offer 1000, 2500, 3000, 4000 The Vanford, however, has a new 5000 size available. If we compare the bearing, drag capacity. Gear ratios and weights you can see it’s very similar with some minor improvements added into the Vanford.

STRADIC CI4+ FB 1000 6+1 3 kg 5.0:1 160
STRADIC CI4+ FB 2500 6+1 9 kg 6.0:1 190
STRADIC CI4+ FB 3000 6+1 9 kg 6.0:1 190
STRADIC CI4+ FB 4000 6+1 11 kg 6.2:1 230
VANFORD 1000 7+1 3 kg 5.5:1 155
VANFORD 2500 7+1 9 kg 6.0:1 180
VANFORD 3000 7+1 9 kg 6.4:1 180
VANFORD 4000 7+1 11 kg 6.2:1 215
VANFORD 5000 7+1 11 kg 6.2:1 220

But there are some key improvements, and these are subtle changes that Shimano has taken from the higher end reels such as the Stella and Twin Power.

The new Vanford reels are certainly smoother and faster thanks to the improved Hagane Micromodule Gearing system and combined MGL rotor which is certainly a welcome improvement to the overall performance of the reel. You can feel this by simply moving the bail arm.

The smaller modes have felt drag washers which make them sound a feel great. Whilst the bigger 400 and 5000 size models have cross carbon washers for extra strength.

Shimano has introduced the X-protect system into the Vanford reels sealing them to be waterproof. X-protect will help keep saltwater, sand and dirt out of the gear system and bail arm making them durable. IPX8 certified.

The Vanford name

Stradic for many years has been an iconic name in the fishing industry. A combination of good performance and good price point has made it really popular. So we were a little surprised that they ditched the Stradic name. Many people within the industry that we have spoken with were suggesting that with such a subtle change perhaps Shimano may have been better off calling it the Stradic 2020 or following the existing name schedule FE, FG, FH, FI, FJ, FK, FL, CI4+FA, CI4+FB, CI4+FC, Maybe this could have been the Stradic CI4+ FD 2020 model.

Were led to believe the name change was been driven by the confusion in the market between the overlap of the Stradic FL and Ci4+. By introducing the Vanford you take away some of that confusion and make the product easier to market. With a clear demarcation point of offerings available.

Vanford Vs Stradic

The name Vanford itself is a bit of a strange one. I’m not sure where the Shimano marketing team got their inspiration from maybe there is more to it than what we initially realize and maybe it will grow on us and become the next household name.

Shimano Vanford look

I was always impressed with the ascetics of the Stradic C14+ models. They had a really nice colour scheme, sleek angled cutaway making them look like a high-end reel.

Shimano has suggested these reels need to be held to really appreciate their new design. Initially to us, the Vanford looked a little plain and not as appealing as CI4+ instead of moving to a simple yet contemporary design with straight lines. The logic here is Shimano were designing the Vanford reels the same time as the Zodias rods. They have really tried to pick a colour scheme and design that complement each other. I wasn’t sure at first but will admit that when you pair a Vanford and Zodias together that it does look very nice.

What’s new Shimano Vanford spin reel

The New Shimano Vanford 2020 is designed to become the ultimate finesse fishing reel with a super-fast start-up. Replacing the iconic Stradic Ci4+, this reel is equipped with a range of technology upgrades that sets the Vanford apart. Still drawing upon a lightweight Ci4+ body construction but adding the following improvements.

  • A new MGL rotor makes the reel 48% lighter to turn when compared to a standard rotor design.
  • Micromodule Gear II and Silent Drive are featured in the new Vanford and the Hagane Gear has been upgraded for added strength.
  • X-Protect provides high-level water resistance without sacrificing light gear and rotor rotation. This has increased the durability of the Vanford’s roller clutch and line roller to an IPX8 standard.
  • By incorporating the new Long Stroke Spool design, casting performance has also been improved.

Shimano Vanford reel sizes and features

Just like the Stradic there are 5 different sizes available including 1000, 2500, 3000, 4000 and 5000. All with a 10-year warranty with Shimano. The drag washers fitted to the 1000 to C3000 models and Cross Carbon Drag washers are fitted to the 4000 and 5000 models.


Shimano Vanford Specs



3 5.5:1 1/250 155




9 6.0:1 3/180 180




9 6.4:1 4/150 180




11 6.2:1 6/160 215


VFC5000XGF 7+1 11 6.2:1 6/200 220



Vanford availability and price

It’s expected that these new Vanford reels will be widely available in September 2020. Most tackle stores will stock this product as soon as they are available. With a starting RRP price of $359, it will be very interesting to watch the uptake especially when main competitor Daiwa has done a lot on this space showcasing Daiwa 2020 product range of new rods and reels this week as well. However, Shimano has a reputation for quality, reliability and strong performance. These reels certainly look to be a worthy upgrade over the stradic lineup.

Additions or corrections

Thanks for reading this New Shimano Vanford 2020 spin reel. You can see more about these rods on Shimano’s website. You can purchase this range of reels at all good fishing tackle stores. You can also see many fishing videos around Melbourne and Victoria. If you have any questions, corrections or additions then please direct them to and we will get back to you as soon as we can.