Shimano VanFords – is this the most powerful of the vanfords series?

Shimano Curado DC baitcasting reel

Shimano VanFords reel was designed with lightweight materials and innovative technology. Now they have evolved to be the go-to fishing reel for anyone who loves to fish. These reels are great for beginners because they offer a smooth drag system that lets you have complete control over the amount of line you pull out, perfect for beginners who don’t know how much force to apply. Each model offers a different drag setting as well as featuring powerful performance capabilities, to meet any need you may have.

Is the Shimano Vanfords a saltwater reel?

The Shimano VanFord is a saltwater spinning reel manufactured by Shimano. If you’re unfamiliar with reels, they are basically the gearbox for fishing line. As with any reel, the VanFords share some common attributes. When it comes to saltwater reels, the VanFords have many unique features such as a sealed body for extra protection against corrosion, low drag mechanism, and a quick-reload system (a feature that allows the user to adjust the drag without using tools).

Because these features make the VanFords different than other reels, we decided it would be fun to find out if the VanFords were saltwater reels.

While it may look like a great idea at first glance, it actually isn’t. There’s no way for us to determine whether or not a product is saltwater compatible based on its appearance alone, so we had to take a closer look at the VanFords.

When we took a close look at the construction of the Shimano VanFords, we noticed that the entire reel was covered in plastic. However, before we looked closely at the wrapping, we assumed that the reel was simply being protected against corrosion due to its exposure to salt water. But upon closer inspection, we realized that the plastic covering was meant to protect our eyes from the UV rays coming off the metal parts. That’s right, the plastic covering wasn’t just protecting the reel, but also keeping the user from getting hurt!

If you’re wondering what makes the Shimano VanFord stand out among other reels, here are some noticeable differences between the Shimano VanFord and other reels:

 Low Drag Mechanism: A conventional drag is set by rotating the handle via a knob located on the side of the reel. In contrast, the Shimano VanFord uses a low drag mechanism that works by tightening the spring inside the spool instead of turning a dial. According to Shimano, this mechanism creates less friction and requires less effort to operate.

 Quick-Reel Reload System: The Shimano VanFords use a quick-reel reload system which means there is no need to disassemble the reel before adjusting the drag. Just loosen the tension screw and tighten it again once the desired amount of drag is reached.

Sealed Body: The VanFords have a completely enclosed body to prevent the ingress of sand, debris, and other contaminants. This prevents damage to the reel as well as keeping the line dryer and easier to store.

 Rotatable Spool: Because the Shimano VanFord has a rotatable spool, it’s possible to change the size of the diameter of the spool while still retaining the same length of line. The advantage of having a rotatable spool over a fixed spool is that your line will stay taut even after the spool is rotated upside down.

Weight: The Shimano VanFord weighs only 1.5 pounds making it lighter compared to other reels.

Are Shimano Vanfords spools interchangeable?

Yes they are. In fact, I use them interchangeably. When I switch back from the KMC to the Shimano, I simply swap the heads onto my existing bike frame. If I were to have purchased a set of wheels built specifically for Shimano, then yes I would need to purchase an adapter.

What does HG and XG mean on Shimano reels?

HG (High Gear) means the reel is designed for high gear use and produces less drag than Low Gear. XG (X-Gear) means the reel is suited for a lower gear ratio range. These refer to the quality of the metal and plastic that makes up each individual reel. The higher the grade, the stronger and sturdier they tend to be. Reels in High Gear produce a little more drag than their low gear counterparts due to increased friction. You might want to consider using a smaller spool if you regularly spin at higher speeds.

What gear ratio is best for saltwater fishing?

Gear ratios are ratios of length to diameter of your gear to help determine how much drag (resistance) your line will have while casting. Here is a list of the different gear sizes and their corresponding ratios:

  • 1/8-5/16
  • 5/16-13/16
  • 13/16-25/32
  • 25/32-55/64
  • 55/64-89/96
  • 89/96-128/144
  • 128/144+

For example if you were using a 6′ rod and a 10′ flyline then your gear ratio would be 6/10  60%. If you wanted your flyline to have less drag than your rod you could use a smaller diameter line or a longer length rod. A bigger diameter line would require a bigger diameter rod. You want the smallest number that fits your combination. Keep in mind that larger diameter rods don’t generally make for great casting distance. So if you’re going out to catch fish, keep the diameter small while keeping the length big.

Best Shimano Vanfords Series

braided line

Shimano Vanford 4000 Reel

This is a great budget friendly reel if you want a spinning reel but don’t mind the smaller sized body. You won’t find any fancy features, just good old fashioned drag and line capacity. There’s even a little plastic fish included. Perfect for beginners! This is an excellent reel for bass, salmon, trout, and walleye.

Shimano Vanford 3000 Reel

If you’re looking for a larger spool size, then this is perfect for you. You’ll have plenty of room to cast longer distances. Comes with dual stainless steel bearings for smooth operation. There are a lot of nice features including anti-reverse and automatic indexing capabilities. This is a high quality reels for carp, catfish, perch, pike, and walleye species.

Shimano VV-R1000 Fish Reel

The VV-R1000 is the ultimate choice for anglers who demand the best performance out of their reels. Features include a solid, durable frame, heavy duty clutch system, and two stainless steel ball bearing systems for smooth operation. These reels are ideal for salmon, char, trout, and many freshwater and saltwater applications.

Difference between Shimano vs Stradic

 Shimano vs Stratics

I have been using shimano Vanfords for years now and I use them still today. I had my first Shimano Vans a few years ago and they were great. Since then, I started working with different brands and after doing research about their products, I decided to give Stratics a try. I bought 2 sets, each set being a 4-inch and 6-inch and I put them both side-by-side to test out what was best for me. Let’s start off with the 4-inch set…

The 4-inch set is a little bit smaller than the 6-inch set, but it comes equipped with a larger cap nut for securing the frame to the stem. It also features a slightly higher wattage rating compared to the 6-inch set (1750). Both sets feature the same chainrings and bottom bracket bearing but the 4-inch set uses SRAM’s standard crankset, while the 6-inch set has a custom-made version of SRAM’s GXP Crank System. Here are some specs on the 4-inch set:

  • 11-speed cassette
  • 34T ring/36T cog
  • 1750 rear sprocket
  • 1×10 setup
  • Hollowtech II seatpost

Both sets look similar, apart from the color. The 4-inch set has a blue finish whereas the 6-inch set features a black finish. They both weigh around 30 grams, but the 4-inch weighs 31 grams while the 6-inch weighs 33 grams.

Now let’s go over the pros and cons of the 6-inch set:


  • Slight weight difference between the two
  • Slightly larger diameter and height compared to the 4-inch set

Stradic vs  Shimano Vanfords

Shimano Vanford (SV) and Stradic (ST) both have their own unique advantages, disadvantages, and pros/cons. Both Shimsay Vanford and Stradics are great choices for different applications depending upon your preference and budget.

 Advantages of SV

  • Higher output than ST – No need for a submersible pump if using an older system.
  • Use with water pumps.
  • Run at higher pressures than ST.
  • Mixed with other nutrients without affecting performance.
  • More versatile than ST
  • Does not require any special equipment for mixing.
  • You do not need a pressure gauge to know how much fertilizer you are adding to your tank.

 Disadvantages of SV

  • Not recommended for high flow systems.
  • Requires a pressure regulator.
  • Needs to be in your tank before starting your irrigation system.

Shimano Vanfords 2500 Vs 3000 Reel – Which Is Better?

The Vanford 2500 is a great choice for those who want a reliable baitcaster with the durability of a drag-free design. Its stainless steel body offers a long service life, while its corrosion resistant finish makes it easy to keep clean and looking good. The Vanford 2500 also features a self lubricating line guide system, which will ensure smooth operation and make changing lines easier.

Shimano Vanford 3000 Series Fishing Reel – What Makes it Different?

Shimano’s Vanford 3000 series offers some exciting changes in performance and style. The Vanford 3000 model comes in two sizes (2500 & 3000) with three different spool configurations (D, E, F). The Vanford 3000 is one of the most versatile reels by Shimano. Featuring seven gear ratios, five drag settings, and three line capacities; the Vanford 3000 is ready for any conditions.

Shimano Vanford vs Yamaha VMAX Drag Free Reels – Who Wins?

Yamaha’s VMAX is the best reel on the market today. Its super heavy duty drag free mechanism provides the smoothest reeling possible, even under the harshest demands. In addition, the VMAX boasts a solid stainless steel frame, which helps prevent rusting over time. While the Vanford 2500 does not feature a drag-free mechanism, it still offers a sturdy construction and excellent performance at an affordable price point.


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