Shimano Vanford
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ICAST 2020: Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel Earns Best of Category Award

The new Shimano Vanford is versatile for both freshwater and salt.

This year's ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) may have been moved to an online format, but that has not stopped companies like Shimano from rolling out a bunch of new casting and spinning reels. Anglers will have plenty to look forward to with all the new products being launched in 2020.

Attendees vote upon best of show candidates for new products throughout ICAST and the Shimano Vanford spinning reels came out as a clear winner, taking Best of Category.

Here are all the details and specs on these new reels and how they are effective for both freshwater and a variety of inshore saltwater applications too.

A "Crossover" style of reel.

The new Vanford follows close on the heels of last year's successful new Stradic reel release that also won awards for Shimano. While some anglers may be sad that this reel is not a new Stradic, the company is equally excited by the new offering. The thinking behind this new Shimano reel is the same, a piece of equipment that has what the company calls "crossover" appeal for people looking to get more from their gear.

Shimano is offering this new reel in seven different sizes from a 1000 size model with a mono line capacity between two and four pounds in the VF100F model to the VFC5000XGF model for lines between 10 and 12 pounds, there is a little something for everyone. Shimano says the smaller size fishing reels could even be used for ice fishing applications. There are plethora of gearing options available too. Gear ratios vary between 5.1:1 all the way up to 6.2:1. This reel is fitted with the signature Shimano Hagane gear.

The new Vanford uses what Shimano is calling their MagnumLite MGL rotor. They say this creates less rotational inertia than traditional reels. In fact, they claim it is up to 48% less. The smoothness of this reel is further enhanced by Micromodule and silent drive technologies. Shimano also realized that casting distance is important to anglers, especially those throwing lighter finesse lures for large and smallmouth bass. That is why they added what the company calls "Long Stroke Spool" technology. This also helps improve the smoothness of the reel by improving line lay.

While many of these reels will likely be sold for freshwater, during their ICAST deep product dive, the company says the Vanford VFC2000HGF and the VFC3000XGF work well for inshore saltwater species like speckled trout and red fish. The company said the larger sizes, the VF4000XGF and VFC5000 XGF are well-suited for tarpon, striper, snook, halibut and more. The cross carbon drag system of these reels helps to tame harder-running fish commonly found in an inshore environment. The max drag for these reels varies between seven pounds for the smaller models and 24 pounds for the larger ones. The company decided to up the durability by upping the water resistance with X-Protect technology. That and water-channeling construction help aid with corrosion resistance.

The Vanford will be available later this year and the MRSP will range between $229.99 and $239.99. See the Shimano website for more information.

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