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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I always wanted a Stradic Ci4 spinning reel due to the loyal following and overwhelming positive reviews. It was discontinued last year to be replaced by the Vanford before I could get one, so I decided to use holiday cabelas gift cards on the new model. The Vanford should be an upgrade of the Stradic, being mostly the same but with upgrades in a few key areas. The Vanford also has nothing but positive reviews so far. Well, my Vanford 2500 came in and it was... not smooth. I’ve used my buddy’s Stradic before and it was like butter. The Vanford sounded like it had loud/squeaky bearings and clicked at the top of the spool rotation (keep in mind this is not a reel that you can just open up and service; with Shimano’s sealed reels, opening them voids the warranty, and you must send them in for service). I thought maybe it was a dud so I masked up and tried several at the store, only to find they were all the same way. I tried a Stradic FL there too which was smooth as ever but too heavy for my preferences, so I left empty handed. I don’t think it is ok at this price range to need servicing out of the box. I am not affiliated with any brand; I just want this review out there to exist with the plethora of positive ones so people can make a balanced decision. I don’t know if Cabelas just got a batch of duds or if all the positive reviews are from Shimano fanboys or if I am really just that unlucky. I emailed Shimano’s customer service last week complete with a video of the noisy operation and have received no response as of yet. (Side note, does anyone have any recommendations for a lightweight and smooth 2500 sized reel in the ~$200 range? I have a Daiwa Tatula that I really like and I may just get another one at this rate but I’m open to any brand. I will use it to finesse fish mostly for smallmouth and saugeye in rivers and creeks.)

Here’s said video of the sound:


UPDATE: Shimano finally replied and just said to send it in for warranty. I have already returned it at this point so will not take them up on this offer. I don’t really know what I expected but I just wanted some assurance that they actually care. I don’t know if I’ll ever buy another Shimano product now.

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WOW, thanks for the review of the replacement for the Ci4. That is not good at all!! I was hoping to hear good things about these, but I am sure Shimano will back you up.
The Diawa Tatula LT is a very solid reel. Pretty smooth IMO and the frame and components are very durable
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh I returned it, but as mentioned in my post all the ones at the store felt the same. I’ll need to find something else to use my gift cards on.


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I always wanted a Stradic Ci4 spinning reel due to the loyal following and overwhelming positive reviews. It was discontinued last year to be replaced by the Vanford before I could get one, so I decided to use holiday cabelas gift cards on the new model. The Vanford should be an upgrade of the Stradic, being mostly the same but with upgrades in a few key areas. The Vanford also has nothing but positive reviews so far. Well, my Vanford 2500 came in and it was... not smooth. I’ve used my buddy’s Stradic before and it was like butter. The Vanford sounded like it had loud/squeaky bearings and clicked at the top of the spool rotation (keep in mind this is not a reel that you can just open up and service; with Shimano’s sealed reels, opening them voids the warranty, and you must send them in for service). I thought maybe it was a dud so I masked up and tried several at the store, only to find they were all the same way. I tried a Stradic FL there too which was smooth as ever but too heavy for my preferences, so I left empty handed. I don’t think it is ok at this price range to need servicing out of the box. I am not affiliated with any brand; I just want this review out there to exist with the plethora of positive ones so people can make a balanced decision. I don’t know if Cabelas just got a batch of duds or if all the positive reviews are from Shimano fanboys or if I am really just that unlucky. I emailed Shimano’s customer service last week complete with a video of the noisy operation and have received no response as of yet. (Side note, does anyone have any recommendations for a lightweight and smooth 2500 sized reel in the ~$200 range? I have a Daiwa Tatula that I really like and I may just get another one at this rate. I will use it to finesse fish mostly for smallmouth and saugeye in rivers and creeks.)

Here’s said video of the sound:



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Have always loved my Stradics but have noticed more complaints regarding some of the newer Shimano reels in general. Their QC dept must be a skeleton crew. Apparently no one is physically checking some of them before they are shipped.
I always wanted a Stradic Ci4 spinning reel due to the loyal following and overwhelming positive reviews. It was discontinued last year to be replaced by the Vanford before I could get one, so I decided to use holiday cabelas gift cards on the new model. The Vanford should be an upgrade of the Stradic, being mostly the same but with upgrades in a few key areas. The Vanford also has nothing but positive reviews so far. Well, my Vanford 2500 came in and it was... not smooth. I’ve used my buddy’s Stradic before and it was like butter. The Vanford sounded like it had loud/squeaky bearings and clicked at the top of the spool rotation (keep in mind this is not a reel that you can just open up and service; with Shimano’s sealed reels, opening them voids the warranty, and you must send them in for service). I thought maybe it was a dud so I masked up and tried several at the store, only to find they were all the same way. I tried a Stradic FL there too which was smooth as ever but too heavy for my preferences, so I left empty handed. I don’t think it is ok at this price range to need servicing out of the box. I am not affiliated with any brand; I just want this review out there to exist with the plethora of positive ones so people can make a balanced decision. I don’t know if Cabelas just got a batch of duds or if all the positive reviews are from Shimano fanboys or if I am really just that unlucky. I emailed Shimano’s customer service last week complete with a video of the noisy operation and have received no response as of yet. (Side note, does anyone have any recommendations for a lightweight and smooth 2500 sized reel in the ~$200 range? I have a Daiwa Tatula that I really like and I may just get another one at this rate. I will use it to finesse fish mostly for smallmouth and saugeye in rivers and creeks.)

Here’s said video of the sound:



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I had a similar experience. I had ordered 4 of them. They where just not good. I exchanged them for daiwa tatula LT. Cheaper, lighter, smoother and better drags. I've actually sold off my shimanos and have a bunch of tatulas and pflueger patriarchs now. Shimano just seems to live off the name now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had a similar experience. I had ordered 4 of them. They where just not good. I exchanged them for daiwa tatula LT. Cheaper, lighter, smoother and better drags. I've actually sold off my shimanos and have a bunch of tatulas and pflueger patriarchs now. Shimano just seems to live off the name now.
How is the Patriarch? The last couple Pfluegers I got (supreme and president xt) were not anywhere near as smooth as even their basic reels used to be so I lost confidence in the brand.


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The old school pearl white Stradic FG's made in Japan were the ones that built the reputation for the Stradic line. They were tanks and lots of guys still use them to this day. They aren't the lightest reel by any means, but you can't beat them for durability and staying smooth for years of heavy use. I also have an older MgFA that is my favorite of the Stradic's. It's magnesium so it's lighter and also very smooth and balanced. You can still find some of the older models with very little or no use on them.
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I also moved from Shimano to Daiwa. My price point is lower, the Shimano 30-40 dollar reels of the '90s/2000s were great for what I used them for. It seems they turned a corner just after that and reels twice the price all had issues. I still use a few of my oldest shimanos, all the newer ones I bought have been junked or given away to kids in the family. My current fave spinning reel is a Daiwa Regal and its a hell of a reel for the price.
 

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How is the Patriarch? The last couple Pfluegers I got (supreme and president xt) were not anywhere near as smooth as even their basic reels used to be so I lost confidence in the brand.


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The patriarchs are awesome! I have 5 or so. All.suoer smooth. I like them on my light rods. For crappie and perch.
 

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Hi guys, sorry for the late response as I'm not as active on the forums during show season with all of our product coming in. Shimano released the new price lists and catalogs today for dealers. The Shimano Stradic is only available in the FL now.

I could talk abourt reels and manufacturers all day but you will be hard pressed to find reels that will function as well as some of the Japanese made Diawas and Shimanos, and durablity does not get better than the US made Penns. They still do make some of the US Penns new and some Diawas and Shimanos are still made in Japan, but the prices are significantly increased from where they were 4-5 years ago.

The long and short of it is that most of the major companies have been relying on their name and pushing lower quality products out of China without the same attention to detail in the quality check process. The most consistent products we see from lack of defects are Penn and Okuma now and we see the most come from Shimano and Diawa. This varies year to year, but we avoid all Shimano and Diawa under $99 retail as that is where most of our issues came from. With that being said, of course there's going to be inconsistencies in any brand, but I thought they may help you pinpoint a replacement. Penn Clash and Penn Battle are really hard to beat but they tend to be heavier than Diawa and Shimano if that's what you're looking for.

Feel free to DM us if you have any other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi guys, sorry for the late response as I'm not as active on the forums during show season with all of our product coming in. Shimano released the new price lists and catalogs today for dealers. The Shimano Stradic is only available in the FL now.

I could talk abourt reels and manufacturers all day but you will be hard pressed to find reels that will function as well as some of the Japanese made Diawas and Shimanos, and durablity does not get better than the US made Penns. They still do make some of the US Penns new and some Diawas and Shimanos are still made in Japan, but the prices are significantly increased from where they were 4-5 years ago.

The long and short of it is that most of the major companies have been relying on their name and pushing lower quality products out of China without the same attention to detail in the quality check process. The most consistent products we see from lack of defects are Penn and Okuma now and we see the most come from Shimano and Diawa. This varies year to year, but we avoid all Shimano and Diawa under $99 retail as that is where most of our issues came from. With that being said, of course there's going to be inconsistencies in any brand, but I thought they may help you pinpoint a replacement. Penn Clash and Penn Battle are really hard to beat but they tend to be heavier than Diawa and Shimano if that's what you're looking for.

Feel free to DM us if you have any other questions.
Good info, thanks. What dealer are you with?
 

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I always wanted a Stradic Ci4 spinning reel due to the loyal following and overwhelming positive reviews. It was discontinued last year to be replaced by the Vanford before I could get one, so I decided to use holiday cabelas gift cards on the new model. The Vanford should be an upgrade of the Stradic, being mostly the same but with upgrades in a few key areas. The Vanford also has nothing but positive reviews so far. Well, my Vanford 2500 came in and it was... not smooth. I’ve used my buddy’s Stradic before and it was like butter. The Vanford sounded like it had loud/squeaky bearings and clicked at the top of the spool rotation (keep in mind this is not a reel that you can just open up and service; with Shimano’s sealed reels, opening them voids the warranty, and you must send them in for service). I thought maybe it was a dud so I masked up and tried several at the store, only to find they were all the same way. I tried a Stradic FL there too which was smooth as ever but too heavy for my preferences, so I left empty handed. I don’t think it is ok at this price range to need servicing out of the box. I am not affiliated with any brand; I just want this review out there to exist with the plethora of positive ones so people can make a balanced decision. I don’t know if Cabelas just got a batch of duds or if all the positive reviews are from Shimano fanboys or if I am really just that unlucky. I emailed Shimano’s customer service last week complete with a video of the noisy operation and have received no response as of yet. (Side note, does anyone have any recommendations for a lightweight and smooth 2500 sized reel in the ~$200 range? I have a Daiwa Tatula that I really like and I may just get another one at this rate but I’m open to any brand. I will use it to finesse fish mostly for smallmouth and saugeye in rivers and creeks.)

Here’s said video of the sound:


UPDATE: Shimano finally replied and just said to send it in for warranty. I have already returned it at this point so will not take them up on this offer. I don’t really know what I expected but I just wanted some assurance that they actually care. I don’t know if I’ll ever buy another Shimano product now.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
After hearing so many good things about Vanford I decided to order a pair of 2500. One came in yesterday and the other comes Tuesday. Well 10months since this thread started and same issues as OP on a new reel. Noisy, clicking (sounds like loud pawl chatter from the inside) handle is stiff to turn. With inward pressure on the handle feels smooth but normal rotation of handle feels like a bumpy road like the gears aren’t aligned properly. Called a buddy who has 8 of them he even said he had to send 2 of em back. I searched Vanford and found this thread also saw a Vanford vid on YouTube guy stated his 2000 had issues but his 2500 was great. Idk what’s going on with the QC…

I’ve been running 3 Tatula LTs, 2 Fuego LTs, and 1 Exceler for the past couple years Basically since they were released. Outside of the Fuegos handles having developed a little play, no issues and they are all buttery smooth as the day I got them. I’ll see what the deal is with the one that comes in on Tuesday if that one is sketchy I’m just gonna call the experiment a failure and do another pair of Tats.
 
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