Penn Spinfisher VI vs Shimano Vanford Reel Comparison

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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In the world of fishing gear, two spinning reels that often spark debate are the Penn Spinfisher VI and the Shimano Vanford. How do they stack up against each other? Let’s delve into a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision for your next fishing adventure.

The Penn Spinfisher VI is a Versatile saltwater fishing reel with specialist models, while the Shimano Vanford is a State of the art, high performance, lightweight spinning reel.

Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel
  • Saltwater Ready
  • IPX5 Waterproof Seal
  • HT-100 Drag Washers
  • Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Full Metal Body
Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel
  • Lower Weight than its Predecessor
  • Extremely Durable
  • Long Casting Distance
  • Full of Shimano's Latest Technology

Specification Comparison

To try and get an accurate comparison, I’ve picked the Penn Spinfisher VI 3500 sized-model, and the Shimano Vanford 3000.

Reel Comparison
Penn Spinfisher VI
Shimano Vanford
Ball Bearings
Gear Ratio
12.1 oz
6.3 oz
Max Drag
15 lb
20 lb
Mono Line Capacity
220 yards of 10 lb
140 yards of 10 lb
Braid Line Capacity
310 yards of 10 lb
200 yards of 10 lb

Gearing Comparison

The Penn Spinfisher VI employs CNC Gear Technology. This system ensures precision and durability. It’s computer-controlled for perfect alignment.

The Shimano Vanford uses Cold Forged Hagane Gearing. It delivers high strength and long-lasting performance. Its cold-forging process gives it superior resilience.

In comparison, both offer high-quality gearing systems. However, the CNC technology focuses on precision, while Hagane emphasizes toughness.

Penn Spinfisher VI vs Shimano Vanford Reel Comparison 3

Drag System Comparison

The Penn Spinfisher VI uses HT-100 Drag Washers. This system provides smooth, consistent drag. It enables long-range casting.

The Shimano Vanford features Cross Carbon Drag. This technology ensures enhanced heat resistance. It offers a more stable and durable drag performance.

While the Spinfisher VI focuses on smoothness and casting distance, the Vanford prioritizes heat resistance and stability. Both systems are designed for durability, but they differ in their specific advantages.

Penn Spinfisher VI vs Shimano Vanford Reel Comparison 5

Body Construction and Materials

The Penn Spinfisher VI is built with a Full Metal Body, providing a durable, sturdy reel. It’s resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for saltwater fishing.

The Shimano Vanford boasts a G Free Body, which is lightweight and balances well on the rod. Despite its lightness, it offers high rigidity and ensures longevity. The Spinfisher VI’s metal build guarantees robustness, while the Vanford’s G Free Body ensures ease of handling and comfort during long use.

Value for Money

The Penn Spinfisher VI offers more cost-effectiveness. Despite being less expensive, it provides high-quality performance. The Shimano Vanford, although costing more, guarantees premium features and advanced technology.

Your financial commitment is higher for the Vanford, but so is the level of sophistication. It’s a trade-off between price and advanced features.

The Spinfisher VI is a budget-friendly choice without compromising on quality, while the Vanford is a top-tier option with a higher cost.

Best Suited For

Use the Penn Spinfisher VI for versatile saltwater fishing needs. The Shimano Vanford is ideal for high-performance, lightweight spinning. The Spinfisher VI is perfect when targeting different species in saltwater. For a state-of-the-art angling experience, choose the Vanford.

The Spinfisher VI’s specialist models cater to specific fishing requirements. The Vanford, with its lightweight design, is suitable for prolonged use.

If durability in harsh saltwater conditions is a priority, opt for the Spinfisher VI. For advanced, smooth operation and speed, the Vanford is the better choice.


The Shimano Vanford scored higher than the Penn Spinfisher VI. The Penn Spinfisher VI is less expensive but still high-quality. The Shimano Vanford is pricier but offers premium features, and requires a bigger financial commitment.

The Spinfisher VI is budget-friendly yet effective. The Vanford offers top-tier sophistication at a higher cost.

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