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Enthusiast Review


Built to Vanquish the Competition, but Equal to Stella?


Date: 1/15/21
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano Japan
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

As Shimano continues to make that transition to a global lineup for their bass fishing reels, more and more traditional JDM models are becoming easily available stateside. Products like Metanium, Antares, Conquest, Twin Power, Aldebaran can now be had within a day or two through a click of your mouse button. If you're lucky enough and your tackle store has enough clout, you can even handle these models before taking the dive. For those who actually prefer their prize reels remain more difficult to acquire, there remain a few gems still under JDM-only control. The Shimano Vanquish is one such treasure and thanks to JapanTackle, we're able to share with you today, our thoughts on this stealthy little enthusiast reel.


Shimano 20 Vanquish C3000SDHHG Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 4/105
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 7.5 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
29 - 33.5
Weight 6.2 oz
Handle Length 90 mm (double handle)
Bearings 13+1
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Line Roller Bearings 1
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP 59,000 JPY (~$518 at this writing)


Impressions: I refer to the Vanquish as stealthy because it has a very unassuming color scheme. It's a very uniform shade of dark gray/blue with no fancy highlights or shiny parts to draw attention. Don't let this stealthy appearance deceive you. Underneath that unassuming finish is a reel with Stella like guts.


Introducing Shimano Japan's Vanquish Spinning Reel


I acquired the C3000SDHHG. This model features a compact, 2000 sized body and a very shallow spool that is rated to carry only one hundred five (105) yards of four (4) pound test. It has a double handle that also appears to be made of Ci4+. All of this results in a super light package that rivals my Daiwa Exist LT 3000S-CXH - in fact, this reel is 0.2oz lighter than my Exist.

Spooled with some Seaguar Smackdown braid and topped with Sunline's Shooter Invisible

Real World Tests: I've had the Vanquish C3000SDHHG since the Fall of 2019 and have fished it on a variety of sticks. For line, I used some 20lb Seaguar Smackdown braid in flash green topshotted with a few different fluorocarbon leaders including Sunline's discontinued Shooter Invisible and Sufix's new Advance Fluorocarbon line.

The C3000SDH-HG is very compact

Casting: I've yet to meet a spinning reel that doesn't cast well but it's important to note the spool design on the Vanquish is the same as that of the Stella. Why is that important? Well, the Stella features Shimano's 'Long Stroke Spool' design with a taller than normal spool. This in turn decreases the depth of the spool so more of your line is wound at a wider diameter. This decreases the angle your line must overcome as it flies off the reel and over the spool's lip during a cast theoretically increasing your casting distance. Sounds good, right? Truthfully, I'm not sure I've noticed a difference in casting distance on any of my modern day spinning gear. As Zander mentioned in his recent review of the Shimano Vanford, a reel that has multiple design features aimed at improving casting, we observed less than a 5% improvement in casting distance. While this delta was easily eroded with a light gust of wind it is good to see Shimano continuing to try and improve on casting. 

Double handle anyone?

Retrieve: What you do notice with the Vanquish is a relatively low start up inertia when turning the handle. This can be attributed to that super light rotor and precise gearing. It isn't quite as light as the Vanford but once you get all the parts moving, the Vanquish is incredibly smooth on the retrieve as well. Pair that smoothness with the reel's weight and this allows you to loosen the grip on your combo just a little bit while you're fishing. This lighter grip increases your ability to sense those bites.

Designed for finesse applications, the drag is smooth and reliable

Drag: I can't speak for all the Vanquish models, but the C3000SDHHG in particular is designed for finesse applications. This is obvious from its super shallow spool and is reinforced by the reel's drag material. This reel does not feature carbon matrix drag washers but rather felt washers commonly found in reels designed to be used with light line. Rest assured that the drag performs very smoothly and without those inconsistent lock ups or changes in pressure.

The drag knob has a rubber gasket to guard against water intrusion

Power: The Vanquish features Shimano's HAGANE gearing. For Shimano, HAGANE is a design concept rather than material and in the case of gearing refers to Shimano's precision, cold forged tooling of the gear. The word 'hagane' actually means steel in Japanese so if you thought Shimano's use of the term referred to the material, you're not the only one who was confused.

A look at the felt washer drag stack

This cold forging process together with Shimano's micro-module gearing design results in a super strong, precise gearing system that is both powerful and smooth, and is the exact same process used to build the guts for Stella.

The Vanquish features Shimano's HAGANE body design built to eliminate flex and distortion

Next Section: A cheaper Stella?









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