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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:31 pm • #  
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I would like to introduce here an unknown version of the late Mitchell 408 model (the black MITCHELL SPORTS).

The version in question doesn’t seem to have been registered in any Mitchell bible.
According to all the guides I had access to (Ben Wright's, Bernard Caminade's, Dennis Roberts', James Partridges', Luc De Medts'), two versions of the 80’s black Mitchell 408 have been described :
- The made in France (recognizable by its dust cap and the FRANCE inscription on its foot).
- The made in Taiwan (recognizable by its absence of dust cap and the TAIWAN inscription on the foot).

Many minor variations of the Made in France version could be argued (Style or lake of serial, different molds for the housing, different handle versions, cosmetic differences of some parts), but these variations only makes subcategories of the made in France version.
However, the reel referred to here present a modification important enough to make it stands out :
It is a planamatic version of the Mitchell 408.

I have actually seen only one mention of that reel that could make someone think it did exist : in the lines of Yoshihiro Takenaka san.
http://www5c.biglobe.ne.jp/take300/
But, unfortunately it hadn't been studied or pictured.

Here is a basic review of this reel (some pictures will follow in the next post) :

- Serial : R203.
- FRANCE inscription on the foot.
- Simple « Ball bearing / High speed » mention on the side plate screw (The red inscription "planamatic system" is not printed on the side plate).
- « planamatic » red sticker on the box.
- A Mitchell user’s card in use in Japan.
- Standard Mitchell 408 papers.
- Additional schematic of the « planamatic system », dated 1986, mentioned « Japon ».
- The Main gear is a bronze diamond cut 5,5:1 ratio one, similar to the 308PROPL one. But it shows some slight differences. (about 5 years separate the productions of the two).
The part code of the main gear (83687) is different from the standard Mitchell 408 one (83671), It also differs from the 90’s Mitchell 308PROPL (85749). All of them remain compatible with the same high-speed pinion (83678).

This reel was produced and assemble in 1986 in France, at the same time as the standard 408. But it was probably reserved for the Japanese market. It's difficult to understand why Japan got such an exclusivity in the mid 80's.

Two planamatic versions of the UL egg-shape spinning reels are known : The Mitchell 308 planamatic and The Mitchell 308PRO planamatic, both made in the early 90’s for the Japanese market.
But these versions are not part of the same line of production.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:37 pm • #  
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Box and papers.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:38 pm • #  
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Overwiew.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:39 pm • #  
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Details.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:49 am • #  
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Exploded view of the 1986 Mitchell 408 pl.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:29 am • #  
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Detailed survey :

This 1986 Mitchell 408 pl presents the main features of the early black golden raised name Mitchell 408 made in France :

83678 - Pinion Gear.
The Pinion Gera (5,5:1 ratio) still have a double bearing rings. (The late pinion will lost one of the two, which will reduce considerably the fluidity of the mechanism).
83680 - Housing.
The trip Lever Trigger (which was until then casted on the housing) is milled and replaced by a steel plate trigger riveted to the housing.
This system was quickly changed to a one-piece casted housing. It testify that this model is an early version of the Mitchell 408 Black.
82627 - Handle Complete.
The shank, and the knob are scared together. This type of handle won’t be produced long either. The older system of Knob-knob screw-Handle will be restored for the late models produced by Mitchell Sports.
83679 - Rotor (complete).
Old version of the rotor still in use on this version. (The « MADE IN FRANCE 5 » is casted underneath).
83670 - Side Plate (complete)
Plastic side plate.
"MITCHELL" / "BALL BEARING" / "HIGH SPEED" is printed in Gold lettering on the side plate.
The red inscription "Planamatic system » doesn’t appear yet.
83669 - Side Plate Screw.
The Side Plate Screw is a black painted one. (Characteristic of the early MITCHELL SPORTS 408).
81281 - Counterweight Screw.
The Counterweight Screw is painted full black.(Characteristic of the early MITCHELL SPORTS 408).
81293 - Trip Lever Screw.
The Trip Lever Screw is painted full black. (Characteristic of the early MITCHELL SPORTS 408).
81289 - Axle.
The spool seat is casted in a black plastic. The spindle is in iron (It will be changed into bronze on the former versions).
81307 - Slide Lock.
The one piece slide lock is made in a brass looking steel. It will soon be replaced with a two pieces one.
81308 - Slide.
The Slide is casted in a white plastic. (Will be quickly turned into black on the former versions).

The main specificity of this version relies in its drive Gear :
83687 - DRIVE GEAR
The Dive gear is a planamatic version of the Bronze diamond cut 5,5:1 ratio one (83678). It is a first appearance of this type of Gear. The production of it will be stoped until 1989 - 1990, when the Mitchell 308PRO pl will be made.
The last plasmatic drive Gear will be registered under the number 85749.
Only small differences can be noticed in between the two versions of the gear.
- A small chamfer is visible on the edge of the plasmatic system chamber of the 308PRO.
- The fixation of the axle on the reel is also different. The old "hexagonal fixing process" is still in used for the 1986 408 pl. It has been changed for the later 308PRO pl. A mere "cylindrical process" is made. Probably cheeper and weaker.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:20 pm • #  
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Main Gear
Mitchell 408 pl / Mitchell 308 PRO pl.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:13 pm • #  
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kawakami,
Thank you for posting this very informational and thorough study on the black Mitchell 408.
Your blow-up pictures are breath taking!!
I can't imagine the time it must take to create them.
:sSig_youtheman:

Regards,
Ted Lanham


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:09 pm • #  
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Fantastic study and post Kawakami :sHa_clap2:

Ditto Ted's sediments on the exploded view...marvelous work!!! can you do this for all Mitchell reels? :sHa_biggrin:

Sandman


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:49 pm • #  
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Thank you guys for the return.
I am quite happy to have the chance of studying this strange 408 version - Although it hasn’t got the same historical interest as a pristine version, it remains a curious one.

Dealing with the picture.
I focused on the Mitchell 408 but it could be done for any reel to the condition of having the reels... and many hours of your time.
Once the first one are made it is quicker to make the other as they only differs from a few parts.

If someone would be interested in making such a work on his own collection, I’ll be glad to explain him how I made it. (It requires a good camera, a small light room and photoshop).

Regards.
Kawakami.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:03 pm • #  
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I leave again the link to a more complete study on the Mitchell 408, for those who might be interested in more details or pictures :

https://kawakami176.wixsite.com/408legacy


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