Mitchel Reel Musem - Mitchel Mates Discussion Group

Mitchell Reel Museum Discussion Group

If you are looking to collect, buy, repair, service, learn, ask questions or go fishing with a vintage Mitchell Fishing Reel, you are at the right place! We are just Mitchell Reel collectors and enthusiast who enjoy an open discussion forum on "vintage" Mitchell Fishing Reels. Please Click Here to learn how to make a post and ask about Mitchell reel service or repairs, get advice on buying or collecting, or any other question in this free public forum.

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 Post subject: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:45 pm • #  
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Just curious about your opinion on this .. is there much, if any quality differences between say a 1957 Mitchell to a 1972 Mitchell 300? Thanks and Merry Christmas to all!!


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:57 pm • #  
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basenjib123,
That is such a tough question to answer and it's so subjective. What exactly are you trying to find out?
Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:51 pm • #  
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I guess I'm just asking if and when Mitchells quality went downhill? For instance, didn't they start to use plastic at some point a lot more?


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:24 am • #  
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Location: NOVA SCOTIA
Not while they were made n France.

This website is purposed to address French made Mitchell reels. The quality of these product and the years of service that they have given are why.

G.Glen Simpson
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:15 pm • #  
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Glen,
I just don't feel qualified to give a very good answer as I have only studied the Mitchell 300 in depth. Think of all the other models they made.
The best I can do is offer a quote from our own expert, Wallace Carney, who said in his book titled: The Mitchell Classic 300 Spinning Reel; "Just prior to Mitchell closing up all assembly plants in France they started making the "300" again but it was not the Classic 300!"

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:24 pm • #  
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Thanks for the replies.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:25 pm • #  
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I have fished with Mitchell reels for over 50 years. They were a bit pricey in the early days. The first one for me was a 320. It was lower in cost than a 300, being an economy model. It was very well made. As a young sailor, I couldn’t afford a 300. It did not have a snap off spool like the 300.

When I was posted to Germany in the 70’s, I purchased a 300 and a 308 on the base for less than he 320 cost. I wish that I had boughten 3 or 4 of each and maybe a 302.

These 2 reels caught a lot of fish for me over the years. I lost the 320 somewhere at that time. There are a few quirky design features, with the shimming and the way the 300 has the shaft pinned deep in the inside. The reels are still solid and smooth. Made in France on a Mitchell means quality, even in the economy models like the 320 and the 204.

There were also good US made reels from this era, the maroon coloured Shakespeare reels come to mind. How is it that so many folks are so passionate about these French reels? Enough even to have this fine website! I only fish with Mitchell’s. I lament that they are no longer available new.

Don’t you?

Glen in Nova Scotia


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:17 pm • #  
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Hello Glen, I to have been fishing for closer to 60 years and have almost exclusively fished with a Mitchell of one kind or another. The times I used something else it was one of my Abu Garcia winches , but I always had my 300 or 400 on a rod in my small boat just in case . The quality of all the Mitchell reels was unbeatable , from the economy line to their top of the line reels.In all these years the only one that ever broke was my 410 roller bearing and that was because I tripped on rocks and when I fell I had the handle held tight and the rotor tried to turn and it stripped 4 teeth off of the pinion gear. Found a new gear on line and it's good as new.I don't think you could find another spinning reel with an 8 gear train. Well, enough of my rambling and reminiscing for now ,keep a tight line . John in Pa. U.S.A. :sCh_fisherman:


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:26 am • #  
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60 years, thousands of fish and going strong...quality through the seventies did not slip...probably increased with improved materials, paint, bearings, roller guides, etc...

Sandman


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:50 am • #  
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Hey Sandman, I always get a big smile on my face with my Mitchell reel and my conolon having that "bend" in it....
Kim :sCh_fisherman: :sAni_fish:


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:22 pm • #  
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Mitchell reels = THE BEST
Only model I have fished, and was unhappy with is the 206. It has a bail bumper made of plastic. I guess at the time it was ok. But today they are to brittle to fish with.
I have caught some Flounder throwing 1 1/2 oz weight, with a 206 & 300.
20" Fluke on a 300.


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May your lines always be tight, Don


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:34 pm • #  
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CDSAND7640 wrote:
60 years, thousands of fish and going strong...quality through the seventies did not slip...probably increased with improved materials, paint, bearings, roller guides, etc...

Sandman


Do you feel that the plastic dog on the A/R was an improvement over the metal one?


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:33 am • #  
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Probably not, my reels don’t have this part. I am not sure what models do. Some of the Mitchell reels that I own and have given away, have been made up from parts.

Glen


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:57 pm • #  
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I think by the late 60's the plastic dog was arriving in the Mitchells.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:37 pm • #  
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Hi Mates, I'm sure we could go on and on about the quality of mitchell reels and why we use them . For me I know that a Mitchell 300 was my first spinning reel, before I got it all of my fishing was with cheap no name or some off the wall brand that wasn't very good at all. When I got my first Mitchell I fell in love with it ,and like any good marriage or love affair that lasts a lifetime , that's what happened with me and Mitchell. To feel the smoothness compared to a cheap bait caster and hear the purr of it while reeling in was like being in anglers paradise. Quality was never in question , to me they were the best. John in Pa. :sCh_fisherman: Happy New Year to all


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:45 pm • #  
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Well, perhaps my 300s do have plastic anti reverse dogs. The 40 plus years that I have used my original 300 seems to make this a moot point, since the reel is still going strong. The only thing that has gone wrong with it has been a lost bail screw.

I believe the greatness of the reel is in the numbers. Ability to find the parts to keep them going more than 30 years after the French plant closed production.

Another thing we have not considered is that the French people themselves may have helped. The French have always had a very nationalistic spirit. They tend to buy French products. This keeps them working and their companies stable. We in North America should applaud this, since bottom line thinking has allowed often price to dictate were our consumer goods are manufactured. Many of our well made domestic products are things in our past.

Of course, I am making a simplistic statement that doesn’t take in all factors, but I have always admired France’s loyalty to it’s own economy.

In the 300, France produced a great product.

G. Glen Simpson
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:50 pm • #  
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basenjib123 wrote:
I think by the late 60's the plastic dog was arriving in the Mitchell's.

Speaking strictly about the Garcia Mitchell 300 models, I believe the Garcia Mitchell 300 plastic anti-reverse dog first appeared in 1970* with the new 7th version cover plate. I do not know if other Mitchell 300 reels (or other model Mitchell reels), distributed in Europe and other places, were the same as the Garcia Mitchell 300 models.

*Please Note: Wallace Carney points out in his book: "The Mitchell Classic 300 Spinning Reel", that; "There was a very short transition period where I found a few (3-0-0) 6th version cover plates with this new A/R Lever in the Serial Number range of 7959216 and 7972254." Although Wallace does not mention whether or not these reels had the plastic anti-reverse dog, it's possible.

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup

P.S. Does the change from metal to plastic necessarily mean poorer quality? :sSW_stormtrooper:


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:54 pm • #  
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I can't think of no benefit of that A/R Dog being changed to plastic ... not for the user anyhow. I suppose one could, in theory, argue that the plastic dog would not wear on the gear as much?? I don't believe Mitchell was thinking that though as it was clearly a cost cutting measure done by them.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitchell quality..
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:50 am • #  
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Mitchell was not known for reducing quality emanating from cost cutting...at least through about 1978...I’m sure design mistakes were made, but not sure how we would now know the intent of the design change unless they were blatant...the plastic A/R dog is more likely a careful consideration that withstood their standards. In other words, it was cost savings and improvement in quality...a win/win...the plastic dog was lighter, reduced gear wear and engaged more positively by seating more gear teeth at a time (is it better to have several durable plastic teeth or one steel tooth engage an aluminum gear?)...it’s an engineering upgrade...of course, they did not know if the plastic would become brittle in short time and cause failures, as many manufacturers of plastic parts found out...I used one for about 25 years and never had one break, but I have no idea the failure rate of the plastic dog vs the steel dog...if it was solely a cost cutting measure why didn’t they do this with other parts?

The plastic part that was an epic failure was the plastic transfer gear that was only installed for a short time in the ‘50s? They learned pretty quickly that it would warp under high load and slip or fail...these are pretty hard to find now...

Sandman


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