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Mitchell Reel Museum Discussion Group

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:33 am • #  
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Location: Bristol, UK
I appreciate this is a "Mitchell" forum but I'd be interested to know what rods people are using with their Mitchells? Here in the UK I was brought up as a "Matchman" (I assume you have similar in the USA). Consequently all of my rods since I started fishing from Christmas 1965 have been 13' Match Rods. I presently use 4 in rotation- 2 Normark Avenger 2000's; 1 Normark Avenger 1000; and a Normark Microlite 2000. Normark ceased trading some years back but personally I believe them to be the finest rods ever made- the lightness; strength, and balance with a Mitchell attached has not been equalled. These will handle anything from the smallest Dace up to 10lb Carp and above. What are other people using and for what sort of fishing?

Chris, Bristol UK.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:20 am • #  
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Chris,
A rod building friend, gave me 2 vintage Conolon blanks UL. I built them with a rapid reduction guide train. I use them with a 204 or 308, for trout. I also picked up a Mitchell MH saltwater rod I pair with a 406, I also have several rods I've built for saltwater I use 300 and have used a 204 for flounder.


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May your lines always be tight, Don


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:50 pm • #  
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Chris,
An interesting topic. First let me ask what is a "Matchman"?

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:39 pm • #  
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Ah yes- UK/ USA terminology!! Here in the UK people can fish competitively, either against one another or in a team in a fishing "match". The aim is to get the highest weight within a given time period after "drawing" for a swim (choosing a place to fish from a draw against others). People who fish in "matches" are called "matchmen" and they tend to use specific 'match" rods which are designed to cast; catch and retrieve quickly. The Mitchell 440 range is ideal for this and has been used since the 1960's for this purpose- having a 'dab" bail allows it to be used very quickly- a quicker action allows, in theory, more fish to be caught. A match rod has a quick action; is around 13 foot long; is very light; and can be worked for hours on end without tiring! Some good 'matchmen" can earn a very good living at being top of their game.- I was never that good!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:48 pm • #  
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Hey Bristolmod,

I wrote the text below without realizing you were in process of posting.

As an American, I’ll venture a guess that most American fishermen/women, with the possible exception of carp fishers, are not familiar with British “match” rods, their corresponding specialized floats, and the goals of British tournaments. I only happen to know a little because I did some reading back in the 1980’s when a company (ultimately unsuccessful) tried importing match rods to the US.

Since I’m not up-to-date on carp fishing (if I may be forgiven), I would say probably the closest type of rod used by a small subpopulation of fishers in the US/Canada would be a “noodle rod” for steelhead trout running in rivers/streams. These rods are 11-12’ designed to throw light bait and buffer light line, by the making of a “C”, to land heavy fish.

MRM does have a rod section "Conolon & Narmco Rod Discussion" that you could view. I do think, though, you’ve placed your very interesting question in the correct section where most Mates primarily interested in reels would see it.


Hey Don,

I think you may have left off some details that would help Bristolmod follow, such as rod length and lure weight range.

Love your photos.

Warm regards,
John


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:30 pm • #  
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Location: NOVA SCOTIA
I have one of my 300 reels on a Berkeley Buchaneer 7 foot medium action glass rod. I have had this one for about 45 years. I also have a 5 1/2 foot Berkeley light action glass rod that holds my 308.

Another Mitchell 300 is on a Hardy Fibalite 7 1/2 foot medium action rod. This rod is in nearly new condition and is really top quality. The only drawback is that it mounts the reel with 2 aluminum rings onto the cork handle, instead of a reel seat. A fellow at work gave this rod to me. I expect it is early 80’s.

I have a my 304 mounted on a 7 1/2 foot Bass Pro Shops house brand rod. It is ultra light action and is quite floppy.

I have a further 300 on a Shimano rod, graphite I believe.

Thanks for opening this thread on fishing rods.

Cheers and best wishes.

G. Glen Simpson
Dartmouth Nova Scotia


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:33 pm • #  
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use quite a few, another uk angler here so have a few of the match rods mentioned.
although im more of a specialist (oh im john woods but cant get on on that account at the moment for some reason)
so plenty of avon styles and heavier specimen rods but most have mitchell reels on them with a mix of various 300 models 410, 410a 440s and a couple of odd ones like the 350 810 etc, like the op although not quite as fussy i do have certain companies i liek to use rod wise north western and harrison being two shakespeare and daiwa also figure quite a bit in my collection


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:00 pm • #  
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Hello Noodle, First let me :sSig_welcome4: you to the mitchell reel museum if you just joined, I'm not quite sure your profile says 2017. A while back we started a discussion about weather or not any of the match men used Conolon off the shelf rods or were they mostly custom made. In particular any Americans that may have went over to participate in the matches , or if you were in any distance casting matches in the U.S. It seems as though no one had any information about it, maybe you can enlighten us on the subject. Best Regards, John in Pa. :sCh_fisherman:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:56 am • #  
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bristolmod,
Sorry Mate but there is very little "Match" fishing in the US.
There is competitive fishing in both fresh and salt water but most competitive fishing is for other species besides Carp.
There are some people who do fish for Carp, but their numbers are nowhere near what there is for other species.

étranger wrote:
Since I’m not up-to-date on carp fishing (if I may be forgiven), I would say probably the closest type of rod used by a small subpopulation of fishers in the US/Canada would be a “noodle rod” for steelhead trout running in rivers/streams. These rods are 11-12’ designed to throw light bait and buffer light line, by the making of a “C”, to land heavy fish.


etranger,
Good point, we do have what are commonly known as "noodle" or "Steelhead" rods which get pretty long. The origin of these rods began right here in the streams and rivers of Michigan. Fishermen like Dick Swan, an early "bike rod" (Steelhead rod) developer, were looking for a rod to manage the new runs of Coho Salmon entering the rivers from the Great Lakes. He found that a parabolic rod could tire out and still keep a large Coho on. Later as Steelhead became more popular and the Coho numbers diminished the bike rods made a come back with the Steelhead fisherman and are still very popular today. Unfortunately, Mitchell reels were almost never used with these rods in the old days. Instead, most of us used close faced spin casting reels as they were much easier to drag through the brush on your journey getting to the river.

By the way bristolmod, how big do Carp get in the UK?

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:55 am • #  
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thanks for the information so far Gents. As regards the size of Carp in the UK. a guy called Dick Walker set the record at 44lbs in 1952, and this stood for 28 years. The record at present is 68lbs. By way of interest, Dick Walkers record was caught using a Mitchell 300!

Can anyone advise me how to add pics on here please?

Chris


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:00 pm • #  
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I believe Dick Walker was also using a Hardy Rod when he caught that then record Carp.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:19 pm • #  
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bristolmod,
I am still curious about Match fishing.
So how large is the body of water where match fishing is held? Is it a lake or pond? Is the body of water, man-made or a natural lake/pond? Are the fish in the pond native (naturally occurring) or are they stocked? Is there more than just Carp in the pond or is it strictly Carp?

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup

P.S. To post a photo. You go to where you type in your post and scroll down until you see "Upload Attachment". Photos are posted as attachments. Save the photo on your device and use the browse button to locate and select it. Then once uploaded correctly select: Add the File, to finish. Use the Preview button to see what it looks like above where you entered your text.
You must resize your photo to be no larger than 850 pixels wide.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:26 pm • #  
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thanks for the info re posting pix.

As regards Matches they can be literally anywhere. From the smallest pond to whole rivers. They can attract as few as 10 anglers or many hundreds. They vary from "natural" lakes and ponds to "Commercial" Fisheries which could be man made lakes stocked with anything- Carp; Bream; Tench etc. Rivers could hold a whole variety of fish. Anglers pay to enter, and then join in "pools" where they pay in £'s as a "pot" (Winner takes the majority; 2nd prize is less; 3rd less again and so on.) I've even fished "Winter League Fur and Feather" matches where the main prize could be a Turkey or Goose! I guess its a British thing!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:46 pm • #  
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bristolmod wrote:
thanks for the info re posting pix.

As regards Matches they can be literally anywhere. From the smallest pond to whole rivers. They can attract as few as 10 anglers or many hundreds. They vary from "natural" lakes and ponds to "Commercial" Fisheries which could be man made lakes stocked with anything- Carp; Bream; Tench etc. Rivers could hold a whole variety of fish. Anglers pay to enter, and then join in "pools" where they pay in £'s as a "pot" (Winner takes the majority; 2nd prize is less; 3rd less again and so on.) I've even fished "Winter League Fur and Feather" matches where the main prize could be a Turkey or Goose! I guess its a British thing!



yup the rise of commercials and f1 carp will kill the sport we grew up with, throw in the decimation of waterways to grow a few carp on to larger sizes so 'anglers' can camp out for a fish every other month...
im not the happiest bunny when it comes to fishing in the uk at the moment

any of you in the US want an idea of the types of water

http://makinsfishery.co.uk/

http://www.korda.co.uk/carpfishingnews/ ... w-members/


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:56 am • #  
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totally agree with Noodle above. I had a 20 year break from fishing back in the 1980's- when I got back into it everything had changed. People were using "poles" which in my opinion are the Devils Work! Rivers were unfished in favour of "Commercials"- the whole scene had changed and not for the better. That is why I retain Match Rods and proper reels, and try to fish as I did when i was a kid. The Mitchells certainly help!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:44 am • #  
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Dear Noodle and Bristolmod,

As a UK angler I agree with everything you say. The state of UK coarse fishing is a deplorable, but sadly reflects the times we live in.

The funny thing is that I think most anglers are still traditionalists at heart, but the commercial interests have the loudest voices and have taken over. I think abolishing the close season on lakes was a huge mistake.

Luckily, I have access to private Cotswold lakes, so what goes doesn't affect me. I feel particularly sorry for youngsters starting out today.

Returning to the original topic, I fished with 300's for 30 years but now use 410's. These are spooled with 6 lbs. line and matched with 1.25 tc. Terry Eustace Avon rods. I fish for Tench, but have landed Carp to 37 lbs. on this oufit. Provided no snags are present it is surprising what can be achieved with patience. I never use the reel clutch, but prefer to backwind.

Dear Bonaventure,

I am impressed that you know of Dick Walker who popularised the Mitchell over here. He actually caught his record Carp on a home-made cane rod of his own design called the MK.4. This was the go to rod for specimen hunters for 20 years or so, and was made commercially by B.James & Son of cane and later fibreglass. Other makers also built MK.4's or sold kits.

Hardy actually made a version of this rod which I believe was called the Richard Walker carp rod. This was also made of cane and glass.

For my sins I collect MK.4 rods. Walker hand-built 5 MK.4 rods from scratch and I am fortunate to own the one he made for his best friend Peter Thomas who netted the record carp. I also have the first prototype B.James rod which Walker tested at Redmire Pool and one of the first batch made, which were called signature rods because Walker hand signed them. Photos attached.

Like many of my generation (I'm 70) I was a confirmed "Walker man" which is why I use and collect Mitchells.

JF.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:33 am • #  
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Richard Walker came to my knowledge rather recently, there is a Wikipedia article about him and I found him on the site with "Get your Old Tackle out now", but I had heard of him before. I did not know that he was a Rod Builder.

Carp are quite common in the rivers of Southern Ontario, where I grew up. They are not a targeted species in general, I have caught a few. The biggest was caught accidently while fishing for Walleye in the Trent River at Trenton Ontario. It was 32 inches long and I caught it with my Mitchell 308 on the 5 1/2 foot Berkeley Light action rod spooled with 4 lb. test.

I was fishing with my neighbour, he did not have a rod and at the time I only owned the 2 Berkeley Rods mentioned in an earlier post. I had the 308 set up for trout. Since my neighbour was not an experienced angler, I loaned him the 300 on the 7 foot Berkeley, with (I believe) 8 lb test line.

We were in a boat and when the Carp took my worm, it was about an hour bringing it to boatside. Down the river, turn, then upriver..........It was a challenge. We had to use the motor to keep up with the fish or I would have been out of line.

Thanks for answering my question about the rod that Dick Walker used for his record. I am also 70 years of age.

All the very best.

Glen Simpson


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:34 am • #  
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I also meant to comment that those rods you have are treasures.

Glen


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:38 am • #  
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Dear Glen,

My goodness, landing that carp on such tackle was quite a feat. Well done.

Richard Walker was an engineer and brought a so-called scientific approach to fishing. In simple terms he pioneered fishing for fish of an above average size. Sadly, although he was genuine in what he did and said, it has resulted in the sad state of fishing in the UK today. He completely dominated the world of fishing for 30 years.

He designed carp and trout fishing rods and was instrumental in carbon fibre being used to build rods. He invented the first electric bite alarm and pioneered long-stay fishing.

Sadly, it has all gone wrong and we now have anglers targeting specific known fish which have names. The modern approach is fishing a known swim on a known water for a known fish. The methods have been changed to such an extent that it is actually a form of trapping rather than traditional fishing.

I still adhere to the old-fashioned approach, which I call "Crabtree" fishing after a cartoon character from the early fifties called Mr. Crabtree.

I guess it's a natural part of getting old that one feels out of sympathy with much of what goes on in today's world.

Thank goodness that there are vintage rods and reels to collect!!

Kindest regards,

JF.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:21 am • #  
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Ah "Fishing With Mr Crabtree" Every boys "must have" birthday present from the 1960's. Still got mine, and I still read it. It epitomises what angling SHOULD be about- a gentle, skilled pastime that taught lads all about the Countryside; wildlife, and how to behave. Perhaps i'm looking back with rose tinted glasses, but todays "angling" has lost something.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:49 am • #  
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Some of the same issues are present in Nova Scotia. People have been doing illegal stocking of Smallmouth bass and Chain Pickerel in lakes here because they are "fun to fish". The Landlocked Salmon and Trout that I fished for in some lakes near my home are virtually wiped out. I like to eat the fish that I catch and have been spoiled.

We used to use canoes and skiffs powered by small outboards, now it is Bass Boats, sometimes on lakes that are maybe a couple of miles long, - if there is a place to launch, there you find them. These vessels are a big expense and the new fishermen want to have a fish that is easy to catch so they put their catches from other lakes in where they want to fish.

Chain Pickerel are a species of Pike that are found in eastern North America. they grow large enough to eat ducklings and are voracious predators. The Province recently raised the bag limit on them to 100.

The Bass Tournament mindset is also finding a small following here as well. Fishing for prizes, it is in my opinion a strain on the resource. I know it is big in the US and Ontario to some extent but does it belong in a small province with mostly glacial lakes of limited size? Not when people do drastic changes to the species to suit their own ends.

Brook Trout were the dominant freshwater fish in times past, I am getting to old to hike for a few miles to find them. People here often keep their favorite spots to themselves. The Old Guard still wants to catch Brook Trout.

The big Carp that I caught, (about 1980) was the biggest test of my skill. The Trent River is quite wide where we were, which helped. If I had been fishing from shore, I never would have landed that fish, it ran so far.

Have a good day, all

Glen


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:45 pm • #  
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someone mention terry eustace rods....

my carp rods are terry eustace carbon carps.. in 2 lb test curve been using them with 300's for years and have this season invested in some 410's for them :sHa_lol:

Richard Walker ive read a lot of his stuff but im of an age where Chris Yates and Rod Hutchinson are my sort of heroes
i mean Yatesy landed the first 50 on an avon with an ambidex (i think) and with 6lb line from a rather weedy venue..

i use quite a lot of avons but most are more contemporary being north western glass or shakespeare sigma and leeda blue diamond versions
one of the best things to come out of the current uk scene though are the pellet waggler rods seeing as i fish for perch quite a lot they are really rather useful


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:49 pm • #  
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bristolmod wrote:
Ah "Fishing With Mr Crabtree" Every boys "must have" birthday present from the 1960's. Still got mine, and I still read it. It epitomises what angling SHOULD be about- a gentle, skilled pastime that taught lads all about the Countryside; wildlife, and how to behave. Perhaps i'm looking back with rose tinted glasses, but todays "angling" has lost something.


im nowhere near old enough for that :sHa_biggrin: but i know what you mean
44 years old here and still wish there was mystery in fishing
probably why i like my predator fishing more than anything these days
pike (northern to our former colonies :sHa_lol: ) and perch cant recall weather thats red or yellow bellied over there


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:57 pm • #  
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Dear Noodle,

Terry Eustace was a good friend of mine and I've used only his rods since 1980. It was always good fun visiting his first shop, and his early catalogues were a good read.

I've a pair of his 12 foot carp rods that I never got around to using. I think they are around 1.75 lbs. tc with cork handles. I suspect they are the same as yours. Terry always thought they were the ultimate carp rods.

I last spoke to him a couple of years ago.

Hutchinson is certainly a character and an entertaining writer, but he is responsible for a lot of what goes on today; especially the boozing on the bank which I don't care for. It's quite amusing that carp fishing is completely the reverse of what it was 40 - 50 years ago. Then it really was elitist and us ordinary anglers were in awe of the carp men. Not any more.

I wonder what Walker and BB would make of it all if they were around today?

Kind regards,

JF.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:46 pm • #  
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even in full on carp mode i was never a big drinker, maybe a bottle of wine over a couple of nights, more to stop the midges bothering me while i tried to sleep. i do smoke though which helps
mind you even my smoking is a bit old fashioned...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:23 pm • #  
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I've used the Shakespeare Wonderods with my Mitchell 300s ever since I was a kid. I like the fiberglass.

Image


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