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: WHY I LIKE MITCHELL.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:06 am • #  
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Hello group,
As you can see here we have a thread which as members you can all use to tell us why you chose/like mitchell fishing reels. Maybe your grandad or father used them when he took you fishing for the first time so the name stuck in your mind, maybe its because of the aesthetics of the reel ie black egg shaped body with several parts of chrome on display,could even be the clunk of the bail arm. Whatever it is we would like to hear your mitchell story. I know we will have some great storeies here so i will give you my first encounter with " THE WORLDS FINEST SPINNING REEL"

Hello mates started fishing back in the late 60s early 70s on the river AVON in Wiltshire England catching roach and chub with the one or two barbel every now and then. I used a mitchell 440A for WAGGLER FISHING and a couple of 410A,s for heavier fishing. The 440A match reel is a reel which i feel is better than most available to purchase today, I still see them used by a couple of old stalwart match anglers when fishing winter league matches on my local river, now the river THAMES.
I remember as youngster walking through my local park where the river Avon flowed slowly towards the bristol channel. Every sunday the local angling club held matches for their members, it was here that i first came across the 440A being put to good use by one of the better local anglers who was catching chub and roach on a waggler outfit. The one thing that struck me the most about this reel was the wonderfull sound the bail arm made once released to let the line off of the spool, i remember asking the man after the match if i could see his reel and how it worked, the angler had no problem and showed me how it was to be used by casting across the river with effortless ease.
Several months later after working in my parents shop i had enough money to purchase a 440A (What did i do with the box?) Reel attached to my trusted ABU ZOOM MK 6 i recall how i made myself look an idiot to my friends trying to cast an under-weighted float 25yds across the river just like the angler i had watched only to get my feet wet from the splash of the float (bet im not the only one of us to do this) they found it highly amusing at the time until it was their turn to have ago, it was difficult to do without a lot of practice, anybody fish auto-bails with leger's or feeders? At first i had the same problem casting a small arsley bomb to the other-side of the river only succeeding to get my feet even wetter and on more than one occasion nearly knocking my front teeth out, with the dangers of this apparent i got my parents to buy me a 410A which i used for legering tactics. Move on a few years i made the drastic step in to carp fishing for 23 yearsImage where i ended up with a pair of mitchell 410A,s reels that were good at the time for this type of fishing. I must be honest here and confess to "moving stables" after a couple of years with the 410A,s to the superb abu cardinal 55, nothing came close to this reel for carp fishing in the 70,s and early 80,s ,again a reel which alot of die-hards still use today.
I purchased 6 of these the reels over the years, never once did one let me down. Did the mitchells let me down? NO in all fairness, it was just the paintwork that started blistering and falling off in the freezing cold temperatures that made the reels look scruffy. With oxidation taking hold of the reels i moved over to the abu,s on a mates recommendation and to be honest never looked back, those reels stood the test of time in all weather conditions and were still like new when i sold them 15 years later, just a slight fade in some of the spools.
Do i still use mitchells today? Only when i wish to go back in time im affraid Image, my ways of fishing have changed and everything rods included are critically balanced to do the job i need it to. Collecting the mitchells and their history is more important for me now, though i mite take a walk back in time soon and fetch out a 440A or two to fish the river AVON, Fancy a day jimbo?Image, its on your doorstep mateImage.

Regards martin



Last edited by anonymous on Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: WHY I LIKE MITCHELL.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:02 am • #  
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Hi Martin,
My first proper reel was an Intrepid Envoy which at the time I thought was the dogs b*****s until I got a lend of my mates 300 and wow I had to have one so that year Santa came and left me a 300 and a hollow glass match rod, I felt like the bees knees at the local park pond that year.
I still use Mitchell reels for a lot of my fishing but must admit its the quartz reels that get most use these days for float fishing. Probably half the time I use centrepins but this is mainly because I collect old tackle and love the simplicity of a pin. I still use a 300 pro for pike spinning and always a trusty old 410 for makerel fishing from the pier. I like Mitchells because of the reliability, superb line lay, good looks especially on a split cane rod and the fact there is nothing on them that cant be replaced and with a regular service will last a lifetime. If there is one little thing I dont like its the unreliable clutch which can stick after overheating while fighting a big fish but this can probably be overcome with the use of modern silicone based grease or ptfe washers, however most people I have talked to about this say "Never rely on a clutch, always lock the spool down and backwind" which is now my prefered way.
I Know what you mean about the first time you use a autobail, I had the same problem but once you get the timing right they are excellent, mind you I have wrapped the line round my rod once or twice trying to make my 410 bail flick open and its always when someone is stood watching .ImageImage
Best regards to all.
Wal.


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 Post subject: WHY I LIKE MITCHELL.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:00 pm • #  
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Hi Wal,
I know what you mean with the clutch being unreliable to a certain extent, like yourself i like to be in control of the fishing situation when playing a big fish so i prefer to backwind the line out if need be. We still get a lot of the older generation anglers down our local club waters who persist in using the clutch of the reel to play fish on only to look bemused as to why their quarry has managed to go through 3 lilly pad beds, bless themImage.
I think they like the noise of it personally as they sit and look around the lake to see if everybody is watching as the reel goes into meltdown.

Regards martin


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 Post subject: WHY I LIKE MITCHELL.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:19 am • #  
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Hello Martin,

I like Mitchell because it never let me down in 25 years !!I like old style reels for fishing and collecting .
I have seen guys throw away several modern reels in a few years time while I still use the same Mitchell (358 )

regards Dries


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:22 am • #  
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Hi dries,
Its interesting that you say this, i recently came across a gentleman who lives some 4 miles from me who does a lot of fishing in Kenya. I was in my local tackle shop when he came in to buy 4 fishing reels and intended to leave behind the 4 reels he had purchased 6 months previous for the shop owner to have a look at, when asked what he wanted doing with them the gent said "FIX THEM THEY DONT WORK" so Graham (the shop owner) looked at me and said " Any chance of fixing theses for this man?) a quick look at 3 new wychwood reels and a Shimano i just looked at the man and said " DO YOU HAVE A BIN AT HOME?" the man replied "Yes" with a look of bemusement on his face so i said "GOOD THROW THESE IN IT THEN" You would not care to know what salt water does to the "NEW PLASTIC RUBBISH" companys manufacture today, these reels were siezed solid with one of the wychwood reels cracked clean through the body.
In a new thread for the group i am going to let you know all about this man i met in my local tackle shop and why he is now a mitchell convert, i must however go and get some photo,s of him first.

Regards martin



Last edited by anonymous on Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: WHY I LIKE MITCHELL.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:26 am • #  
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I like Mitchell for many reasons, a great company with a fascinating history.

A company that produced a huge variety of models, versions/variations of reels, boxes and paperwork, enough to keep a guy interested for a lifetime.

To my eyes a Mitchell reel is a thing of great beauty and they are a pleasure to work on.

For me they are also pleasure to fish with, each reel seems to have a character all it's own.

My earliest memories of Mitchell were as an 8 or 9 year old, standing with my nose pressed to the tackle shop window, a new 300 in it's box just a few inches away on the other side of the glass. Those few inches might just as well have been a thousand miles, the price was way beyond anything I thought I could ask my parents for at the time.

But I could dream and I promised myself that one day I would own a Mitchell reel. For many reasons that dream, that day, was a long while coming.....................but I got there.

Do I use them? Oh yes……………… I'm still living that dream.



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:53 am • #  
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Hello Roy,

Nice story mate, I remember the time when I could only look at the Mitchell reels and couldn't afford one.
By the time I had some money to spend the last few Mitchell reels I could find had my name on it .
Without regrets ,and still enjoy them every day .

regards Dries


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 Post subject: WHY I LIKE MITCHELL.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:00 am • #  
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About 45 years ago when I was 7 or 8 my Dad took me fishing on the Salton Sea in southern California and I used a cheapie toy rod and reel to pull in one or two Sargoes (sp?) and stripped the gears out of that junk reel..Next fishing trip Dad had bought me a Mitchell Garcia 304 reel and the rod that come with it and I still have that reel..Yesterday I had it on an ultralight rod and I caught a couple good eating sized Northern Pike with it. It still a good reel and brings back lots of good memories fishing with my family...
Dad always used model 300's and I thought they were the handsomest reels in the world..
.
Incidently I fish from old tin boat pushed with a 1947 7.5hp Firestone outboard... I am buying some more jigging poles and Mitchell 300s to setup for spider rigging for crappies... I just rather use old Mitchells than 'weigh nothing' modern reels....I dunno..


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:38 am • #  
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Hello Alphawolf
Welcome to Mitchell Mates
Thanks for the story mate, I now have a wonderful picture in my mind, you in the old tin boat with the Firestone chugging away at the back, I can just about smell those Pike cooking too.

I'm with you all the way mate, old reels every time.

Kind regards Roy


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:13 pm • #  
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I will keep this short. I fish the lower itchen. Have done for 40 odd years. I found out a few years ago I am a roach man.
I must admit I use a new 300x at the mo for roach but keep a 408 in the bag as it still will do the job.
My best mitchell is the 410. Can't be beat for chub pike and them rather large carp. My 410 will sort me from 3lb to 30lb line.
I have some nice pics ( upload when I work it out) of pike and grilse with the 410 on the rod.
I fish for all of what I can be it river, lake, or sea, I also do a bit of fly with a 710. dam good fun on a lake full of trout.
I have been collecting for some time now and have a few boxes full (don't know what I am going to do with them all) and have a few sweet
reels.
I won a match with my 408's in june this year. Them lads with the poles can't read a water. Made their eyes water.
Anyway, should any group members be fishing the lower Itchen. Drop me a line and I will help any way I can.
Regards Carey


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:13 am • #  
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Hello Carey
You live in a lovely part of the world my friend and from what I hear the Lower Itchen holds some very nice Roach...................amongst other species of course.
Good to hear that you are still using the old girls now and then and great that you beat the pole boys in a match, not often that I hear that nowadays.
Thanks for your story mate and thanks also for your kind offer, if ever I get down that way with a rod and Mitchell I'll let you know.

Kind regards Roy


Last edited by anonymous on Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:02 am • #  
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Hi Carey,
Nice to see someone who still fishes the running water whether it be the Avon or a fantastic chalk stream like the Itchen, I'm hoping to fish the "TEST" this year as i have a couple of friends who are members down there, simular fishing i gather Carey?.
Since giving up being a pond noddy catching carp i have returned to the running waters of the Thames and river Windrush here in oxford catching big roach, chub and dace though the chub and dace out number the roach 10 to 1.
The 2lb plus roach have become hard to find likewise the barbel after the introduction of our fury friend the otter.
I will fish a 440A match later this year when chub fishing but i have difficulty using a mitchell now with the line coming off the spool what i class the wrong way, the line touching the right handside of my forfinger is now alien to me since i cut off the top of my finger 20yrs ago Image so i will let you know how i get on with the 440A or if indeed i can use one.
At the moment I'm using dare i say it ABU and DAIWA closed faced reels for stickfloat fishing and enjoying every minute of it Image.

Regards Martin




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 Post subject: WHY I LIKE MITCHELL.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:25 am • #  
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Hello Mates,

I've hesitated posting here because it would be too long and boring so in summary; I like Mitchell mainly for what it did for novice fishermen, mainly youngsters like I was when I first used my Mitchell 301 in 1958 that brought me and my father together. I still like Mitchell because they are the most durably reels ever made IMO plus they look nice! Though they are not high dollar collectibles due to quantities made; they are the most well known reel in the world. In short; precious memories!

I also like the people like me who like Mitchell, if that makes sense Image

I just love what others have said! There are two post above that read like something Mark Twain could have written. Well Done!!!

Best Regards,
Wallace

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:39 am • #  
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Im a Chesapeake bay spinning guy, I have used Mitchells since my dad purchased my first one 40 years ago that reel was lost when a boat straifed the pier taking several rigs with it. I have since purchased and aquired several Mitchells and still return to them for my spinning and drifting ways. I have other reels Diawa, the dereaded Zebco, Heddons and even old cardnials, even tried my hand at bait casting the modern reels, yea that didnt go so well...LOL I still use my Mitchells I guess they are reliable they are all battle scared with chipped paint and all spin like a sewing machine when cleaned properly. Now I am on a quest to learn about repairing them and try to get some working for my kids and grandkids after all what type of parent would I be if I didnt expose them to the exquisite Mitchell 300? I think everyone should at least have the chance to spin a few with a well used well maintained Mitchell 300 with 10 lb mono how else will they know what real class in a fishing reel is? No I dont repaint them I just replace parts get em running right but I might try to take one and make it a full race spinning reel thats annodized with polished internals, no it wont be original but it will be one I will use if it turns out as a daily fisher. Why well probobaly cause it is just hard to leave things alone...
Glenn


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:15 pm • #  
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Greetings to all
Our new mate Lakis wants to tell us about where he uses his Mitchells in Cyprus, this might be a good place to do it.
Perhaps change the topic name to "Mitchell, why and where" any other thoughts?

Kind regards Roy


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:13 pm • #  
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Good idea Roy, I changed the Discussion Forum Header. If you or Lakis would start a new Topic, it will look better. Thanks, Wallace

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:45 pm • #  
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Hi - I bought (and still have) my first Mitchell (a 300) in 1971. Next year, it'll be 40 yrs old and I still use it from time to time. Also have 2 410's I bought in '72 and still use. OUTSTANDING reels. Many are being sold on Ebay, but I couldn't part with mine as I still use, ckean and cherish them as a part of my teen years. Along with my wedding album, my mitchells were put in storage when Hurricane KATRINA damaged our house here on the Gulf Coast in '05. Couldn't stand the thought of flood waters taking them. They will always be on my evacuation list.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:23 pm • #  
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Hi - I bought (and still have) my first Mitchell (a 300) in 1971. Next year, it'll be 40 yrs old and I still use it from time to time. Also have 2 410's I bought in '72 and still use. OUTSTANDING reels. Many are being sold on Ebay, but I couldn't part with mine as I still use, ckean and cherish them as a part of my teen years. Along with my wedding album, my mitchells were put in storage when Hurricane KATRINA damaged our house here on the Gulf Coast in '05. Couldn't stand the thought of flood waters taking them. They will always be on my evacuation list.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:06 pm • #  
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“Why I like Mitchell” I’m a lucky guy to still have my first Garcia Mitchell 3-0-0. I received it as a gift in 1966/67. My twin brother and I started fishing literally with a stick, string and bent nail in the early 60’s. My mother was a single parent then and except for a lot of love, we were poor. In the mid 60’s she meet and married Tony who became our step-dad. He was a good man and a good fisherman. He taught us a lot about fishing and how to use his Mitchell spinning real. We would fight over who’s turn it was to use it next.  Eventually, we each received our own Mitchell reel on a Conolon rod from a local hardware store. I realize now that it had to be a sacrifice for the family to spend the money necessary for our gifts. I don’t remember being that deserving of such a nice gift.  When I look at the reel now, hold it and fish with it warm memories of a happier, simpler and exciting time returns. The rod is long gone now, literally worn out from hard use but the reel still works great--I did for the first time service it this winter and did have to replace the transfer gear that, through lack of care on my part, had corroded a couple teeth off.  As one of those guys who is reliving his childhood again, I’ve become a Mitchell Mate and have started a modest Mitchell reel collection. I’m sure many of you mates have similar fond memories but I wanted to go on record and share mine.

 

Respectfully, Dennis2149



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:56 pm • #  
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Hi Mates !

Dennis and Tbone,    I am in total aggreement with both your remarks.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  Regards,  Scott 


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:48 pm • #  
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I picked up a Garcia fishing equipment catalogue back in the early sixties and was immediately seduced by the looks of the Mitchell reels.  I had tasted bass before and was not impressed but the delicious little Bluegills and Yellow Perch were pretty tasty so I decided to go Ultralight and soon had a Mitchell 308 and a Garcia Blue rod.  Then I bought another 308 and a Garcia Gold rod.

In time I also picked up a Garcia 300 and a 410 with gold rods.  Funny, I have no idea what I did with them because I had so much fun with the Ultralight equipment I could never get into the bass scene.

Along the way I bought a German DAM Quick Microlite which was a fine reel but I had far less line problems with my Mitchell 308's   It was my intention to pick up an Alcedo Microlite and Mitchell 408 reel but never did.

Sometime in the mid seventies I walked into a local tackle store and the salesman said "Hey, you like Ultralight stuff, you have to try this reel!"   It was a Daiwa SS-1 and he was right.  It was very smooth and I took it home with me.  I still have the two Garcia 308's and the Daiwa SS-1 and they all look and operate like new.  A Fenwick rod was purchased for the Daiwa and they sure got a lot of use.

My favorite bait is a fly on about a 3' leader, tied to a clear-plastic water-filled bobber for casting weight. 

For cooking panfish, I slit the back on each side of the dorsal fin and fry in bacon grease until the tail curls and then flip it over to the other side until the tail curls again.  Then it's done and the meat separates easily from the backbone.

Somewhere along the line I picked up a Garcia ABU Cardinal 752 reel with rear drag knob but the wife snatched it before I could try it out.  It seems like a very nice reel so maybe I'll try it out one of these days.  It also looks like new.

 



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:04 am • #  
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20 years ago I had a Mitchell 350. I`ve lost it. Soon I felt I miss something as a fisher hobbist. Here came my 308.
Since I`ve bought my 308 several months ago I`ve alvays used it for fresh water fishing. It is amazing how this kind of fishing using 308 became my favourite. I prefer it to the new concepts of reel making and the newer fising reels. I like the planamatic winding, the elegant look and perfect and ornament free manifacture. It feels right. Personally I too think is a mistake that Mitchell gave up on these reels.
I prefer the tungsteen carbide line alligner to a line roller. I believe it makes less line windings. It has little to no damaging effect on the line. The wear of the line in this case is a mith. Why dont we use roller on our rod tops instead of a ring leader where the friction is harder and more often in both directions?
I like the ease of service of it. It is fun, although the reel is very good built.
I even like the subtle smell of lubricant. After 40 years it still looks like new, unlike most of the modern fising reels which loose it`s charm very soon.
But the most of all I my 308 is my favourite reel because I have SO MUCH fishing with it.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:14 am • #  
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Hello Pslavus, welcome to Mitchell Mates

Thanks for telling your story, it's good to hear from you.
I am sorry to hear that you lost your 350 but it's good to learn that you are enjoying using your 308.
I agree with you, these old Mitchells have a charm and character that modern reels just dont have.
Good luck with the fishing.

Kind regards Roy


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 Post subject: Re: WHY I LIKE MITCHELL.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:32 am • #  
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My first 300 came in 1973, still have the old girl and have added a few others, she still catches large and small mouth Bass, Trout and Summer Flounder.

So much tackle has come and gone but my old Mitchell keeps going and her mates give me endless fishing and collecting pleasure. Since I'm now a retired senior citizen I have much more time to devout to my collecting endeavors. I feel the 300's are a link to a simpler past, a time when quality was the rule and not the exception.

Every fisherman should own at least one 300.....or more!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:42 pm • #  
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When I was a teenager growing up in the 60's the only reels I could afford were the cheaper Canadian Tire brands that I would save up for from my paper route. My best friend - Glen - had an uncle who did a lot of fishing in the Karwatha Lakes District of Ontario, Canada. Glen got me interested in fishing and often, he, his Uncle Tad and I would spend many an hour out on the lake in persuit of elusive Walleye. Uncle Tad had two Mitchell 300 reels mounted on Conolon rods. He used one and Glen used the other. I used my Cheaper Canadian Tire Rod and reel. I always remembered the beautiful sound those reels made when you reeled in line and especially when you closed the bail.
Uncle,Tad has passed on but he willed that I should have his Mitchell 3-0-0 reel - a 1957 model. I felt I was not deserving of the reel but graciously accepted it. I still use it to this day! I loved the reel so much that now - in my 60's - I have amassed a collection of some 40+ Mitchell reels that I use on a regular basis but my favourite is still Uncle Tad's.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:33 pm • #  
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There are four main reasons I like Mitchell reels. The first is durability over time. My first Mitchell 300 came from my Grandfather in 1972, and has outlasted other reels from other brands. This leads into the second reason, which is good availablity of spare parts. A gear, and the bronze bushings in the sideplate have been replaced in that first reel, and it is still used to this day. The fourth reason is ease of use. The simplicity of control, and ergonomics makes these reels easy to use for hours on end without extra thought, fatigue or carpal tunnel symptoms. The fourth reason is the elegant design, and engineering that makes Mitchell reels look really good.

David


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