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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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 8:35 am • #  
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:54 am
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This is my first post here.... just happened to find the forum when searching for some info.

When I was 13, I bought my Mitchell 508 combo - with 5- 1/2 ft ultralight rod - new at Canandaigua Fishing Tackle in Canandaigua, NY, July 8th, 1972, for $54.31 with tax (still have the register receipt). As I recall, I asked the clerk for their best Mitchell ultralight, and I was directed to the 508 combo

It was my first high-quality fishing outfit - I bought it new, with my earnings from weekend jobs, farm work, etc, to take on a Naples Rotary Club sponsored fishing trip to Calabogie Ontario that year. I also wanted a Mitchell reel because we used to go out panfishing in the south end of Canandaigua Lake with my Dad's cousin who owned a boat and a cottage there. He had a 300 - and it was time for me to "grow up" and ditch the Zebco for a true fishing outfit!. :)

Canandaigua Fishing Tackle, sadly, has long since closed it's doors, but the 508 combo is still mine. I hadn't used the combo in a few years - I thought the bail spring was broken.... but I was cleaning up fishing tackle Friday and decided to take a look at the Mitchell... it turns out that the ball spring had come unhooked from the bail because the bail screw was slightly loose - re-attached, re-assembled and she seemed to work just fine.

So, I decided to go fishing yesterday because working on the old girl gave me the bug - weather conditions weren't perfect, 20 degrees colder on Saturday than Friday, and rain in the forecast. But I'm glad I did

I went wade-fishing in an area river for catch & release smallies, and panfish with 1/16th oz jig heads tipped with Netcraft Teaser-Tail Minnow bodies. I caught two small bass right away - which made me happy. Then I tied into this brick! It's very likely the single largest bass I've caught out of this river, and I've been fishing there for 25 years in the spring for bass

Image

I actually said "Are you kidding me?" when she came flying out of the water after I set the hook, because the bass was so big!

I caught at least a dozen smallies, about a 1/2 dozen small largemouth, a couple dozen plus rock-bass, and this nice pike. Usually northerns don't jump - but this one was an acrobat - totally cleared the water twice, and a couple half-leaps from the water thrown in, plus some short but blistering fast runs off the 508 drag.
Image

The Mitchell worked virtually flawlessly - I still think I need a new bail spring because it seems a little "weak" opening now and then. But the mechanical function and drag were smooth as silk. I'm used to fishing with Fenwick and St. Croix graphite rods - the Conolon fiberglass has a nice "cushioning" feel when land a hard fighting bass.

At any rate, was great to use my "old-time" combo - boy it's got a nice balance and feel - it's also a pleasure not to have the reel handle in the way, but behind your hand. $54 = about $285 in 2013 money, but... I'm down to a $7 a year cost, and still going down. :) Good quality gear will last a lifetime.


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:21 am • #  
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:55 am
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Hello and Welcome!!

An excellent post!

Interesting to hear about this matched reel and rod in actual use...sounds like you had an excellent day.

You've taken quite a nice picture of your rod and reel with the smallmouth too...shows how beautiful that species is.


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 2:42 am • #  
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I couldn't help but post about your accomplishment on the Tackle Tour Ultralight subforum.

You might want to check it out if you enjoy light gear...and take some bows because I do believe the crowd will be impressed.

http://forums.tackletour.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=50461


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:52 am • #  
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:54 am
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Thank you, Smead!


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:42 am • #  
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:55 am
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You're most welcome!!


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:54 pm • #  
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 7:00 pm
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Hello Cleve ,

Very nice outfit and picture !

(another 508 lover )

regards, Dries


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:42 pm • #  
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Thanks, Dries. I have multiple modern graphite spinning outfits -but somehow I had to take the 508 out again on Saturday. I caught a bunch of bass, and another northern pike on one of my homemade spinners. In fact the pike reeled right in, and then went absolutely berserk next to me as I was preparing to walk to the shore to unhook - LOL - I was standing about thigh deep in the river and I have NEVER gotten so wet from a fish in my life before - it was like someone threw an entire water glass of water in my face and chest - LOL.

The outfit might be 41 years old, but it is very high quality and nicely balanced, and operates very smoothly. Just a pleasure to fish with! I think the drag is just as smooth, if not smoother, than on modern reels.


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