Mitchell Reel Museum - Mitchell Mates Discussion Group

Dating my “Garcia” Mitchell 300
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Author:  RidgeFisher [ Wed May 15, 2019 8:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Dating my “Garcia” Mitchell 300

First, kudos and many thanks to Wallace Carney for the Annual, Head, and Bail videos. Without them, my yard sale find would still be on a shelf.
I’ve never fished with a Mitchell, but knew of their reputation when I came across a Garcia Mitchell at a no-real-loss price, if It didn’t work. Everything seemed fine, a little slow winding, but what did I know? When I put line on it, it spooled in a cone, wide at top to narrow about 2/3 of the way down. So I knew what the problem was, not the solution, and put it on a shelf.
Getting ready for a fishing trip about a month ago, after having not fished for 3 years, I glanced at the Garcia Mitchell with the coned line and put it back in the to-be-fixed box.
When I got back and was putting stuff away, I got to looking at the Garcia Mitchell. Thinking there must be something wrong with the innards, I decided to find a YouTube video on how-to, and take it apart. That’s when I first saw the Annual Service video. I only cleaned the shaft and slider housing, figuring that the spool might move farther out if I cleaned it up. I realized, once I saw how it worked, that wasn’t the problem. So I greased it with what I had available (auto bearing grease) and closed it up. No change. But I kept looking at it, and realized there appeared to be a useless screw in the short humped part of the bail wire. Took it out, still didn’t see what it was for. Finally realized a roller of some sort was missing. That made sense. So I researched a little and sure enough, that was likely the real problem.
I found an NOS line guide and screw on eBay for $10 and ordered it, and resolved to fix this reel correctly. Also ordered Cal’s Drag Washer & Reel Grease and ReelX oil. Now all three of Wallace’s videos came in very handy. And I discovered this Mitchell Museum site. I guess I had already noticed that that the serial number indicated it was a 1959 model 300, before I decided to do it justice.
But that’s where my questions come in....I know, I took a long time to get here. The more I look at the site, descriptions, schematics, history, and other forum posts, the more I think this reel was kind of pieced together from at least two years.
The first question I haven’t found an answer to is what year “Garcia” was added to the cover plate. The foot on mine shows serial # 2452365, which places it into roughly March of 1959. Now, also on the foot, there is an “A” on it’s side pointing toward the number about half an inch to the right—not part of an alpha-numeric serial number. Then in looking at the Garcia Corporation schematic for 1959, I noticed the reel face is just labeled “Mitchell,” no “Garcia.” Looking in the site’s history, after 1968 it mentions “....but in America and Canada, Mitchell was prefaced with Garcia....” The 1961 schematic also seems to not show Garcia on the faceplate, but the 1963 schematic does, I think. A couple of other quirks are that it has the fixed counter weight, as shown in schematics prior to 1963, but the rectangular cutout in the baffle plate, like in 1963, not the curved cutouts in the 1959. So how many reels went into making this one?? On the inside bottom of the rotating head is a raised mark showing “LM” in a circle, if that helps. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I really like the detail and history this site and forum provide....I may now have the bug....
I did, by the way, tear it down, clean it, lube it and reassemble. Seems to work fine, but I have yet to put line on.

Author:  Ted Lanham [ Thu May 16, 2019 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dating my “Garcia” Mitchell 300

Greetings RidgeFisher,
Welcome to the Mitchell Reel Museum.

Based on your post, you have been doing some digging into some of the resources found here in the Museum, but you may have missed the "Gallery" link at the top of this page. When you visit the "Gallery" visit the link "Mitchell Vintage Reel Photographs".
If you then select the 300 model, it gives some great detail into the differences found with the evolution of the Mitchell 300, including the differences in the baffle plates.

This link mentions when the "Garcia" was added to the side plate for reels sold in the US, but this doesn't apply, at this time, for reels sold in Europe. ... tegory/535

Ted Lanham

Author:  RidgeFisher [ Thu May 16, 2019 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dating my “Garcia” Mitchell 300

Thanx, Ted. Really happy to be here. Just this morning, before looking for responses to my post, I finally did look at the Gallery photos and read the text. If I’d done that first, the post wouldn’t have been necessary. From everything I’ve just read, it seems all of the parts do indeed make this a complete 1959 Version 6, and not one pieced together from other years. Kinda nice to know I have a very nicely functioning 60-year-old reel! This may be the start of another obsession. I’ve been into knife collecting for 15+ years—not so much paying collector prices, as finding gems in second hand stores and at flea markets, yard sales and estate sales. My body of knowledge on knives has grown steadily, reading a lot on line and in books I’ve purchased and magazine subscriptions. It appears nearly the complete body of knowledge on Mitchell Reels is contained in this one site, and I’ll be looking for more versions in my usual haunts. Thanx, again.

Author:  Oscillator1 [ Thu May 16, 2019 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dating my “Garcia” Mitchell 300

Hello RidgeFiher, You are correct when you say that almost all the information on Mitchell reels is contained in the Mitchell Reel Museum site, the key words being (almost all) . If you use the site on a regular basis you will see that something new is always being discovered about the reels , the company or the people that worked on the assembly lines or ran the company. Hang onto your hat for an exciting ride. Regards , John in Pa. :sCh_fisherman:

Author:  Ted Lanham [ Fri May 17, 2019 8:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dating my “Garcia” Mitchell 300

Here's a tip that you may want to consider.
There is an additional world of knowledge to be gained by the "search" at the bottom of several of the forum topics. Many times a question will come up, and I'll go straight for the "search" and after a change of wording a time or two, I'll get the information I was hunting for.
If you're hitting the fleas, I'm sure searches will come in handy.

Ted Lanham

Author:  bailarm [ Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dating my “Garcia” Mitchell 300

Just to amuse you, here's how the Garcia name got added to UK reels in about 1967.

One of the travelling salesmen for K P Morritts, reel makers of Sutton in Surrey, but legislatively part of Greater London was abroad when the company took advantage of a Goverment business grant scheme to relocate businesses to rural areas.

His name is Barrie Welham and he was pretty annoyed to have to now drive all the way to Cornwall to go to the head fact it seems he only made the journey once before quitting after getting in stuck in the infamous traffic jams around Exeter in Devon.

Having learned that the Millard Brothers ( Milbro) were pulling out of importing Mitchell reels to concentrate on cheaper imports from the Far East he contacted Garcia in the US and with their permission created Garcia UK which was based near the docks in Southampton and took over the UK import of Mitchell reels.

But here's the strange bit...there was no formal aggreement between Barrie and the Garcia Corporation and I have no idea how he financed the arrangement.

Barrie was also a casting record holder who went on to become Field Sports Ambassador for Orvis.

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