Mitchel Reel Musem - Mitchel Mates Discussion Group

Mitchell Reel Museum Discussion Group

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:41 pm • #  
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I have an old Garcia Conolon 8200-A (ultra-light, 4'6") paired with my Mitchel 308. It's been quite productive for me, I've probably caught 75% of my trout on this setup. It's been fine for dropping bait off a boat or short casts into a lake but I get into real trouble when fishing streams/rivers where I need more accurate casts because it flexes so much. So my questions are:

1) Why are they so flexible? Were they made like this or did this happen over time?

2) If they were made like this on purpose, am I just horrible at casting? What am I doing wrong?

3) Are there other Conolon ultra-light 4-5' rods that are a bit more stiff?

I love the look and feel of the vintage setup but I'm going on a trip later this month where we'll be doing more stream/river trout fishing and I'd like to know whether I need to replace this rod or not. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:39 am • #  
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The B501, while not an ultralight, is rated light, fast action. It's 5.5 ft long, has a very short reel mount and is my favorite ford. There is also a medium version which is a bit harder to find.

Now that the 'secret' is out, I buy them even in rough shape for parts or to have them rebuilt. This spring I intend to have two rebuilt with new guides suitable for salt water (the old guides are ratty and/or busted).

While not as whippy as the ultralight, it casts beautifully and handles 2-6 lb line perfectly. I'm not a fan of the 308, preferring the 300A double red band or silver band varieties for almost everything short of heavier salt water.

I reserve the ultralight for drop fishing and casting real close by, maybe ten feet at the most. My guess is that it was never meant for anything but narrow streams and fishing from canoes!

Gary Roberts
Wilmington, NC
The Toolemera Press
http://toolemera.com


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:45 pm • #  
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Very whippy rods are generally used to load properly when throwing very light lures and then to protect very light line with a fish on.

What test/diameter line are you using and what type line? Also which bail do you have on your 308...line guide, early line roller or later style roller?

What lure weights are you using?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:02 pm • #  
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Hello Fiftape,

I fish heavily with with UL rods. I personally use the maroon colored, model # 2500, 5' in length. Smead is absolutley correct, the very soft and flexible (whippy) action allows you with fish on to protect the very light line used without breaking it. The UL rod also allows you to cast very light lures on light line. If you used heavy line with a light lure the lure would only go for a short distance and the line would come off the spool too quickly creating a loop fest or bird's nest. If you used a stiffer action rod with light line you will stood be able to cast well but would most likely have the line break with a fish on from not enough flex in the rod. I do alot of my fishing in streams and creek that require very accurate casts and have never had an issue. But then again I have been fishing with conolon UL rods for 45 years. Cheers, I hope this helps.

Regards, Scott


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:33 pm • #  
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Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. I use 4# mono. Would you all suggest I go with 2#?

It sounds like I just need more practice with my setup and that everything is as it should be. This is great news as I'm quite fond of it and hope to fish with it for a long time.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:14 am • #  
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A last minute thought has to do with technique. When I do cast with an UL, a gentle wrist is best. I tend to 'lob' more than snap during the cast to prevent the tip from whipping. It's almost like casting a heavy lead bunker weight in salt water, you build up momentum and follow through up until the rod tip is pointing in the direction of the cast at which time you release the line.

I tried this today at Jamaica Pond. 20 ft was my maximum without significant whipping. Any further and the tip oscillated all over. This while casting a 1/8 oz lure on 4lb Izor copolymer line.

But I still prefer my B501...

Gary Roberts
Wilmington, NC
The Toolemera Press
http://toolemera.com


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:04 am • #  
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Hello Gary,

I do not blame you on the B-501. Great point on the casting suggestion.

Hello Fiftape,

I have always found the kiss of death is to cast side ways. I kind of cast the way I throw a baseball. Not directly over my shoulder but more of a throw and point. Hope this helps and tight lines mate!

Regards, Scott


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:25 pm • #  
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and, because I have a bum right shoulder, I cast either flat sideways or at a 45 degree angle. Once in a great while I cast over head if the joint feels up to it. But then I've been casting this way for some years now and I'm used to it.

When someone else is casting to the side, I run the other way. All that said, for heavy lures and heavy weights, it's the 45 degree arc for sure.

Gary Roberts
Wilmington, NC
The Toolemera Press
http://toolemera.com


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:03 am • #  
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I guess we all have to face it. For all their nostalgia Garcia Conolon did not make a particularly good rod; mine spend most of their time sitting in the rack. I trout fish in small mountain streams. I use a 308 if I am looking for distance on my cast and a 304 if I am looking for accuracy. whichever I am using I mount it on my old 5' Daiwa 1219A UL with 4# line and 1/8 spinner. The Daiwa does not have the nostalgia, but it is a superior rod in all respects.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:08 am • #  
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Hello Oldlawyer100,

I will disagree with you that Garcia did not make good rods. If you match the correct type of rod action to the type of fishing you want to do you would find that Garcia had one available. For nostalgia reasons or not anyone of simular type rods Garcia made would match your Daiwa. My fifty year old rods are still better than the stuff made today. :tup

Regards, Scott


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:45 pm • #  
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X2 Scott. Maybe we could get one of those guides that match the rod & reel for a balanced outfit on this site somewheres??? Have a "technical" page to reference set-ups. Nothing to detract from the schematics pages of reels we already have. Just food for thought.
Kim

BTW- "O", If you aren't going to fish them, would you sell them if not collecting them???


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:45 pm • #  
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Hi Kim,

I would totally agree, rod and reel combo list would be neat to do. I try to always to fish the rods and reels I have collected except for a small limited group. Cheers!

Regards, Scott


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:49 am • #  
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Ah, the old Conolon rods are not as good as modern rods, etc. etc.

I've fished all types of rods, various reels, various lines, salt, fresh, etc and I still prefer Conolon rods. You have to understand how a fiberglass rod works, particularly a good one. Today you would have to pay in the hundreds to get a comparable fiberglass rod to the early Conolon rods. The fiberglass rods on the racks at Dicks and Bass Pro are not the same as a decent 1970's Conolon. I'ld say they're more like the green line or even the blue line at best. If you step up to the tournament quality fiberglass rods, then we're getting to something we can compare.

If you try to compare a graphite rod, it just won't work. The two types are so far apart it makes no sense to even attempt to discuss them. Same for what kind of line. I prefer copolymer lines over all others for responsiveness and control. But that's just me on the line issue. I never warmed up to braid for spinning reels.

Gary Roberts
Wilmington, NC
The Toolemera Press
http://toolemera.com


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:10 am • #  
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Gary,

Well stated, it has been what I have been expressing for many posts on our forum. Cheers!

Regards, Scott


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:34 pm • #  
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There is no doubt Conolon made excellent rods. In most weights they were and are a benchmark. However, I personally do not like the Conolon ultralights because the tip and butt action do not seem matched. The tip of the Conolon has a lot of action while the butt section seems to have very little. It doesn't distribute the weight of the fish evenly along the rod causing the tip to bear most of the fight. This results in broken lines, excessive drag starts and lost fish. Last saturday I landed a 17" rainbow with an 11" girth that weighed out at 4#. The drag on my 304 was set a little over 1/2. It took several minutes of playing the fish to wear it down and get it in. My rod bowed into a perfect arc and the drag never started even though the fish made several strong runs. The reason I think is that the rod distributed the weight along the full length of the rod, taking it off the line and the reel. Had the rod tip have had to bear all the weight the drag would have been screaming and the 4# line would probably have broken. As I see it the ability of a rod to distribute weight along its' full length is the test of a good UL rod. Bonanza, you all mention techniques for matching rods and reels to particular fish. If there is some system for doing that I would really like to know about it. I agree that matching rod, reel and drag weight is the secret to landing fish. I have always had to do it by trial and error. Tell me your secret.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:20 pm • #  
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Hello Oldlawyer100,

Some of what Smead, Gary and I have discussed is not a secret. It is good old trial and error, selecting a rod, reel, line and lure based of the fishing conditions you are fishing in. For instance I fished opening day in a stream that was 30 yards wide,and between 2 ft and 8 ft. deep. The deeper areas were holes. I used 1/8 oz lures with 2 lb. garcia platyl line. I used a Garcia Conolon maroon 2500 5' UL rod with a Garcia Mitchell 408 with a roller guide on the bail wire. I choose 1/8 oz lures to cast the full width of the stream in a bicycle spoke pattern. The 1/8 oz.
will not sink as fast in shallow moving water so I can either retrieve a little faster across the shallow water and slow the retrieve down as cross over the holes so the lure will sink down into the hole. If I was to have used a heavier lure I would not have been able to control the lure rate of retrieve. The UL rod with the soft and very flexible tip allow the lure to not get yanked out of the trouts mouth when he strikes. A stiffer tip and action springs back to quickly sometimes pulling lure from the mouth. If I was trout fishing in a lake were I was either using a lure or a bottom rig with a split shot I would use a stiffer set-up such as Gary's B-501 or a 6' or 6'1/2" light action rod. Garcia used to have a tackle table in the back of their Annuals to provide rod, reel and line wt. to use together. The above is an example, hopefully
it will help you find your right answer for the equipment yo want to use. Cheers and tight lines!

Regards, Scott


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:52 pm • #  
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I'm by no means a rod expert...I'd have devote 6 months to devouring concepts and data before I felt comfortable in even attempting to begin speaking in a technical manner.

It's an area where there are so many variables that it makes reel mechanics look like playing with Lego.

It's especially interesting is to hear/read what rod builders have to say. Besides old rules of thumb regarding planned use, line and lure weights, power, action, length and etc...most builder's want to know the specific reel one plans on using...then there's subsequent guide size and placement to figure, fore and rear grip length, style of handles, materials...and the prerequisite arguing between different schools of thought. Then there's suitable hardware as opposed to bling/geek for the sake of bling/geek itself.

More confusing still is pure marketing...which attempts to convince end users that they need a selection of rods dependent on type of lure to the point that one requires a caddy.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:46 am • #  
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It occurs to me that you can't lump all UL rods together. Some are 5', some 6'. Depending on the year, some are stiffer and some softer. I can think of one of mine, a 5' gold model that I really don't like for casting as it's quite soft. But it's fun for pan fish close to shore. The brown model of a few years later is nice as it has a stiffer backbone. Both are listed as UL. Then in later years Garcia came out with a Very Light Action rod at 6 ft that whips all over the place. Go figure. Silly thing bends in a U if you stare at it too long.

More than anything else, with an UL rod, I don't expect the rod to do all the work as I would with heavier rods. I do expect to play a heavier fish for longer to tire it before attempting a landing. But then I'm not a fan of the 308 as I go to the 300a instead for most tasks. My fingers don't fit the 308 - what can I say?

Gary Roberts
Wilmington, NC
The Toolemera Press
http://toolemera.com


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