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S Suffix on Mitchell Reels (S Suffix)

The letter S-suffix to a Mitchell reel’s model number was first used on the 304S with unfounded claims to stand for saltwater because of its durability for light saltwater use. When used on a reel with a skirted spool; it seams to designate “Skirted Spool” but Mitchell also made this kind of spool on other models without the "S" Suffix. This will always be subject to debate.

Salt Water Mitchell Saltwater Reels

Mitchell’s first version of a saltwater reel was the 302 series affectionately called The Salt Water Mitchell reel. Like The Mitchell 300 series early versions, these were before model numbers were placed on Mitchell reels. “Salt Water” was engraved on the 302 series and the high speed version 402 series. Mitchell made several other versions for saltwater use but in the Mitchell world; this term applies only to very early Mitchell 302 and 303 models without a model number.

Seasons Mitchell Reel Production (Season)

Mitchell France had their production runs from September 1st of one year through July 31st of the following year which gave the workers the month of August off for holiday. This was and still is common practice in France for all businesses. Due to the lapse over two years, Mitchell referred to their runs as “Seasons” instead of years. You can also look at this as a fiscal year and not a calender year or September 1st through August 31st.

Serial Numbers on Mitchell Reels (SN)

All Mitchell reels from 1949/50 through 1988/89 have serial numbers stamped on them in manufacturing sequence. In some very early models you will also find these on the back of the Housing or on the Cover Plates for the 302 series. Some exceptions are those made prior to 1949, Prototypes, Tournament Reels made for professional use and other Presentation Super Rare reels.


Stickers on Mitchell Fishing Reels (Stickers)

Many Stickers were used on Mitchell reels for aesthetic and informative use. Due to poorly made aftermarket copies of these; stickers should not increase values except for one. These were the original ones first placed on reels to designate which wholesale “Distributor” was marketing Mitchell reels prior to engraving.


The first to do this was Albatros followed by Garcia. Balzer and Arca started doing the same for a short period of time. All eventually had their name or Logo engraved directly on the reels. Balzer came back in the late sixties with another sticker.


Super Cap Fishing Reel (Super Cap)

The first Mitchell 314 was advertised (only) as the Super Cap fishing reel. The word Super was due to the much improved design over the 304. The word CAP was due to Mitchell still using the old style 304 housings with C.A.P in raised lettering. For more information see our Gallery.


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