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Vintage Mitchell

300s On eBay USA

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Emile van Loon: I found this reel at a Dutch vintage tackle fair in October 2004 and bought it from a man from England. I sent pictures of this reel to every collector I knew, but nobody had ever heard of or seen this reel. It was a ghost-reel for almost three years. In June 2007 a second one was found and purchased in the USA. The ghost-reel became reality! There are still many questions to be answered, but until now it is considered to be a prototype for the 800-series. Of course a rare reel like this is one of the highlights of my collection!

 

Wallace Carney: The second one found was studied by me and I found everything to be the same on both reels except for the spools. The housing and head is a 410 manufactured after 1971 when the rotating head’s counterweight went from two screws to one. This can be confirmed in our 410 schematics. The 440S only has the one counterweight screw. All internal components are that of an 810 as seen in the 1976 810 schematic however; the cover plate is engraved Garcia Mitchell 440S. The handle sticker on the 440S just reads “High Speed” but this sticker changed to “6:1” on the 810. Since Garcia was well known for their engineering department skills, it appears this was a product design by them for a 6:1 gear ratio high speed reel. Due to known schematic dates, I would guess the 440S was first test-marketed 1974/75. Why “440S” is a mystery that we hope to solve some day. Could this have been the 840 prototype which would make more sense? If so, why did they not choose the automatic bail? The letter "S" prefix was used for skirted spools and "saltwater" reels like the 304S but why here? The more I think the more questions I have.

 

 

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