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Mitchell 316 – 1963-1984 = 190,959 Units
Mitchell 317 – No Records This Model Was Ever Made

 

Due to very limited information found to date, the 316 model is one of the hardest reels I have ever tried to study. Below is what I did find out over several years. Designed after the Mitchell 306 “intermediate” reel, the larger capacity spool required an unusual handle. Speculation is these first came out in 1962 due to a 316 owner’s manual showing a French coin stamped 1962. I believe it’s highly likely these were first manufactured at least two years earlier. These same manuals have schematics showing parts for a 317 but to our knowledge, none of these have been found or even advertised.

The first version serial number 03977 (hard to see) is an Albatros Mitchell 316 distributed in The Netherlands. There are two distinct features on a true first version; the axle and the small lip on the housing near the rotating head that holds the cover plate in place. Also note the unique spool click spring.

The second version serial number 23832 shown is one made and sold in France. It still has the vendor’s label “Dreumont – 19r.des Fountains” a sporting goods chain located in Lorient, a seaport in northwestern France. Their motto was “Chasse Peche” that translates to Drive Out Sin. Note the change to the axle but mainly the enlarged cover plate retainer lip on the housing.

The third version serial number 0079129 shown has one very distinct change; the bail arm is now plastic and not removable. The first two version bail arms are aluminum and held in place by a screw. All three versions have plastic rotating heads with metal spools. Also note the nice handle but remember, handles do not make a version!

The 316PUM shown is for demonstration of what one should look like. The PUM kit was shown in schematics but it’s unclear as to whether these could be factory ordered. Enjoy, Wallace Carney

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