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Vintage Mitchell

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Mitchell 308 – 1959-1986 = 1,771,109 Units (probably includes the 308A Series)
Mitchell 309 – 1960-1986 = 169,238 Units (probably includes the 309A Series)

 

 

 

With the durable Planamatic gearing and a 5:1 gear ratio, this quality Mitchell reel is still a very popular fishing reel. Originally released in Europe as the 308 “Prince” in 1958; the easiest way to tell a first version is the molded in FR”O”NCE on the housing just above the anti-reverse lever as you can see. Although the first version 309 was also being manufactured at the same time but you will not find any of these with this molding on the housing so serial numbers are very important on these 1st version LH models.. Note the round slotted lock nut under the spool, only found on very early 1st versions! These soon changed to the standard hex nut as you can see on later models below. Also know all first version came with spring loaded handles and not the screw locking counterweights on the handle shaft!

 

 

 

1st Versions: 

 

SN 0008102: From the collection of Rob Shimko, an avid Mitchell collector and Mitchell Mate is a fine example of a Garcia distributed 1st version Mitchell 308 prior to "Garcia" being engraved. Garcia referred to these as the "Ultra-Sport" also called an "Ultra-Light" with a weight of only 7 ounces. The very early serial number and packaging dates this reel back to the late fifties.

 

 

 

SN 037061: This is another Garcia release but now had their name engraved. This came in a matching serial number box and note the lock nut is still the round slotted. Please note that none of these models distributed by Garcia will have the Prince sticker, even prior to the Garcia name being engraved. 

 

  

 

SN 0087416: As you can see on this European 1st version these will have a Cover Plate with a “Prince” sticker but naturally no Garcia engraving. The same sticker is on the 309 but always inverted for some unknown reason.

 

 

 

2nd Versions:

 

SN 269297: The easiest way to tell a second version is "France" is now molded on the foot next to the serial number stamp. Early releases will still have the spring loaded handle but did change to the locking type in 1967. From the serial number and packaging on this reel, it was released in the early sixties but not prior to 1962.

 

 

 

SN E087101: Another Garcia release but remember vendor names whether engraved or stickers on the reels are not different versions, just advertising! The second versions were also issued with no vendor name and with other vendor names including Albatros, Arca and Balzer. from the serial number alone we know this reel was made in 1975 however; the black and red plastic clamshell box dates back to at least 1967. Prior the the mid-seventies these boxes had serial numbers that matched to reel.

 

 

 

3rd Versions: 

 

308 Mystery Reel: This reel came to us as shown from a man who bought it in Canada. Unfortunately it does not have a serial number but it is not a parts "Franken-Reel" for many reasons. We know Mitchell did not place serial numbers on very early "test" models they called "pilot" reels. The "engraved" housing and rotating head lettering is not the same as before or after. The Rotating Head silver bands around the lettering is very similar to the Mitchell Browning 308A but they are NOT the same. It also has the polished aluminum spool also seen on early releases of the 4th version. It is a common conclusion between several Mitchell collectors that this was a test run just prior to the double red band release. It is apparent this reel was made in France in 1976/77. No ads or schematics have been located for this reel!

 

 

 

4th Versions: 

SN G270109 was only discovered in November, 2009 in the collection of Wayne Fassbender who was kind enough to allow us to show this very rare reel. This model was made in 1977 for the European market including the double silver band, the packaging and the very rare gray spool. This was the first release with the "badge" verses engraving marked Garcia Mitchell 308. It appears this model was made concurrently with the next "double red band" version as seen below. This version came with a common small capacity spare spool as you can see. No small capacity gray spools are known to have been made. It is important to note that this green insert box has also been discovered with the next version. Remembering Garcia went out of business in America in 1978; we feel confident to say that this created a mixture of these reels being sold worldwide.

 

 

 

5th Versions: 

 

SN G337341 & SN H030298: This version is a Garcia (America) release conceived and in limited production just prior to Garcia's bankruptcy in 1978. Easily distinguished by the plastic "Garcia Mitchell 308" plate attached to the housing and the double-red-bands on the rotating head. Other features include the change in packaging, spool and handle all of which can easily be changed. During this release you will find polished aluminum spools and on early releases; a rare white spool. Other Mitchell Series Reels were released with the double red band but had the letter "A" suffix after the model number! Mitchell gradually changed over to spool arbors (one shown in blue) without a spare spool. Some releases had both.

 

 

 

308 Taiwan: 

 

After Mitchell's factory closed in the late eighties, a few reels were still made there by a few workers. Most others were sent to other countries for assembly for two reasons; cheap labor and competition. The one shown was made in Taiwan, just for the record! 

 

 

 

For more information; please visit our Schematics Gallery and our Vintage Advertisements Gallery.

 


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Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
Last Engraved 308
G337341
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H030298
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308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
308 Taiwan
G270109
G270109
G270109
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G270109
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