A Guide to Mitchell Reels

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This is intended to be a quick guide to the history, usage and sizing of French built Mitchell "egg shaped"reels.

                                                           HISTORY 

Mitchell Reels descended from a French watch/clock making company and started reel manufacture just before WW2, but it was not until 1954 (when the Hardy patent rights on the full bail arm design lapsed) that the 300 model (then called just the Mitchell) began to dominate the market. The 300 gave rise to the family of "egg shaped body"Mitchells that are still famous for their quality, durability and feel. This is the group that currently attract most interest from both collectors and anglers who appreciate the build quality and action of these reels.

Other Mitchell reel types not covered here are the 600 multiplier range, Fly reels, Round bodied (CAP type) reels and budget models.

                                                          The Egg Family

The Mitchell now with full bail became the 300 which led to 300c, 330, 500 and many other sub models 300a, 300s etc.  

High speed versions ( about 5/1 ) followed 350 (Rapid), 400, 410, 440 (Match), 510, 540.

Very high speed (6/1)  810, 840

and then the 900

The above coarse/spinning reels are all the same size, while

 The ultra light 308 (Prince) and its offspring 308a, 358 (Prince rapid), 408, 508, 908, 308s are all much smaller.

On the saltwater side Mitchell introduced the 302 followed by the high speed 402. The 302 became the 386 (302N) which led on to the 396 while the 402 became 486 which led to the very large Mitchells 488, 496, 498.

An intermediate size for sea spinning/game/heavy duty coarse angling was led by the 306 which became the 316 and 306A , while the high speed version 406 led on to the 906.

The reels above are loosely sorted by type and size are not in age/production order

                                                   

 

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