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Mitchell 300 reel old school

Terry Simner

Senior Member & Supporter
If you are still after a 301 Terry , I have half a dozen on the shelf all serviceable . I think the 300's are brilliant reels , yes the clutches are a bit iffy , but they can be smoothed out as it were . I still use them on occasion but tend to use my ABU Cardinal 54's more these days
Thanks for the offer @Mike Hodgkiss but, on reflection, it was just sentimentality and nostalgia (then again, I suppose nostalgia is always 'on reflection' 😆 ) But if the otters manage to eat all the barbel and I start fishing more for roach and chub again, I may be in touch ;)
 

Mike Hodgkiss

Senior Member
If you’re after a retro fixed spool then a Cardinal beats the pants off a Mitchell 300 in my opinion. far, far better clutch, rotor head spins the right way, lovely green or metallic brown paint job, much smoother and freer winding mechanism, more useful sizing options.....

I could go on.

I have several of both the Mitchells and Abu but only generally use the later. A 44 in green is a lovely little reel. Slightly more expensive in the metallic brown they did and arguably a nicer colour. I also have a 77 which is mint and unused. The best size of all for barbel would probably be the middle sizes 66. They even did a 33 which is the most tiny diddy little thing you ever did see, not to mention frightfully expensive, and married up to a suitably small and light rod would make the perfect small streaming set up.

The only thing I think the Mitchell beats the Abu on is line lay, having a much slower reciprocation rate and thus spreading the line more evenly, but even this don’t seem to make much difference in the end.

If I could only choose one vintage fixed spool then it would be the Abu.
Only trouble with those cardinals Haydn is they didn't , as far as I am aware ,cater for the left handed angler so I use the 54's and 55's which are ambidextrous
 

Mike Hodgkiss

Senior Member
Thanks for the offer @Mike Hodgkiss but, on reflection, it was just sentimentality and nostalgia (then again, I suppose nostalgia is always 'on reflection' 😆 ) But if the otters manage to eat all the barbel and I start fishing more for roach and chub again, I may be in touch ;)
If you want to try one for old times sake Terry I can send you one in the post, no charge or obligation to buy , just be nice to hear how you got on with it , only condition , you have to use it for Barbel fishing !
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member & Supporter
you have to use it for Barbel fishing !
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! I'd have sleepless nights, punctuated by nightmares, if I knew I was fishing the next day with a 301!
But then, maybe early in the season, when the smaller male barbel are active in a shallower more open stretches ... maybe wading??

Hmmmm, right, make it even more difficult for myself? Ok I'll let you know :)

HUGE thanks for the offer Mike 👍👍👍
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
I still use mine regularly. I have a lovely 440A that a friend gave me many years ago. He bought it noew and it was little used.


Mullet Web.jpg


I found another on ebay for less than £20. Again in very good condition.

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and three what are termed '300' reels although two pre-date the 300 branding. The first one in the photos on page 1 is a 1955/6 model and the second one is a half-bail model from around 1953. I also have a proper '300' that I bought new in 1973 using money from my paper round and Saturday job.

Don't get hung up about the clutches, etc. They work just fine.
 
I have four of the half bail reels. with the original all metal spools and metal spool storage cases.. two are equipped with the earlier ribbed alloy handle knobs.
(Often these alloy knobs are seized to the steel pin they rotate on, after years of storage in damp conditions....if so ..soaking in lemon juice and immersion in boiling water dissolves the corrosion build up safely.)
I also have two 350's..one with the green winding knob..the other has the later "smooth" black plastic handle.
I have numerous 300s , 330s , 440s , 410s , 410A s , at one time there was a tea chest full of Mitchell reels and spools but over the years many have been given away.
The odd time I use them is if I have a day out with the wicker basket on a local lake.
I do sometimes use a pair of 306's when carp fishing but also use 900s (American and Canadian imports) which I prefer.
Leazes 8-8-2018 008.JPG
 

Chris Guy

Senior Member
I have a pair of 300's I use regularly, they are easily up to any Barbel you are likley to hook, if you are thinking about a first "go" they may seem a little strange at forst, as the bail arm moves anti clockwise as opposed to clockwise like more modern reels do . As has already been said , the clutch is fine after a bit of "fettling" . The line lay can be a bit suspect at times, but not enough to worry me.

Here you go....View attachment 12830

David
So do you backwind or rely n the clutch with the anti-reverse engaged?
 

David Craine

Senior Member
So do you backwind or rely n the clutch with the anti-reverse engaged?
Always use the clutch Chris,, with the anti reverse engaged .I just cannot get on with backwinding at all, the clutch if fettled correctly is as smooth as any other modern reels clutch, it does exactly what it is supposed to do if correctly set. I have never ever lost a fish because the clutch did not work correctly, its all about servicing your reels and making sure they work as designed to.

To me, backwinding is a bit like waving your hands out of the window of a car to show you are turning right or left, because you dont trust the indicators to work.

But if it is what you are used to and it works for you, no problem that I can see.

David.
 

Stephen Goderski

Senior Member
OMG - I used to own the very same rod pod (it was one of the first available from memory), the optonics (with the carp ears too) and use monkey climbers for my carping - that must have been 35 years ago which is making me feel older than I want to feel...
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
OMG - I used to own the very same rod pod (it was one of the first available from memory), the optonics (with the carp ears too) and use monkey climbers for my carping - that must have been 35 years ago which is making me feel older than I want to feel...

If it makes you feel any better; I still use Delkins, one with carp ears.
 

Chris Guy

Senior Member
Always use the clutch Chris,, with the anti reverse engaged .I just cannot get on with backwinding at all, the clutch if fettled correctly is as smooth as any other modern reels clutch, it does exactly what it is supposed to do if correctly set. I have never ever lost a fish because the clutch did not work correctly, its all about servicing your reels and making sure they work as designed to.

Well I have three 301's, one 411 and one Match, all bought new. These reels I used wholesale from my first 301 which I bought in 1971/2. I never trusted the clutches I'm sad to say, they were never reliably smooth, always a little stuttery. Thus I became an expert at back winding.
I bought my first Shimano, a 3000 GTM, about 25 years ago, and I must say, the drag system was a revelation, especially with the fighting drag.
Luckily I invested in two more of these, one of which is a Stradic before the prices for the Japanese models went through the roof.
I admire your skill using the 300's, well done that man. I may still drag one of my 301's out of the cupboard... After all, all my Mitchells were serviced by Mitchell down in Southampton before they were mothballed.
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
I understand that he has closed his ebay shop because of the excessive fees. I know where to get hold of him if anyone needs his services.
 

Kevin Speight

Senior Member
I’ve inherited about a dozen 300’s and similar Mitchells from my old man. He/we used to use them spinning Scottish estuaries for Sea Trout and Bass, severely abusing them in the process with sea water and sand ingress. After each Scottish holiday, we’d open them up, de-grease and re-grease them and they’d just go on and on and on. I confess to rarely using them now, but I feel a bit queasy at the thought of letting any of them go.
 
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