Old Garcia Mitchell Reels

Discussion in 'Fishing Rod Review' started by Pennsylvaniacatchaser, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    I am a user, buyer, collector of the old Garcia Mitchell spinning reels for Catfish. I love the quality and durability of these old reels. Made in France. I use the old saltwater reels - 302/303, 402/403, 306/307. 386/387. 488/489 for my Flathead fishing. I'm just wondering if anyone else out there in the B.O.C. uses the old Mitchell's for their Cattin' trips?
     
  2. Jesse168

    Jesse168 Member

    Messages:
    247
    State:
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Scott that's all that I use for my fishing. I have a lot of the big Penn reels but don't care for them much. I grew up using the 304 and 308 Mitchell reels.
    Now when I fish the Mississippi River all I ever take is my big Mitchell reels.
    But I HATE the 300 Mitchell...the bail on it turns opposite of all other Mitchell reels and I can't get use to it.

    Jesse
     

  3. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    jesse, what penn's ya want to part with. i might be intrested. :cool:
     
  4. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    I fished the old Mitchells all my life but finally retired them and went to PENN 7500 SS for my catfishing.I still own several including Serial number 3 of the 308s which I bought in Germany back in the 50s.I still think the 300/308 line was the sexiest spinning reel looks wise ever made.
     
  5. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    I have about 40 old Garcia Mitchell reels. I have 308's, 408's, 300's, 300C's, 400's, 410's, 306's, 406's, 302's and 402's. I use 300's, 308/408's and my mainstay catfishing reel is the 306. I have a very extensive parts collection too. I also collect and use Coleman Lanterns and Campstoves. They don't make them like the old ones anymore. In my opinion anyway.
     
  6. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I grew up with those things, and I've still got several saltwater models that we still use for catfishing. I also have a couple of Garcia revolving spool reels that are still in use.
     
  7. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Bryan,Mitchell made a reel on the 300 body with an automatic bail feature.All you had to do was push down on the bail and it popped open.I didn't like it because it didn't open as far as the conventional 300.Was that the 410?Or was it a 330 I can't remember any more but wish I had one for its collectors value.Mitchell also made a model with half a bail so you could manually slip the line off and manually pick it up but I don't remember the model number.I still say the 300 was the prototype spinning reel for everyone else.I used 4 308/408s for bass fishing in Arizona long before light lining and drop shotting were even dreamed of.All I ever used was 6lb test and caught lots of big bass out of Canyon ,Sajuarro.Apache and Roosevelt lakes.That reel worked beautifly with the lite line in those clear water lakes
     
  8. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Jim, I believe it was the 330 with the auto-bail feature. And I believe the half bail was only on the earliest 300's. I have been using 308's since childhood. Very good reel. The 300 may turn backwards compared to most reels, but they still are selling it today after about 50 years. Wonder how many other reel models can say that? Of course today's Mitchell 300 isn't even close to what the original was. One thing I really like about them is that they can be purchased so cheap if you look around for them. My wife picked up a 406 and a 303 for me a couple of weeks ago at a yard sale for 6 bucks. The 406 needed a handle and bail spring and now works and looks like near new. The 303 is basicly just for parts since I'm not left handed and it's pretty corroded. Some parts will work on my 302's, but not many. A couple of years ago at the 450 mile yard sale I bought an old metal tackle box for about 4 bucks. Inside was a near new 308. Can't beat those prices for quality reels.
     
  9. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    I just googled Mitchell and it was the 330.The half bails were only made in the 50s.You would be amazed at some of the prices those reels bring.A mint 308 is about 200$.I loved the 410s because of the handle and roller bearing.You are right the new ones are crap compared to the old reels.The only thing that ever broke on all of mine was an occasional bail spring.Ah well you know you are old when you start talking like this but over 25 MILLION 300s have been sold so something must have been good about them.Interestingly enough most folks don't know Garcia came along well after Mitchell was established and didn't last long,four years I think but the names are forever linked.One reel at the time (50s) that was available before the 308 was the Alcedo Micron which might have been one of the best reels ever made by anybody and I notice on Auction sites one will cost 200/500$ in mint condition.Friend of mine had one ,His dad was a LTCOL, and I was eaten up with envy until the 308 came out then it was his turn.I paid 6$ for one brand new in 1958/9.For my money there will never be a better looking reel than the 300 series.
     
  10. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Jim, I have a couple of 410's and a 400 or two as well. Did you know the gear ratio in a 410 is 4 something to 1 and in the 300 it's 3 to 1? All of the 400 series reels have a higher gear ratio than the 300 series reels. The 400 and 410 reels had the torpedo handle. Most 400 series reels were blue as well. I do have an odd colored 408 though. Almost a gray color. Garcia was the distributor for Mitchell reels from the late 50's through the mid 70's I think. Then Browning distributed them as 300A, 308A, etc. I think when Browning bowed out in the 80's Johnson took them. And if I'm not mistaken they still distribute them.
     
  11. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    ABU Sweden bought the Garcia logo and name in 1980 I think and then became ABU -Garcia.Mitchell is owned by PURE fishing now which is a subsidiary of Johnson.Garcia was the prime distributer for Mitchell of France from 47-to 78 or so then bought mitchell and after four years declared bankruptcy.Thats when Browning got them.I stand corrected ,30 million 300s sold to the present.For fun lets say 1950 starts production of the 300.That is 55 years or 20,075 days.30,000,000 reels sold divided by the days equals 1494 reels sold EVERY day for 55 years.there are 1440 minutes in a day SO there has been a Mitchell 300 sold every minute of every day for 55 years.WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that is longevity and popularity.
     
  12. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    Hey guys, I started this thread and just wanted to apologize that I somehow got it under the fishing rod review section instead of the fishing reel section. I not sure how I managed to pull that off? :eek:
     
  13. tomcat85

    tomcat85 New Member

    Messages:
    966
    State:
    uh
    i actually have a mitchell reel my dad gave me idk if its for catfishing but it sure works good!
     
  14. HRCats

    HRCats New Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    State:
    Ohio
    I have 2 of the 300s, both are early 70's models. My dad gave me one of them in 1970 was my first open face reel then i bought the other one in '74. I no longer use either one but still have them. Got more use out of either one of them than any reel i have owned since.
     
  15. gardengrz

    gardengrz New Member

    Messages:
    899
    State:
    wakeman,ohio
    308 for perch, 300 for walleye, 2- 306s for my catfish rigs. all with ugly stik rods. thats what i got.:big_smile:
     
  16. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    I use one 386 "High Speed" with a "door knob" handle. I'm looking for the lower
    gear ratio version ti help wench them in. I bought it used back in "72" with a custom rod for $12. It seems more solid then the newer "CHEAP" reels.

    I like the loud but not smooth drag.

    You would not have an extra set of lower gears that would fit in her, that you would be willing to sell???????

    I would recommend this real just below a Okuma on cost used and better the the 90 sizes under $40.
    :big_smile:
     
  17. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    I have two 300's and a 410 saltwater on a 9' surf rod that I still use when float fishing by dams where I can't take my boat. I've had them for so long I can't remember when or where I got'em.
     
  18. countrycat15

    countrycat15 New Member

    Messages:
    668
    State:
    gastiona,nc
    i have heard alot about them.would not mind trying one some time.