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Mitchell 300 Why? - Page 3

post #31 of 58
I caught my first surf caught big bass on a 6' Plueger boat pole and Mitchell 300 combo.
It weighed 33#. I also caught 13# & 14# blues, the same trip.
A few days earlier, I had to listen to Bill Muller explain to me that my equipment was terribly under sized.
I was wishing that I'd run into him in the parking lot.
Equipment is very over-rated; but Mitchell 300's, 'Git er done' smile.gif BJ
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tandom View Post

I was wondering, what was it that made the 300 popular? It has no ball bearings, the line guide is staionary, its slow retrieve, the drag is not good, the spool has alot of plastic. the 300A is a little better, and the 300C at least has bearings. but the run of the mill plain jane three, i just don't get it.

Duh they were made 40 years ago which means the one's I have are still fishable. Tell me about the reel you bought 40 years ago for ten bucks that had ball bearings, a super fast retrieve and an ultra smooth drag system. Those things weren't around back then.
As for why they are popular? Heck I bought a Stradic and it lasted me a season and a half. So much for your high performance reels. wink.gif
post #33 of 58
I still have a couple in the collection in my basement. One is mine, one is my dad's and one is my garndpop's reel. They were great reels for the time and I used them for everything from trout to flounder, to weakfish and Bass in the bay. Back then most people only have one or two rods to use for a huge variety of fishing and the 300 was very versitile..
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermonter View Post


Quote:



Originally Posted by tandom View Post

I was wondering, what was it that made the 300 popular? It has no ball bearings, the line guide is staionary, its slow retrieve, the drag is not good, the spool has alot of plastic. the 300A is a little better, and the 300C at least has bearings. but the run of the mill plain jane three, i just don't get it.





Well to deal wih the points you bring up......and Im basing this on my own 300 purchased in the mid 60's.........dont think any similarly sized, affordable reel had anything but a stationary guide at the time.......slowish retrieve I can agree with, but that was also the reason for the 400 series.......drag was comparable to other spinning reels( and far better than some I could name)...... main spool on mine wasnt plastic I dont believe, backup spool might have been, think you saw in the plastic in the 70's when even the lever bacame plastic.


Like Penns, they worked, they were affordable and they lasted.


Id go further than DJ and say that, for their size and price range, they were state of the art into the late 60's and that gave them enough time to sell hundreds of thousands.

Close; they sold over 30 million of them, more than any other reel before and possibly since.

They are reliable, have an adequate line capacity for any freshwater fish, and pretty much any shore/surf/wade fishable saltwater fish, with the possible exception of a large hammerhead or such , the bushings don't freeze up like a bearing can and does, the line "roller" is not stationary, it may make one, maybe two complete revolutions during the 60 + year life of the reel. icon24.gif The only common replacement part is the bail spring, nothing else ever seems to break on them. I have 6 of them that I use regularly, they "catch fish" as well or better than any modern reel. Compared to a "modern" reel the pickup is slow, but really, why do you need a 12:1 pickup ratio for any fish, or a drag with 30 pounds capability for a large mouth bass? They are simple well balanced reels that seem to last forever.
post #35 of 58
The 300 is one of those reels with a very distictive sound....you know exactly what reel it is.
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tandom View Post

I was wondering, what was it that made the 300 popular? It has no ball bearings, the line guide is staionary, its slow retrieve, the drag is not good, the spool has alot of plastic. the 300A is a little better, and the 300C at least has bearings. but the run of the mill plain jane three, i just don't get it.


That's like wondering why cars from 1950's were popular, since they didn't have Check Engine lights. wink.gif
post #37 of 58
sales figure for the 300 is closer to 50 million according to the most recent books on the Mitchells. It was my first reel. maintainance is simple, few things (bail excluded) go wrong. Then a change in distributors, manufacturers (europe to the far east), plastic parts inside and out, and a gradual downhill slide. the current 300x doesn't even compare - its a 300 in name only. I have always said the 300 Mitchell is the only reel you can use to pound nails during the day and then use to fish that evening.
post #38 of 58
Exactly. Virtually bullet proof reel, easy to use, easy to clean, durable and functional for many kinds of fishing. With a Mitchell 300 and an Ambassadeur 5000, you could fish a lifetime and still be able to pass them on to your kids.
post #39 of 58

Besides many of the excellent points raised previously...,.Mitchell cornered the market in the 1950's with the Garcia distributorship rights deal introducing them into the US market ...something so highly sought that Bache Brown tried to get those rights himself.  This success allowed Mitchell to introduce many other products like the 302, 306 and 308 that nailed even more market share.  They also had the 304's and eventually 314's that being cheaper could introduce even more users to their products.  About the only initial  European competition they had was Alcedo, and Zangi...and Alcedo was much more expensive.  Zangi and later on DAM and ABU gave them a run for their money.

 

Then there were the 400's...which eventually provided a version for every reel Michell made, with the exception of the 304/314's, givng people who wanted higher gear ratios what they desired...and eventually line rollers instead of simple guides.

 

The 302 was probablely a challenge, but every other reel they had could be field stripped like a military rifle...making durable designs even more longlasting with the the ease of maintenance possible.  All the 300 required was not losing the shims...other reels were complete no brainers.

 

Eventually, all their reels had pop off spools allowing one to maintain a set drag, when the 304 was upgraded to the 314 configuration.  That pop off spool concept was copied by very respectable manufactures like ABU and Dam Quick.

 

Personally, I wish that they would have offered a 308/306 type design reel in 300 size, though I get around that by using a 314.

 

About the only bad thing about Mitchells was that their finish wasn't as durable as other maker's products....something I believe began when they seemed to abandon using primer...but that is a cosmetic issue.

 

Mitchell was also very tuned into line lay consideration...having three different designs, levelwind and crosswind for the 300's and planamatic and crosswind for their other products, to address such issues. 

 

Eventually, they were surpassed by ABU and DAM with what many consider a much better gearing design....and ABU's began to penetrate the American market as well.  Other issues also effected Mitchell negatively...like attempting to keep their products at a price point which required sacrificing quality. 

post #40 of 58

had a paper route as a kid, save up to by a 300. they were the VS reel of the 60's and 70's,LOL,

they were tough, never broke ( at least not mine). still got it, fish it in fresh water at times. I'll let

my kids argue over it and give to grandkids. ha ha. Still have it mounted on a 6' berkley rod. guess

there both antiques!

post #41 of 58

my dad swears by this reel, I have a Garcia Mitcheel 654 conventoinal and i love it , but he always talks about this reel as if it was god

post #42 of 58
I have 3 of them and still use them 45 years later. I even like the smaller reels -308 and 310 better although I think the 300A series were cheaper not as well made as the originals.
post #43 of 58
Ok, so this thread made me take inventory.
I currently have 5- 300s in use, 3- 308s and one 310ul.
Also have NIB one 300 and one 308.

Been using them for close to 45 years now and still have my first one that Dad gave me.
As a matter of fact I caught a couple Browns this morning with it, yup Dad was with me.
HE got two on his 300 as well.
post #44 of 58
My father owned a sporting goods store when I was growing up. I got one of the first 300's he got in(I'm 65 now). It is still working and has caught more fish than some fisherman will catch in their lifetime!!!
post #45 of 58

When I grew up in Northern Ontario in the 60s a Mitchell 300 was a real luxury item costing $33 in 1961 dollars. That would be about 10 times as much in today's dollars. When we moved to the United States in 1964 I got one with a Garcia rod for $19.95 and used it for everything from trout to bass to saltwater for the next 20 years. I still have it with the orginal box.

 

Other than the Mitchell there were a few DAM Quick reels and a few Alcedo Microns, but they were about the only alternative to the Mitchell and cost at least as much. My uncle Steve had an Alcedo.  

 

I used a Japanese knockoff of a Johnson Century that cost me $4.95 at Canadian Tire until I could get the Mitchell.

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