Mitchel reels


Active member
May 22, 2012
I've always loved the old Mitchell reels. Recently, a buddy dropped one by that had see time in salt and needed allot of luv. I didn't know if I was up for the task and let him know.

But these old reels are bullet proof so I gave it a shot.

In addition, I had my Dad's old 300 that's been needed some love. Also, another buddy dropped one off.

After doing allot of research, I went after the corroded reel. Spent allot of time cleaning it up and it now reels sweet as a kitten. Since it has some corrosion on the spool and bail, it will never cast as far as it did new, but still when you set the anti-reverse, the clicker works and it reels smooth.

Took Dad's reel apart and this one took no time at all because it was rarely used, and when used, only in high mountain trout streams or fresh water lakes.

Before I started on the last one, I decided to take pix.

Here's a pix of the two finished reels. The one on the left is the corroded one over and the one on the right's Dad's. I was unable to determine their age, but the salty one's allot older. The anti-reverse cam is metal while the newer reel had a plastic anti-reverse cam.


I started working on the last reel and noted something different. First, it was a 301 and not a 300. I realized quickly the 301 is Mitchell's south paw version. Instead of modern reels where you just move the handle to the other side, back in these times (circa late 60s early 70s) reels were made for right handed reelers and left handed reelers and were not interchangeable.

This reel's reel was pretty dirty, but no corrosion, so after all the dirt was cleaned up, the cleaning of the guts were pretty easy.

One thing about these old reels is there's not many parts and I was pretty much able to strip them down with the help of the Mitchell Museum YouTube videos. Here's a pix of left hand reel disassembled and all the parts clean.


The next pix is the parts all greased up and in inside assembled


And the last pix is the finished left-hander reel


Pretty fun little project to do on a windy day.


Future Sponsor
Mar 23, 2010
Ogallala, NE
Do you actually use any Mitchells? I remember many a time getting the line wrapped around the mainshaft under the spool.

Indeed they had way fewer parts than modern reels so even a kid could take em apart for maintenance or repair.

I wore out a bunch of em - broken main gear teeth, worn oscillating slider, nubbed oscillating gear teeth, and of course continual bail spring breaks.

And they wuz heavy speshly on a solid glass rod.