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440A Lightning Cast

This first version 440A Lightning Cast was made in 1983/84 by Mitchell at the request of Browning. During Browning’s short involvement with Mitchell one of the things they did was to “bring back the Garcia Mitchell 440A because it never gained the popularity it deserves” a stated in a Browning news release! Among other improvements as you can see in the first six pictures they state: “Simply lay the index finger of your right hand against the red tab on the bail, and apply light pressure while simultaneously taking up the line with your fingertip. The bail will automatically open and you are ready to cast in one fluid motion.”  You will also find that the first versions as shown has bearings between the head and housing.

 

The easiest way to determine a first version is by the white lettering on the Cover Plates as you can see below on both the 440 series with serial number N279110 and the 441 with SN P,3.01. Please note I can not use periods in file name so they're replaced by commas! These versions have bearings but they were taken out after Browning’s involvement. See our Schematics Gallery for verification of this.

 

The last model that was still Made in France is shown with SN T.4 only which is common among the last Mitchell reels still made in France in 1988/89. You can see the color change from white to gold on this version. From information received from Roy Allett, it appears this change took place at least by serial numbers beginning with the letter "R" or circa 1986.

The last version labeled No Serial Number are of the last version of this reel. There is no Made in France or serial numbers on these. The indentation on the bottom of the foot only reads Mitchell. All versions of this reel were sold in very similar boxes.

 

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