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Terms that are on used on this site.

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There are 101 entries in the glossary.
Term Definition
A Letter Suffix on Conventional Reels The letter "A" Suffix after model numbers on Conventional Reels was first used in 1966 on some 600 Series Mitchell reels that were specially designed for saltwater casting.
 
A Letter Suffix on Spinning Reels The letter "A" Suffix after model numbers on some Mitchell spinning reels marks the transitional period away from Garcia’s involvement with Mitchell along with other transitions to the looks and mechanics of these same reels.
 
Africa See Pro Africa.
 
Albatros Exclusive importer and distributor of Mitchell for the Netherlands.
 
Alphanumeric Serial Numbers First used on the 300 series on the last half bail versions (A – C). It was then used on the first version 302 series half bails and full bails (A – D). All serial numbers were then changed to numeric numbers only up to 1970. In 1971 the alphanumeric serial numbers returned through the 1988/89 Serial Numbers.
 
AM

This abbreviation first appeared for the Mitchell 300 series reels in factory texts when the changeover was made from the Half Bail or "AM" as it was designated to the Full Bail or "AP" as it was designated. You will not see “AM” used in text after the early fifties.

 
Anniversary Reels Special celebratory reels made by Mitchell to commemorate the anniversary of The Mitchell Reel or in some cases, the anniversary of a specific reel. Due to many factors such as loss of all old records; we find that even as of today very few of these are correct but still highly prized collectables.
 
AP

This abbreviation first appeared in 1952 for the Mitchell 300 series reels in factory texts when the changeover was made from the open Half Bail (finger pick up or AM as is was designated in French) to the Full Bail. Mitchell distinguished this change – and improvement – by the name “Anse de Panier” (AP for short) which in French language means “basket handle”. This term seemed appropriate to help potential buyers understand the change. You will see “AP” used in text and schematics for many decades. This is not to be confused with the AP Suffix on model numbers. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)

 
AP Letter Suffix The "AP" suffix after a reel's model number was first used in 1966 on some 600A Series Mitchell reels that were specially designed for saltwater casting but with a plastic (P) spool. This is not to be confused with the AP text.
 
Arca Exclusive importer and distributor of Mitchell for Belgium.
 
Auto-Bail Common name used for the original Otomatic which carried on to all future versions including the 330, 440, 540 and 840 series Mitchell Reels. The name Otomatic was used as a derivative of Automatic.
 
Automatic Term used for the Mitchell 710 and 720 fly reels which had an Automatic line retrieve lever. This term is also misused for the Otomatic.
 
B Series
  • See BlackFish
 
Balzer Exclusive importer and distributor of Mitchell for Germany.
 
Bass Pro Shops A long time standing relationship with Mitchell as a very large retailer of fishing equipment. For more information; see “G” Suffix.
 
Benjamin A Benjamin Sticker was placed on a limited quantity of Albatros Mitchell 308 reels that are also inscribed with The Flying Albatros logo naturally distributed only in The Netherlands.
 
BHV Three Mitchell reels were made by Mitchell in France for exclusive sale by Le Bazar de L’Hotel de Ville commonly called B.H.V pronounced "Bay Hash Vay" in French. The first release was the Mitchell 314 series inscribed with only Super BHV. A Mitchell 300 and 306 with only BHV inscribed was produced later. There was also a second release of the 314 with only BHV inscribed. The B.H.V is just across the street from the Hotel de Ville in Paris, France.
 
Bicentennial Reel A Garcia Mitchell 300 that was repainted by Garcia red, white and blue in 1976 as a presentation gift to select retailers in celebration of America’s 200th Independence Day (1776 – 1976). See our Collector’s Gallery for more information.
 
Big Game Reels Known as the 1000 series, the first three issues – 1040 (4/0), 1060 (6/0) and the 1090 (9/0) were offered in a wood display case. These were sold in both European markets and by Garcia starting in the late sixties. In 1977 Mitchell introduced the 1120 (12/0) that was only distributed in Europe. The 1000 series of big game reels were not made to compete with Penn as some believe, but to compete with the Californian brand also made of anodized aluminium side plates. It is the Mitchell 600 series that was originally designed to compete with Penn. It was later on when Penn came out with their own series to compete against all metal reels! (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)
 
BlackFish The BlackFish reels were made by Mitchell for discount stores and only sold in France. These reels have a Blackfish Sticker followed by B10, B20, B30, B40 and B50. These were less expensive copies of the Mitchell 320, 324, 300, 316 and 386 series reels sold in the seventies.
 
Bronze Series During Browning’s short involvement with Mitchell, a Mitchell Bronze Series was introduced in 1983 which included the 320, 324, 382, 906, 908, 910 and the 440A series reels.
 
C Letter Suffix The letter "C" suffix on model numbers was first used in 1968 on the 300C designed and distributed by Garcia USA only. After Garcia’s involvement, the 300C was manufactured again in the eighties for European distribution. Since the only difference between this reel and the 300 series is bearings in both the Rotating Head and the Handle axis, we assume the “C” stands for this difference.
 
CAP / C.A.P The CAP was originally made exclusively for it’s “inventor - wholesaler" or jobber from Angers, La Canne à Pêche, most likely the largest jobber in France at that time. Carpano & Pons at that time had no direct sales responsibility or territory at all for the CAP reel but did for their own reel referred to then as "The Mitchell", with completely different mechanics and "sexy" looking as well! Carpano & Pons formed "Mitchell" as a seperate corporation in the mid fifties along with the introduction of their own "round Body" called the Mitchell CAP 54. Thus the soon to be called "Mitchell 304" series was born. For more information see the Collector’s Gallery. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)
 
Cross-Wind / CW Cross Wind gears were offered as an alternate to Level Wind gears as far back as the late forties for an extra price. Cross-Wind gearing increased the speed of oscillation or movement of the spool in and out to criss-cross the fishing line on the spool. Although this reduced the amount of line; it limited the risk of line binding. In the early fifties Cross-Wind gearing became the standard. Also see Planamatic for more information.
 
Cutaway Reels Mitchell cutaways were made by Mitchell to be used as sales ad material and as demonstration models for salesmen. For more information see the Collector’s Gallery.
 
Decals See Stickers.
 
DL / Deluxe Models Included are the 300DL, 301DL, 408DL and the 410DL which were made for public distribution. All have gold plating on certain components, a plate on the reel for engraving the owner’s name and a wooden presentation box. There is insurmountable evidence that the first release did not come in a box and was given to select vendors by Garcia as a test market in the late fifties. For more information see our Gallery.
 
Dual Series In 1971 Mitchell was celebrating 20 million reels being sold. Balzer of Germany helped celebrate this event by advertising and selling the first “Dual” series. These were the 500, 508, 510 and 540 offered as a “set” with a matching Conolon rod. Neither the rod or reel had the Balzer name inscribed but instead, the Dual Wedge. Also see Gallery.
 
Egg Shape Term used for the shape of the Mitchell 300, 350, 400, 410, 440, 500, 524, 800 and 900 series reels.
 
Forked Foot In 1968 Mitchell started producing the Mitchell series with a modified “Forked” foot starting with the 510; a modified 410. They later produced the 508 (408), 500 (300), 524 (324) and the 540 (440) with this same foot. A special rod was also made to accept the reels. The first evidence of a Gallery.
 
G Suffix Two gold trim reels were made by Mitchell in 1986/87 for Bass Pro Shops; the 400G and the 408G. The first issues had two serial numbers. One was Alphanumeric located on the foot of both reels. The other was a special serial number written on the side of both reels. Others have been found with no serial number on the foot making us believe these were a second issue made after serial numbering, probably in 1990.
 
Galion Galion was a series of low price reels made at Impecco, France request to begin entrenching against Far Eastern competition. The name was not palatable for the US market so it was changed to Kingfisher. Because of serious mechanical problems with the original versions, name and colour changes were required. Garcia got on this bandwagon fairly late; originally they did not believe there was any need for this series reel. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)
 
Garcia

Charles Garcia & Company, Inc. (1947 - 1955) – The Garcia Corporation (1955 – 1979) - Exclusive distributor of Mitchell for The United States and Canada. Garcia was not originally the Canadian distributor. There was an independent importer working under control of Ets Impecco Paris. This became bothersome at one stage, and then Garcia took control of CDN. Garcia became the owner of Mitchell in June, 1974 and then sold it back to Carpano & Pons in 1977. Garcia Tackle Ltd was the name used for the Impecco subsiderary to distribute Mitchell in the UK. We got license from Garcia to do this. It was not ever a Garcia Europe though, purely British. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)

 
Garcia Wedge Sticker See “Wedge Sticker”.
 
Gearing / Spooling

Mitchell made three types of gear systems affecting spooling during line retrieval. The first was Planamatic gearing which combined the best features of the first two.

 

The various “qualities” of efficiency in the gearing has been a subject of controversy ever since the Cap and 300 were launched. This may seem a little “too much” for the average holiday angler who doesn’t use his equipment with a full knowledge of how to best employ it, but to a confirmed angler and caster the wide spool of the 300 – a unique feature – is the key to the success of the reel along with it’s sex appeal look.

 

If one is expert at handling the reel and doesn’t constantly get his line and lures or bait snarled in the bottom rocks or weeds, then the 300 consistently gave better casting distance potential…and that is what an expert angler is looking for. Maurice Jacquemin then took other routes to design the planamatic, a fairly good substitute.

 

Cross wind is a relatively poor alternative since the covering over of line spires on the spool doesn’t’ make for the best ease on getting away from the reel. Highly technical, I admit, but some anglers in the best qualified markets: GB, Scandinavia, France new the difference. To this knowledgeable group the difference as similar to comparing the casting characteristics of ordinary bamboo rods, and a technical split cane rod… all before plastics and fibreglass of course. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)

 
High Speed Small red, blue or black sticker on the handle of Mitchell 400 and 900 series reels indicating the high retrieve ratio.
 
Impecco The exclusive import-export company for Mitchell France. Impecco Ltd handled The USA and Canada. Impecco France handled the other 85 countries around the world.
 
Intermediate Term used for the Mitchell 306 when introduced in 1958. The reel size was between the 300 and 302 series for heavy freshwater or light to medium saltwater fishing.
 
Inverted Engraving The first versions of the Mitchell 301 and the 303 series reels had Mitchell inverted on the reel due to tooling set for right Hand (RH) models only. Eventually this was corrected on all LH reels.
 
Jacquemin, Maurice The inventor of The Mitchell Fishing Reel 300 series as the designer and chief engineer for Carpano & Pons Company from the early thirties.
 
JWA / Johnson Worldwide Associates JWA acquired Mitchell in 1990.
 
K Kits Starting in 1953/1954 Garcia made up Mitchell 300 reel kits with special Garcia tackle boxes. These kits also included many other items such as lures, fishing line, grease and much more. Garcia soon expanded these to other models. For more information see Garcia Kits in our Gallery.
 
Kilt In the early sixties the Kilt reels were made by Mitchell as a private brand for Nouvelles Galeries and Galeries Lafayette; a major French traditional chain store which use to cover all major cities in France. These reels have Kilt in place of Mitchell engraved followed by a 0 for the 300, 4 for the 304 and 6 for the 306 Mitchell series reels. You will also find several Galion series reels with the KILT insignia. JP Gumprich
 
Kingfisher Galion was the original name of this series of low price reels made at Impecco, France request to begin entrenching against Far Eastern competition. The name was not palatable for the US market so it was called Kingfisher. Because of serious mechanical problems with the original versions, name and colour changes were required. Garcia got on this bandwagon fairly late; originally they did not believe there was any need for this series reel. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)
 
Kirk Odo

The Odo Manufacturing Plant in France was (believed to be) a subcontractor for Mitchell at a time when plant production capacities were limited and sales began to peak in the fifties. When “jilted” by C & P they decided to do things their own way and started making their own reel called Kirk-Odo. With only 20,000 units made; Impecco picked up the export/import and Garcia began marketing of this reel but had the name changed to Kroyden. The reasons behind the names Kirk-Odo and then Kroyden can only be speculative. Though this reel was never part of "Mitchell" it is part of Mitchell's history. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)

 
Kroyden See Kirk Odo
 
L Suffix In the late sixties, Garcia sold a Mitchell 440 and 441 in The UK but only had the words Garcia Mitchell Match inscribed on the reel with no series number. The letter L was inscribed next to the word Match on the left hand “LH” version.
 
Level-Wind The very first Mitchell reel had Level-Wind gear for line retrieval. Due to a very slow oscillation of the spool’s motion in and out; the line was distributed evenly on the spool. The problem with this type of gearing was line binding. Also see Planamatic for more information.
 
LH A term used for Left Hand reels also called right hand wind or odd numbered reels.
 
Lightning Cast First made in 1983/84 by Mitchell for Browning during Browning’s short involvement. Browning decided to “bring back the Mitchell 440A because it never gained the popularity it deserves.” This reel was the Mitchell 440A Lightning Cast commonly called the “ALC”. First versions were Match Grade quality and also available was the 441A Lightning Cast in very limited quantities.
 
Match Term used mainly in The UK for Competition Coarse Fishing. Mitchell also made several reels specifically designed for this event with the word Match engraved in script. These include but are not limited to; the 440 and 840 series Match Reels.
 
Match Grade The early versions of Match Reels.
 
Match Reels In the late sixties through the eighties Mitchell made several versions of Match Casting reels on the 440 and 840 series models. These reels have the word Match Grade.
 
MIB Abbreviation for Mint in Box which should mean the reel has only a tiny amount of shelf wear from age and never used. It should also be in the original box it was sold in. Serial numbers are very important to determine this as well as the correct spool and all other components. The problem with this is a lot of people use this term that have no idea what it means. Others that do know what it means TRY to make up “Frankenstein” reels MIB. Buyers Beware!
 
Milbro This is an abbreviation for Millard Brothers of Scotland, a large fishing tackle company with close affiliation with Mitchell France documented as far back as 1946/47. In those days they were wholesaler N° 1 for the whole North of the British and Scottish nations. They were also one of the very few retailers and wholesalers allowed to sell Mitchell reels due to these old friendships. They also came out with a few Mitchell reels with their Milbro Sticker attached. Needless to say they were quite disappointed when Barrie Welham opened shop in The UK with Garcia Tackle. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)
 
Millard Brothers Millard Brothers of Scotland, see Milbro.
 
Mint A term used to describe the condition in appearance as near new looking with very tiny shelf wear only. Beware when someone uses this term Mint for its age. Good close up photographs say a lot!
 
MP See PUM.
 
N Suffix Mitchell stopped making the 302 series reels in 1974 and in 1968 they had started making the 386 series saltwater reel. In 1975 they renamed the 386 series to the 302N series. We can only speculate that due to good sales volumes of the 402 and 386 series, this was a necessary step.
 
NIB Abbreviation for New in Box which should mean the reel has no shelf wear from age and never used. It should also be in the original Mint condition box it was sold in with complete packaging including the owner’s manual, warranty cards and so on. Serial numbers are very important to determine this as well as the correct spare spool and all other components. The problem with this is a lot of people use this term that have no idea what it means. Others that do know what it means TRY to make up “Frankenstein” reels NIB. Buyers Beware!
 
Odd Numbered Reels Left Hand LH version were given Odd as opposed to even model numbers for ease of identification. Example: The 300 / 301 models.
 
Otomatic A derivative of the word Automatic, the first Auto Bailwas the Mitchell Otomatic (no number) first released in 1955. It was the predecessor to all future Auto Bails made by Mitchell. At a time when the numerical sequence had not yet been adopted for the growing Mitchell range of reels Carpano & Pons “Mitchell” thought they should find suitable names, and protect then against copiers. Under French patent laws one could not protect a common dictionary word (automatic) so they chose the derivative word Otomatic. The name changed in 1957 to Mitchell with Otomatic 330 underneath. In the late sixties the name changed to Mitchell 330 with just Otomatic underneath. Garcia’s version changed these to just Garcia Mitchell 330 in the early sixties which stayed the same throughout their history. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)
 
P Letter Suffix on Conventional Reels First used in 1963 on the original 600 Series Mitchell reels that were specially designed for saltwater casting but with a plastic (P) spool.
 
Page In 1964 Mitchell decided to make their first economy reel. It was introduced at first without the Mitchell name called Page. These were made in limited quantities and soon became the Mitchell 320 series. Garcia introduced the Garcia Mitchell 320 in 1967.
 
Pecos The Pecos reel was designed and sold by Pêcheur Ecossais, a fishing tackle shop in Paris, with the "assistance" of Carpano & Pons. It is believed by some this reel was made prior to the first version
 
Planamatic Gearing

A revolution for Mitchell was their Planamatic Gearing for the CAP reel in the early fifties. This gearing combined the best features of both the old Maurice Jacquemin who still worked for Carpano & Pons in those days. You will see these confusing Patents but under French ownership and patent laws in those days, if you invented something while employed by a corporation; the CEO or owner of the company was entitled to the patent in his name. (Updated October 5th, 2008 by JP Gumprich)

 

Footnote: JP has told me several wonderful stories about his good friend Maurice in confidence. I look forward to his book! WWC

 
PM See PUM.
 
Prince In the late fifties the Mitchell 308 series was introduced mainly for the European market as the Prince. Mitchell 308 was engraved on the housing right over a raised cast in the Housing that looks like FRONCE only on these first versions. A Prince sticker was placed on the cover plate. These same stickers were placed later on the High Speed 358 series for a very short period of time.
 
Prisu In the late sixties the Prisu series reels were made by Mitchell for a chain store in France. These reels have Prisu stickers (no Mitchell) followed by a 0 for the 300; 4 for the 340 and 6 for the 306 Mitchell series reels. The Prisu 4 is identical to the Arca M40 except for the sticker.
 
Pro Africa In 1997 Mitchell Sports of France along with Collector’s Gallery.
 
PRO Suffix A standard Mitchell reel made in the eighties by Mitchell Sports but improved in appearance, mechanically and with special packaging. Some people including us believe these were used to entice professional fishermen to use Mitchell reels.
 
Profile 50 In the mid eighties Mitchell made these very unusual reels in limited quantities for use with cane poles.
 
Promatic This reel is a combination of a 300 PRO with an
 
Provenance Proof of authenticity and/or of past original ownership when used with antiques such as Mitchell Reels. These are normally letters of authenticity from the owners and absolutely never hearsay or rumors. Provenance can also be established by memories of those who were there or by close and exact examination by an expert of known existing reels. Correct serial numbers also establishes Provenance in most cases but not all. All Mitchell reels with Provenance are far more valuable than those without.
 
PUM This most common term was for the Pick Up Manual (a French term) which started its popularity in Europe. These were fixed Roller Line Guide as opposed to the Full Bail system. Other abbreviations were MP for Manual Pickup and PM for Pickup Manual.
 
Pure Fishing Already known for being highly involved with Abu-Garcia, Fenwick, Berkley and many other fishing tackle products; Pure Fishing acquired Mitchell in 2000.
 
Quartz Reel Mitchell made a very nice presentation quality reel in the mid nineties in limited quantities called The Mitchell 330 Quartz which can be seen in our Collector’s Gallery. Mitchell has used the term Quartz since then on other much less desirable reels.
 
Rapid Rapid was engraved on the first High Speed (5:1) 300 series reel. The first issue did not have a model number but just Mitchell Rapid. This reel soon became the 350 5/1 in 1957.
 
RD Suffix Term used on Mitchell reels with an adjustable Rear Drag.
 
Red, White & Blue Mitchell 300 See Bicentennial Reel.
 
Reels Wedge Sticker See Wedge Sticker.
 
RK Kits Starting in 1953/1954 Garcia made up Mitchell 300 rod and reel kits with special packaging. These kits also included many other items such as lures, fishing line, grease and much more. Garcia soon expanded these to other models. For more information see Garcia Kits in our Gallery.
 
Round Bodies A term used to describe Mitchell reels where the Gear Housing in round by design. There are many examples starting with the original CAP and on throughout the evolution of this reel including the 304, 314 and 340 series reel.
 
S Suffix This suffix to a Mitchell reel’s model number was first used on the 304S with unfounded claims to stand for saltwater because of its durability for light saltwater use. When used on a reel with a skirted spool; it seams to designate “Skirted Spool” but Mitchell also made this kind of spool on other models without the "S" Suffix. This will always be subject to debate.
 
Salt Water Mitchell’s first version of a saltwater reel was the 302 series affectionately called The Salt Water. “Salt Water” was engraved on the 302 series and the high speed version 402 series. Mitchell made several other versions for saltwater use.
 
Season Mitchell France had their production runs from September 1st of one year through July 31st of the following year which gave the workers the month of August off for holiday. This was and still is common practice in France for all businesses. Due to the lapse over two years, Mitchell referred to their runs as “Seasons” instead of years.
 
Serial Numbers All Mitchell reels from 1949/50 through 1988/89 have serial numbers stamped on them in manufacturing sequence. In some very early models you will also find these on the back of the Housing or on the Cover Plates for the 302 series. Some exceptions are those made prior to 1949, Prototypes, Tournament Reels made for professional use and other Presentation Super Rare reels. Also see Alphanumeric Serial Numbers.
 
Special Wedge Sticker See Wedge Sticker.
 
Stickers Many Stickers were used on Mitchell reels for aesthetic and informative use. Due to poorly made aftermarket copies of these; stickers should not increase values except for one. These were the original ones first placed on reels to designate which wholesale “Distributor” was marketing Mitchell reels prior to engraving. The first to do this was Albatros followed by Garcia. Balzer and Arca started doing the same for a short period of time. All eventually had their name or Logo engraved directly on the reels. Balzer came back in the late sixties with another sticker. For more information see Wedge Stickers.
 
Super BHV See BHV
 
Super Cap The first Mitchell 314 was advertised (only) as the Super Cap. The Super was due to the much improved design over the 304 and the CAP was due to Mitchell still using the old style 304 housings with Collector’s Gallery.
 
Tool Kits Starting in the late fifties Garcia made up Dealer Tool Kits with special packaging. These kits included all the tools needed to work on Mitchell reels. For more information see Garcia Kits in our Gallery.
 
Tournament Casters See Match.
 
Tournament Reels Professional casting competition became very popular in the sixties mainly in The UK. This included “Skish” or more commonly referred to as Accuracy Casting and the ever popular Distance Casting. In the late sixties Mitchell started their own line of the high quality and very expensive reels. These were highly modified 300 series with special gearing and in all cases included an extra gear. This gear reversed the rotation of the Rotating Head which enabled the caster to use his finger for easy line control during a cast if needed. They would also have a locking mechanism on the Handle’s axis to lock it in place to not be disqualified for movement which was not allowed. These Tournament Reels also incorporated the use of two or more Manual Pickups for perfect line placement on the spool. Made for Professional Casters only and never sold to the general public; these reels are highly prized in collections but not to be confused with standard models with aftermarket tournament style spools.
 
Trigger Drag A trigger located under the reel on the Mitchell RD Rear Drag spinning reel series. By gently applying pressure with a finger, this would tighten the drag friction when landing a fish.
 
UL Suffix See Ultra Light.
 
Ultra Light Like the term Round Bodies were the true first Ultra Light reels by Mitchell, this term never applied to them. In the nineties Mitchell made the 310 with a UL Suffix which stood for Ultra Light.
 
Wedge Sticker This is any sticker used by Garcia and Mitchell that’s wedge shaped by design. The first use was the Garcia Wedge Sticker first used in the fifties. These were first used as advertisement and on Garcia Mitchell reels boxes and eventually used directly on reels. This became Garcia’s Logo that was red with the word Garcia in white. The next use of this wedge design was by Mitchell with the word Special in white on red background. These Special Wedge Stickers were first placed on rods special made for the Stickers.
 
White Mitchell A one of a kind called The Lady Mitchell 300. For more information see our Collector’s Gallery.
 
X Kits Starting in 1959/1960 Garcia made up Mitchell 300 reel kits with special packaging called the Mitchell 300X on the box only. The Letter X stood for X-tra parts. Garcia later expanded these to other models. For more information see Garcia Kits in our Gallery.
 
X Suffix Starting in the late nineties Mitchell made an attempt to bring back the good old Mitchell by using old model numbers followed by the letter X. Due to quality issues, it didn’t work.
 


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