1960's Garcia Mitchell 300's restoration

These two reels belonged to my grandfather originally and have been passed down to me by my dad. I began the restoration yesterday.





Opened up



Setup shop outside with my two boys playing around in the warm spring air. These guys will get these reels eventually.








The next step is a deep cleaning. Pics to follow.
The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus

Replies

  • FibberMckeeFibberMckee Posts: 12,837 Officer
    Please note that "1960's Garcia Mitchell 300's" had the old style 'boomerang' V-shaped AR lever.
    1960's Garcia Mitchell 300's restoration

    The new style 'straight' AR lever & appearance of engraved Garcia appeared in ~1972. The black plastic AR pawl & later drag knob suggest mid 70's vintage.

    Can't tell for sure from the pic, but it looks like reel might have never been opened & still held only its original grease.

    Be careful with the delicate shims.
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    Interesting. My source says that straight style AR levers began in '68. http://mobile.mitchellreelmuseum.com/?sid=a0cf3f0ffce4f1d6cb47903122eff8af#3082


    The 7th version main determining factor was that the anti-reverse lever has changed to a straight lever. The “3-0-0” is now enlarged with the dashes omitted making it “300” on both the Garcia and European release of this version. On very early 7th versions for a very short period of time; you will find a straight A/R lever on cover plates with the 3-0-0 still being engraved.This version was produced from 1968 through 1976 with serial numbers starting in the 7900000 range up to serial number 9999999 in 1970/71. In the 1971/72 production season they made a decision to go back to letter prefixes on serial numbers. This would mean easy identification of dating reels starting with 1971/72 have an “A” prefix, 1972/73 having a letter “B” prefix and so on. More on this later as time permits.It’s important to note that you will find other distributor’s have their name and or logo engraved on this version including Arca, Albatros and Balzer. Pictures are being taken and will be added as time permits.



    I will look into it further though. As of now my main reference is my father's memory of when the reels were purchased.

    I also think this is the first time they have been opened, and those shims are delicate looking.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • Lunch Money SurfLunch Money Surf Posts: 1,029 Officer
    AWESOME THREAD

    Looking forward to watching this restoration
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 9,679 Moderator
    Cool. Had one for years. My first reel was a 304 back in the 60's. The tarpon in Key West harbour were amused .

    Good luck with the resto.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • ontheedge5658ontheedge5658 Posts: 2,663 Captain
    I still have one that I bought in 1971. I still have the Red and Black box that it came in. It still works to this day. The reels back then last longer then the ones they build now. Great posts and looking forward to additional pics.
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    Thanks guys. It's a fun little project.

    I did some more research into the production dates of my reels. I've been meaning to do this for a while. The original title of this thread stands as a 1960's reel restoration. The serial number on one of the reels confirms it was manufactured in 1968. The other reel unfortunately has lost paint due to corrosion where the serial number is located. The reels were purchased at the same time so I believe it to be a '68 model as well.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • avmechavmech Posts: 1,277 Officer
    I had both a 300 and a 400 (high speed), both with the V anti reverse lever back in the mid 60s. Gave the 300 to my dad bunch of years later, and the 400 went to the West Palm Fishing Club about 12 years ago.

    Easy reels to service too.
    Joined: Oct 7 2002
    Member #10822
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    Correction...my serial number indicates the reel is manufactured in 1969.


    1968 – SN 7959216 to 8570524 (SN 7959216 was the earliest 7th Version I’ve found)

    1969 – SN 8603501 to 92447331970

    1970 - SN 9295633 to 9963012

    When nearing 10 million "Classic Egg-Shaped" reels made; in 1971 Mitchell reverted back to their original alphanumeric serial numbers with a wide variety of digit combination's. This makes it very easy to date these reels by just the serial number letter prefix. These started in 1971 with the letter “A” prefix and so on. Interesting to know that in 1971 Mitchell also celebrated the 20-Millionth Mitchell reel manufactured in Cluses, France.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    I've cleaned up the guts of the reel pretty well. Time to tackle the exterior.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,268 Officer
    Interesting thread. My first reel was a Mitchell 300 and my dad had one as well. That was in the mid 70's but I have no clue how long he had them before my memories. Awesome reels that is for sure. Gonna have to ask him if he still has them.
    Thanks for some great memories.
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    I would like to solicit an opinion from anyone interested. I found a person who restores these reels. He sandblasts the original paint off and repaints them. I've seen examples of his work and it looks authentic. I'm torn between doing this or keeping the original paint. The original paint is blistering and flaking off in some spots, but it is original. I'm planning to keep these as display only as sentimental pieces. Most collectors would frown upon a repainted reel, but I'm not looking to sell these reels. It costs $15-20 per reel for the repainting and 'tune up'.

    Any thoughts?
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • utyerutyer Posts: 8 Greenhorn
    Just an opinion, I would keep it as is. The finish has a "history." If your keeping it, you want to keep the history intact.
    We have met the enemy and he is us. Pogo by Walt Kelly
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,391 Admiral
    I would customize them however you want. Makes ya feel good to catch fish on something that was handed down to you. (but that's just my opinion)

    Pompano Joe does excellent work with the paint.

    https://www.facebook.com/pompanojoes.reelworks

    http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/2821305-post1.html

    So does this guy - cajun creationz.

    http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/2806601-post13.html
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,391 Admiral
    You also have to consider the market is flooded with those reels. They made hundreds of thousands of those back in the day ,if not a million +. You might want to keep those the way they are for sentimental value. Maybe pick up some more off these forums or ebay to customize and use ? Because they are fun to use with mono.
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,261 Officer
    How many do you want, I have a herd of them. Not all are in good condition but the paint is still there. Up until 10 years ago I still used a couple of them, usually 308s.
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    Thanks guys. I'm torn between repainting them or leaving them as is. I'm leaning heavily towards leaving as is though. Has that retro look that's en vogue right now. Lol. This project has stalled big time lately. If anyone has a couple rods that are from the late sixties I might be interested. Im probably going to use these as wall hangers.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Mitchells were the first spinning reels my family ever owned and this goes back to the '50's. If my memory serves me, they started production in the late 40's and the very first 300's had a half-bail. I never owned one, but a friend had one. Yours being a 60's model, I think has the carborundum line roller....which doesn't roll and was not designed to, in the first place. Is yours grooved? We used our 300's and then the higher geared 350, for striped bass, bluefish and bonito, on Cape Cod and the Vineyard. Hard use like that is what grooved the line roller. Wish I had a nickel for every time I have taken one of those apart for cleaning/greasing.

    Oh.....I agree with the others about not re-painting the reels. Keep them as they are.
    .......Rick
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,261 Officer
    I know what you mean about the line roller. I used to turn them over several times to put the grooves in other places. I also have a 1/2 bail model and a couple of 410s which have ball bearing rotors and higher speed gearing. Great reels.
  • mitchellmastermitchellmaster Posts: 363 Officer
    Looks great leave them original or modify them don't matter i love using vintage reels.You and your kids will have fun fishing them.
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    Looks great leave them original or modify them don't matter i love using vintage reels.You and your kids will have fun fishing them.

    Interesting reel. Customized by yourself?
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
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