Mitchell Collectors International


Searching for Mitchell "Gold" can be as elusive and captivating as the real thing! Collectors and Mitchell DL specialist would agree locating these "gems" wears down even the most ardent collectors. For 25 years, Mitchell produced in limited quantities a special series of gold enhanced reels that were sold as either Deluxe models (DL) or Gold Presentation (G) series. These fine examples of aesthetically enhanced gold plated reels are the top prize for many collectors who may spend years trying to secure a few pieces for their collection.

Of the many different models and versions listed, each has their own unique history and development that separates them from the others. The combination of limited production and their original higher price are the contributing factors as to why so few are in circulation. Mitchell, at times, used these Presentation reels to mark an occasion or to give as gifts to select individuals. A number of different versions exist with special inscription, ornate scrollwork, and unique embellishments commemorating those special situations. These special versions, including Mitchell’s regular DL & G series, combine to make collecting these very beautiful pieces an art form. There are collectors that just specialise in this one type of model and nothing else.

There has always been speculation that Mitchell made other DL reels but for whatever reason, their existence was never validated. One of those mystery reels was a 308 DL manufactured for the UK market. There is also research into the possibility that Mitchell made a 440 DL given to select individuals on a very limited basis. We also heard of the existence of a Model 900 Presentation. Based on what we know about Mitchell, we are sure they produced other special issue reels over the last 60 years that we have yet to discover.

The "G" series was an interesting addition to the Presentation models. This was the first time Mitchell provided custom-designed reels for a specific vendor. Bass Pro™, a US sporting goods Retail Company, had two different models customised into a proprietary design specifically for sale by Bass Pro. These two models were based on the very popular DL presentation series originally offered by Garcia. The debate as to the rarest version of the DL regular series brings much discussion. Consensus is the 408DL takes top honours and the 408G a close second. The 301DL was the only right-hand wind Presentation reel produced by Mitchell for Garcia in the US. It was speculated that a 498DL model existed. This was never substantiated and I doubt very much that Mitchell ever completed such a reel. We also know of special issue DL made for the Vatican as a gift inscribed in Latin, as well as a pair of DLs given to US astronauts for the lunar landing in 1971. The list goes on.

Most collectors do not realise that the DLs originally produced by Mitchell are also part of a larger DL family. We will not go into the particulars but the following DLs are considered family. Abu 1500CDL, 2500CDL, 3500CDL, 4600CDL, 5000CDL, 6000CDL, 7000CDL, 8000CDL, 10,000CDL, and Abu Cardinal 33CDL. Garcia introduced these ABU models in the 1960’s.

Garcia Mitchell 300 DL (1961-1974)

Mitchell 300DL

Officially released in 1961, Mitchell presented their first Presentation, gold trimmed, DL (Deluxe) spinning reel. Initially, the catalogues listed the reel with a 15cm x 30cm oak presentation box but it appears this was just an artist rendition. The actual box size was 15cm x 15cm when released in the summer of 1962. This first version was fitted with the original chevron type anti-reverse system and "4-Star" gold painted drag nut. Gold plating was added to most of the external components and trim, including an attached nameplate. This first version was only offered in the US & Canada. Approximately 4000 reels were manufactured during this period.

Garcia Mitchell 300 DL (1975-1976)

 Garcia Mitchell 300DL 1st version

 Mitchell’s second version of the 300DL incorporated their new lever style anti-reverse mechanism and "3 star" gold painted drag-nut, which was now being utilised on all Mitchell reels. Marketing for this reel was limited to the US, Canada, & the UK. What is interesting about this particular version was the short amount of time it was offered - 2 years - with an estimated production of less than 500 units. It was towards the end of 1976 when production was discontinued on all DL models. For a number of years, speculation was that a special issue 300DL was released by Garcia Mitchell to commemorate the US Bicentennial. Unfortunately, the existence of this special engraved issue is unconfirmed.

Mitchell 300 DL (1962-1974)

 Garcia Mitchell 300DL 2nd version

Mitchell, in 1962, produced a generic version of the 300DL. This reel was available only in Europe and was inscribed "Mitchell 300DL" without the addition of a vendor’s name. Not too many were manufactured by Mitchell (approximately 4000) which adds to the overall collectors’ value. Packaging was in the standard 15cm x 15cm oak presentation box. Theory has it that Mitchell might have made a second version of this model having the lever style anti reverse & 3-star drag knob. Currently, there is no documentation to support the theory of a second generic version.

Mitchell 300 Balzer DL (1964-1974)

Mitchell 300DL &quo

Balzer, a German vendor of Mitchell products, primarily issued the Balzer 300DL in Germany in limited quantities. What distinguishes this version from other 300 DLs is the inscribed Balzer logo on the body of the reel above the handle. Essentially, the reel was a generic 300DL with the addition of the Balzer identification logo affixed to the cover plate. Reel is fitted with the old style anti reverse lever and "4-star" drag knob. It appears at this time that only Garcia & Balzer applied their logo to the DL series. There may also be a second version of this model with the new style anti reverse lever. Very few made during this period.

Garcia Mitchell 301DL (1966 – 1976)

 Garcia Mitchell 301DL

The only vendor that Mitchell made a "South Paw" (right-hand wind) version of the DL model was for Garcia. The 301DL was produced in very limited quantities and was marketed in the US & Canada. A few 301DLs were distributed in the UK through Garcia Ltd. Of the many DL / Presentation models offered by Mitchell, the 301DL was the only right hand wind presentation model ever produced. Listed in the 1977 catalogues but not available after 1976. Less the 500 produced.

Garcia Mitchell 300 DL Commemorative Issue (1974)

Mitchell 300DL &quo

The story behind this reel is very interesting. Mitchell produced approximately 25 of these specially engraved 300DLs to commemorate June 17, 1974, which was the day Garcia became principal ownerof Mitchell of France. These 25 reels are a single day’s production & inscribed "Garcia Mitchell 300 DL - June 17, 1974". Another interesting fact about this model is that not all of the 25 reels have the gold nameplate on top of the reel housing. Why Mitchell did this is not sure, but it appears in the rush to provide these 25 reels on that day, the nameplate on a few pieces were not attached. This is the first time we see a 300DL with the new lever style anti reverse system, 3-star design drag nut & roller line guide. It was also the last time a roller guide was used on a 300DL.

Mitchell 400 G Limited Edition Series (1987)

Mitchell 400G

The 400G represents the first issue of a presentation / gold reel made for a vendor since the original DL series was discontinued years before. Mitchell manufactured 1000 of these reels exclusively for Bass Pro™, an American sporting goods company, from the mid-west. Bass Pro, wanting a very different look, opted to print the letter "G" (Gold), next to the model number for their new Limited Edition Presentation Gold series. Similar in detail to the earlier DL models yet the 400G is a very different reel. Mitchell Sports manufactured this reel utilising a standard black body 400-model aesthetically enhanced with gold-plated trim. Each reel is unique having a sequential serial number printed on the face of the body. Sold exclusively by Bass Pro in the US.

Garcia Mitchell 410 DL (1971-1974)

 Garcia Mitchell 410DL 1st version

With the great success of the 300 DL, Mitchell decided to introduce a fast retrieve version to compliment their initial offering. Mitchell’s new entry into their DL series was the introduction of the 410DL in 1971. Mitchell, achieving great success with this reel, sold out all inventories made during those years. What is interesting is the fact that less than 1600 units were manufactured. The 410 DL was the first model in the presentation series that is painted mid-night blue. This version was sold in the US, Canada, & the UK.

Garcia Mitchell 410 DL (1975-1976)

 Garcia Mitchell 410DL 2nd version

Mid-way through production, Mitchell had modified the 410DL with a roller line guide in lieu of a tungsten guide found on early versions. Why Mitchell decided on this one change mid-stream is not certain. The 410 DL & 300 DL were the only two models that were manufactured in a generic form, no vendor name. Production numbers for this and the first version are combined for the total as indicated above. It appears the roller guide version is the rarer of the two with approximately 300 reels sold.

"Special" Mitchell 410 DL (1974-1976)

Mitchell 410DL &quo

The 410DL was the only Presentation reel other than the 300DL that was made in the generic form without a vendor’s inscription. Marketed exclusively in Europe with distribution handled by Arca of Belgium, Albatros of the Netherlands, & Balzer of Germany. Mitchell opted for a sticker printed with the word "Special" used in place of a vendor’s logo, or in some cases placed over the vendors inscribed name. Other parts of Europe also sold this model but we are not sure if the reels were acquired from Mitchell or from one of the three vendors listed above. The UK versions had either "Garcia" or "Special" indicated on the reel. Less than 500 sold of this version.

Garcia Mitchell 410 DL Global (1971)

Mitchell 410DL &quo

Probably the rarest of the rare in terms of a presentation series. Only two were made! Presented in 1971 to Mr Robert Mimeur, General Manager of Mitchell France and to Mr. Louis DeSimmone, owner of Impecco Ltd of NY. Impecco was the importing arm for Garcia Mitchell in the US. This 410DL Global was made special by Mitchell to commemorate the 20 millionth reel sold during 1971 & Mitchell’s jubilee. What makes this reel so unique is that all the countries where Mitchell sold their product are inscribed on the reel’s rotor. Included with this inscription on the body is the additional inscription of 20,000,000 reels. Mitchell was recognised for producing special issue reels for different occasions. Reel is fitted with a special oak presentation box.

Garcia Mitchell 408 DL (1971-1976)

Mitchell 408DL

Mitchell, wanting to expand their DL presentation series, decided to introduce an ultra light version. In 1971, they offered on a very limited basis the 408DL in the US & Europe. Demand for this reel was "off the charts" even with a selling price of $125.00 US! Dealers were given very few based on a quota system which made demand for these reels go even higher. That 125.00 US dollar retail price of yesteryear is equivalent to 500 US dollars or 350 British pounds in today’s economy. Less than 650 manufactured in the few short years of production. Always considered the golden child of the Mitchell DL family, the 408DL may be the rarest of all regular issue DLs.

Mitchell 408 G (1987)

Mitchell 408G

Mitchell manufactured only two versions of the "G" series. Of the two, the 408G represents the rarest of the pair. Both marketed at the same time with approximately 1000 reels manufactured by Mitchell for Bass Pro™ Sporting Goods in 1987. Not being able to use the DL inscription, Bass Pro opted to imprint the letter "G" next to the model number to indicate Gold series! The reel is similar in gold trim as compared to the earlier 408DL model. Manufactured by the Mitchell Sports regime utilising a standard black body 408 that was aesthetically enhanced with gold plating & trim. Each reel was unique having a sequential serial number on the face of the body next to the model number. The "G" series was only offered for one year making it almost as rare as the 408DL!

Mitchell 300 Silver Presentation (1971)

Mitchell 300 Silver Presentation

This particular model produced by Mitchell was very special. It was not available to the public, only for private distribution. Approximately 20 silver-plated model 300’s, serial numbered and mounted into a special frame, were produced to commemorate Mitchell’s Jubilee & 20 million reels sold by Mitchell of France. The year was 1971 when Mitchell developed these special presentation reels for select corporate officials & others to celebrate the occasion. The entire reel is silver-plated and polished. The combination of low volume, precious metal coating, and the extreme scarcity of these reels place them in select company with collectors.

Mitchell 300 Gold Presentation (1971)

Mitchell 300 Gold Presentation

One has to look no farther than the great success of Mitchell of France to underscore the reasoning behind the making of this special presentation reel. To celebrate Mitchell’s Jubilee Anniversary & 20 million reels sold, approximately five of these unbelievable reels were completed. Presented to the top executives of Mitchell & Garcia, these 24K gold-plated 300 models with special encasements were gifted to these individuals. Each recipient’s name was etched on a nameplate mounted on the frame. The combination of low volume, precious metal coatings, and the extreme scarcity brings the value of these reels into a league all their own. Photo shown is not the actual reel but is almost identical except for colouring.

Garcia Mitchell 300DL (1964) (Special Gold Presentation)

Mitchell 300DL Scrolled

In 1964, Mitchell designed a one-of-a-kind special presentation reel decoratively scrolled with gold plating inlay. This was given to the editor of the "Fishermen’s Digest" and appeared on the cover of the 1964 edition of the magazine. Mitchell at times produced customised works of art for various occasions for select individuals. This reel was embellished with a raised motif of fish on the rotor and raised scrollwork on the body and rotor. Gold trim was used following the DL format and the recipient’s name engraved on the attached nameplate. A customised rod was made special for this one-of-a kind reel, an extraordinary piece!

Mitchell 330 Quartz Gold Presentation (1997)

Mitchell 330 &quo

A recent addition into the presentation series, Mitchell in 1997 released for the first & probably the last time, a gold series reel. One of the unique features of this reel is the two-tone black & steel grey patterned paint finish. Mitchell manufactured a limited edition 330 gold series (a non-auto bail) model. Having modest gold plating, the 330 Gold represents a tradition by Mitchell since 1961. This is the first gold presentation Mitchell offered since 1987 and will probably be the last in a long line of tradition by Mitchell. It is doubtful Mitchell will produce presentation versions in the future; all egg-shape models are no longer manufactured as of 2000. This model came with an eye catching plastic presentation case with additional spools. All sets are sequentially serial numbered. Approximately 2500 were issued.

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