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Post 26 Jul 2022, 23:32 • #1 
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Joined: 12/20/17
Posts: 8
Location: US-MI
From my research, I have a 1957 Garcia Mitchell 300 (made in France) spinning reel that was given to me by my dad. It has sat in the equipment cabinet for a number of years and would like to get it back into use.

The easy option is to throw it on one of my existing rods, which are modern-ish, low end rods. A part of me thought it might be cool to get my hands on a Garcia Conolon rod from that era, but I know nothing about these rods. Were they any good then? Would they be considered any good now? There seems to be a market on the auction sites, so also wondering what they are worth? Here are the rods mentioned in the owners manual I have for a potenial pairing:

#2101 - 6.5' - Light Action - 4-10# line - 1/4-1/2 oz. lure
#2102 - 7' - Medium Action - 6-10# line - 3/8-5/8 oz. lure
#2112 - 7' - Medium Fast Taper Action - 8-15# line - 5/8-1 1/4 oz. lure
#2508 - 6.5' - Light Fast Taper Action - 4-8# line - 1/4-1/2 oz. lure
#2609 - 6.5' - Light Fast Taper Action - 4-10# line - 1/4-5/8 oz. lure

I have dabbled in rod building, so a bigger stretch would be to create a rod that resembles an old Conolon but has modern materials and technology. This would be fun but a pricier and more time consuming approach that would be tough to make feasible.

Thanks for any help!


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Post 27 Jul 2022, 00:39 • #2 
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Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7539
Location: Holly Springs, NC
What type of fishing do you prefer? What test line? What lures?

My recollection is the 300 is one of the larger reels in the Mitchell line up.


Tom


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Post 27 Jul 2022, 06:35 • #3 
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Joined: 12/20/17
Posts: 8
Location: US-MI
Quote:
What type of fishing do you prefer? What test line? What lures?

My recollection is the 300 is one of the larger reels in the Mitchell line up.


I would call the 300 a medium size spinning reel, in general. I used it for years as my main reel for everything - bass, panfish, etc. I know there were smaller reels in the Mitchell line but do not know if there was anything bigger.

It does have large and small capacity spools for heavier (8-15 lb.) and lighter (4-6 lb.) lines.

I'm usually throwing crankbaits like Rapalas, Bombers, and similar. I have been spending some more time with plastics like Senkos, swimming baits, etc.


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Post 27 Jul 2022, 06:44 • #4 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18216
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Mitchell came with both deep spool and shallow spool, the drag is light - it will fish L to MH - 6-lb on the shallow spool; 15-lb on the deep.
Size-wise, it followed the CAP, the 308 was almost an afterthought.
Mitchell never made the line of stepped reel sizes that Penn delivered in Spinfisher.

The masthead photo is a 440 Ottomatic (same frame as 300) matched with Conolon 2601B, 7' Light Action, Fast Taper.

Image


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Post 27 Jul 2022, 07:11 • #5 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2097
Location: US-IL
Everyone used them here in the upper Midwest.I still manually close spinning reels as I had the hand me down reels with messed up bails .The GC rods and Eagle Claws were all we used.300s were for bass catfish etc.308s for panfish stocked trout and our favorite to eat Lake Michigan perch.I gave my brother a new in the black and red 301 and a new in the tube medium heavy GC rod with agate guides for his 50th.All we had back in the day were hand me downs with broken bails and missing guides and short tips.Him being a lefty never knew there left handed versions of mitchell reels.Our gramps gave us casting rods with green Johnson spin cast reels we were thrilled and they worked great.I have a dozen or so GC rods as they were pretty common but not seeing them very much these days.My friend who runs a local bait shop just sold off half a case of those auto bail Mitchells. NIB at 150 a piece .Was hard not to buy one


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Post 27 Jul 2022, 08:22 • #6 
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Joined: 08/10/05
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
The beauty of the 440 Ottomatic is it's the only Mitchell that will manual-bail, but not the subject of this thread.


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Post 27 Jul 2022, 09:00 • #7 
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Joined: 08/19/16
Posts: 275
Location: Brazil
I've had no experience with Garcia Conolon spinning rods, but in my opinion the fly rods were pretty good, so that may be some indication. A quick check shows that GC spinning rods are available on eBay at reasonable prices so it may be worthwhile to try one just for curiosity's sake.

The Garcia Mitchell reels were indeed available in larger sizes such as the 306 (big) and 302 (probably the biggest). My favorites of the bunch were the 308/408.


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Post 27 Jul 2022, 10:45 • #8 
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Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1628
Location: urban Colorado
I have the #2503 Ultra light action, it's a fun little rod. The fast taper action tends to produce a very 'tippy' rod action, the bend stops around the middle of the rod.. personally this isn't my favorite, prefer a rod with a fuller bend. So of your list I'd be inclined to go for the #2101 that doesn't have the fast taper.



My favorite Mitchell is the 308, have one bought new in 1974 and still fishing it. A friend gave me an old 300 which I need to service and get fishing, but it's a bit big for all the fishing I do.


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Post 27 Jul 2022, 14:39 • #9 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18216
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Again, I think we're talking about a rod for 300.
Conolon spinning rods were king in the 70s. Fast tapers, and even lighter weight than Phillipson.
I randomly found one light glass rod that I like better, it's an H-I Star, late Gladding era.

Unfortunate photo snap, but my friend's daughter caught a respectable redfish on the Conolon Light Action I show in the photo above.
Next to it, a better photo of her fishing the rod. She's using Penn 716.
Image Image


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 29 Jul 2022, 07:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 27 Jul 2022, 14:44 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2097
Location: US-IL
Like many rod makers of the era there are a bunch of models .Many blanks are the same with different paint jobs and low to high end components.I only use spinning rods with guides that won't get destroyed by braid or nanofil. My GC rods do not have the guides that work for me.When using spinning or casting gear I am seriously fishing. With the fly rods I am flyfishing and in a different mindset.Not just about the catching .My round about point is I have GC rods from 1 piece Uls to salt water as well as a few fly rods They were great rods when I was a kid and still are today.


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Post 28 Jul 2022, 06:54 • #11 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18216
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
braid requires a Good ball-bearing line roller.

Image


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Post 28 Jul 2022, 14:55 • #12 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2097
Location: US-IL
I love braid but it requires the right gear for sure,for UL fishing i favor Nanofil as it is a little slicker and casts more like limp mono.It has really upped my game for fishing deep with chin spins for crappie and white bass.Using glass rods with modern guides i get the feel with zero stretch but longer casts and easier hook sets without ripping their lips off.Has accounted for 100s of fish since i started using it.


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Post 28 Jul 2022, 18:52 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1628
Location: urban Colorado
for my reels that can't do braid, I like Damyl Tectan mono. It's unusually thin, honest breaking strength rating, handles and casts well.
I used to do Stroft but it became hard to find, my last spool came from Poland via ebay..


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