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Mitchell Reel Museum Discussion Group

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 4:29 pm • #  
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Location: Virginia
Hello Mates,

It's so nice to be back in the MRM, I thought I'd start the posting of our beloved Mitchell Reels again.
Here's one of my newer ones. This is a very nice and hard to find Mitchell 440A Lightning Cast, Ser# P-1-07 (July 1984), First Version and New in the Box (NIB).
Attachment:
440ALC.jpg

There isn't a scratch on this reel and it is very smooth even with the original grease. It has the M8 gearing and silent anti-reverse.
Attachment:
440ALC 1.jpg

Attachment:
440ALC 2.jpg

I'll add a few more photos...…….


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 4:38 pm • #  
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More photos Mates.
Attachment:
440ALC 3.jpg

Attachment:
440ALC 4.jpg

One of the ways to determine an early 1st Version 440 ALC is by the box. The reel depicted on the sleeve has a "Lightning Cast" sticker on the reel vice the white paint on the reel face of the actual reel.
Attachment:
440ALC 5.jpg

While not a reel I would normally add to my collection (Raised Mitchell nameplate), I couldn't pass this one up. It was just too nice and quite hard to find - especially in the NIB condition. Hope you enjoy seeing it and as always, questions and comments are always welcome!

Kind Regards,
Chris


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 8:48 pm • #  
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Location: Michigan
Chris,
Thank you for posting these great photos of a beautiful reel with a bit of an interesting history.

I recall reading about this reel in Wallace's book when he was discussing Browning's role with Mitchell.

Do you have any information regarding this reel relating to Browning or Mitchell Sports.

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 5:23 pm • #  
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Hi Bill,

This is a great question, Thank you for asking. This 440 ALC is the 1st Version by Browning which were only introduced in mid 1983 through 1984 (Late in the Browning control of Mitchell) when Mitchell Sports took over and continued the 440 ALC. My 440 ALC has a Browning warrantee card but this style box was used by both Browning and Mitchell Sports. Most of the Mitchell Sports 440 ALC's had a black A/R lever and a regular large bail screw as opposed to the cross hatch (Phillips style) large bail screw. Later versions had black phillips head face plate screws and "Lightning Cast" painted in gold lettering on the faceplate. I bought this reel from a seller in Europe and because I wasn't versed in the later Mitchells, I did considerable research on this reel before I bought it. I hope this provides some clarification to your question.

Kind Regards,
Chris


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 8:21 pm • #  
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Hi Chris, Beautiful 440 ALC and like you said I'm sure they're hard to come by at this stage of the game. I also have one NIB that I bought I believe in 84 when a local Army& Navy was getting out of fishing tackle. Everything fishing was 1/2 price , I should have bought a lot more. My ser. # is N 312111 , box the same as yours ,red line on rotor , cross screw on bail, my Lightning Cast on the side plate is painted on but no black outline around that I see on yours, unless you put that on by computer.Also have browning warranty card, but my front page of the schematics sheet has 410A, 411A,440A, 441A MATCH. I see your foldout says match and I can't understand why they don't come with the match extra shallow spool. Just a few more Mitchell mysteries to work on . Best Regards , John in Pa. :sCh_fisherman:


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 7:29 am • #  
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Nice acquisition Chris. I checked mine and same as yours. Never knew how to tell the difference in versions from box.
Kim :tup :sCh_fisherman:


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 7:40 pm • #  
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Hi Chris,

Another beautiful reel for the collection, congratulations!

The sleeve is not one that I have seen before. I have two 440ALC's in the box, and both of the sleeves are different. The first was printed in 1983, and shows three other models on the back and the bottom of the box. The top picture is the same as your sleeve:
Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440ALC 1983 Front .25.JPG

Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440ALC 1983 Back .25.JPG

Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440ALC 1983 Bottom .25.JPG


The sleeves that I have found for the 440A Match and 410A, also printed in 1983, have text on the back and the picture on the bottom that is identical to this 440ALC sleeve. I imagine this was done to save costs.

I have 440A Match sleeves printed in 1984 and 1986 that have the same text on the back as your 440ALC sleeve, and a picture of two reels on the bottom. Does your sleeve have this picture too?

I will send the picture of my 1984 440A Match sleeve separately.

My second 440ALC sleeve was printed in 1985, and only lists the 440ALC on the back and has no picture on the bottom. I will also send these pictures separately. The top picture is the same as the one above.

Best,

George


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 7:43 pm • #  
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Here is the bottom of the 440A Match sleeve:
Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440A Match 1984 Bottom .25.JPG

And here is the back of the 440ALC sleeve from 1985:
Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440ALC 1985 Back .25.JPG

And this is the bottom of the sleeve:
Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440ALC 1985 Bottom .25.JPG


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 5:53 pm • #  
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Hello Mates,

Thank you for the comments and observations.

George, Thank you for such an informative post and the excellent photos :sSig_youtheman: . The sleeve bottom of my 440 ALC has no photos on it and is similar to your last photo, but it has a barcode on it.

Kind Regards,
Chris


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 7:49 am • #  
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Location: Bristol, UK
So- what is the difference between an "ordinary" 440 and a Lightening Cast?


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:41 am • #  
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Thanks Chris, can you let me know the IM number on the bottom of the box? I am trying to compile a complete list of all the MS boxes, and this would be a help!

Bristolmod, the Lightning Cast was launched in 1983 to replace the 440A in territories that did not carry the 440A Match. It was finished in black, like the 440A Match was during 1984, and has the little red casting button on the side of the bail arm assembly, and came with an aluminum spool, instead of the ultra small spool on the 440A Match.

Hope this helps!

George


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 4:52 pm • #  
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Hi George,

Happy to :sHa_biggrin: . Here's the bottom of the box:
Attachment:
440ALC Box Bottom.jpg

The IM # is 86043 - 398838. Hope this helps.

Kind Regards,
Chris


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:20 am • #  
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Thanks Chris,

Your sleeve is almost identical to one of the 440A Match sleeves that I have found, and the IM numbers are only one digit apart, the 440A Match sleeve number is: IM86044.
Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440A Match 1986 Back .25.JPG

Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440A Match 1986 Bottom .25.JPG

I think that IM is an abbreviation of the French word Imprinte, and the numbers refer to a printing date. I have yet to decipher the code, but would imagine that the first two numbers refer to the printing year, as all of the green Mitchell Sports sleeves that I have found have IM codes with numbers starting with 83 through 89, which would coincide with the MS distribution period.

The other three numbers could be a Julian day number, and I have found sleeves with this part of the number in the range of 008 to 070. I find it suspicious that I have not found a higher number than 070, and if this is a Julian number, then it would mean that all printing of the green Mitchell Sports boxes took place before the middle of March each year.

However, we know that times were a little tough for the factory during those years, and it may well have been that management ordered only one printing of the sleeves at the beginning of each year, to satisfy orders that they had on hand?

Finally, I have also seen a 440ALC in the 440A Match sleeve, but with a 440ALC sticker placed over the Match model number, so they must have run out of sleeves at some point along the way!
Attachment:
Mitchell Sports 440ALC 440A Match Box + 440ALC sticker .25.jpg


Best regards

George


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:34 pm • #  
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Hi George,

Great information and observations. I can't explain how a 1984 440 ALC ended up in a 1986 box if that's the case - well, we do know how those things happen. My previous impressions were based on a Mitchell Auto Bail book that did a nice of describing the first edition of the 440 ALC and the boxes they came in; notably the "Lightning Cast" sticker on the reel photographed on the box sleeve. The basis of my purchase. Clearly your trusted research has indicated it maybe otherwise. Still, a beautiful reel but possibly not what I thought I had :blush . Would be very interested in your opinion on this reel/box.

Kind Regards,
Chris


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:46 am • #  
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Hi Chris,

Based on the pictures that you have shown, I have no reason to doubt that your reel is a first edition 440ALC, and it has white lettering on the sideplate with chrome screws and a chrome anti reverse lever, as detailed in James Partridge's excellent book on the autobails. I have two in my collection with the same features, the first from 1983, serial number N279110:
Attachment:
440ALC N279110 .25.JPG

and another made a month earlier than yours with serial number P.1.06
Attachment:
440ALC P.1.06 .25.JPG

The black anti reverse lever starting lurking about around the time that this second reel was built, and I have seen an ALC for sale with that anti reverse and serial number P.3.05. The earliest that I have found is from 1985, serial number Q.4.12.
Attachment:
440ALC Q.4.12 .25.JPG

I have several other Mitchell Sports models with the black anti-reverse, only two of them with 1984 serial numbers, all of the rest were made after that.

The sleeve is another matter, and I can add nothing but speculation about the potential difference in dates. (Assuming we are right about the coding). What is clear is that all three print versions of the sleeve use the same image on the top and side, with "Lightning Cast" pictured as a decal, rather than printed on the sideplate. To my mind, the sleeve image is a mock up made by the art department for photography for the first printing, before the reel had been finished, and they didn't change the image once they had the actual reel.

This is actually quite common during the Mitchell Sports period, and they cut corners in the sleeve printing on several occasions. For example, the 300C sleeve has the 300A reel on the top and side, and all of the right hand wind reel sleeves that I have found have a left hand wind image. I am sure that they did all this to minimize pre-press costs at that time.

Final thought, have you looked at the user guide? There is an IM number on that, usually very small and hard to see, but that may help clarify or, more likely, add to the mystery.

Best regards,

George


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