Mitchell Reel Museum - Mitchell Mates Discussion Group

1st Version 408
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Author:  CDSAND7640 [ Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  1st Version 408

Mates, thought I'd share a recent acquisition. A local find.

1st version 408s were produced from late 1963 - to early 1966 and are primarily identified by not having a crank handle dust cover.

They were serial numbered between 235386 and about 505xxx. I've recorded sixty 1st versions in this range. Approximately 46,000 1st versions were produced in the four years. The 235386 reel is the one I just acquired. There were only 2070 produced in late 1963 when this one was produced. This one is the lowest numbered 408 I know of, making it the earliest 408 I am aware. Prior to this one, the lowest numbers I've recorded are 236525 and 236563. Next lowest is 254696. So, while mine is only slightly earlier than the next two, there is quite a gap to the fourth earliest (254696), about 20,000 reels. I've wondered if there were pilot, or test reels, made of the 408. Maybe the first three above were a pilot run? IDK...I do know the 358 was produced for two years before the 408 and since it was such a similar reel (identical except for the sticker on the backplate and the model number), they may not of needed a pilot run.

Luckily, it is near mint. Looks to be one of those reels that was lined up, put on a rod and fished maybe once. While there are no scratches or paint loss (not even on the edges or corners of the foot), there are the tell tale signs of reel seat scuff marks on the top of the foot, albeit very light scuffing at that. I could tell that I was the first person to open the backplate. It, of course, has the original amber grease. It came with what I believe is the original line. I will leave the line and the grease alone, as it helps tell the story of this reel. It runs very smooth and free as is. I gave the reel a light exterior cleaning. It wasn't very dirty. Unfortunately, no box or paperwork. This one may be the best example known, if considering condition and early production.

Would love to know of any 408s that are lower serial numbered than this one, especially in box.


Author:  cshannon772 [ Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1st Version 408

Hi Sandman,

Congratulations on a beautiful, very early 408. A great find, the closest I can come to that is a very nice 408, Ser# 29XXXX which I think you have recorded. I would agree that Mitchell didn't prototype the 408 because it was a follow on from the 358. The 358 was prototyped because I have one of them - Ser# 131628 and it has an aluminum Gleason main gear which soon after changed to brass/bronze. Similar I think to the Mitchell 350 and the 400 - both high speed reels. Thank you for sharing a very nice reel and your knowledge :tup

Kind Regards,

Author:  Balvar24 [ Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1st Version 408

I have what I think is an early version. It appears to have been under water for some time. It has a two piece trip lever.

Author:  CDSAND7640 [ Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1st Version 408

Balvar, 1st version 408s ran up to about serial number 505xxx. What is the serial number of your reel? Photos would be great.


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