Mitchell Reel Museum - Mitchell Mates Discussion Group

Mitchell production records.
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Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Mitchell production records.

The Mitchell production records have been mentioned recently by different members, and some may be wondering what they are.

Bernard Caminade, a noted French reel historian and author, has kindly given permission for the records to be shown here. This is a compilation by Bernard of lists kept by Emile Pugeot, the director of Mitchell production.

The list shows annual production totals from 1948 to 1986 broken down between all of the different models of reels, and is extremely useful to anyone interested in Mitchell history.

Unfortunately, the document is of such a large size that it is not possible to show it here in it's entirety. A MRM member has extrapolated the figures for egg-shaped, round-body and Salt Water reels and those will be shown here. Armed with the knowledge that the last half-bail Mitchells were made in May 1954 towards the end of "C" numbers (thanks to Lauropane), it is a simple matter to date reels fairly accurately.

One conundrum is the question of whether sequential numbering after "C" numbers began with 0001. I have not been able to identify any reel numbered below 100000 which is why I posted a dating questionnaire recently. The lack of response is disappointing.

Two extremely important books for the collector of Mitchell reels have been written by Monsieur Caminade, namely "Le Grand Livre Des Moulinets Francais" and "La Cote Illustree Des Moulinets Francais". Both titles can be purchased from Bernard at :

Although both books are written in French, they are lavishly illustrated and set out in such a way as to be easily understood by a non-French speaker.

Finally, on behalf of all MRM members, I would like to thank Bernard for allowing the information to be shown here.


PS. The list for egg-shaped reels is very large and may not be legible at the size of 850 pixels.

Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Good news.

John Fishkat has agreed to work on the problem and we may have better images shortly. In the meantime the last image can be improved with zoom.

John is busy so we must be patient. Thanks John.


Author:  jr.evansii [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Jeremy Fisher,

Awesome! Great information! The more I look at it, the more questions I come up with.

The 300A's don't seem to be listed, or are they included with the 300's?

Is there another list for the 306 series?

Are there any conclusions that we can draw from this information about serial numbers?

Do you only have (or have permission to use) these as images, or are they available as Excel spreadsheet and can a spreadsheet be attached to a post on this forum?

For me, the Egg Shape numbers are very hard to read/barely readable. Zoom only works to a point, and past that point it gets worse.

Still, really great information,

Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Dear J.

I have checked the original and 300A is not listed separately so must be in with the 300. The 300C is separately listed.

All of the models are included in the master list.

The compilation is huge and John Fishkat is working very hard on creating a format that can be shown here.

If you PM me your e-mail address I can send you the original document provided you agree not to publish it elsewhere or pass it on to others.

Yes, it should enable accurate working out of serial numbers.

The egg-shaped 300 sized reels are an interesting example. We know that the last half-bails were made in May 1954 with numbers around C95000 (Roy Allett posted this information several years ago). As "A", "B" and "C" each contained 100,000 reels it is fairly straightforward to work forwards and back using production totals. Also, we have monthly totals for 1954 (thanks Lauropane). The only fly in the ointment is that we don't know with which number sequential numbering without a prefix started. No-one has yet shown me a reel numbered below 100,000. Correlating the first Otomatics with this list suggests that they started numbering with the first number higher than 0001. I have discussed with the person I regard as the leading authority on dating. He also doesn't know of a reel numbered below 100000 and hypothesises that they perhaps started at 100000 because a poorly stamped 0 could be confused with a C.

It needs a considerable number of collectors to go through their reels and report lowest numbers. Sadly, my request fell on deaf ears.

I have made my own calculations, but it will be fun for interested members to reach their own conclusions.

Kind regards,


Author:  Laroupane [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Hello Jeremy,
You are right to speak and to thank Bernard Caminade, a man who has done many things to make better known and popularize the French production of fishing equipment. Many fishermen and collectors owe him a large part of their "knowledge"
His numerous books published since 1994 have evolved over the years, from the first on the reels where the photos were less numerous, many French reels were drawn, work more difficult than taking a photo (attached a scan of a page Mitchell to show the work done). The first books (1994 - 1999) were of a format allowing to put the book in a pocket of a garment
Then came the large format books (2004 - 2013), much more documented than the first with in between a recovery in 2006 in "pocket" format from that of 2004.
A pocket-size book, with different additions and presentations, was published in 2012 to satisfy book enthusiasts for the "field", that is to say to have a reference when you are in the presence of a reel in a flea market or in a store.
The 2013 version was recently reissued at the same time as the "pocket" format appeared on the rating of French reels (2018)
In addition to books on French reels, Bernard Caminade has published books on old French lures (2004 and 2015) and, in collaboration with a great specialist in this field, a book on split bamboo rods.
To show MRM readers the scope of its work to promote research and the preservation of French material (over 1,500 pages), attach a photo of the books in my possession.
Best regards


Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Dear Christian,

Many thanks for that informative post.

"Le Grand Livre Des Moulinets Francais" is an astonishing piece of work which I know you contributed to. Any serious collector of Mitchell reels should own a copy, and I advise those who don't to contact Bernard and obtain one.

It is easy to forget the fact that the Mitchell was a product of France simply because it can be found in all corners of the world. I have said many times that for the serious collector and student of Mitchells the best information and some of the best reels are to be found in France, and I am also very grateful for the good friends I have made there as a result of this hobby.

We also owe you a debt of gratitude, Christian, for the information you so freely share. I doubt you fully realize just how significant your contribution has been and continues to be. Merci beaucoup.

Bien cordialement,


Author:  gpsaul [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Dear Jeremy,

The "A" models were launched around September 1977, and I think that it is reasonable to assume that most production after that date was the new model. (Naturally with Mitchell there are exceptions, and I have one example of a 300 with a 1978 "H" serial number and another with a 1979 "J"). Without the monthly data for each production year, we must come up with an assumption for the number of models manufactured before and after the launch date of the new models.

I have several reels in my own collection that indicate that production did run through the month of August in 1977, I have a 330 with serial number G223308, and a Match with serial number G236108. In correspondence with other collectors, I know of several other August 1977 models.

So, if we assume that there were 12 months of production in 1977, and production was split evenly month to month, then we can simply split the production volume into 2/3rds January to August, 1/3rd September to December.

Now, I am not sure that this holds up for some of the smaller production models, as many of them were made in very small quantities that year - e.g the 441 with just 668, but I think it is a reasonable assumption for the larger models which probably would have to have been made continuously.

I have in my collection examples of the following models with a 1977 serial number: 300A, 301A, 330A, 410A, 411A, 440A and 440A Match. As there is no production listed for the 441 in 1978, we can probably assume that the first 441A did not appear until 1979, unless someone knows differently...

Best wishes,


Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Dear George,

Thanks for that useful information.

I know you have extensive records so perhaps you could help on serial numbers. I am trying to establish the lowest known post "C" (1954) serial number. I have not found anything below 100000, but mine is a very small sample.

Our mutual friend Mike also doesn't have a record of one below that, which I found surprising.

What is the lowest number you know of or have seen?



Author:  gpsaul [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Dear Jeremy,

I too have never found, nor seen, an early Mitchell with a number below 100000. The lowest that I have in my collection is 101869:
300 101869.25.jpg

and I have seen a lower one, 100609 (not a good picture, I am afraid):
300 100609 1954 Purchase (2).jpg

I have seen several reels with apparently five digits in the serial number:
300 55985.25.jpg

but I have doubts about every example that I have examined and it is just possible to make out the tip of a "1" before the first "5" in this example shown.

I would love to find an example with several zeroes before the number, e.g. 000001, but do now lean toward the theory that the "C" prefix could have been confused with a zero, so they did start the six digit numbering at 100000.



Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Dear George,

That's extremely helpful.

The one reel I had problems with when putting together a dating guide based on the production lists was the first Otomatic. However, if sequential numbering started at around 100,000 everything works very well.

We may never know for sure...……

I will just put out an SOS : if anyone has evidence of a reel numbered below 100,000, please speak out now !!

If you read this Christian, what is the lowest number you have seen??

Thanks again, George,


Author:  CDSAND7640 [ Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Jeremy, thank you for the production info...based on the quick replies, clearly there is much interest in this topic...

I will check my reels against this info to see if I can add anything, particularly if I have any 300s below 100000, though off the top of my head, I don't believe I do...

It sounds like there may be a few questions to answer which may either prove or disprove some of the data...that's what I love about all the participation in this thread...the collaboration of the mates collectively, will only help solve/confirm some of the fun Mitchell mysteries...and this is the place to do it!

Good work mates,

Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

A senior member has extracted the data for the intermediate reels which I attach.

I hope this will be helpful while we wait for the result of John's labours.


Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

I have heard from John this morning and, despite his best efforts, it is not possible to post the complete list here.

My computer skills are lacking so I am unable to extract segments and post. A couple of members have copies of the entire document and I would ask them to field any additional enquiries, should they arise or requests for specific reels.

I would just like to thank John on behalf of all members for the time and effort he put into this.

There has been some off-site discussion and a consensus seems to be forming that sequential numbering post "C" in 1954 may have started at 100,000.

More information is needed on this and the "C" numbering of half-bails.


Author:  bailarm [ Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

I too have never seen an early full bail reel with a six digit serial number below 100000.

I've always been particularly fond of these reels and have kept three that have passed through my hands, but all begin with 2.....

I do have two full bail reels with letter prefixed five digit numbers;

C71187, which is identical the later three.

B 33354, but I strongly beleive this has had the benefit of a Garcia conversion kit as it has FRANCE stamped on the handle, has retained its 'level wind' gears and most tellingly, has different paint on its rotor, to the main body and side cover.

One of those 808 conversion kits in my collection and I die a happy man..... |I

Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Dear Bailarm,

Perhaps you could clear up something. Until recently the highest numbered half-bails I had heard of were around C64000. I think I know of 4 in that range. Sandman recently pointed out that that fine gentleman Roy Allett told this forum some years ago that he had one around C95000, which I suspect is about as high as they went, and would probably be one of the last ones made in May 1954.

During discussions with another collector, he seemed to think you had a half-bail numbered somewhere over 100000, with no prefix. This would be an incredibly late reel and a much higher number than any I have heard of. He did show me a photo of the reel and the rotor and bail looked to me to be much earlier. As you know late half-bails arc high and over the rotor.

Do you still own or at least recall that reel? was it in your opinion factory-original ? I think it had the plastic transfer gear, as have the two I have here numbered around C65000. I have a full-bail with plastic gear numbered 145323.



Author:  Laroupane [ Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Enregistrements de production Mitchell.

Hello Jeremy,

I don’t have a full bail with an SN around 100,000
My lowest is a left-handed 171910 and a right-handed 174363
My full bail with letter are C87158 and C 97926
These four reels have plastic gear transfer
I never mentioned a half-bail that I bought in Vught in the Netherlands in October 2018 during the great gathering of European collector fishermen, a purchase that I made with a doubt about its authenticity.
I bought it from an English exhibitor. Its SN is very high hence my question as to whether it is a real or not: C94662
That’s what I can say on that.
Best regards,

Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Dear Christian,

Thank you very much for that information, which fits perfectly.

I am now very inclined to think that plain numbering started at around 100000.

Your high numbered half-bail is quite possible. Until recently I thought the highest half-bails were around C65000, but it was then pointed out that Roy Allett had one numbered C95101. Your reel with number C94662 fits alongside that, and I would suggest these might be reels from the last batch made in May 1954.

I have 2 half-bails numbered around C64000, and both have plastic transfer gears.

A half-bail has been declared with a number 133263 which would be 2 months or so later. Insufficient information is available on this reel.

Bien cordialement,


Author:  bailarm [ Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

Sorry I sold almost all of my half bails to a dealer for pennies a couple of years ago, I recall one did have a plastic transfer gear.

Apart from an immaculate 'second version' I kept which is serial free of course, I just have a 'third version' here which is C94826.

In hindsight I should at least have kept some images and a record of serial numbers....... :sEm_oops:

Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

If you have C94826 it would be worth seeing as it is towards the upper end of what we know.

Any chance of photos?

It is interesting that the 3 highest half-bails I have heard of are all UK reels.


Author:  bailarm [ Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

I'll try and get something done this weekend JF.

I imagine the UK was still importing half-bails after other countries had access to the new full bails in '53 or '54....might that not account for the highest half-bail numbers often being in the UK?

I'm sure it's mentioned somewhere on this forum that Hardy apparently had their UK full bail patent on the Altex reel extended by 7 years in gratitude for 'war work'. Quite what that 'work' was, and why, for instance, JW Young the maker of the Spitfire firing button didn't get similar treatment I don't know, but I can guess......

To be frank, the only record I have found of this patent extension is third hand on a fishing forum where somebody tells that a Hardy family member told him of this.

Author:  Jeremy Fisher [ Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mitchell production records.

I'm sure that is correct. The full-bail was available in the UK 12 months or so after France and the US which explains why the last half-bails were destined for here.

John Fishkat and I researched patents some time ago and the Hardy patent was extended. There was nothing special about this and it had nothing to do with their efforts for the War.

Special provision was enacted after the war whereby anyone who had been prevented from obtaining full benefit from their patent due to WW2 could apply for an extension.



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