Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel. I grew up fishing with old school Mitchell 300s as in 1950s models made in France. Things have changed, sadly today Mitchells are made like many things in China, but this reel is done right and true to its heritage.
I love to fish, but bluntly fishing is one of two things depending on how you do it. It is either a great low cost way to add protein to the homestead or a very expensive hobby. So as always I want maximum value, with a very high quality to price ratio. I may have tried the new Mitchells due to family affinity, but they won me over on merits.
Over the years I have tried many mid sized spinning reels under 70 dollars looking for the best, and Mitchell in my view is still the working man’s best value. The only runner up really so far is the Garcia SX40, and Garcia owns Mitchell, so that might be a reason. Note the SX40 is NOT as good of a reel as the Mitchell 300 but at only 30 bucks it is a great reel for loaner rods and rods your kids drop in the water!
This is not the reel for taking on tarpon or sharks (other than pups in the surf) but it will run line from about 4-20 pounds beautifully. It pairs up perfectly with most medium-light fast to medium action rods. Which is my sweet spot! I have no desire to drag a 3 pound fish across the surface like a water skier, any of you remember that clown Babe Winkleman in the 80s?
The Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel simply works and works great, there is no back roll, it is smooth, it casts beautifully, the drag is silky smooth and the total cost is about 45 bucks with free shipping. It is currently the best valued spinning reel under 50 bucks and if I ever find a better deal I will let you know.
For what it is worth, I have tried the 300 Pro, it is a great reel and I can’t tell the difference in performance. The key mechanical difference is it has 10 bearings vs. 8 bearings on the standard 300. If the pro is worth the extra 40ish bucks to you, fine it is a great reel too, but where the fish meets the line, I can’t tell the difference other than the color.