Roach Reflections - Part 36 - The Mitchell Match 440A

Truly

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Marmite reels - they work for me.
I had 3 float rods set up yesterday - each with a Mitchell Match. Sometimes I even set up 4 (2 stick, 2 waggler).
Now that's going some :love: (y) . I could manage three but my fourth Mitchell Match is completely worn out.... I mean really knackered.
 

NoCarpPlease

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I hav
Now that's going some :love: (y) . I could manage three but my fourth Mitchell Match is completely worn out.... I mean really knackered.
I have ... shall we say .... ahem ... "several" in full working order and a few that I can raid for spares. ;)

I bought 2 late black ones from Nigel Davies about 4 years ago and haven't even fished with them yet.
 

tipitinmick

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I had a 840 new. You had to curb yourself as if you didn’t line spin was horrendous. You struggled to fish double maggot that’s for sure. Nice reel though.
 

Whitty

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Sadly,after my years of match fishing,winning loads on Mitchell Matches,the reels are awful,the monkey metal gearing is poop,no proper line roller,the bail is prone to bending out of shape,thus not opening properly,the springs break relatively easily,compare that to mid-range reels today they are rubbish,the line lay on the match was excellent however,as was the shallow spools,but you can catch fish on them as they wind and cast line,thats it from me...
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Innovative reels that had features not found today despite the high prices asked for modern reels. Best float reel ever made in my opinion.
 

Whitty

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If you mean the innovative feature of the automatic bail(that bumps fish if you have to close it after striking),then the daiwa version closes by hand,but opens automatically,1657dm is it,I had two,but in the end they start to play up just like Mitchell matches,great reels in their day,but that was probably 30 years ago now,I believe they retailed for around £50 when they were discontinued,not £30,but who is counting lol...
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Shallow spool. Push button spool release. Drag/clutch incorporated in the spool so set for the line loaded.

And yes the auto bail arm that I never had an issue with.
 

Whitty

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I had my reels in quality cases,stacked safely in my seat box,I always look after all my tackle,I certainly never throw my rods and reels about(im not suggesting you said I did),but,I did one hell of a lot of fishing with them and as Mark suggests they need a lot of maintainence,over the years,my two matches had at least 4 bail arm springs each,cog changes,regular servicing,and the bails sometimes didnt work properly and needed a tweak,in one match both reels died,one completely siezing up ive never ever had a modern reel have such a decisive failure ever,as Mark says about his Shimano Stradic,sadly I find using a antique centrepin a far better experience than using a bag of nails which was a virtually new Mitchell,as I say brilliant reels in their day,by far the best available back then,they won me loads of matches and caught me massive bags of fish,but,the King is dead,long live the King....
 

MarkW

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As I video a fair bit of my trotting I find I very rarely bump fish using a Match so I'm tempted to think that back in the days when Matches were the vogue - the 70s and 80s - hooks and rods were the main cause of bumping fish. Hooks were revolutionised in 1985 with the Japanese chemically etched hooks, far sharper and able to keep a point with much small barbs, and early carbon rods in the late 70s/early 80s often left a lot to be desired. We also tended to use much smaller hooks, small wonder I've still got boxes and boxes of 22s and 24s from long ago, and it's easier to bump roach on these tiny hooks.

I've only ever had one bale spring go and that was with a reel I got recently with unknown provenance. I have had reel seize up but this was the reel mentioned in the video where the original owner pulled for a break with 8lb line!

There are still tens of thousands of Matches gathering dust out there, stuck in lofts and garages, many are worthless and knackered. I seem to keep accumulating these reels; I've received two in the last month alone. The one I've been using in my videos is probably due retirement soon....
 

Whitty

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I know several good anglers who still swear by matches,it is all personal choice of course...
 

MarkW

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I know several good anglers who still swear by matches, it is all personal choice of course...
In my case I swear by them and at them!

For those daft/sentimental/crazy enough to use them I've done a video on basic maintenance, a job that makes you realise why, all those years ago, it was a better bet to get your tackle dealer to send them off to the Southampton repair centre every close season.

Here it is: Basic Maintenance on a Mitchell Match
 

PearTree

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I know several good anglers who still swear by matches,it is all personal choice of course...
There are a few very good anglers on our local circuit (Yorkshire rivers) who still use them. Not me, I use the equally marmite Daiwa 1657DM. If only Daiwa would put an automatic bail arm on one of its modern reels....... 🤞 Sadly I fear the demand for it is too limited to make it worthwhile for them.
 

Whitty

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Yep,this is because all our reels are designed for the American market,another reason why shallow spools are a rarity...
 

Whitty

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In my case I swear by them and at them!

For those daft/sentimental/crazy enough to use them I've done a video on basic maintenance, a job that makes you realise why, all those years ago, it was a better bet to get your tackle dealer to send them off to the Southampton repair centre every close season.

Here it is: Basic Maintenance on a Mitchell Match
Ive watched it Mark,I think if you found a reel with a short stem and fished with it for a few sessions you would get to like them as an angler with your experience,but why the hell should you,you like what you use,that is good enough....for me at least...lol
 

Whitty

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When reels have arbors to make spools shallower they are not really designed for our market but adapted,which is sad really as match style fishing is done all across Europe,Daiwa,Shimano make good reels,Cadence and a few others are very close behind,at the moment I have three Cadence reels and favour them over my Shimano's and Daiwa's and cant really fault their performance(yet,but give me time lol)...
 
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