Dating made easy 09
These versions were found with a combination of serial numbers either on the body (early versions) or on the reel foot (later versions).
Unfortunately, Mitchell was very ambiguous about their serial numbers.
You will also find the same models made in France and later in Japan, with or without serial numbers.
Additionally, we have models with two different lettered prefixes; assumptions are the second letter signifies distributor or destination. This period also has its uncertainty as to accurate dating.
To further compound the situation, some reels had lettered prefixes, which we hoped would give us a year but this is not the case.
It appears the 302 was the only model to have any consistency in serial numbering but there was no rhythm to the sequence to determine the year.
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Determining dates of issue for Mitchell spinning reels has always been at the forefront of questions asked by collectors.
All serial numbers are located on the foot from this point forward except for the 302, which is on the side cover.Common sense would dictate that A was for the 3rd version but not so. It appears that the prefixes, A & B signified production lines at the factory in the early years!The 5th version we discovered has a 6-digit serial number with and without lettered prefixes on the body.What we did uncover was somewhat satisfying but also disappointing at the same time. Each group has their own unique method of numbering with no tie between the systems.We looked at the problem from an analytical approach so we can make some sense of their methods. At the time Mitchell introduced the first two versions of the Mitchell reel, serial numbers were not utilised.
This is difficult to explain but speculation is that the first two versions were either prototypes, or not marketed outside of Europe thereby eliminating the need for unit numbering. It is also of importance to note that some early first versions did not have stamped (Made in France) on the bodies.