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Reel Review


Budget-Minded Performance with the new Mitchell 300 Pro

 

Date: 10/2/13
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Mitchell
Reviewer: Wolbugger






Total Score: 7.54 - GOOD

Introduction:
As inventors of the world's first spinning reel, Mitchell has a long history of dependability and performance. Many folks like myself grew up fishing a Mitchell reel. I can fondly remember owning a couple of Mitchell Excellence reels back when I started taking fishing seriously in the very early 1990's, but shortly thereafter I moved on to other brands that offered a bit more quality and refinement. Shortly before ICAST 2013 began, myself and the rest of the TackleTour crew each received one of Mitchell's newest reels, the 300 PRO. Also offered in a smaller 308 and 310 size, these reels look very promising for the budget-minded angler. Armed with this new reel that magically showed up on my doorstep, it was a no-brainer that a full review had to be done!

 

Mitchell 300 PRO Spinning Reel Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds)

Monofilament 10/210  12/180  14/150
Braid 10/290  14/210  20/160

Gear Ratio 5.8:1
Measured Weight 9.9 ounces
Measured Max. Drag Just over 5lbs (on hand scale)
Number of Bearings 10
Features Instant anti-reverse, bail halo design, polymeric body, aluminum spool, EVA knob, carbon fiber drag system
Origin China
MSRP $69.95


The 300 PRO is an attractive reel, with a look somewhat similar to the Okuma Helios

Impressions: Right out of the box, the look really struck me. Was this truly a Mitchell? The matte black composite polymeric body and rotor looks very stealthy and has a smooth, soft feel to it similar to the “soft touch” reel seats you find on the market. Along with a dark green spool and accents, it all combines for a great looking package overall.

 
The “Bail Halo” design of the rotor features heavy porting

Getting back to the body, the polymeric body and rotor are neither super lightweight nor extremely rigid. At 9.9 ounces there are other similarly-sized reels on the market that weigh in with less heft. The body and rotor are touted as being extremely rigid, but there is still flex evident under pressure when squeezed or twisted. This flex is most noticeable in the rotor, and along the “stem” of the reel between the main body and reel foot. Granted, this won't be an issue for bass or lighter saltwater fishing, but under a heavy drag setting it may affect your cranking power a bit. Most of the body is nice and smooth, but a couple of slightly rough edges were found in some of the more hidden spots.


A better look at the rotor disconnected from the body and bail assembly

I really like the chunky bail arm they use, which is similar to what you'd see on a Daiwa spinning reel. The “bail halo” design is designed to increase rigidity in the rotor and optimize line-lay, but as stated, the area still exhibits some flex. With the heavy porting of the rotor and below the aluminum spool, weight reduction is an obvious benefit. The weight of this reel would surely be in the 10 ounce range without this design.

 
The line roller is supported by double roller bearings

The overall presentation of this new reel is a solid one, especially at the price point. It certainly has a “new” appeal to it with all of the various features and totally updated look. Matching up the 300 PRO to any rod will be a snap, since it's color scheme looks great on many sticks available today.


The body below the rotor is nice and compact
 

Quality Ratings for Mitchell 300 PRO

 

Finish

(1-5)

 

Construction Tolerances

(1-5)

 

Handle Tolerance

(1-5)

 

Knob Tolerance

(1-5)

 

 

Total

 

 

Possible

Rating

 

(=Tot/Poss * 10)

3

3

4

4

14

20

7

Real World Tests: Rather than just test the 300 PRO on bass, I elected to use it strictly in light tackle saltwater applications. Saltwater and the species which live there will of course be a bit harsher test for any reel. The 300 PRO was spooled up with 20lb Sufix braided line, and mounted on a sweet old black CUS-DX68M Shimano Cumara spinning rod. A variety of plugs and small swimbaits were thrown to help me locate some feisty southwest Florida snook.


Another angle.....

Casting: Casting with the Mitchell 300 PRO is about average. There are no surprises positive or negative with this reel. The aluminum spool features a pretty standard arbor size and dimensions, so unusually long casts aren't going to be happening unless you have a 25 knot tailwind. What will be happening is easy casting without any disappointments. The chunky bail wire has a nice feel to it, and it opens and closes with a firm and satisfying click.


The body head cover protects internals like the one-way clutch assembly

Next Section: A look inside the Mitchell 300 PRO


 

 

 

 

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