In a sort of celebration of my new job I have splashed out on a reel. Not one of my usual second hand ‘projects’ that require refurbishment but an actual new one. The idea had been running around inside my head for a while now but I had yet to do anything concrete about it. Then I spotted this one and in a moment of madness I flashed the piece of plastic in my wallet and bought myself a Mitchell.
Now I have not owned a Mitchell reel since I was a teenager. My mates had those workhorses of 300’s but I went one better and purchased a 410 from Brown’s in Belmont Street in Aberdeen. George explained to me how this was a fast retrieve reel and would be perfect for sea trout fishing – that was all I needed to hear and I bought the blue reel there and then. I recall how I loved that reel and even some of the fish it landed like that fin-perfect two-and-a -half pound sea trout from the Don at Parkhill one May evening after a full day flogging with the fly had failed to catch me a single fish. Where or when that Mitchell departed is a mystery. I know I had busted the bail arm spring and was going to fix it but that never happened and the reel was lost somewhere along the line. By then I had moved on to ABU’s anyway and thought no more about Mitchells, until Saturday.
This one is a 4000 size Avocet match and I bought it for a very specific reason. You see it comes with a grand total of 4 spools. My plans for this season mean lots of different types of coarse angling requiring a commensurate number of different line strengths, This reel will allow me to do that without humping a load of different reels around with me, I just change to spool as I want to meet the changes I face. I have yet to fish with it but build quality looks to OK. Each of the spools are aluminium making the reel quite heavy in the hand for a modern fixed spool. A quick release spool would have been welcome but instead this reel has the old fashioned screw on drag adjuster which has to be unscrewed to remove/replace the spool. 6:1 retrieve rate is fine and the 6 bearing layout means it is smooth enough.
I had lines in the house so I ran on a spool each of 2, 6 and 8 pound test. My conviction that there was a new spool of four pound kicking around in my tackle boxes was totally groundless so another visit to the tackle shop is needed. The 4 and 6 pound spools will likely be my most used with the lighter line for rudd fishing and the heavy stuff for tench. Is the Avocet the smoothest or most feature packed fixed spool I have ever used? No, but I am hoping it will be a reliable stalwart which can fill a number of different roles for me. Time will tell but it would be nice to have faith restored in a modern reel (not that I will ever be weaned off 1970’s Cardinals).