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Garcia Mitchell 300 Refurb

I didn't get chance to go fishing this month due to the weather and being busy doing other things. One of those 'things' was refurbishing a Garcia Mitchell 300 reel I bought for £3 at a antique fair over the summer.

The reel had a lot of paint loss and once I'd taken it apart I sanded the casing to remove all the paint. Then I washed the casing along with the internal parts in soapy water before cleaning all the parts and leaving them to soak in degreaser.

After washing, degreasing and washing again, I painted on two coats of metal primer. After some research I decided to paint the reel rather than spraying, as spray paint can chip easily, according to people who refurbish old reels. I applied two coates of black satin Hammerite as this had been recommended, although I've since found out Hammerite is available in a spray can. I didn't want the reel to be too shiny, I wanted a tough finish that would stand being used. Experienced reel restorers say it's very difficult to get a factory finish on an old Mitchell reel in black but especially in blue.

I was happy with the paint finish and it was time to put the reel back together! I'd repaired Mitchell reels before, including the spool, bail arm and anti-reverse switch, but never took one completely apart and put it back together. I took photos and made notes at each stage of dismantling this reel, but when I came to put it back together my notes didn't make much sense! Luckily I was able to refer to my pictures.

Most of the larger parts are easy enough to put back in order, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle! Some of the smaller parts can be fiddly and getting the brass washers in the correct order can be| trial and error. The round plate inside the spool was temperamental and took some tweaking before the bail arm would engage to snap shut.

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