- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 9, 2001

Ask sport fishermen the world over the name and model number of the first spinning reel they owned, and the answer most likely will be the Mitchell 300. The Mitchell 300 was black, made of metal and built to last a generation, if not two.
Millions were sold after French watchmaker Maurice Jacquemin created it during the post-World War II years. The reel forever changed the face of fishing. This open-faced model lovingly referred to as a coffee grinder by some was easy to operate, required no special handling skills and ushered in a new era of light-tackle fishing.
My first fishing reel was a Mitchell 300. My brother-in-law, Ted Livesay, made sure I had one. That's what he and all his friends used some 40 years ago, and if you didn't have a "300," well, you just weren't on the inside of the fishing scene.
After well more than 25 million of the black 300s were sold, the reel's popularity began to fade. Newer models were introduced by tough competitors during the waning days of the 1960s and early '70s. Blame poor marketing and Mitchell's resistance to change, such as failing to produce reels with either easy snap-back reel bails or better anti-reverse gears.
All that is history. After the Iowa-based Pure Fishing Co. acquired Mitchell, the company wisely decided to reissue a modern, revamped version of the 300, the Mitchell 300X. It will be a huge success.
The new 300X's lightweight graphite frame contains a five-bearing drive for incredible smoothness and reliability. Worm gear oscillation provides perfect line-winding after each cast. A "Posi-Click" bail wire lets the angler know when the bail is in position for casting. The 6.0-to-1 high-speed gears are suited for fast retrieves when desired and unlike the old Mitchell 300 the 300X's handle can be switched from side to side to accommodate left- and right-handed anglers.
You won't see any more line tangles on the main spool's shaft, and spare spools loaded with various test lines can be popped on and off with the twist of the wrist. The 300X weighs 11.6 ounces and can hold 240 yards of 8-pound line and, yes, it's black like its 1950s predecessor.
At its suggested retail price of $44.95, I have no qualms about recommending it. I've used a 300X for a month now, and I'm totally delighted with its performance. Call it falling in love with a reel all over again.

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