alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Tutorial and Detailed Look at The 302
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
October 30, 2020, 11:03:18 PM *
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Author Topic: Tutorial and Detailed Look at The 302  (Read 3419 times)
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Gfish
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« on: September 02, 2019, 10:55:24 AM »

The "Mitchell Garcia 302 Saltwater" came to the spinning reel scene in '51 as a 1/2 bail model and lasted as such 'till '53. The '51 & '52 sold an estimated 4 - 5,000 units. The full bail reels went from '53 to '77. Production of the full bail reels was 2,100,000+(this is pretty good data which is based on serial # records. These records were absent from the earlier 1/2 bail style). Source: "The Mitchell Reel Muesum".

What I'd call "small changes" occurred along the way. For example, a '54 schematic shows 51 part #'s, while a '69 shows 68 diffrent part #'s. These "small changes" over a 24 yr. production peroid, may speak to the overall design, tolerances, and material quality of the 302. Big changes could be indicative of major problems, or a desire to cheapen a popular model. A good example of this would be the latest iteration of the 300. A plastic lookin Mitchell(no Garcia) 300 for $29.70 at Walmart.
I was able to guesstimate that mine is a '63-'66 version. The seller advertised it as a '55, but the presence of a removable rotor counterweight with 2 screws(part#'s 66 & 11) and the absence of part#5: 2-drag stack "shims", tells me different.
 Warning, soapbox statement: sellers need to make an effort to confirm statements like: "it's a vintage 1955". Or, at the very least, maybe they should tell you that their selling info. is a guess. Some, IMO, seem to want to say anything that sounds good, probably trying for a quick, over-priced sale. The drag screw was boggered and frozen in place, so it probably hasn't been removed in a long time, which is what is what you would need to do, to see any of the parts I described that might help identify it. Also, this important problem info. was not provided by the seller. I know, I know, buyer beware...

This is a rather complicated reel for a 50's---70's spinner, so I'll start with what I call "systems" and over a course of days disassemble the whole thing. Also I don't do ultrasonic cleaning, so I won't take it apart all at one time. What this actually really means, is that I'm afraid of having left-over parts and getting stuck, because I can't remember how to reassemble parts/systems that are new to me.

Please post comments, advice, correct my inaccuracies, etc. as I go. Note: I mixed terminology up at times, using generic nouns for spinner parts that I'm familier with and nouns from way back when, that Mitchell uses in the schematic. I'll try'n correct that in future posts.

Reel's in the middle, with a Fin Nor LT-100(left) and Zebco Cardinal 4(right) for size comparison.





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« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 07:42:32 PM by Gfish » Logged

Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 12:17:42 PM »

Nice catch! I got to dig my 302 out of storage and give it a look. Garcia Mitchel was the go to reel in the 1970's.
eBay is loaded with miss numbered reel parts and reels that need more "love" than the description.
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 01:56:18 PM »

I got one cheap in a bunch of assorted reels on ebay a while back.  Somebody on this forum told me it was probably made about 1956.  It's a Mitchell, not a Garcia Mitchell.


A previous owner had filed around on the reel foot.  I imagine because the reel foot on these are so long they won't fit a modern Ugly Stik, Eagle Claw, Whuppin Stick, or Berkley Big Game.  However it fits my old 9' Roddy fiberglass surf rod.


Was definitely different than any other Mitchell I've worked on.  First reel I'd ever seen with two c-clips on the axle. These reels have the most complicated set of drag washers I've encountered.

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Gfish
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 02:58:51 PM »

Yeah Chester. No "Garcia" and no "302" on the tail-plate. Also the counter-weight in the rotor looks like it don't screw in. A '56 it could be. If your interested, the drag stack should have 2-part # 5 shims, one up underneath the copper spring washer in the drag knob and one between the collared washer and the coil spring. Also, the clicker  right below the coil spring, on the '56 is called a "coaster assembly"---2 washers; a big fat lookin click pawl and a skinny click washer. The '57 on, has a thinner click pawl wavy washer with a gap in it. Works pretty well on mine.
That's too bad with the filing. The external parts on that'n otherwise look real nice.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 08:57:33 AM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 03:23:11 PM »

1) The handle assembly. A little Inox penetrating oil, a brass wire brush on the exposed friction surfaces and threads. A cotton swab with Inox to clean the inside of the knob. Some marine grease on all threads and knob screw.
A larger knob, like on the 402 would be nice.
Leave the handle out of the reel, so that latter you can pull the main gear shaft out.

Next, the spool, spindle and drag stack.


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« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 07:08:39 PM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2019, 04:00:29 PM »

2) Spool, drag stack, drag stack with modification and the spindle.
I like the big heavy spindle: it screws off/on to the shaft with a 9mm open-end. It seems to provide good stability for the relatively wide aluminum spool. There are 2 flat sides on the spindle, like on a Penn gear sleeve. Note that the bottom-of-the-spool fiber washer was replaced with delrin in the 4-155 Penn size and is sitting on top of the spindle.

I managed to put 2 - 6-155 c-tex, slightly modified, in the bottom of the stack. The stack barely fits into the spool recess now and I only removed 1 "spacer washer".  The spacer washer is what we call a keyed washer when working on Penn conventionals(2 sides are flat on the i.d.) Conversely, Mitchell refers to what we call "eared washers" as "keyed washers" in the schematic.

Lapped the brass washers with 1000 grit wet/dry, scraped the other drag parts with a wire brush and everything was painted with Cal's tan drag grease.



A big THANK YOU to Fred for replacement parts: drag screw, drag knob, bail wire and roller assembly. I damaged the old ones gettin 'em out by cutting too deep a groove in both parts. I was attempting to get a good bite with a screwdriver as the the screw was frozen and the slot damaged.

Pictures: 1) original stack; 2) c-tex added in, 1 "keyed" washer removed; 3) close-up of spool, spindle and new c-tex.

Next, the rotor cup and the bail.


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« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 09:01:42 AM by Gfish » Logged

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mo65
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2019, 05:49:53 AM »

   Great post G! The 302 is one Mitchell absent from my stable...hopefully that changes soon. I'm sure this thread will be helpful when I tear into one. Cool
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 06:49:55 AM »

Mo, I might also suggest a 488 for you. You will see why when you lay hands on it Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 08:19:14 AM »

I LOVE my 489. Its drag isn't as strong as the 302s, at least not as upgradable, but skirted spools make so much sence, and it retrieves a bunch of line for every rotation. There are a TON of things you can do with a 302. Cross-wind, drag upgrade, put a 303 side plate on and support the main on both sides. Lots of clear side plates floating around.
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George6308
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 08:50:17 AM »

Just got my Mitchell 302 out of storage. Opened it up checked on the gears. Found everything in order. Took drag apart & cleaned the metal washers. Maybe one day I will fish with it.
Thanks Gfish for the for the reminder of a long forgotten tool.
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 09:50:51 AM »

Nice post and a lot of thoughtful research.
-steve
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2019, 10:15:03 AM »

Ron, you have a 499 remember
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2019, 04:49:03 PM »

Great look(s) at a classic reel & the comments are pertinent & help expand the discussion.  Way to go folks!

Frank
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Gfish
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2019, 07:42:12 PM »

System 3) the rotor & bail system.
Note: The spool and spindle has been removed and serviced already.
1st; take off the 14mm rotor nut and remove rotor. 3 things to keep track of: the tiny "key" attached to the pinion shaft, and remember: a copper shim first, on top the ball bearing, then a chrome bushing on top of the shim. Possibly the chrome bushing will be stuck to the bottom of the rotor. Put 'em back on the pinion shaft for now.

When I first got the reel, it wasn't turning easy. I thought " bad ball bearing". When I opened it up, I found someone had reversed the bushing and shim order. The schematic cleared it up for me. Much better now.

2nd; remove 2 bail screws and bail, then the line roller nut & lockwasher. 3rd; remove 1 screw holding the 2-part bail release mechanism located inside the rotor. Remvoe the unit, carefull! don't let the bail release pin fall out, and as you slide this pin out of the rotor from the inside out, keep your finger on the pin spring. Also, note which side of the pin contacts the bail arm and reinstall the same way, later on. 4th; remove the counterweight if it's the type with screws insteda rivets.


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« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 09:11:57 AM by Gfish » Logged

Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2019, 08:15:26 PM »

Ron, you have a 499 remember
What's one digit among friends?
The 488/9/98/9 are basically the same except for the rotor. At least that's the way I understand it.

Thanks for the back up.
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