We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Home >  Latest Articles > Legendary Tackle - Mitchell Match 440A Reel

Legendary Tackle - Mitchell Match 440A Reel
Match Fishing

Legendary Tackle - Mitchell Match 440A Reel

Posted Thursday, January 1, 2015   |   5319 views   |   Sport   |   Comments (0) We check out the Mitchell Match, which became the must-have reel for a generation.

No Legends issue would be complete without mentioning perhaps the most iconic reel of all – the Mitchell Match. Released in the 1970s, the Mitchell Match 440A was a reel way ahead of its time. It was the first to incorporate the finger-dab function, for which this reel became famous. This design feature meant that the bail arm was simply opened by lightly pressing it and releasing it through the cast. This helped it become an essential tool for float anglers, and even today you will see them being used on a number of river matches.

However, the Match’s finger-dab bail arm wasn’t the only feature that made these reels so desirable. They were supplied with shallow match spools that would be perfectly loaded with 100 yards of 1lb to 4lb main line and these were also “extra-wide”, which helped light lines peel effortlessly from the spool. At the time, these innovations were revolutionary and led where other reels have since followed.

The Match wasn’t without its drawbacks, though – ask anyone who used one about getting the bail arm back over after hitting into a chub when trotting a river and you’ll hear some tales. With no manual closure, the bail had to be wound over with the reel handle, and there was always a sickening moment when contact with the hooked fish was momentarily lost... and a sigh of relief when it was felt to be still on.

This, how ever, was something willingly put up with by its legions of users and admirers. If you were to pick a Match up today you would instantly realise that the reel was somewhat ‘wonky’ – the reel spins in the opposite direction to what you would normally see on today’s models. They also featured a rather charming wobbly ‘grind’ to them, although many anglers solved this by taking them apart and liberally applying WD-40 to the internals. Get one working properly, though, and it was possible to back wind a float down the peg, holding it back smoothly in the flow.

Another ‘quirk’ was the reel’s bail-arm roller. This was introduced into some of the intermediate models in the reel’s history and actually caused terrible line spin. Anglers again turned engineer to solve this and often glued the roller in place to prevent the spin. The earlier Mitchell 300 was also a popular reel; this had a much slower retrieve, though, and really slowed the angler down, so it was generally used more for feeder and tip fishing. The 440A, by comparison, had a fast, 6:1 ratio, which was a dream for the stick-float and waggler anglers as they could make so many more ‘runs’ throughout a match.

The blue colour was also a large part of the 440A’s attraction, although some versions were supplied in black. The Mitchell Match is still widely used to this day by die-hard river anglers and there are always one or two to be had on eBay, where they still draw a fair price – so why not buy yourself a piece of match fishing history? (Assistant editor Joe Carass did just that!)

For more great articles like this get the Jan-15 issue of Match Fishing below or subscribe and save.

Single Issue - September 2017 Replica Edition included
$4.49
Or 449 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.33 per issue
SAVE
26%
$39.99
Or 3999 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.66 per issue
SAVE
18%
$21.99
Or 2199 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.49 per issue
$4.49
Or 449 points

View Issues

About Match Fishing

Match Fishing is THE magazine for any angler that wants to catch more fish and gain an edge! All aspects of competitive fishing are covered, with in-depth features, advice and stories covering lakes, canals and rivers. No matter where you fish or your level of ability, there is something for you to enjoy, each and every month, in Match Fishing!

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this subscribe to Match Fishing today.

Most read articles this month


Ghost towns!

Ghost towns!

Abandoned towns, empty cities, uninhabited villages… You can find ghost towns all over the world. Here are a few famous ones. [Please note, the complete article comes complete with a glossary box, an audio file, and exercises.] More...
48 hours in Venice, by land and water

48 hours in Venice, by land and water

From the pages of Italia!, Sara Scarpa takes us on a tour of her native Venice, following a route that accentuates the close relationship the city has with the water that surrounds it… More...
How to make a Paper Tea Cup with Crafts Beautiful

How to make a Paper Tea Cup with Crafts Beautiful

Old books are the inspiration for Clare Youngs' dainty papercraft creations in the most recent May issue of Crafts Beautiful... More...
How do digital magazines work?

How do digital magazines work?

Digital magazines can seem like an alien experience for devoted magazine fans. Where will you be without that new glossy magazine smell? The sound of the page turning? A quiet half hour to just devour the latest news and views on your favourite hobby? More...
STAFF PICK: Blocks Magazine

STAFF PICK: Blocks Magazine

Adam Osborn reviews Blocks Magazine More...
STAFF PICK: Autosport

STAFF PICK: Autosport

This week we ask our Marketing Executive Jimmy about his favourite digital magazine. More...
7 Ways to Stick to Your Workout with Your Fitness

7 Ways to Stick to Your Workout with Your Fitness

Whether it’s a busy schedule, life commitments or simply a lack of motivation, it can be tough to stay on track with your exercise regime. Your Fitness magazine asked Jim and Fiona Crossley, the founders of F45 Kingston (f45kingston.co.uk), for their tips on how to keep up with your training and achieve your fitness goals. More...
 3 Vegan Nice Creams from Vegan Food & Living

3 Vegan Nice Creams from Vegan Food & Living

The shades are out, the sunscreen is on and all you need to complete your summer chill is the best ice cream! More...
STAFF PICK: Olive

STAFF PICK: Olive

Felicity Mikellides reviews Olive magazine More...
How To Make Sugarcraft Elephants with Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft

How To Make Sugarcraft Elephants with Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft

Taken from the February issue, sugarcraft superhero Lindy Smith of Lindy's Cakes made these amazing little elephants to adorn a Mandala cake. Here's how to make them! More...
Vouchers Gift Cards A magazine subscription is the perfect gift but you'll need something to show on the big day. View All
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points