Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

ORCA Online Forum - Feel free to talk or ask about ALL kinds of old tackle here, with an emphasis on old reels!
Post Reply
User avatar
Mike N
Star Board Poster
Posts: 3000
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 1:50 pm
Location: WV

Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

Post by Mike N »

I love vintage tournament casting reels. I’ve always wondered about the distance one of these open-face Mitchell “wedding cake” tournament casting reels would throw a casting weight or bait in saltwater?

I also found this interesting article:

https://mitchell-collectors-internation ... ent_1.html




Mike N.
Last edited by Mike N on Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Mike N.
ORCA Founder, 1990

colby sorrells
Super Board Poster
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:15 am

Re: Any ORCAn ever casted one of these?

Post by colby sorrells »

I'll bet B.L. Farley has. So has Jay Klenk.

Keepin' It Fun!

Colby

User avatar
Midway Tommy D
Star Board Poster
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:23 pm
Location: Eastern NE

Re: Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

Post by Midway Tommy D »

Not a Mitchell, but I flipped this ABU Garcia beauty a few times while it still had line on it before I cleaned & resealed the magnesium spools to protect them from corrosion. I really never got the hang of it but it was a fun and interesting
endeavor. :D



They originally came painted in candy apple red for protection. Most guys installed a fine wire wrap on these to better hold the first layer line on the spool.


The two sections are held together with screws.





Here's a neat 1961 article about the ABU 444's (which is the same reel as this ABU Garcia) top placings in World Championship competitions.
Love those Open Face Spinning Reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco)

Tom DeLong, NE
ORCA Member - 2022

Stef Duma
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:54 am
Location: England

Re: Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

Post by Stef Duma »

I have tried 3 or 4 tournament reels and I have to say I have made a complete mess every time.

Like Homer Simpson says "If at first you don't succeed, give up" I did with all of them.

User avatar
RonG
ORCA President
Posts: 1059
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 8:49 pm
Location: Frostproof, FL
Contact:

Re: Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

Post by RonG »

I have seen these reels come up for auction over the years. I've also often wondered how one would use it. I'm used to using a Mitchell 300 and this Tournament reel is quite different. How is the line wrapped around the spool? Where do you start and where do you end? How do the line guides on the side get used? If someone would post photos of an instruction brochure that came with the reel, I'm sure all these questions would be answered.

User avatar
Steve
Star Board Poster
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2003 6:11 am
Contact:

Re: Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

Post by Steve »

Here's the prototype:

Steve Vernon
ORCA Honorary member

NEW BOOK: ANTIQUE FISHING REELS, 2nd Edition
Website: Antique Fishing Reels

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

Shellbelly
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 2:21 pm

Re: Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

Post by Shellbelly »

How cool is that spinner?! I have the same query. How do you spool it? Make a jig for the spool? I would think attention to tension would be important and it's probably built to handle a specified line OD.

I'm with Stef. I would have a mess hanging in front of that spool like a tangled up slinky. Spinners were before their time when nylon and mono weren't quite ready. When advanced line hit the market, spinners were ready.

User avatar
Midway Tommy D
Star Board Poster
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:23 pm
Location: Eastern NE

Re: Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

Post by Midway Tommy D »

RonG wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:09 am
I have seen these reels come up for auction over the years. I've also often wondered how one would use it. I'm used to using a Mitchell 300 and this Tournament reel is quite different. How is the line wrapped around the spool? Where do you start and where do you end? How do the line guides on the side get used? If someone would post photos of an instruction brochure that came with the reel, I'm sure all these questions would be answered.
Never seen an instruction booklet. I'm pretty sure you had to be a competitive tournament caster to get the inside information, kind of like "on the job training". :D

Here's some information I posted about the innards & workings back in 2017 when we had an earlier discussion about tournament reels.
Love those Open Face Spinning Reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco)

Tom DeLong, NE
ORCA Member - 2022

User avatar
kyreels
Super Board Poster
Posts: 593
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:12 pm
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Re: Has any ORCAn ever cast one of these?

Post by kyreels »

I have several reels from BL Farley, who held the ICF World Championship in the 30 gram open spool division using an Abu Garcia reel and a Pezon and Michel Bamboo rod. The record at that time in 1965 was 567 feet, but has subsequently been broken by others, including Steve Alishi. The Abu Reel came to BL from Buddy Tarantino, who taught BL and Steve how to rig and throw the long spool. The rig requires a strong shock leader to sustain the tremendous pressure exerted by the rod, much the same as unlimited distance reels. BL used an 6 part shock leader that started with 40 lb nylon and tapered down to the line on the spool being .006 nylon. Each piece of the leader was around 18 inches. According to BL, you had to take the spool off the reel and carefully wind it by hand to set up the reel properly. All the knots were barrel knots.

The Pezon and Michell Rod is a post for another day, interesting in that it came from the factory given to BL on a tour courtesy of Charles Ritz, of the Ritz Hotel family. All the line guides are removable and have a really great attachment system.

I called BL to see if he might post to this thread to update the group on details I may have missed. I don't know if this reel is one of the 2 or 3 known, but it did probably come to Buddy from the Abu rep, who also supplied BL with some reels directly.

Former ORCA member Bill Burke (d) made spools for the Mitchel and Abu reels used by almost all the casters, being much lighter and easier to cast than the original metal spools.



The Mitchell 498/499 Special Surf Casting reel is also interesting and widely used in the ACA and ICF for surf casting events. Some early surf casting events actually used up to 4 oz weights. I have some examples of these, and especially prize my 4 oz Hardy weight. But 30 gram was the size used in the 60's.


I don't have any pictures of anyone casting the long spool wedding cake reels, but here is a picture of BL casting the revolving spool surf event. As I understand it, the style is much the same.
Matt Wickham
Collector of Casting Weights, KY Reels and KY Tackle

Post Reply