Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I just stumbled into a trade for one of these, unfortunately I didn't get the imitation Crown Royale bag or more importantly the extra spool and spool bag, but fortunately it's in like new condition. I troll a bunch of fishing forums, and have A LOT of fishing stuff from my many years of fishing, plus stuff given to me by friends, found at garage sales or stuff I got from my grandfather.

I used to make the rounds of vintage and antique fishing tackle shows, and then with the advent of EBAY I quickly joined and sold many of my garage and estate sale finds there. Although I have not been doing much ebaying lately, it seems ebay is moving back towards being a garage sale instead of the Amazon dot com imitation it had recently become. Thus, I may be doing some selling on ebay in the future again.

But I had a green Garcia Abu Ambassador 6000D (For direct drive, like the commercials used to say) that I had bought with an employee discount in the 70's during a summer job at Kmart. I used it a few times, then stored it back in it's box and although I'd tried to sell it on ebay, I never got what I wanted for it and so still had it.

I saw a post on a forum for someone looking for a reel like the 6000D, and listed a group of reels they were willing to trade. Among the reels listed was the above-pictured Mitchell Neptune, a saltwater reel that is uniquely claimed to be waterproof.

I remember when these came out in 2000 or so and recall I wanted to buy one but never did. Well, I got it in the mail today and it's a beauty. If it has been used, the use has been light. I briefly took it apart and the grease was still on the gears inside. It had none of the even light saltwater crystalization sheen that appears inside reels used in saltwater. I didn't inspect the drag but will later, but suspect it's in the same shape because the line is in very good shape and really, the reel looks like it's been stored out of dust and such because it's clean as a whistle.

It has a rubberized body and a unique bail system, and I'm going to try to try it out in the next couple of weeks.
And if you've got one of these reels, and have a schematic/parts list, I'd love to have a copy. I think there is a site where I can get a copy. OR if'n you've got an extra spool you'd like to get rid of, let me know. Email is in the profile, checked every week or so.
I don't know if mine is the 6500 or the 7500, but it looks to have 25 lb test or so line on it.
The coolest feature about this reel is that the free spool switch is covered in the rubber housing, so you activate it by pressing on the rubber covering it. Very cool. The more places you can prevent sand and salt and salt water from entering a reel, the better. I'm skeptical as to how a spinning reel could prevent water from somehow entering off of the spool via the drag mechanism, but I have an open mind about it as the rest of the reel is pristine.
So if you know anything about these reels, please post. I've found a few threads about them on various fishing sites, but I'm guessing it was discontinued by Mitchell several years ago. Pity. I'd love to have a nice Abu-Matic 290 covered in this rubberized material.

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