The Other Reel of the Decade – The Mitchell

The Garcia Mitchell 300 circa 1973.

The Garcia Mitchell 300 circa 1973.

Back in July, 2012 we posted a piece about a reel that garnered a lot of comments – not on the site here but on Facebook and also through direct comments. It seemed a lot of the readers were upset that I had chosen the Zebco Cardinal series reel as the reel of the decade – 1970s. [Read more…]

Spreading a Little Christmas Cheer – II

1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas catalog.

1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas catalog.

With only two days left to get your shopping done, here’s an add that’ll either depress the heck out of you or make you wish you lived back in this era of the sport. Yep, the year again is 1976 and Johhny Morris at Bass Pro Shops is rockin’ some deals – even for the time.

Between the two-page ad, if you bought all the reels, your cash layout would be $241.61 –  which is about what it cost me to buy my wife’s Shimano Christmas present today. Yes, for roughy a c-note you could have two Speed Spools, or a Speed Spool and two Zebco Cardinal 4s, or a Champion 700-B and three Cardinal 4s – oh there’s so many options how do you choose? [Read more…]

The Reel of the Decade – Maybe Longer

Zebco/ABU Cardinal 4 circa 1971.

I think we can all come to an agreement with this one. Without a doubt, the Zebco/ABU Cardinal 4 (and 3) was the best spinning reel of its time. They may not have been the number-one selling reel, they cost more than an ordinary spinner at the time, but they were bomb-proof – pun intended.

The reels, manufactured by ABU Sweden and sold by Zebco, became available to the U.S. market in roughly the 1969 time frame and by 1971, Zebco was in an all-out marketing war with Garcia and their French-made Mitchell. By the mid 70s the reel had become the most widely sought-after spinning reel in the country. [Read more…]