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Shakespeare reel dating

To distinguish these from the common Level-Wind gearing they installed a red anodized Handle Knob.The lowest serial number found to date is #A07127 and the highest is #A07324 with two others in between.They all have the basic classic body (housing) design of the very first Mitchell with a three screw "Cover Plate" as shown to the left.Plus and most important; these all were serial numbered in sequence at the Mitchell factory after assembly regardless of the different models or even which distributor (country) they were made for.Matching Serial Number stickers started being placed on each box’s outer brown paper shipping wrap somewhere within this time period.Unfortunately almost all of these wrappers have been discarded but several have been found and documented, still in their original factory state.

1969 – SN 8603501 to 9244733 1970 – SN 9295633 to 9963012 When nearing 10 million "Classic Egg-Shaped" reels made; in 1971 Mitchell reverted back to their original alphanumeric serial numbers with a wide variety of digit combination's.Between these two numbers I’ve documented regular 3rd versions with serial numbers as low as #B32817 and as high as #B42156.Besides the serial number, they are easy to document as authentic with very unique parts within the Head including the Baffle Plate. 1951/52 – SN “C” Prefix was carried over with the transition period occurring in the very low “C” serial number prefix range.The red knob had been replaced on one that was discovered but when checked it had the “unique” Cross-Wind gearing. 1950/52 – SN “A, B & C” Prefixes are found on 3rd Versions but again another anomaly occurred; Test or “Pilot” 4th Version full bails were made on what I currently believe on two runs.The first run was found with serial number B29598 and the second with #B49681 or about 20,000 reels later.Because this is not an exact science some may be off but they can’t be by much.Please note that these dates are the approximate date of manufacture at the factory and NOT date of receipt by the wholesaler, retailer or when it was first advertised or purchased.This is when Mitchell realized there wasn’t going to be enough alphanumeric numbers so they changed to just numbers.The lowest SN I’ve documented is #40779 and the highest is #9963012 and over 900 more serial numbers in between and growing!This makes it very easy to date these reels by just the serial number letter prefix.These started in 1971 with the letter “A” prefix and so on.


  1. Shakespeare reel date codes. Let me know what else you would like to know about this reel. Sorry that the Shakespeare Dating Chart did not fit into the comment.

  2. How old is my Shakespeare reel? From about 1929 to 1977, all Shakespeare reels carried a two letter dating code. The main purpose of the letters was to indicate each time a change was made to a reel. For instance in 1935 the Stainless Super reel, model number 1975 was manufactured. However, the next year the reel required a slight modification.

  3. Repair Rod Parts UK Australian Reel Collector Mitchell Reel Parts USPS Rates Mitchell Reel Dates Alvey History Pflueger Reels Shakespeare Reels. Fish Angels.

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