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Q:
A right handed person fishes a spinning reel with the rod in the right hand and the reel in the left. When switching to a baitcaster, a right-handed baitcasting reel has the reel in the right hand and the rod in the left. Why the switch?

Question by hermit crab. Uploaded on May 15, 2012

Answers (9)

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from OutdoorEnvy wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

Generally when fishing with spinning setups you are fishing a little lighter gear and line and therefor you hold the rod in your dominant hand so you get more feel for subtle bites and control. Baitcast setups are usually heavier line and tackle so most lure working is with the retrieving so you use your dominant hand to control the retrieve speed. There's not real rules though to it so just use whatever is comfortable to you. You can find right or left handed reels of both so whatever suits your fancy go for it

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from santa wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

One very simple answer is that you use the right hand when casting both. The best defination of a right handed person would be one that has better control and accuracy of course with the right hand. When you cast a baitcast reel, you want the thumb of the hand with the best control on the spool to control the line. You cast with the right hand and as the cast ends, you move the reel and rod to your left hand. you catually transfer the left side of the reel to your left palm and end up holding the reel, not the rod handle. Think of it like practicing throwing a base ball from your right hand to a glove on your left hand. It is all just one smooth movement and becomes so natural that you do not even know that you are doing it.

When casting a spinning reel, here again you are using the right hand with the most control for the casting part and using a finger on the right hand to control the line. You are already holding the ROD with the foot stem between your fingers and changing hands would be awkward at best.

I personally can cast with either hand and use left hand reels in my right hand or right hand reels in my left hand (backwards for both ways). I meet people all the time that do not agree with my line of thinking and use reels the way that they are the most comfortable with. So in the end, do what you feel most comfortable with, but remember that the reasoning behind the reel designs and the way to correctly use them has been around and evolved to what it is today over many years of use and experience.

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from dleurquin wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I predominately use spinning gear but was buying a baitcaster for a musky rod. The salesman had to convince me to keep the reel handle on the right side (I'm used to it on the left) like it should be. His reasoning was because if I'm right handed, my right hand is stronger and can real in line faster and for longer periods than my left hand. I bought the right-handed reel but was skeptical. However, I tested it out on some spinning gear later that year (I could easily switch my handles to the left or right side) and he was right.

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from hermit crab wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I always reel with my left hand, whether spinning or baitcasting. Most of the action that I impart to lures comes from my rod-hand, regardless of fishing style. I also feel as if I have more control on the rod when playing fish with my right hand on the rod compared to my left. If I need to be reeling in faster, I use a faster gear ratio for my reel. There's certainly no right or wrong way though, and I'm sure if I grew up with a right-handed baitcasting reel instead of a left handed one, I'd be singing a different tune - after a few years of always reeling with my left, I have a heck of a time trying to use a "right-handed" one.

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from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

One of the few sports equipment thats set up for the left hander! We do not have to switch hands and learn to crank with our right because we had to!

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from chuckles wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I had the same question when I bought a baitcaster. I just bought a "left handed" baitcasting reel so I could use my right hand to cast. It just felt better as most of my fishing is with spinning gear.
The switch never made sense to me but I didn't have anyone to teach me so I just did what felt right. Pretty sure the fish don't care.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

My river setups are "left handed" baitcasters. I figured out that I can reel just as well with left or right paw. Spinning reels require one to cast with the dominant hand while using the index finger as a trigger/line release on the cast. Doesn't make sense to switch rod hands either way, except for fatigue. Steelhead....the fish of a thousand casts...

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from dtbc333 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

As trapper Vic pointed out, this is one of the few things where it's an advantage to be a lefty, because there is no switch. When I went to buy my first baitcaster, I thought to myself "why do they have so many left-handed models?" since they are set up with the reel handle on the right side of the reel, just like a spinning reel that is set up left handed. It was months later before I realized that I was actually using right-handed baitcasters.

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from 357 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

i use a lefty retrieve on my baitcasters.

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from santa wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

One very simple answer is that you use the right hand when casting both. The best defination of a right handed person would be one that has better control and accuracy of course with the right hand. When you cast a baitcast reel, you want the thumb of the hand with the best control on the spool to control the line. You cast with the right hand and as the cast ends, you move the reel and rod to your left hand. you catually transfer the left side of the reel to your left palm and end up holding the reel, not the rod handle. Think of it like practicing throwing a base ball from your right hand to a glove on your left hand. It is all just one smooth movement and becomes so natural that you do not even know that you are doing it.

When casting a spinning reel, here again you are using the right hand with the most control for the casting part and using a finger on the right hand to control the line. You are already holding the ROD with the foot stem between your fingers and changing hands would be awkward at best.

I personally can cast with either hand and use left hand reels in my right hand or right hand reels in my left hand (backwards for both ways). I meet people all the time that do not agree with my line of thinking and use reels the way that they are the most comfortable with. So in the end, do what you feel most comfortable with, but remember that the reasoning behind the reel designs and the way to correctly use them has been around and evolved to what it is today over many years of use and experience.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from OutdoorEnvy wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

Generally when fishing with spinning setups you are fishing a little lighter gear and line and therefor you hold the rod in your dominant hand so you get more feel for subtle bites and control. Baitcast setups are usually heavier line and tackle so most lure working is with the retrieving so you use your dominant hand to control the retrieve speed. There's not real rules though to it so just use whatever is comfortable to you. You can find right or left handed reels of both so whatever suits your fancy go for it

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I predominately use spinning gear but was buying a baitcaster for a musky rod. The salesman had to convince me to keep the reel handle on the right side (I'm used to it on the left) like it should be. His reasoning was because if I'm right handed, my right hand is stronger and can real in line faster and for longer periods than my left hand. I bought the right-handed reel but was skeptical. However, I tested it out on some spinning gear later that year (I could easily switch my handles to the left or right side) and he was right.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hermit crab wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I always reel with my left hand, whether spinning or baitcasting. Most of the action that I impart to lures comes from my rod-hand, regardless of fishing style. I also feel as if I have more control on the rod when playing fish with my right hand on the rod compared to my left. If I need to be reeling in faster, I use a faster gear ratio for my reel. There's certainly no right or wrong way though, and I'm sure if I grew up with a right-handed baitcasting reel instead of a left handed one, I'd be singing a different tune - after a few years of always reeling with my left, I have a heck of a time trying to use a "right-handed" one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

One of the few sports equipment thats set up for the left hander! We do not have to switch hands and learn to crank with our right because we had to!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

I had the same question when I bought a baitcaster. I just bought a "left handed" baitcasting reel so I could use my right hand to cast. It just felt better as most of my fishing is with spinning gear.
The switch never made sense to me but I didn't have anyone to teach me so I just did what felt right. Pretty sure the fish don't care.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

My river setups are "left handed" baitcasters. I figured out that I can reel just as well with left or right paw. Spinning reels require one to cast with the dominant hand while using the index finger as a trigger/line release on the cast. Doesn't make sense to switch rod hands either way, except for fatigue. Steelhead....the fish of a thousand casts...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtbc333 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

As trapper Vic pointed out, this is one of the few things where it's an advantage to be a lefty, because there is no switch. When I went to buy my first baitcaster, I thought to myself "why do they have so many left-handed models?" since they are set up with the reel handle on the right side of the reel, just like a spinning reel that is set up left handed. It was months later before I realized that I was actually using right-handed baitcasters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 357 wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

i use a lefty retrieve on my baitcasters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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