Finally, and with handles up, the rod grip is supported by all four fingers underneath and the heel of my thumb on top. It's comfortable and gives easy control. Casting is easy, even without using my left hand on the rod butt in a two-handed grip. With a handles-to-the-side grip, however, lifting your thumb off the spool to release the cast also lifts the heel of that thumb off the rod. The rod itself is then less supported and it's almost impossible to cast one-handed this way.