Why You Should Use Two Hands When Baitcasting

Years ago, the late, great John Merwin wrote a blog post expressing his opinion about the right way to grip a baitcasting outfit. John wrote, _"__I'm holding the rod and reel so the reel's handle is on top or uppermost. My thumb rests partly against the reel frame and partly against the spool. This hand position also puts the first knuckle of my index finger (where it joins my palm) on top of the rod, where it will deliver most of the casting force."_ I totally agree with his grip style, but there was a reader comment on that post with a suggestion for making yourself even better with a baitcaster: use your other hand on the butt of the rod. This tip is, in my opinion, equally spot on. Baitcasting should be a two-handed deal.


I think the unassisted one-arm cast was born during the pistol grip rod era. Short rods and roll casts were the norm, but anglers soon realized that these rods lacked the balance and leverage needed to manage bigger fish during the fight. Later, when extended butts became standard again, creating lighter combos with better balance, most anglers (even pros) kept using the one-arm cast. If you’re one of those anglers whose other hand is pressing buttons on your graph or popping Pez, consider using that idle paw to cast. Why? Because when you start utilizing the other hand to counterbalance each and every cast, you ultimately see less daily fatigue, fewer backlashes, and increased accuracy and distance. The only way to get used to it, of course, is to consciously cast this way over and over until it becomes habit.