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An Outdoor Guy

Left Hand Retrieve VS Right Hand Retrieve

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So this has been on my mind for awhile now, along with some other things but I'm wondering why people use right hand retrieve reels when they switch hands after they cast??? Wouldn't it make more sense to use a left hand retrieve??

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Different strokes!  What makes perfect sense to one is insanity to another.  Fortunately we all get to decide for ourselves though, and cheers to that!!  :D

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A search will turn up a ton of posts on right hand versus left hand.  I originally felt switching was a waste of time.  More than once I have had fish strike as soon as the lure hit the water.  Some say they switch hands before the lure hits the water.  I can't take my thumb away from the spool until the lure hits.  Guess I need more spool tension.   :D  As far as switching hands go, you get over it.  After awhile you don't even think about it.

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some people are hopelessly right handed. they probably couldn't even give you the finger using their left hand :D

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I think a lot of it was just that for the longest time most casting reels were right handed with very few left handed versions, so most people that have been fishing for a while had no choice but to use right handed casting reels and learn to switch.  Recently though most companies have most reel models in both left and right handed versions so now you have the option.

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There is a pretty strong trend toward rightys cranking with the left.

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^^^^ Yup!  I tried, but could barely hold the rod in my left hand.  I don't know what would have happened if I actually had a fish on.  

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The same people that switch hands crank spinners with their left lots of times. For me holding the Rod with my dominant hand is more comfortable. There's no right or wrong. 

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I prefer to use both for several reasons.  First I have been a mechanic on heavy equipment so I have used my hands professionally for a long time. Changing up helps avoid cramping in my hands during a long day out on the water.  Besides that, I have come to use the left handed reels on baits that I impart action on such as a jig, a frog, a jerkait or a carolina rig for example.  Here my dominant hand is on the rod ( my right hand) and my left hand is reeling in the slack.  Baits that I chuck and wind like rattle traps, crankbaits, spinnerbaits etc I prefer my right hand is on the reel and that has always made my choices easy. 

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I'm a righty and grew up only fishing spinning reels.  I never fell in love with a baitcaster until I bought one that was left hand retrieve. 

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4 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

I prefer to use both for several reasons.  First I have been a mechanic on heavy equipment so I have used my hands professionally for a long time. Changing up helps avoid cramping in my hands during a long day out on the water.  Besides that, I have come to use the left handed reels on baits that I impart action on such as a jig, a frog, a jerkait or a carolina rig for example.  Here my dominant hand is on the rod ( my right hand) and my left hand is reeling in the slack.  Baits that I chuck and wind like rattle traps, crankbaits, spinnerbaits etc I prefer my right hand is on the reel and that has always made my choices easy. 

I am going to consider doing this myself. I have the same profession and I feel ya on the hand cramps. I'll have to switch handle sides on a spinning to see how it feels before I invest in LH baitcaster.

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Most spinning reels are on the left side already, very few people actually reel with a handle mounted on the right side.

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I have small-ish hands, always cast right-handed, and use mainly RH reels but switch to LH for most flipping and pitching (and always LH retrieve for spinning).  Here's my take on it:

Switching hands makes sense if you want to grip the reel differently during the cast than during the retrieve.  For me, it's more comfortable and balanced to palm the reel during the retrieve, but I can't easily operate the thumb bar and thumb the spool from a palming position.  Switching hands solves that problem - during the right-handed cast, my free left hand can move to palm the reel, and all my right hand has to do at the end is let go and grab the handle (no delay).  Switching back at the end of the cast is actually the more inconvenient step (IMO), but still easily happens during the wind-up for the next cast (no delay).

On the other hand (:D), if you're casting right-handed and using a left-retrieve reel, you need to find a grip that works for both casting and retrieving (or do some kind of shimmy to reposition, but that's arguably even more awkward than switching).  For me, that ends up being a "half-palming" grip, usually two or three fingers ahead of the trigger but with my hand far enough back to comfortably operate the thumb bar and control the spool.  For me, this is a somewhat less comfortable grip, but I use LH retrieve reels for flipping and pitching for two reasons:

1. For repeated, quick, one-handed flips/pitches, switching hands is tedious and wastes a little bit of time (you can't easily switch during wind-up and in flight).
2. My hand is always positioned to easily run the thumb bar and thumb the spool, nice for when I need to strip line for a vertical fall.

Having smaller hands, I'm more picky about the size/shape of LH reels I'm going to be "half-palming."  The best I've found for righty converts like me is the TD-Z 105HL (or 103HL).  I use a 105 and it's a weird looking reel and takes some getting used to, but the shape was designed for this exact purpose.  I wish Daiwa would bring back a reel on a platform like this.

Ultimately, whatever's most comfortable for you is best.  Switching hands is not a handicap, and neither is casting/reeling with opposite hands.  There are plenty of pros out there having no trouble with switching (or not switching), and they would change if one was less efficient.

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Lefty, righty on reels really stands for what side the handle is on.  Anyone can use either.  I learned to fish with spin casting gear when I was a kid so a rh casting reel was natural for me.  YMMV

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My left hand/arm might as well be attached to someone else, I'd have about the same amount of control over it.

I can cast, switch hands, and start my retrieve without even thinking about it. I tried a left hand retrieve baitcaster for several months, but all I did was prove that I'm not capable of learning to use a left handed baitcaster.

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2 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I can cast, switch hands, and start my retrieve without even thinking about it. I tried a left hand retrieve baitcaster for several months, but all I did was prove that I'm not capable of learning to use a left handed baitcaster.

Same.  A lifetime of muscle memory is hard to overcome.

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I'm right handed, and I reel, cast, and hold the rod with my right. Both bait casting and spinning. As far as the "switching hands" thing goes, I do it without even thinking. It literally takes less than one second to change a rod from left hand to right. Reeling with my left hand, (or anything for that matter) feels like I never developed my motor skills properly lol. I have been fishing this way my whole life. I think this is due to my father being a lefty. He taught me how to fish, and him being a lefty, he would reel with his right.

4 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

My left hand/arm might as well be attached to someone else, I'd have about the same amount of control over it.

Yup! This is me too.

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My very first reel was a Zebco 202 on a five foot fiberglass rod, and I used to catch a ton of fish with a Mepps spinner or a Tiny Torpedo in the pond where we lived. I remember the learning curve when I bought my first Garcia Mitchell 300 and had to crank with the left hand. When I started using bait casters I tried a LH for buzz baits, but didn't feel as comfortable as a RH. I crank with the left hand when spinning and the right when using baitcasters and am comfortable with both, but I am an older/more mature individual with thousands of hours of muscle memory

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12 hours ago, Master Bait'r said:

Different strokes!  What makes perfect sense to one is insanity to another.  Fortunately we all get to decide for ourselves though, and cheers to that!!  :D

I couldn;t have said it better.

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I switched to left hand over 10 years ago, it took about one full day of casting a crankbait if my memory serves me correct. I've never looked back. 

 

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When I started  fishing, it was with spinning tackle with the crank on the left side, and holding the rod in my right hand. When I started using casting gear, I didn't pay any attention to what side the handle was on, and bought a RH  reel. It felt weird and awkward to me, I took it back and exchanged it for a LH casting reel...........this was in about 1987-88 or so..........LH casting reels were available back then, but not like they are today, and finding one on a 12 year old kids paper route/lawn mowing money was a challenge. But I have been using LH casting reels ever since..............can't change now.

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For me the preference boils down to this: what do I want to make my non-dominant hand do?  I'm a right hander and learned on spinning reels, so cranking my left is well-practiced, but holding the rod while working the bait, setting the hook, and fighting a fish with my left is not. My right hand is much more agile and could probably figure out how to crank, but my left strongly resists ever learning anything it doesn't already know how to do. So, leftys for me. Had I learned on a right-handed baitcaster at age 8 instead, it might be the other way around.

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8 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I can cast, switch hands, and start my retrieve without even thinking about it. I tried a left hand retrieve baitcaster for several months, but all I did was prove that I'm not capable of learning to use a left handed baitcaster.

X3. I switch my spinning,reels,to right side as well. 

Another thing to consider is the abundance and variety of righty reels vs lefty. More lefty choices than ever before but nothing like righty. Most companies have 4+ offerings in diffrent speeds per model in righty,  but only 1 or 2 in lefty. 

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I crank with my left hand on casting, spinning and fly reels.  Just makes sense to me but that is the nice thing, there is no hard and fast rule about what you should do.

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I pitch with a left handed baitcaster. If I ever get a boat (so I can hold more rods) I'd probably alternate when using retrieving style baits so my wrist don't get worn out. Chatterbaits in particular seem to wear me out. 

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