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Cast right/reel right...finally something that makes sense!

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I was reading something on a fly fishing forum about our old beat-to-death topic of casting right, reeling right, and I came across something that - finally - makes sense:

 

Quote

The Old English style of casting right, retrieving right, was to keep the fish always on the main strong arm. We do it wrong by switching hands as soon as the fish is hooked. the rod is placed into the left hand only once the fish itself has put itself on the reel, then the fish is played on the reel with the main hand controlling the reel. That way the fish is always being controlled by the main hand, first by the rod then the reel till it is landed then released or capture with the main hand.

 

Not sure if it's true or not, but at least it makes sense.

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No fly reel I use is controlling any fish. I think it's just how they did it and we're desperate to assign deep logic to something I don't think got a lot of thought at all

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Utter nonsense as always. I've no idea how fly or casting reels ever got made as right retrieve as standard, but they did, so people learned to use them that way. I think that's about it, there's no more sense or logic to it than that. In more recent times that they've started offering the option of a left retrieve casting reel, those that weren't bought up reeling casting right have had the option to do it properly. ;) 

 

I expect it makes almost no difference, and either way works if that's how you do it, but I do wonder sometimes when I see pro anglers who do everything possible to be efficient on the water, constantly swapping hands or contorting themselves to wind in a bit of line while the rod's in the wrong hand. It would just be so much simpler if they used left retrieve reels. My hand never moves on the rod whether I'm casting or retrieving, so I can't be in an awkward or unready position and can bring the lure out of the water at the end of the retrieve and roll it straight into the next cast in one fluid movement. Seems more efficient to me.

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There is a logical reason the bait casting reel had the handle on the right side.

I grew up fishing with what we now call knuckle busters; bait casting reels that the handle was always engaged with the spool, no free spool. Most people being right handed held the pistol grip short handle rod by their dominate hand, the reel handle pointed up allowing one handed wrist action to cast the rod, the thumb controlling the spool, the handles spinning freely with the spool shaft riding on a fixed bearing/bushing on the opposite downward facing side plate. If the handles were pointed downward they would hit your shirt sleeve or forearm. Free spool reels that disengage the reel handle like Ambassaduer 500 that came out in the early 60's eliminated the need for the handle to be kept upright. Trigger grip long handle rods in the 70's promote using a 2 handed casting motion in lieu of the 1 hand wrist casting motion. The combination of free spool reels and trigger grip long handle rods made casting right or left handed optional and reel mfr's started offering left hand bait casting reels to fill the demand.

Nothing to do with fly fishing. Left hand reels were standard for spinning reels.

Tom

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1 minute ago, Tim Kelly said:

I expect it makes almost no difference, and either way works if that's how you do it...

That's the real (reel?) answer, but I've always been curious where it started and why...and it's really hard to get answers like this:

 

2 minutes ago, WRB said:

There is a logical reason bait casting reel had the handle on the right side.

I grew up fishing what we now call knuckle busters; bait casting reels that the handle was always engaged with the spool, no free spool. Most people being right handed held the pistol grip short handle rod by their right dominate hand, the reel handle pointed up allowing one handed wrist action to cast the rod, the thumb controlling the spool, the handles spinning freely with the spool riding on a fixed bearing on the opposite downward facing side plate. If the handles were pointed downward they would hit your shirt sleeve or forearm. Free spool reels that disengage the reel handle like Ambassaduer 500 that came out in the early 60's eliminated the need for the handle to be kept upright. Trigger grip long handle rods in the 70's promote using a 2 handed casting motion in lieu of the 1 hand wrist casting motion. The combination of free spool reels and trigger grip long handle rods made casting right or left handed optional and reel mfr's started offering left hand bait casting reels to fill the demand.

Nothing to do with fly fishing.

Tom

...which is another perfectly good explanation...without it devolving into a bunch of defensive justifications and/or why one way is better than the other...or, my favorite: "The pros do it, so it must be right!"

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The swap to the left hand for me is so quick i dont even notice im doing it anymore.Its all about comfort and what you're used to.I learned baitcasting on a right handed retrieve because thats what i bought when i bought it.(Drops mic)

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I think the only way it matters comes down to which way you grew up fishing.  I've never seen a left handed zebco 33 so I've never under stood why people switched...or didn't switch there spinning reels unless they started with a spinning reel.

Besides just like I've said before being efficient and getting more casts in means diddly when they are crap locations in a fishing situation old rather make a few less casts to a good target then more casts to nowhere I really want to be

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Why big deal? My wife can reel my right hand baitcaster on her left lol ?

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I'm almost totally ambidextrous so I do things that feel more solid to me. I throw right, bat left, write right, eat left, etc. 

 

A left handed baitcaster just feels awful, it's like a broken lawn chair. On the other hand a right handed spinning reel is also awful. 

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I simply can't imagine why this is an argument.  I couldn't care less how someone else uses their equipment nor do I care what your opinion is about how I use mine.  Do what works for you and enjoy some fishing.

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17 hours ago, Tim Kelly said:

I expect it makes almost no difference, and either way works if that's how you do it, but I do wonder sometimes when I see pro anglers who do everything possible to be efficient on the water, constantly swapping hands or contorting themselves to wind in a bit of line while the rod's in the wrong hand. It would just be so much simpler if they used left retrieve reels. My hand never moves on the rod whether I'm casting or retrieving, so I can't be in an awkward or unready position and can bring the lure out of the water at the end of the retrieve and roll it straight into the next cast in one fluid movement. Seems more efficient to me.

1

Just curious, but how many of those pros do you see that don't palm their reel to hold the rod? I feel that holding the reel this way is going to force you to move something in order to cast correctly no matter the side of the reel handles are on. I'm a hand switcher, and before the bait hits the water my left hand is palming the reel and I'm engaging the reel as soon as it hits the water. There's no wasted time or efficiency in my opinion.  To each his own though, do what works for you, that's what makes fishing great anyway :) 

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I switch my spinning reels and reel them with my right hand to. It's just always been more comfortable to me to hold the rod in my left hand and reel with my right whether it's a spinning rod or a bait caster. 

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It's one of a dozen other things in fishing that there really isn't a right or wrong way to do it or use it. 

It's all preference. 

There is no way I will cast right and reel left useing a casting rod, it just feels too awkward. Just like there was no way I would cast right and reel right a spinning rod. 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike 

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9 minutes ago, Mike L said:

It's one of a dozen other things in fishing that there really isn't a right or wrong way to do it or use it. 

It's all preference. 

There is no way I will cast right and reel left useing a casting rod, it just feels too awkward. Just like there was no way I would cast right and reel right a spinning rod. 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike 

Holding a spinning rod with the spinning reel upright and reeling backwards is done, doesn't make right. Learning to use your balanced tackle with good mechanics helps you to become a better angler. 

I am in the camp of casting right handed with right handed casting reels and switching the rod over to my left hand. Cast spinning rods right handed and reel with my left hand.

Tom

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23 hours ago, WRB said:

There is a logical reason the bait casting reel had the handle on the right side.

I grew up fishing with what we now call knuckle busters; bait casting reels that the handle was always engaged with the spool, no free spool. Most people being right handed held the pistol grip short handle rod by their dominate hand, the reel handle pointed up allowing one handed wrist action to cast the rod, the thumb controlling the spool, the handles spinning freely with the spool shaft riding on a fixed bearing/bushing on the opposite downward facing side plate. If the handles were pointed downward they would hit your shirt sleeve or forearm. Free spool reels that disengage the reel handle like Ambassaduer 500 that came out in the early 60's eliminated the need for the handle to be kept upright. Trigger grip long handle rods in the 70's promote using a 2 handed casting motion in lieu of the 1 hand wrist casting motion. The combination of free spool reels and trigger grip long handle rods made casting right or left handed optional and reel mfr's started offering left hand bait casting reels to fill the demand.

Nothing to do with fly fishing. Left hand reels were standard for spinning reels.

Tom

 

Thanks Tom, that's the first time I've seen this explanation which is surprising considering this exact thread is started about 17 times per year...

 

BTW: Put me in the "baitcast reel - right hand" and "spinning reel - left hand" club. And I AIN'T CHANGING!!!!!!!!!!

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2 hours ago, WRB said:

Holding a spinning rod with the spinning reel upright and reeling backwards is done, doesn't make right. Learning to use your balanced tackle with good mechanics helps you to become a better angler. 

I am in the camp of casting right handed with right handed casting reels and switching the rod over to my left hand. Cast spinning rods right handed and reel with my left hand.

Tom

Ditto

You said it better than I did ?

 

 

 

 

Mike

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15 hours ago, JustJames said:

Why big deal? My wife can reel my right hand baitcaster on her left lol ?

Not big deal.  I've just always been curious.  Now I have two good reasons I can pick from depending on how I'm feeling. ;)

 

5 hours ago, Steveo-1969 said:

 

Thanks Tom, that's the first time I've seen this explanation which is surprising considering this exact thread is started about 17 times per year...

 

BTW: Put me in the "baitcast reel - right hand" and "spinning reel - left hand" club. And I AIN'T CHANGING!!!!!!!!!!

Well...maybe not the exact thread...this one opened with a solid reason for why we started down that path instead of asking why.... ;)

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I cast with my right and reel with my left on all my gear and that includes my fly rods :)  Works for me....i'm just glad in the conventional world the options for left hand retrieve bait casters have increased over the years.

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I am a lefty and all of my casting reels have left hand retrieve. I cast with my right so there is no need to switch hands. It stinks sometimes bein lefty with the limited options but I'm optimistic things will change. Shout out to my left hand brothers!!!

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