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Left vs right handed baitcasters

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This topic always confused me. Is a right handed reel intended for use by right handed people and vice versa? I am a lefty and all of my reels are right handed. When I cast I press the button with my right hand and make the cast, then switch hands for the retrieve. This seems like a wasteful movement and it recently occurred to me that if I cast with my right hand and retrieve with my left I could be much more fluid in my fishing style. The strange thing is I feel extremely off balance and weak when I try reeling with my left hand. Once on a charter boat I told the mate I was a lefty and he handed me a lefty conventional. I hooked something big off a reef that I couldn't for the life of me crank off the bottom. 

 

I suspect that I've been reeling right handed for so long that I am uncomfortable reeling left. Unfortunately I found I am also bad at casting left handed. On the bright side I suppose this has saved me the trouble of finding certain reels in lefty models. I recognize that there is technically no wrong way to fish and switching hands probably costs me less than a second since it is second nature to me but I wonder, how do you guys fish?

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I'm right handed so I use reels that have the handle on the left.

I want to cast with my strong arm and fight with the same as I was taught to fight the fish with the rod not the reel.

 

I started with spinning reels and they had the handle on the left so it seemed natural for me to do the same once I started using baitcasting reels.

 

On the flip side, many pros cast right handed and then switch so they can also reel with their right hand including KVD.

Doesn't seem to have affected them too much

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  I cast right handed lay it in my left hand and have my right hand on the handle often before the lure touches down . There is no  wasted movement . 

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I switched to lefties many years ago due to carpal tunnel in my left hand. never went back. it just makes sense to have the rod in your dominate hand. 

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4 minutes ago, scaleface said:

  I cast right handed lay it in my left hand and have my right hand on the handle often before the lure touches down . There is no  wasted movement . 

Same here, it feels really weird to reel with my left hand. I guess it what you get use to.

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12 minutes ago, BassNJake said:

I'm right handed so I use reels that have the handle on the left.

I want to cast with my strong arm and fight with the same as I was taught to fight the fish with the rod not the reel.

 

I started with spinning reels and they had the handle on the left so it seemed natural for me to do the same once I started using baitcasting reels.

 

On the flip side, many pros cast right handed and then switch so they can also reel with their right hand including KVD.

Doesn't seem to have affected them too much

This is very interesting. Seems intuitive that the strong hand should be the one holding the rod as it will be under the most pressure. Given that the vast majority of people are right handed I wonder why right hand retrieve reels are so much more common than left?

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I am right handed, grew up fishing spinning rods, and reel on the right always felt correct to me. I still to this day, look like I have never fished before if the reel is on the left.

 

More important than the reel side, is that I am left arm ROD dominant, I am so much more control with the rod in my left hand. While this may seem counter-intuitive as I am a natural righty, I suppose it may be similar to a baseball swing. Right handed batters actually predominately use there left arm/shoulder to bring the bat through, while the right hand/arm is a stabilizer/additional power. 

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I'm left handed. When I was growing up, all the baitcasters that were available to me were right handed models. When I picked one up, I used it just like a spinning rod. That is, I cast with the left hand and reel with the right hand. It was later that someone told me I was doing it backwards, that I should get a left hand bait caster and switch hands. I tried one eventually. It seemed foreign and weird. Was it that I used the bait caster so long like a right handed person that is was now natural?

 

Maybe I'm backwards by spinning and casting with the same hand. Maybe I'm forward thinking eliminating learning to cast with a non-dominant hand. Whatever the case, I found what was most natural and comfortable for me. You've tried both, so go with what feels most natural and comfortable for you. After that, practice with whichever why you chose to increase your skills. 

 

Good luck from a lefty to a fellow lefty! 

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Nope, I'm not doing this.... Merry New Year everyone!

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All that matters is that YOU'RE comfortable with what side you reel with.

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No side is better than the other. Like John (@J Francho) said,

it's all in what you are comfortable with.

 

I grew up left spinning, and learned right-hand casting. It works,

and I don't care to change it up for any reason other than a 

medical one in which I'm forced to change! :) 

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2 hours ago, fishballer06 said:

You can tell it's winter once again. We're back onto topics like this. 

I was afraid we weren't going to see one before the first of the year......no disrespect to the OP

 

I cast R

Reel L

Because I can only set well with my R

Could never learn to set L

Happy New Year 

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What is comfortable is most important.  I am right and reel left.  I cast right and fight the fish with my right hand.  I have a partner that switches hands just to flip.  That's strange to me but what ever you want.  Left reels are harder to find and the exact same reel in left will cost more.  Save money and leave me the lefties ;)

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I’m right hand dominant, so I choose to fish with my dominant hand (right) and reel with my nondominant hand (left). The only benefit I can see, personally, to using your nondominant hand to fish would be that it might give you better control of fish that you’re lipping and/or cradling next to the boat. Being a bank beater, it’s not an issue that I face often. So, I’ve stuck with what makes sense for me. 

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I've answered this questions a few times.  Maybe I should put my answer in a separate file to be cut-and-pasted for the times it comes up after this.  :teeth:

 

Like many I grew up casting right, reeling left with spinning gear.  Stayed that way when I got into baitcast reels.  A nice, no longer made reel came up for sale...in right hand.  I figured I better not pass it up.  Taught myself to cast left, reel right.  Now I will use either hand to cast regardless of which side the handle is on.  If ultimate accuracy is required, I cast right handed.  Not sure if I will ever get as good with the left hand as the right hand that was used for so many years.

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9 hours ago, BassNJake said:

I'm right handed so I use reels that have the handle on the left.

I want to cast with my strong arm and fight with the same as I was taught to fight the fish with the rod not the reel.

 

I started with spinning reels and they had the handle on the left so it seemed natural for me to do the same once I started using baitcasting reels.

X2

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9 hours ago, tander said:

Same here, it feels really weird to reel with my left hand. I guess it what you get use to.

I cast right and reel right because that how I started fishing 60 years ago.  It feels weird to crank a baitcaster left handed, yet I do it with my spinning rig just fine.  I tried moving the crank on my spinning reel to the right, but I just can't cast lefty, nor does it feel comfortable to open and close the bail with my right hand.  No logic to that, just how it is. 

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I love it when this topic makes its rounds here.  Here is the scoop:

 

A RH reel is designated as such because the right hand will turn the crank. 

 

A LH reel is designated as such because the left hand will turn the crank.

 

A person’s hand dominance is not a factor in this designation. It could be a mistake for a person being a bc reel to assume RH reel for a RH dominant person and vice versa. This doesn’t apply to spinning reels since the handle can be switched.  

 

Everyone is wired differently that generalizations such as, “A LH reel is for left hand dominant people only,” or “A RH dominant person in theory should use a LH reel because like in baseball a RH dominant person catches the ball with his LH and throws (and therefore theoretically should cast) RH.” 

 

This is definitely not the case, so it comes down to what is comfortable to you. 

 

One side should feel feel more comfortable than the other and if it is doesn’t, consider yourself fortunate to be ambidextrous. 

 

The wise angler would strive to be proficient to use both. That way, when the sales too good to pass up come, they won’t ever fall victim to saying, “Aw, shucks. That’s a killer price on that Metanium or Steez but the handle is on the wrong side,” lol. 

 

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im right handed and a righty reel used to work for me. i tried a lefty reel one day, sold all of my right hand BC reels and havent looked back. they both work, one will be better for you. i think there is more to it than dominant hand. 

 

i like to work the bait and cast the rod with my dominant hand. my left hand has never felt weak on the reel. i fish jerk baits and walking topwaters a lot more since i made the change.

 

ive seen right handed people skateboard/snowboard in goofy stance and i have seen right handed people shoot rifles with the right hand on the foregrip and vice versa. try both and then decide.

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I'm right handed naturally, but my dad is left handed.  So I grew up using his rod and reels, which were all spinning reels with right hand cranks and casted with his left. But me being right handed, cast right, and then switched the rod to my left hand, then reeled right.

 

Now that I'm more serious about fishing, I started to learn with both hands.  For baitcasters, I throw left, and reel right. And for spinning set ups, I throw right, and reel left...which is also more natural for my finesse set ups, since I'm much better at finesse casting with my right hand.

 

It didn't take long to get used to it, just gotta keep at it. I actually became a better distance caster with my left hand, over my natural right hand.

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13 hours ago, fishballer06 said:

You can tell it's winter once again. We're back onto topics like this. 

...and we will be, forever...because different people get to this place at different times.

 

Exploring and learning is cool!

11 hours ago, J Francho said:

All that matters is that YOU'RE comfortable with what side you reel with.

This is the only really important answer...

 

**************************

The same topic comes up in fly fishing, where most reels are more expensive than casting or spinning reels...but are quickly switchable.

 

I took a run at teaching myself to cast lefty (I tend to be right handed, though I can bat and shoot pistols both right and left) with a fly rod last year...made some progress, but not enough for me to be happy with.

 

Most of my issues were with hook sets and final delivery...and hook sets (strip setting) are completely different with a fly rod than with gear.

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Thanks everyone. I'm pretty sure I'll always be more comfortable casting right handed but I think I'll practice more with my left hand. At the very least I hope it'll improve my ability to roll cast to my right.

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If you're right handed, learning to do hook sets left handed is easier than learning to cast left hand.

 

...but once you get there it's all muscle memory.

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