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Doug_Jefferson

Why is the reel handle on the right hand side?

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Hi there,

I have a question. When I started fishing, about 30 years ago, I was taught to hold the rod with my strong arm and to wind with my weaker one. So why is that when I came to the US that all I see is people fishing the other way round? Any ideas???

Thanks

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Guest the_muddy_man

WELCOME ABOARD!

I wondered this myself, when i made the switch from spinning to baitcasting reels. I even bought a couple of baitcasters with the handle for right  hand retrieve. I found out for some reason it is more comfortable for the reel to have the handels on the other side and to switch up hands after the cast, DON"T KNOW WHY!

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Early reels were often operated by inverting the reel in order to retrieve line by back-winding, and the reel crank handle was positioned on the right side of the reel for this reason. As a result, the right-hand crank position for bait casting reels has become customary over the years.

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I'm right-handed but my left arm is slightly stronger than my right arm due to a past injury.  So I'm casting with my weaker right arm and I'm reeling with it as well, but I'm setting the hook with my strong arm.  Go figure.

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yeah i tried baitcasting with RH reels, couldnt get it, so now i only buy baitcast reels with LH retrieve...they are out there, some make em some dont, from my experience anyway...i know abu makes alot of them, thats one reason why i started using them, it was the only reel in my price range in gander mountain that had LH...now i only use abu reels, baitcast and spinning

Cliff

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Shimano makes LH in every model they sell   ;)

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I'm left-handed, and I swear the person who invented the thing was left-handed too! I find it kind of comical to watch the pros on TV cast, then switch hands! I think this is one instance where the right handed world is struggling to do something that comes natural to a lefty! ;D

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Guest btlva

The use of RH retrieve baitcasters is something that never made sense to me. I certainly don't want to work a lure, set a hook, and fight a fish with my weaker, less dexterous arm. It's kind of like a baseball player wearing a glove on his throwing hand. I'm right-handed and every baitcaster I've owned since I was 12 years old has been left-hand retrieve. A lot of pros are finally starting to make the switch to left-handers for alot of presentations, and it's about time.

Probably the only logical reason I can think to reel with your "power hand" is if that's just the way you learned and don't want to make the switch. That's understandable, but it still doesn't explain why the same guys who use RH baitcasters will crank their spinning reel with their left hand. I guess we all have our own little habits that don't make sense to anyone else!

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I can't crank a spinning reel with my left hand in all my years of fishing...i haven't even tried a baitcaster.I'm one of those idiots switching around. ;) I figured if i had a hard time with spinning reel no sense in trying with a baitcaster.

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All my baitcasters are RH retrieve, and all my spinning rods are LH retrieve.  I have tried switching my spinning rods to RH retrieve and it just feels weird.  Does anyone else retrieve one stlye right handed and the other style left handed.  

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All my baitcasters are RH retrieve, and all my spinning rods are LH retrieve. I have tried switching my spinning rods to RH retrieve and it just feels weird. Does anyone else retrieve one stlye right handed and the other style left handed.

I do it too.

There is one thing I do sometimes on long casts with a baitcaster that will confuse people.

I cast with my right, but during the cast I will change hands and thumb the reel with the left.

Then I am ready to retrieve as soon as the lure hits the water (just like a spinning reel with the handle on the left).

I've thought about trying left-handed baitcasters, but I got to thinking about it. The reason I would change is so that my right hand could stay in one place all the time (like I do with spinning gear). However, during the cast my right hand is behind the reel and during the retrieve I hold it right at the reel so i would be changing hand positions anyway.

I used to spend a lot of time sword fighting (Society for Creative Anachronism) and got used to using my off-hand a lot anyway. My right arm may be stronger, but not by much.

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All my baitcasters are RH retrieve, and all my spinning rods are LH retrieve.  I have tried switching my spinning rods to RH retrieve and it just feels weird.  Does anyone else retrieve one stlye right handed and the other style left handed.  

Yah, I use LH on Spinning, and my first BC I got I got a LH retrieve but for some reason it felt weird.. So I use RH for BC now.

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Back then in the age of the dinosaurs you could choose between RH baitcaster and .... RH baitcaster, that was it, why they were RH only is something I don 't know but I do know that if you wanted to fish with a bc you had to learn to switch hands to reel in with the right, it may not make sense to you but it don 't matter, you had to do what you had to do and manufacturers didn 't care if it made sense to you, you wanted a bc you could choose a righty or a righty.

It don 't make sense to me that in many countries around the world the steering wheel of vehicles is on the right side, if the vehicle is auto no problem, but if it 's manual transmission that would be a chore shifting gears with your less dextrous hand, shifting gears requires much more dexterity and coordination than I can ask out of my left hand which is only good for holding things ( like a fishing rod ) or scratching my rear end.

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Shimano makes LH in every model they sell ;)

Yet they still cant' make one with a brake you can adjust w/o taking off the sideplate, hmmm....   :)

I prefer to use a left handed reel for things like spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, due to the fact that I begin reeling the second they hit the water.  Everything else, I have learned to use a right hand retrieve for the simple fact of them being easier to find.

Wayne

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Let's get technical, as there are in fact reasons, not just some lame holdover from days past that put the handles where they are.

What will move the fish during retrieval is placed to the strong hand!

A baitcast is designed to be used as a winch, so it is the reel that retrieves the fish. Hence if you are right handed the handle is in your right hand.

A spinning reel is designed to pick up unloaded or loose line, not retrieve the fish. Hence it is the rod that does the retrieval, so it is the rod that is in your strong hand. If you are right handed then the pole goes to the right hand.

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Yet they still cant' make one with a brake you can adjust w/o taking off the sideplate, hmmm....   ;)

I never seem to have this problem with my Shimano brakes.  If I need to increase the brakes I press my thumb on the spool harder.  If I need less brake I reduce the pressure on my thumb.  It works every time  :)

It's similar to cars.  Anti-lock brakes, traction control, etc. are great if you need them, but you wouldn't want them on a race car if you know how to handle it.  Shimanos are race cars.  Mag brakes reels are pedestrian.  Simple.

Alright, everybody commence bashing me!

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Guest btlva
Let's get technical, as there are in fact reasons, not just some lame holdover from days past that put the handles where they are.

What will move the fish during retrieval is placed to the strong hand!

A baitcast is designed to be used as a winch, so it is the reel that retrieves the fish. Hence if you are right handed the handle is in your right hand.

A spinning reel is designed to pick up unloaded or loose line, not retrieve the fish. Hence it is the rod that does the retrieval, so it is the rod that is in your strong hand. If you are right handed then the pole goes to the right hand.

So you think turning a handle requires more strength than setting a hook or horsing a bass out of cover? When I hook a bass with baitcasting gear I don't just point the rod at the fish and winch him in with the reel. I slam him with the rod and use it's leverage to pull him out, and it makes more sense to use my stronger arm for that. But that's just me!

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Let's get technical, as there are in fact reasons, not just some lame holdover from days past that put the handles where they are.

What will move the fish during retrieval is placed to the strong hand!

A baitcast is designed to be used as a winch, so it is the reel that retrieves the fish. Hence if you are right handed the handle is in your right hand.

A spinning reel is designed to pick up unloaded or loose line, not retrieve the fish. Hence it is the rod that does the retrieval, so it is the rod that is in your strong hand. If you are right handed then the pole goes to the right hand.

So you think turning a handle requires more strength than setting a hook or horsing a bass out of cover? When I hook a bass with baitcasting gear I don't just point the rod at the fish and winch him in with the reel. I slam him with the rod and use it's leverage to pull him out, and it makes more sense to use my stronger arm for that. But that's just me!

I agree, I don't know about anyone else ... but I use my rod alot for leverage also on my baitcasting set up, all my rods are lefties, I think switching is kinda silly when 90% or so of the hits that I experience on jigs and soft plastics (which I mainly fish) are on the initial fall, if you're switching when there's a hit you lose out on that time to set the hook. Also my right arm is alot stronger than my left for those strong hooksets.

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Shimano makes LH in every model they sell ;)

Yet they still cant' make one with a brake you can adjust w/o taking off the sideplate, hmmm.... :)

I prefer to use a left handed reel for things like spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, due to the fact that I begin reeling the second they hit the water. Everything else, I have learned to use a right hand retrieve for the simple fact of them being easier to find.

Wayne

Most all Shimano low profiles have your little side release to access the brakes; I however prefer Calcutta's because I don't want anything that can come apart that easy.

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Shimano makes LH in every model they sell ;)

No big deal anyway but looks like Shimano makes a lot more LH's than most anyone but at least on the Bass Pro shops they don't have 100% LH and RH. They do have "A" left hand option or several options in a series it looks like. IE "Curado", "Citica"

Point being lefty's have less choices in the US

Or depending on what hand an individual  thinks they should reel with lefties have many more models to choose from?  Now I've done it here goes the proper LH or RH argument all over again!

I've confused myself in the process !!!   lol

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I fish with LH baitcast reels.  I started fishing with spinning reels and found it more comfortable to use a LH when I started using baitcasters.  Bass Pro Shops reels have almost all of their reels in both RH and LH but other manufacturers limit the options for LH baitcasters.  They have them but not an equal offering of each.  

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"So you think turning a handle requires more strength than setting a hook or horsing a bass out of cover? When I hook a bass with baitcasting gear I don't just point the rod at the fish and winch him in with the reel. I slam him with the rod and use it's leverage to pull him out, and it makes more sense to use my stronger arm for that. But that's just me!""

I didn't say that I think anything - I gave you the technical reasoning for the way the handles are placed on the reels.

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The question was, "Why is the reel handle on the right side?"; not "Which side do you prefer..."

I have seen George Welcome's response before, it's cut and dry and that's the "why."

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Here is my explaination because I have carpal tunnel syndrome

My friend bought me a abu garcia revo s and i selected to have a left hand reel because all my spinning oufits were left handed.  I haven't been fishing for a while, but when i got this reel, i tried my hardest to learn how to cast a bait casting with a 6.5 ft rod.  Believe me, it'll get tiring and the pain on my arm sucks :T

Last weekend when i went to BPS, i bought a BPS baitcasting combo because i just wanted the rod, but the reel was really cheap.  It only came with right hand reels, so.. what ever.  I tested it out any way and i felt more comfortable using my left hand.  Instead of casting and holding the reel/rod with my right hand, i am allowed to swap over and let my casting arm relax.

So in my opinion, they made it retrieve right hand is so that you can save your energy and reduce fatigue in your right hand so you don't have to cast and hold on to the big rod

I can be completely wrong.... but, take it from a person who have trouble typing and playing tennis due to pain on the right arm... ;)

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