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#17584508 09/07/22
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In the past couple years I've started seeing something that is weird to me .. right-handed people reeling with their left hand. We never did that. Traditional way was to have the rod in the right hand casting and fighting fish when we were using the left to manage loose line but switching the rod to the left hand if we were reeling in or fighting fish on the reel. The only people who had the handle on the left side were the crazy south paws. When did reeling from the left become a thing for right-handers?

Which "handed" are you, and what do you do? Just curious ...


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Been reeling with the left for over 50 years. I guess I should point out I am right-handed.

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I,m LH but prefer to reel a Fly reel RH side


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I reel with my left hand flyfishing.


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Right handed, reel with my right hand. To do otherwise feels totally foreign.


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I’m right handed, cast with right and reel with right. My dad taught me how to fish and all his rods were set up that way. At some point in time my dad switched and now he casts right and reels left.

Went fishing with my brother in law and he brought all the gear. He thought I was right hand cast left hand retrieve so brought a rod rigged that way. Once I got a fish on the reel, I couldn’t make my left hand work the reel to save my as.

Last edited by Farming; 09/07/22.
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Im right handed

Cast right, reel left.

That goes for everything- fly fishing, spinning, bait caster


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Originally Posted by Beretta_Shooter916
Im right handed

Cast right, reel left.

That goes for everything- fly fishing, spinning, bait caster



This^^^^^^

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I am with the old timers. Cast with my right, manage line with my left, real with the right.


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Cast (sort of!) with my right, reel with my left. Right arm is stronger and I don't want to be switching hands when I am in the thick of it!

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Why would you switch hands back and forth on the rod? That seems ass backward. i'm left handed, cast left reel right with everything.

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Originally Posted by NMiller
Why would you switch hands back and forth on the rod? That seems ass backward. i'm left handed, cast left reel right with everything.

+1 I’m exactly the same.


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Most all saltwater fly guys I have been around reel with their dominant hand. The few trout guys I been around reel with nondominant hand.
Doesnt seem to be a steadfast rule. Im a saltwater guy. Every reel I have for salt is set up for my dominant hand. For tarpon and bonefish you can end up in your backing. If the fish turns and runs back at you. You need to reel a lot of line in quickly. Generally you get a long run at hook set so there is plenty of time to switch hands. Right or wrong after 25 years I doubt I will change up. PS my one trout set up is nondominant. The shop that set it up just asked if I was right or left hand. I commented that all my salt setups were dominant reel and the guy just looked at me and said “well that aint the way we do it for trout” since I was there to learn I just rolled with it.


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Originally Posted by gnoahhh
Right handed, reel with my right hand. To do otherwise feels totally foreign.

Left handed and I do it the same way. Leads to some confusion when you ask how to spool the line or set up a reel.


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I'm anything but ambidextrous. The important stuff must be done right handed. Switching hands to wind a reel has become second nature, I do it without thinking. I've little background in spinning reels, it's been around 50 years since I last manipulated one.


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I am left handed and use a right hand reel. I never change hand positions.

To me the reel is a line storage device not something that I use to reel in the fish.

I developed a way to deal with the line when I fished the Madison river for trout. I didn't use the handle on the reel. I would strip in line as I fought the fish then using the palm of the hand would spin the rim of the reel taking up the loose line far more quickly than reeling. Of course the reel has to be the style with a rim that revolves with the spool. Oh sure I would crank the handle at times but when the action is fast, IMO, it is just too slow to deal with slack line.

An alternative to reeling is the vivarelli reel. It is lightweight and a pumping action takes up the slack line.

https://francovivarelli.com/shop/

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Right handed, cast (sort of) right handed, reel with left hand.

Spinning gear is left hand retrieve.

Only have one baitcaster, and its right hand retrieve, but after using it a short while, I wish it were left hand retrieve, but it is fine as is.

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laugh laugh


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Originally Posted by Farming
I’m right handed, cast with right and reel with right. .

Thats how I learned to fly fish..simple matter to transfer the rod to the left hand once a fish was on, and when I started all reels were set up for right hand reeling. Took some effort but most could be converted to left hand. I just never did.


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I'm definitely a right cast/left reel guy. I tried to convince the GF this was the best way but she insisted on doing the right/right switch hands thing. Well, guess what? I have 1 less rod and reel than I used to now.
End of July we were fishing red salmon and she hooked a fish and as she went to switch hands, it made a run and the rod went flying out of her hands, never to be seen again.


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Probably 75% of my fishing is with spinning reels. I'm right handed and reel left. I want my dominant hand handling the rod to set the hook and fight the fish. Same way with the fly rod.

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Originally Posted by Springcove
Originally Posted by Beretta_Shooter916
Im right handed

Cast right, reel left.

That goes for everything- fly fishing, spinning, bait caster



This^^^^^^


Same


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Originally Posted by eaglemountainman
Originally Posted by Springcove
Originally Posted by Beretta_Shooter916
Im right handed

Cast right, reel left.

That goes for everything- fly fishing, spinning, bait caster

This^^^^^^

Same
Likewise. It just never made sense to me to see someone cast with their strong arm and then switch hands to use the reel. For most fish it doesn't matter, based on their size, it just makes sense to cast with your strong arm and fight using leverage with our strong arm.


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Reel and handle line with the left on trout rods.

Depending on wind direction I'll cast with either hand on top with my two handed spey rods. Wind those too with the left hand.


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Originally Posted by Beretta_Shooter916
Im right handed

Cast right, reel left.

That goes for everything- fly fishing, spinning, bait caster

Same here.


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All the old timers that taught me used their right hand to play the fish and reel. Worked for them, works for me.


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Originally Posted by gnoahhh
Right handed, reel with my right hand. To do otherwise feels totally foreign.
Because it is, by gosh!


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Right handed, cast RH, and reel LH.

Been doing that for as long as I can remember...

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im left handed..cast with left..reel with right

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After fishing with Keys guides like Stu Apte and Ralph Delph, they were adamant about using your strong hand for both casting and reeling. I never understood why you would switch hands on the fly rod, but they said it was more important to be able to reel faster with your strong hand to get line back on the reel when you fight a large salt water fish that can run fast in open water.

I only fish trout streams in Montana and can reel and fight a fish better with the rod in my right hand a reel with my left. I have fished Alaska a few times and was able to manage the salmon the same way. Tarpon and Marlin may require more control on the reel…


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Originally Posted by Teal
Originally Posted by Beretta_Shooter916
Im right handed

Cast right, reel left.

That goes for everything- fly fishing, spinning, bait caster

Same here.

Yup, same same....


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I'm right handed. I cast right and reel with my right hand for fly and bait casting gear.

I rarely use spinning tackle, but cast right and reel left with it.

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I’m a lefty. Cast all rods with my left hand. Fly reels and bait casters I use my right hand to reel. Spinning reels I prefer to use my left hand to reel.


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Why would one want to do all the switching around.

Same with casting/reeling a bait caster . . . LOTTA extra effort the way most folks do it!

To me major control activities with ones dominant hand, other needed activities with the other hand!

Last edited by LouisB; 12/31/23.

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I don’t switch to much work for me. I’m right handed spinning, bait, and fly. All go in my right hand to cast. I reel with left.

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I used to cast and then switch hands to wind. After a few years it just seemed more efficient to wind without switching hands as my newer and better reels would function either way. I've also gone to two handed rods for big water/fish. That's evolved into being able to cast with either hand. With that gear I'm still winding left-handed.

With a session or two, muscle memory will come around.

Many years back and with no schooling I was doing archery left-handed but was right eye dominant. Couldn't hit sh-t. An astute friend noticed and suggested I switch to a right-hand bow. Took about 3 days for the strength to develop, with things improving markedly. Mostly of that too was just a matter of overcoming muscle memory.


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Right handed - cast and hold rod with right hand and reel with left.....feels awkward to me to switch hands with the rod after the cast and feels natural to reel with the left hand no matter if it's fly gear, spinning or baitcaster....all the same for me

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Right handed so the reel handle is on the left for everything but fly fishing.

I want the handle out of the way so I don't break off if I bump it when a big one is running.

Little fish get hauled in by the line and I can spool up the line after releasing the fish.


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Cast right, crank left.

In my younger days, I remember getting excited and get both hands gyrating!


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Cast right, reel left!

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I am right handed but I cast with my left and reel with my right. Except for fly fishing then I cast right hand and strip line with the left. That's just how I learned from the start.


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I'm right handed.
I reel with my left hand, whether I'm flyfishing, spin fishing or using a conventional reel. I have better rod control with my right.

Last edited by eaglemountainman; 02/26/24.

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I'm left-handed, I cast with my left, reel with my right no matter what kind of rod and reel I’m using.

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Right handed so cast with my right hand, reel with my left. Tried setting up a flyrod to be able to reel with the right hand thinking it would be faster if needing to recover line in a hurry, after switching the rod over to my left hand. That did not last long!
For a trolling rod I can reel with my right hand, but have only done that with single action reels.
I can cast a flyrod with my left hand, not as well as my right hand, but on occasion where needs must. Would not try it with a spinning rod as releasing the line would at some point also include releasing the rod! Oddly enough in hockey I shoot left handed!

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I mainly saltwater fish these days but learned on fresh. I’m right handed and cast right, move the rod to my left and retrieve/reel right handed. My left hand is mainly used for holding a beer as its functionally useless for pretty much anything else. I have had a couple of guides comment on how odd it is to them that I switch hands but it works fine for me.

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Cast right, reel right, cause that's the way I've done it since childhood.


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Right hand dominant. Casting right hand, line control with right index finger, reel with left hand. If I cast left hand, I usually, but not always, switch the rod to my right hand or back and forth while playing a fish, but always reel line in with my left. I do not set up the reel for a left hand cast, right hand reel.

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