Left vs Right Hand Fishing Reel


           If you’re like me, you use your dominant hand for just about everything from eating soup to unlocking your door. Therefore, it seems obvious that if you’re right-handed, you should have your reel on your right side. However, there are a few problems that can come with this, especially if you are using a baitcaster. More often than not, as a right-handed angler, I use my dominant hand to cast. When using a spinning reel, this isn’t a problem because the reel for right-handed rods is placed on the left side. Immediately after casting, I’m able to use my left hand to reel in. Not only is this is intuitive, but it allows me to reel in quickly if a fish gets caught right when the bait hits the water. 

           For some trips, a spinning reel is all that you’ll need. However, there are times when you’ll be fishing for larger game or will need to cast farther out. Whenever this situation arises, a baitcaster reel will allow you to throw longer casts and pull in heaver lines. Here is where the controversy over reel position begins. Right-handed baitcasters have their reel placed on the right side of the rod. If you are right-handed, this means that after casting out you have to switch the rod to your left hand to retrieve with your right and again switch back to your right hand after reeling in. If a fish takes the bait as soon as it hits the water, this switch could make you miss out on a catch! In contrast, if you are using a baitcaster traditionally made for left-handers you could instantly retrieve after casting out. 

          Although it ultimately comes down to a matter of preference, a left-handed reel has many clear advantages and can help you improve your fishing experience. For more information, you can see this video of pro angler Todd Woods breaking down reel position.

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