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Before I learned to fish with a real reel, and by real I mean conventional as apposed to a coffee grinder spinning reel, I reeled with the left hand as that was how they usually came out of the box.

My first baitcasters were right hand reels. I tried a friends lefty and was amazed at how great it felt in my hand. I was able to cast with my right hand, fight the fish holding the rod in my right hand, and never have to switch hands to reel.

I was wondering how many of yoy have the same feelings on thiis. It urks me to watch the bass pros switching hands all the time.

Now that I am returning to fly fishing, do I reverse my reels to the left hand retrieve?

Am I way off base or what?
 

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It's personal preference. Do some searching and you'll see threads on this exact topic. Have fun!


Before I learned to fish with a real reel, and by real I mean conventional as apposed to a coffee grinder spinning reel, I reeled with the left hand as that was how they usually came out of the box.

My first baitcasters were right hand reels. I tried a friends lefty and was amazed at how great it felt in my hand. I was able to cast with my right hand, fight the fish holding the rod in my right hand, and never have to switch hands to reel.

I was wondering how many of yoy have the same feelings on thiis. It urks me to watch the bass pros switching hands all the time.

Now that I am returning to fly fishing, do I reverse my reels to the left hand retrieve?

Am I way off base or what?
 

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If you are facile with your left-hand retrieve, I don't see any problem.

But if you are right handed...as I am...it is hard to retrieve smoothly and quickly with the off hand.

Also, with the right hand uppermost, you tend to hold running line that you intend to shoot in your left hand, and probably on the left hand side of the butt. That means that as the line shoots, coils may be more apt to hang up on a left side handle.

At least, that's what I find when I cast cackhanded.

YMMV
 

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I tried going right hand wind years ago because I had some reels that were right hand only. I never liked it and eventually sold all my Rt. hand reels, I cast with dominate Rt. hand whether 2 or 1 handed rod and work the reel spool with my left and drag with the right. After a few decades it seems normal :)

Ard
 

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I too am right handed. Have always cast with the right and then switched hands with the rod to reel in line or play a fish once on the reel. I am not the most coordinated when reeling left handed...with a fly reel or a bait caster...just can't seem to get a nice coordinated speedy line pick up. To this point I have kept all of my light trout gear in a left hand retrieve as I primarily strip line to land the fish or am not in the same hurry to pick up line that I would be with large fish like a steelhead. For larger fish gear, I have kept everything right hand retrieve in the interest of a speedy line pick up if I have a fish running at me for instance or just need to pick up a bunch of line quickly. I am trying to get to the point of not having to switch hands with the rod so I made the determination that I would need to figure out how to be a bit more coordinated with reeling left handed...quickly. I switched everything over to left and I've been working on it. Feels like dancing with two left feet...but am getting the hang of it. One other point to consider that I remember reading from another thread like this one. If you are right handed and are holding the rod at your right side during the swing and have grab, the reel handle is spinning against your side if it is set up left hand retrieve and there is the possibility of it getting hung up on something versus if the reel is set up right hand retrieve...it's in the clear.

I'm gonna give left handed a try this fall. Will see if I convert back to right hand in the spring!
 

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I tried going right hand wind years ago because I had some reels that were right hand only. I never liked it and eventually sold all my Rt. hand reels, I cast with dominate Rt. hand whether 2 or 1 handed rod and work the reel spool with my left and drag with the right. After a few decades it seems normal :)Ard
Hope it doesn't take me a few decades!!!!
 

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Reeling left was never a question for me. My first rod was a 5 wt and my second was a 13wt. I got in to flyfishing as a big game salt water angler. When the question was asked "left or right" it took 1 second to realize my right arm was my strong arm. (right handed) Therefore, even though I can't pick my nose left handed, I knew I needed my right arm to fight the fish and left to reel.

So, switch if you want, but casting and fighting fish with my right arm has always been the way for me.
 

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Me too

I too am a casting rightie reeling leftie. I cannot get my head around the hand switching when playing a fish. Can't get my hands around it either! Blame my Dad.
 

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''Speydo-masochist''
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I'm just odd I guess, I reel left handed with all my fixed spool [spinning] reels but right handed with all multiplier [bait caster] & fly reels.
I have done so for the last 40 years and don't imagine I'll change any time soon - whenever I try a right handed spinning reel or a left handed fly reel it's a disaster & a left handed baitcaster is completely impossible for me.
It's probably a hereditary defect......

Regards, Tyke.
 

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Reel in with your weak hand,....hmmmm you will still have to switch hands depending on which side of the river your on.
 

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Right

I cast right and left - single or two-hand - but I am stronger on the right. For trout, I wind left (the way I got the reels), but for steelhead I wind right as I am able to retrieve slightly faster on the right - a consideration when you have 100+ yards of line and fish downriver.

My wife also casts right and left - but stronger on the left.

I write and golf on the right, switch hit in baseball, hockey play left but have (had) goalie for left and right (never could decide which I preferred). I am just as comfortable fighting a fish in either had and casting on either side, but the deciding factor was that I could retreive a little faster on the right.
 

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Cast right reel left.(I'm right handed) Never liked or saw the sense in changing hands all the time while growing up gear fishing. I never even thought about reeling any differently fly fishing. As far as fighting a fish goes...how a guy works the rods is much more important than reeling ability in my book.
 

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I never paid attention that some people switch hands. I cast with my right reel with left, but depending on the situation sometimes cast lefty. I write with my left, but my dominant is my right so It's just natural to me
 

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Right hand all the way. Strung up a new reel for a left hand cranking and it was so confusing (on the beach) I stripped off the line, backing, etc., and flipped it over. If someone had walked up to the beach and seen me walking back and forth laying out 25 yard coils of close to 500 feet of line/backing they probably would have thought I was a bit nuts.

:D
 

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Cast right reel left.(I'm right handed) Never liked or saw the sense in changing hands all the time while growing up gear fishing. I never even thought about reeling any differently fly fishing.
The thing is if a person has been fishing long enough (through the 50's, 60's, early 70's) you'd know there was no such thing as reels that could be reeled in left handed. When we (my dad who I fished with mostly) gear fished it was ALWAYS with a silex. All those reels were RHW. He wouldn't allow coffee griders (spinning reels) in the house which were LHR. LOL

When flyfishing it was always with fly reels that were English made, whether they were cheapies or hardy's and they were only manufactured as RHW.

Didn't make sense to switch over to a leftie after growing up that way, fishing RHW. I don't mind switching the rod from left to right hand at all when playing fish.....it's a nice reprieve. When I'm single hand fishing in a boat I almost always strip fish in with my left but if the fish takes me into the backing I'll switch hands and reel in the fish. Once again, it gives my right arm a rest.

Besides, IMHO reeling in trout on a regular basis is a complete waste of my fishing time because it's a PITA if I've got to strip all the line back out after every fish.

I would find it very interesting to find out how many guys who've been fishing 40+ years are left handed reelers since they would have had to make the switch once left handed reels started being manufactured.
 

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Didn't make sense to switch over to a leftie after growing up that way, fishing RHW. I don't mind switching the rod from left to right hand at all when playing fish.....it's a nice reprieve.
I'm with you. And while it is perhaps a matter of opinion, I suspect it is just easier to hold the rod with the off hand (one simple task --grip the cork) than to play a fish or reel in line smoothly with the off hand.

I would find it very interesting to find out how many guys who've been fishing 40+ years are left handed reelers since they would have had to make the switch once left handed reels started being manufactured.
I started flyfishing when I was 13 or 14...I'll be 67 in Feb.. I never even considered using a left-hand retrieve.
 

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Hardy did make LHW reels, from the very beginning over 100 years ago, but the vast majority of their reels were indeed RHW.

The 'lefties' may have been "special order", as indeed the business way back was really for the gentry - a reel may have cost as much as the average persons working wage for the year! - and what 'sir' requests, 'sir' gets; it's quite unlike the 'off-the-shelf' situation we have now.

& yes, I have been fly fishing for over 40 years (almost 50 actually), having built my own first fly rod when I was 11 years old!

I own, and have fished with virtually all types of reels; sea reels - both Abu Ambassadeur-type multipliers & standard spinning reels, centre-pin reels, fly reels of course, and all points in between. I have no problem whatsoever in fishing right or left handed (I am right handed), for either the rod or the reel, and when it comes to fly reels, I will use either RHW or LHW depending on how the reel was made and designed. I don't even think of a preference, and will even fish, on the same day, with a LHW Danielsson, then change to a RHW Perfect - I find no problem in either the casting, swinging (I often switch about which side of my body I hold the rod through the swing anyway, depending on which 'bank' I'm on), or fighting out fish, or retrieving/stripping for the next cast.


Mike
 

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Right or left

I don't know about you guys, but I don't like somebody telling me what hand to retrieve with, I'm right handed and retrieve my fly reels left handed, and for me that's the most natural thing to do, and I can really get with it, however if you ask the "pros" they tell me I do it wrong. I say reel with the hand that you feel the most comfortable with and feels the most natural,

When a new guy comes along and is learning how to cast a fly rod, let the poor guy retrive with whatever hand he wants too, the guy has enought to learn.......My 2 cents

Carl Blackledge
 
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