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Right or Left Hand Fishing Reel

Right or Left Handed Fishing Reel

If you’re new to fishing, one of the first key decisions you’ll need to make is choosing what type of fishing rod to use, and one of the most important factors in that decision is whether to use a right-handed or left-handed fishing reel.

Choosing the best reel for your handedness and fishing style will help set you up for an enjoyable experience on the water. This guide covers the main factors to consider when deciding between a right hand and left hand fishing reel as a beginner.

Determining Your Dominant Hand

The first step is identifying whether you are right hand or left hand dominant. Consider which hand you use for writing, casting, and daily activities. Your dominant hand will likely feel most natural using the corresponding right or left handed reel. However, there are also advantages to trying the opposite orientation, especially for right handed anglers using left handed reels.

Comparison of Right Handed vs Left Handed Fishing Reels

FeatureRight Handed ReelLeft Handed Reel
Casting HandRight handRight hand
Retrieval HandLeft handRight hand
Eliminates “Switcharoo”?NoYes
Hook Setting HandLeft handRight hand
Reeling HandLeft handLeft hand
More Natural for Right Handed Anglers?YesNo
More Natural for Left Handed Anglers?NoYes

Understanding the “Switcharoo” Dilemma

When using a right handed reel, most right handed anglers cast with their dominant right hand first. But then they have to perform the awkward “switcharoo” – switching the rod over to their left hand in order to reel in. This can cause you to lose fish if one bites just as your lure hits the water during the hand switch.

Benefits of Left Handed Reels for Right Handed Anglers

Selecting a left handed reel as a right handed angler helps solve the “switcharoo” issue. You can cast comfortably with your dominant right hand, while retrieving and reeling with your left. Using a left handed reel also allows you to set the hook with your stronger right arm, keeping the fight smooth and seamless.

Other Key Considerations

Here are some other important factors when selecting a right or left handed fishing reel:

  • Reversible Handles – Many reels allow you to reverse the handle direction to accommodate left or right hand retrieve.
  • Personal Preference – Borrow or test different reel types to see what feels most comfortable and intuitive for you. There is no universally “correct” choice.
  • Rod Hand Orientation – Fishing rods can also be designed for right or left handed anglers depending on manufacturer.

FAQ on Right vs. Left Handed Fishing Reels

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about left vs right handed fishing reels:

  • Are fishing reels reversible? – Yes, many reels are designed to be reversible for easy switching between left and right hand configurations.
  • Can you switch the handle on a spinning reel? – On many spinning reel models, the handle can be reversed to match your dominant hand.

Key Takeaways on Picking the Right Reel for You

Here are some final tips to remember when selecting a right or left handed fishing reel as a beginner:

  • Right handed anglers may find left handed reels provide better casting, hook setting, and retrieval.
  • Test different reel types to find your personal preference. There is no universally “correct” choice.
  • Reversible reel handles allow configuring for right or left handed use.
  • Choose a reel that lets you cast and set hooks with your dominant hand.

With the proper reel type for your needs and style, you’ll be set up for an efficient, seamless, and rewarding fishing experience.

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Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.


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