frazerp

Right-Hand vs Left-Hand Fly Reel Retrieve

34 posts in this topic

Trying to get back into salt water fly fishing & the two #9 reels (trade here on SOL) were left hand retrieves & after changing them to right hand retrieve, I looked at my old Shakespeares & they also were left hand. I used them many moons ago on Nantucket & never noticed a problem, even with largish blues.

So what’s best ???

Lefty Kreh (a born lefty, but an accident turned him in to a righty) actually measured the speed of someone’s retrieve with the non-dominant hand vs retrieving with the dominant hand & found that the dominant hand was faster.

Tho’, of course there may be an issue w/swapping hands - using the non-dominant hand to play the fish, hold line, etc..

Just wondering what, and if, there is any consensus among the SOL gurus.

PS: As mostly a spinner & the occasional conventional caster, I was amazed at Lefty’s technique & lesson logic was so similar to those of Neil MacKellow world champion long caster in 1985, John Holden’s pendulum cast videos & maybe even the person down the beach out-casting their neighbors. 

PPS: Left-handers are 10% of the population & have a life expectancy of 9 yr less than right-handers.

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its preference imo.

sure you can reel faster with your dominant hand but then you cant use your stronger arm to pump the fish 

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My preference is my rod hand/arm has to be my dominant. As with spinning, my left is my reeler. Hmmm, but with conventional inreel with my right...

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age old question.  I cast right and reel right --I can reel faster long with my dominate hand.  I have been doing so long I do not even notice the switching of hands.  This is a strange observation as well--I have notice clients struggle when reeling with their non dominate hand with rod control.  Cant tell you why.  But the bottom line is what ever works for you.  Sarah and I keep four or so extra reels on our boats that are left hand crank.  

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I fish like Brian. I've had guides and friends criticize casting right and reeling right but their arguments don't make sense. When I reel left on borrowed equipment it's awkward for me. 

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Whichever works for you is the best solution for you.

 

I'm right handed and cast with right. I reel with left. I reel faster and with much more control this way. If I need to reel with right (ie after trying a friend's set), the rod moves a lot without control, line ends up onto reel stacked, I reel slower and tire much quicker.
I have right handed friends who have the same issues but when reeling with left.

 

For really big fish and hard fights (I use straight 40 or 50lb tippet/leader and the fly lines have strong cores) I would prefer my stronger arm on the rod as that gets much more strain on it than the reeling hand. This would be even if both hands were as good on control and speed, just based on strength and endurance. So I am happy I have learnt this way from the start of my fly fishing career as I love tuna on fly, which is quite extreme fishing.

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I personally reel a lot faster with my non-dominant right hand then with my dominant left. So i cast lefty and reel with my right. I'm hopeless the other way around.

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    I don't understand why anyone would have to ask. Being able to crank in an extra 10" of line every 20 seconds isn't going to make any difference at all if a fish makes a run at you. Direct drive reels just aren't that efficient at retrieving line. I don't have a choice. I crank right because I can't apply vertical pressure with my right arm. But be that as it may, you'd have a very hard time convincing me that I crank faster with my right hand. While I respect Lefty and all he's contributed to this great sport, I'd never let him or anyone else tell me how to fish.

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To be honest I shoot a bow with both hands and can Robin Hood either way so I imagine I could probably cast and reel with both just haven’t really tried I guess. For my bow I switched to right hand shooting do to my right eye being my dominant eye and they say it’s better for sighting. Took me only a few shots to get used too. If you were to try your opposite hand in fishing and just felt it out for a bit a imagine it wouldn’t take long. I might have to give this a try

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I wonder what people thought about back in the day when the only fly reel on the market for all intensive purposes was the Pflueger and they all came right hand wind.  I bet all those odd ball lefties thought this is easy. :)

 

I am like Brian cast right , reel right and the rods swap is so secondary that it is done without even noticing when it happens.

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3 mins ago, bonefishdick said:

I wonder what people thought about back in the day when the only fly reel on the market for all intensive purposes was the Pflueger and they all came right hand wind.  I bet all those odd ball lefties thought this is easy. :)

 

Im one of those odd ball lefty's , it felt good.  But a spinning reel didn't?  Some odd balls would turn it up side down.  Or a Baseball Glove.?  They were hard to fine also in the early 50;s 

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I spent 45 years fishing with spinning reels.  I'm right handed.  So to me it's natural that my fly reels are set up for left handed retrieve.  Figure I can place more pressure on the fish when I'm fighting it with my dominant hand.

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started fishing recently. having concern which hand to use for casting and the other to reel. born lefty still play major games with the left hand, except writing in right.

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That avatar may be an issue, if you intend to continue posting. :)

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