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View Full Version : Lefty vs. Righty


Rog 1
08-23-2007, 03:05 PM
While the debate on how stressed our trout are continues along with the drought let me pose this eternal question. Most reels are reversable and can be used either from the left or right side. I know that I have reels that are set up on both sides. What is the general preference and the reasons or excuses for making this life choice. Since the fishing is lousy thought this might generate some input....thanks.

russ
08-23-2007, 03:32 PM
I reel with my left hand only because I cast with my right hand and when a fish strikes I don't want to have to switch the rod into my left hand in order to reel him in.

milligan trout degree
08-23-2007, 04:05 PM
i choose to real with my left hand simply because that's the most comfortable for me. also considering its more comfortable for me to strip line with my left and cast with my right, and i don't like to switch hands once hooking a fish.

Gerry Romer
08-23-2007, 04:18 PM
And I'm the exact opposite. I'm right-handed, cast with my right and reel in with my right. When I buy a reel I always have to remind Daniel to set it up for a left-hander. Don't know why that is :confused: . When I get one on, I set the hook, strip/retrieve some line with my left hand, apply just enough pressure and then transfer the rod to my left hand.

I have a theory that may or may not make sense. Since I can't always get the fish on the reel right away, a lot of that line that I've stripped in begins to get pulled downstream before I can begin reeling it in. I prefer to have it pulled past my left side where it'll be out of the way of my net. (Remember, I've got my rod in my left hand so I can net with my right hand -- if necessary.) I find it easier to reel in that excess line if it's off to my left. When I'm cranking in with my right hand, the excess line naturally stays out of my way. Make sense??

I probably should've said that that is my theory for preparedness since I rarely catch anything anymore and really have no need to either reel or net :biggrin: .

I also fish a lot with my son who is left handed. It's very convenient at those times when he's buldogging a bruiser and needs someone to hold his rod while he nets the pig :biggrin: :biggrin: . No, seriously... I have noticed that Brett and I can actually stand side by side while casting and fishing a tailwater and not have to worry about crossing lines (as long as he's standing on my left and I get to cast first...HA!)

I also brush my teeth with my left hand. I've never been able to brush them with my right and I have no theory at all about that :smile: .

Gerry

Brian Griffing
08-23-2007, 05:17 PM
Right-handed, cast with my right, reel with my right, brush my teeth with my right. I know this is not the best way, but I learned to fish from my old man, and he was self-taught. My brother and I have inherited the mistakes he made as a young man 40 years ago. I don't think it hampers me that much, but there have been times in the past that I have had a big fish on, and I have had a little trouble getting him back on the reel so he can fight the drag and not just me, squeezing the line and guessing how much tension I am applying.

Trout Hunter
08-23-2007, 05:26 PM
I cast with my right and reel with my right because my left hand is useless for just about anything but wearing a glove to play baseball or aiming a rifle. I guess it's all about what you get used to.

Norm

Jswitow
08-23-2007, 05:32 PM
I like to reel with my left hand. I cast right handed, so do not have to switch hands. I grew up bass fishing though and reeled baitcasters with the right and spinning reels with the left. In this I am nearly ambidextrious! Some people reel much faster with their right hand and they really should set their reels up that way. You know it is really a matter of personal preference, like just about everything in this sport ............... but the only way is my way! Kidding !

Strong arm fights the fish (on a big fish, I like this in particular) With an old Hardy though you wouldn't have a choice. They can only be set up to be reeled with the right hand.
It may even be too warm for me to fish this weekend, unless I can get up real early.
Best,
John

jeffnles1
08-23-2007, 06:04 PM
I'm primarily left handed.
I throw left handed,
I write left handed,
I switch hit when I used to play baseball
I swing a golf club right handed
I eat with both hands (usually both hands at the same time)

I usually cast with my left hand, but I'm equally bad at casting with my right hand and have only slightly more preference for casting left handed. My son is right handed and with me being a lefty and him right handed, we can work opposite sides of the pool and stream without getting in each other's way.

I have the reel set up to reel with left hand. So, yes, I guess I do switch hands from casting to reeling. I never really thought about it until reading this post.

Now you guys got me wondering if I should change around my reel.

Jeff

nvr2L8
08-23-2007, 07:25 PM
I cast with my right and strip the line in when I catch a fish with my left as my reel is for right-handed crank. This is totally foreign to a spin fisher who cranked for 30 years with my left hand. My reel is right-handed not because I choose it that way but because I began this spring with my fly fishing on a new 1972 Pflueger Medalist that I got as a gift years ago and never used and that, as far as I can tell, cannot be switched. As it turns out, it really doesn't seem to matter since I do pull a fish in by stripping the line. Didn't learn it that way, just started doing it that way from the first fish I caught. So far not a problem.

So, it won't do me a bit of good to rethink my strategy like Jeff appears to be doing - sometimes you just deal with the cards your dealt. The only fix for me would be a new reel.

Ooooh! I'm starting to rethink already. :rolleyes:

Waterborn
08-23-2007, 08:21 PM
Guess it all depends which hand my sandwich is in... :D

Gerry Romer
08-23-2007, 08:25 PM
The only fix for me would be a new reel.

Ooooh! I'm starting to rethink already. :rolleyes:


Daniel! Ship that man a catalogue!!

pineman19
08-23-2007, 08:55 PM
Thanks for bringing up a new topic. Was getting a little weary of the Trout Mortality thread, although there was some good knowledge shared. Anyway, I am right-handed, cast with my right, and strip line and reel with my left. Got used to reeling with my left when I borrowed my dad's mitchell-garcia 300 spinning real around 35 years ago. Actually, I ended up taking over that outfit since my dad never could get used to reeling with his left, he would use the rig upside down so he still could reel with his right hand, LOL.

Neal

jgduckhunter
08-23-2007, 10:03 PM
i to was getting weary of trout mortality since the closest trout to me are a tailwater it doesn't matter that much to me. nwo this is different. i reel a baitcaster with my right hand, a spinning reel and a fly reel with my left. i have heard many arguments for each i say do what is comfortable but if i have a big fish on i do prefer to use my strongest hand on the rod. i also love mitchell
300's. jason

DrewDelashmit
08-23-2007, 11:04 PM
I too think that you should reel with which ever hand is comfortable. However, with that being said, I also think that it makes the most sense to reel with your dominant hand. I cast right handed and reel right handed. The point that you want to avoid switching hands is hard for me to understand - any fish that you need to fight on the reel gives you ample time to even leisurely switch from right to left (or vice versa) as it begins to peel backing from the spool. Additionally, I much prefer to use my right hand to control the reel as it is the hand with which I have the most dexterity. When palming the reel I prefer to have total control on the amount of pressure that I am applying.

Having caught numerous large tarpon and countless smaller speedsters on both right and left handed set ups, I can without a doubt say that I can more efficiently fight large fish reeling with my dominant (right) hand. I will often use both hands on the rod, pinching the fly line between my fingers when pulling on a fish, and quickly and nimbly transfer my right hand to the reel handle without skipping a beat.

This debate will rage on as long as people fly fish and is just one of the reasons that makes this sport so interesting and entertaining.

Drew

Gerry Romer
08-23-2007, 11:15 PM
See. I just knew I was doing something right!!


I just didn't know why.

Gerry

ttas67
08-24-2007, 12:32 AM
cast right handed, reel left, that's just what feels best, but I cast pretty well left handed too, and do it often.

I don't know what my dominant hand is. I write and eat left handed. however, I throw a baseball, swing a bat, shoot a gun.. whatever else.. right handed. I absolutely cannot do those things left handed. I also cannot write with my right hand. strange isn't it.

jgduckhunter
08-24-2007, 08:15 AM
thats a good point about palming the reel with your dominant hand i had never thought of it since i have never caught a fish on a fly rod big enough to have to fight this way. when i said that i preferred my rod in my dominant hand on big fish i was thinking of spinning gear

flyman
08-24-2007, 08:17 AM
I have all my trout reels set up for left hand wind, and my saltwater ones are right hand wind. I like right handed better for saltwater because I think I can reel a little faster, I don't get my knckles busted quite as often, and my right hand is a little stronger. In everyday life I really don't have a dominate hand, I'm amphibious;)

irfishing
08-24-2007, 11:04 AM
[QUOTE=Gerry Romer;42004]

I have a theory that may or may not make sense. Since I can't always get the fish on the reel right away, a lot of that line that I've stripped in begins to get pulled downstream before I can begin reeling it in. I prefer to have it pulled past my left side where it'll be out of the way of my net. (Remember, I've got my rod in my left hand so I can net with my right hand -- if necessary.) I find it easier to reel in that excess line if it's off to my left. When I'm cranking in with my right hand, the excess line naturally stays out of my way. Make sense??

Gerry,
Seems this theory would only apply when the water is flowing from your right.
When the water is flowing from your left wouldn't the excess line be to your right? Maybe you only fish when the water is from the right. Just wondering...

Gatorbaiter
08-24-2007, 12:33 PM
fly fishing I primarily cast right and reel left -- though I have set up an old rod & reel to reel righty and have been practicing casting left handed with it -- I am getting up into my fifties and find the wrists are giving me problems when casting a lot --- too much twisting wrenches and hammering when working construction -- I have both a right and left hand baitcasting reels so when I am plugging for bass, trout, reds, or snook I can rest and loosen up the sore wrist

Fishstu
08-24-2007, 01:19 PM
cast with my right hand
reel with my left hand (the few times it's been 'necessary' to do so)

I would find switching hands difficult, especially when I face the added challenge of staying focused enough to stay upright in the water, as I
ponder the question of how I'm going to strike the match, to light the fuse, to throw the stick of . . . . .

(hey, jus' kiddin' about the 'stick thing' - - please no responses of: 'how could any self-respecting FFer even think of using anything other than . . . . .')

sorry, guess the heat and humidity are gettin' to me

fishstu

Brian Griffing
08-24-2007, 01:48 PM
Flyman, great use of a famous sports quote. "I can go left, I can go right..."

Drew, I have to respectfully disagree with you about any fish that you need to fight from a reel giving you ample time to do so. If you are casting upstream, and that bugger shoots downstream after being hooked, you are stripping a lot of line very quickly, and may have some trouble on his next run. Everyone can apply tension to the line by squeezing, but most people can't create drag as good as a reel. The line may slip from your fingers, you may squeeze too hard, you can slip on a rock and yank the line, etc. I guess we just aren't "nimble" enough. I guess this is where I would insert a smiley face, if I was ever going to do that.

DrewDelashmit
08-24-2007, 02:03 PM
Brian,

I am glad that you picked up on my sarcasm. I probably should have put some of my earlier post in quotes so I didn't come off as an egomaniacal windbag.

You also definitely bring up a good point of a fish running upstream and quickly pulling a 180. Luckily, I haven't encountered that being a problem and have always been able to clear any line around my feet when getting a fish on the reel. I am also so deep in the world of saltwater fly fishing that most of what I say definitely has that slant.

Drew

Gerry Romer
08-24-2007, 04:57 PM
Seems this theory would only apply when the water is flowing from your right.
When the water is flowing from your left wouldn't the excess line be to your right? Maybe you only fish when the water is from the right. Just wondering...

Sheesh! Now you've got me totally bumfuzzled.... I'm trying to picture my self wading in and I can't tell if I'm in a mountain stream or a tailwater. Hmmmm. Probably a tailwater, 'cause I can always wade to a point where I can turn a left-handed stream into a right-handed stream. In my mind's eye I just see all that water coming at me from upstream.

I seem to recall getting into a discussion about this with Byron some months back. Not whether or not my setup was righty or lefty. We were talking about whether the streams in the park are more ideally suited for right-hand or left-hand casting. I recall Byron saying that he'd developed a casting style that had him casting from his right side across his left shoulder whenever he had to enter a stream from the right bank. I was saying that, to me, that described most of the roadside streams in the park. As I drive thru the park - going upstream - most of the streams are flowing past on my left. I'm always looking for a bridge where the stream passes under and comes out on the right side of the vehicle, meaning I can scramble down and wade in from the left bank of the stream flow and cast right-handed. Byron's reply was that I needed to either learn to cast with either hand or adopt his cross-body technique. Haven't done either :redface: .

So I haven't really answered your question, have I? Let's try it another way. I generally try to enter a stream from the left bank of the stream flow. (If I'm looking across the stream to the far bank, the flow is coming from my left... upstream) I cast upstream for the most part and strip with my left. That's why the line tends to end up on my left. If I don't figure-eight my line, the flow grabs it and starts pulling it downstream. Since it's already on my left, I just turn my body slightly to get out of the way and let the flow take it as I strip in. That keeps it away from my right hand which is gonna do all the reelin' (one can hope...). If I have to enter from the right bank of the stream flow, I usually just wade out a bit, or all the way across and pretend that I know what I'm doing :biggrin: .

Now... when fishing wet flies in a classic down and across technique...:rolleyes:

Gerry

appalachian angler
08-26-2007, 09:08 PM
I learned to fish on a PB Zebco's and Johnson reels with right hand cranks. It felt strange to me until I got my first spinnning outfit with left hand wind. It felt "right" to me, and later even my baitcasters had to be left hand crank. I definately favor my right hand for Power, and cast and hold the rod when fighting fish in the right. This simply carried over to my fly fishing. I reel, strip, palm the spool and haul with my left. I feel like I have more "fine" dexterity with my left and really favor it for alot the detail stuff on the tying vice. When I am about to net, or unhook a fish, the rod and line slack go in my left hand. It is interesting to stop and think, and now write about things that are just involuntary on the stream.

AA

jeffnles1
08-26-2007, 09:47 PM
You also definitely bring up a good point of a fish running upstream and quickly pulling a 180. Luckily, I haven't encountered that being a problem

I lost a good size brown just last week when this happened. I hooked him on the downstream end of a drift. He shot down stream a few yards, turned around and headed up stream. After he passed me and went another couple yards up, he turned around and headed back downstream again. I wasn't quick enough to get him to the reel and was applying drag with my left hand. He snapped my 6X tippet

Most of the fish I've caught so far didn't need the reel's drag, but when a big one gets on, it's a different story. Fortunately, this was not a "fish of a lifetime" just a big brown. It was in a tailwater and big, but not THAT big.

Jeff