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Should You Reel With Your Right or Left Hand (21 of 35)

When getting a fly rod outfit, you need to know whether the reel should be set up for right- or left-hand wind. Most right-handers choose to reel with their left hand so they don’t have to switch the rod to their other hand when they reel. But some right-handers are more comfortable reeling with their right hand, so they just switch hands when reeling in line or playing a fish. Either way is correct—it just comes down to what is most comfortable to you.

Video Transcript:

So, when you get a fly rod outfit, you're gonna be asked the question, or if you buy a reel, or if you buy a rod with a reel combined, you're gonna be asked the question, "Do you want right or left-hand retrieve?" Well, you may not know. And there's no right or wrong way to do it.
Typically, a right-hand caster - which I am, I cast with my right hand - has the handle on the left side, so, it's left-hand retrieve. That way, when you cast, you cast, you hook a fish, and you need to use your reel, you have your hand right there. That's convenient and it works pretty well. So, a little confusing, but most right-handed casters are gonna want their reel set up for left-hand wind, it's not a left-handed reel, it's left-hand wind, or right-hand wind.
Now, I am strongly right-handed, and I do it differently. Doesn't matter, it's the way I like to do it. I cast right-hand, and usually, I just strip in a fish, so, I don't need to switch hands. But if I do get a bigger fish that gets on my reel and I need to use the reel, all I do is switch hands. So I play the fish with my left hand, and I reel with my right. I'm just more comfortable turning that reel with my right hand.
So, it really doesn't matter, just decide beforehand what's gonna be most comfortable for you, and then get your reel set up the right way. Because the problem is, if you get the reel set up the wrong way, all the line has to come off the reel, you have to switch the drag over inside the reel, and then you have to wind all the line and all the backing back on the reel. So, decide beforehand which way you prefer, and then when you go to a fly shop, or you order a reel, or a fly rod outfit, you can specify either right-hand wind, or left-hand wind.

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