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I just wanted to hear what other people do. I currently cast with my right hand and strip with my left then reel with my left. I find that I can't keep tight and reel as fast as sometimes needed with my left hand. Does anyone cast with their dominant hand and then switch hands to reel with their dominate hand? Is there any downfall to doing this?
 

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@BGBrown311 I am right handed and cast with my right and reel with my right. I can retrieve line quicker reeling with my right. You will hear Pros and Cons from both sides. I can reel just fine with either hand but I am quicker with my right and feel it gives me an advantage on hard running fish who tend to swim right back at you. Most will say it is silly to change hands but again on a hard running fish, you have more than enough time to change hands while they are headed to the horizon. Dont sweat it or overthink it. Walk off 100-150yds and see which one you are quickest/most comfortable and stick with it. You might find you start to reel in "squares", that is a sign you should switch.
 

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^^^ This....same reason Flip reels right with dominant hand and many others. Learned the hard way it’s better to wind left only when finessing trout as you’ll sometimes miss the bite. For saltwater right is right! Unless your a lefty.

I was taught (all those years ago...) to always reel with your dominant hand since the reeling part of fighting a really big fish with a fly rod is the toughest part (remember that fly reels have a very slow rate of retrieve ...). To emphasize what we were taught the usual demo was to ask a new angler which hand he wanted to reel 200 to 300 yards of backing onto a brand new reel.... 'nuff said. Then, as the sport grew in numbers - many, many fly anglers started out in fresh water where the demands on your reeling hand were minimal at best... so a lot of new saltwater fly anglers came to the sport already used to winding with their weak hand... These days more than half of my fly anglers are used to using the reel with their left hand -while I'm still a right hander...

I'm finally at the point after more than 20 years of guiding that I actually have accumulated two reels for every rod size from a 7wt on up to a 12wt and routinely ask my anglers which hand they use -then set up each rod accordingly...

All of that said, we ran into something last night that really illustrates that whole argument - and not in the favor of those that wind a fly reel with their weak hand... It was our last tarpon of the night (we'd already gone three or four for seven on small fish up to around 30lbs using a 9wt -perfect for fish up to 40lbs...) and hit one last bridge. We never had a clue a big fish was holding there until my angler hooked up with a screamer that nearly took all of his string (the fly line and 200 yards of backing) before I could fire up the motor and chase after it. That fish never jumped - it just kept screaming until.... it turned and I was forced shove the motor into reverse as my angler reeled for all he was worth trying to get the slack out of the line... The big girl won that fight - and along the way parted the backing and took the fly line and a 100 to 200 feet of backing with it.... I just finished stripping what remained of the backing off of that reel so that I could load new backing (and another new fly line) to get ready for tonight's trip. As I power wound the old backing off the reel I found quite a few spots with loose, tangled backing simply because my angler couldn't turn the reel handle fast enough... If that big girl had made another run instead of breaking us off - bad things would have happened -and that's the argument for using your strong hand to wind with, in a nutshell....

ps- we got lots of pics and I'll have a proper fishing report in a day or two....
 

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Oh dear - I'm posting too much when I see my long past words getting quoted here - but it still goes. Most of us "old timers" were taught to wind with our dominant hand (whichever it is...). If I handed you a brand new fly reel and a big spool of backing - which hand would you want to be winding with? The retrieve speed with 99% of all fly reels is still very slow when a fast moving fish turns and runs back towards you and you simply can't keep up with your weak hand...

After years and years I finally have enough fly reels to have two for every rod when we're using fly gear -one that winds left - the other winds right handed... With every charter I make a point of asking the angler which he (or she) prefers and that's how each rod will be set up on the day we fish...
 

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Lots of good info here. Like stated above, try reeling with your right hand and see how it feels. More importantly see how smooth your retrieve is.

I cast right handed, strip with my left hand and can reel much faster with my right hand. But I’m very much so capable of reeling with my left. I have rods set up for both as Bob stated. Good to have one of each for clients.
 
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Lots of good info here. Like stated above, try reeling with your right hand and see how it feels. More importantly see how smooth your retrieve is.

I cast right handed, strip with my left hand and can reel much faster with my right hand. But I’m very much so capable of reeling with my left. I have rods set up for both as Bob stated. Good to have one of each for clients.
Grew up spin fishing, so actually I am much more comfortable with my left when retrieving.
 

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I don’t think I can reel faster with the right or left hand, about the same they are. I leave all of my fly reels with a left hand retrieve and bait-casting reels right hand.

I cast fly rods with my left or right hand and don’t really have a preference on which side, the wind direction off my shoulders generally dictates the arm I choose to cast with. Leaving the retrieve all on the one side I don’t have to think about it when a fish is on the reel.
 

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I don’t think I can reel faster with the right or left hand, about the same they are. I leave all of my fly reels with a left hand retrieve and bait-casting reels right hand.

I cast fly rods with my left or right hand and don’t really have a preference on which side, the wind direction off my shoulders generally dictates the arm I choose to cast with. Leaving the retrieve all on the one side I don’t have to think about it when a fish is on the reel.
same. the only time I retrieve right, by design, is with baitcaster. Unfortunately, casting a fly rod with my left hand is not quite as comfortable as with my right. I used to practice more with my left, but not so much anymore. Should really spend more time on my back hand cast.
 

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Oh dear - I'm posting too much when I see my long past words getting quoted here - but it still goes. Most of us "old timers" were taught to wind with our dominant hand (whichever it is...). If I handed you a brand new fly reel and a big spool of backing - which hand would you want to be winding with? The retrieve speed with 99% of all fly reels is still very slow when a fast moving fish turns and runs back towards you and you simply can't keep up with your weak hand...

After years and years I finally have enough fly reels to have two for every rod when we're using fly gear -one that winds left - the other winds right handed... With every charter I make a point of asking the angler which he (or she) prefers and that's how each rod will be set up on the day we fish...
Me too!

I learned from ole Stu Apte many years ago that you have more and faster dexterity on your dominate hand to let go of the knob when a powerful or fast fish lunges, like tarpon, bones and offshore pelagics. It doesn't take long to learn the hard way, from a busted up knuckles incident. :confused:

You also have the ability to wind faster, picking up line faster for longer periods of time with your dominate hand. Yeah, no doubt it's cool and exciting to watch that backing just melt off your reel. To me, aside from the "eat," there is nothing better to get your heart pumping than to see that. But once that excitement has died down when the spool stops turning in the fish's favor, then you have to reel all that line back in on a 1:1 ratio, which can be a chore. So for me, that's how I've rolled for at least 28yrs now since I learned that lil tidbit, where any reels I keep specific for those species, are situated on my dominate hand (right hand).

One time I fought a large female poon down a stretch of beach for 4 miles on a lighter fly rod than I should have been using for a fish that size (she was in the 140-150 range). I would of given up long before we boated her if I had to reel with my left hand.

That being said, a lot (not all) of the reels I've owned over the years that I only use for basic inshore and freshwater, I have no problems leaving them in a left hand retrieve mode. Most long runs on those species are no more than 50yrds. So I have no problems reeling with my left hand for them. So those extra yards of backing for those inshore type reels are really for increasing the arbor size to help with faster retrieving, aside from the extra insurance policy of that...."just in-case" fish. ;)
 

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Whichever hand you can reel best with. I’m right handed and maybe a little ambidextrous. I can’t reel for crap with my right hand. I don’t know what it is. I just reel with my left.
 

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We all do everything best with our dominant hand starting out -- that's what dominant hand means -- but where we start out is not usually where we want to end up. Seems to me proper technique usually feels awkward and unnatural starting out, no matter the sport. Handling the rod, both casting and fighting fish, especially at the boat, is also a skill, just as reeling fast is. I keep the rod in my right hand. When I need to gain line quickly I often go back to stripping.
 

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When I started fishing salt some 35 years ago I only heard of reeling with your dominant hand. However, one day tarpon fishing and catching two well over 100 lb fish on two succesive casts with the second fish breaking the fly line itself after 20 minutes when it somehow wrapped the reel on a jump- kapow. I was more than relieved our back up rod reeled with my less dominant left hand as on the very next cast I hooked the third of the day. By the way when the line broke on that second fish with now no pressure on her she immediately stopped and we were almost able to grab the end of the line as it sat floating on the water in front of us.
 
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