It seems that every time I purchase a reel in store, or someone sees my boat deck, I am jokingly ridiculed for using left-handed baitcasters. They call me a “hook” or bass-akwards (some people use interesting terminology). However, when I respond to their inquiries of why I utilize left-handed reels, it seems they have nothing left to say. The reel question (pun intended) is why not?
The History Behind It All
How does an angler start to use left-handed baitcasting reels? Well, to be honest, it was more by accident than anything else. I was in the market for a new reel, so naturally I paid my local Cabela’s a visit. I found one on display within my budget and to my liking and I purchased it. After returning home (an hour and a half drive away) I realized I was negligent in my selection. I found that when searching for the correct box, I accidentally picked the left hand model. Being a lazy teenager, I refused to make the trip to return it and put it on a rod.
It took a while to get used to, that’s for sure. However, it didn’t take as long as most would think. When you are “forced” to use one, the learning curve shortens greatly. Once I got the hang of it, I found it to be much more beneficial than using its right-handed counterpart.
For starters, I love being able to set the hook with my dominant hand/arm. It feels much more natural and I am able to set it with more power than ever before. This makes setting the hook easy when flipping and frogging, techniques that require the utmost power in the hook set.
Another benefit includes being able to set the hook immediately after a cast or flip. Bass anglers know all too well of missing fish in the first milliseconds the bait touches the water. Unless anglers are fully adept at casting with their left hands/arm, they switch the rod and reel to the opposite hand every cast. This equates to wasted time and missed fish. Again, this makes flipping and frogging much more effective. More fish strike these two techniques in the first seconds of the bait entering the water than any others.
For me, fishing crankbaits and other hard-pulling baits is much easier when using these South-Paw reels as well. I am able to hold the rod with my right arm which is more natural and less cumbersome. Additionally, when the bait snags grass or other objects I am able to rip it off with force. This enables me to make the most of my casts and catch more fish in a day.
Shopping for these reels seems to be easier as well. Once you find a brand and model you like, it seems you can always find it in stock. Everyone is so hellbent on right-handed reels that these are most always in stock. Sometimes when they are so well-stocked, stores run sales on the left-handed models to move product. This translates into less money spent for these anglers.
Next time you are in the market for a new reel, consider the benefits of using the not-so-popular left-handed model. Sure, it will take some time to get used to, but before you know, it will be second nature. Then and only then will you be able to run with us cool kids that know the proper hand with which to reel. 😉