Why are Baitcasting Reels Right-Handed? [Avoid the Switch!]

Why are Baitcasting Reels Right-Handed
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Today, you will see that many reels have right or left-handed option. In the past, that was not the case.

Historically, baitcasters had handles on the right side, and spinning reels on the left. But what if that doesn’t suit you?

Why are baitcasting reels right-handed exactly? As already mentioned, due to inherit design. On a modern spinning reel, you can attach the handle on both sides and can do it by yourself in many cases. This is not really possible on baitcasters. Today, you can buy either left or right-handed version.

In the past, many anglers had problems with it. They were casting with their dominant hand, which is most often the right one, and then had to move the rod into the other hand to crank the reel due to design of it.

Some anglers are used to it and use it today in the original right-handed form. Others prefer having a handle on the left side, so that they don’t have to switch the rod between hands.

Here I will tell you a bit more about this and give you some recommendations for these reels.



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Why are Baitcasting Reels Right-Handed? [What is the Reason?]

I know I have said that it is due to historical design, but why are baitcasting reels right-handed? Why aren’t they all left-handed?

Here is a small history lesson. When the first reels became popular, they were not multiplier reels. That means that one turn of a handle turned the spool once. Today, you have reel gear ratio. For one turn of a handle, spool will turn multiple times.

When you had to turn it a million times to reel in a fish, it was logical to use your dominant, stronger, and faster hand, which was the right one. So, you casted with the right hand, then moved the rod into the left, and reeled with the right again.

When modern baitcasters came to the market, historical right-handed handles left as an inherit design. It was not necessary anymore, but it stayed.

Many anglers who learned how to fish 40 or 50 years ago are so used to it that they would never change this swapping of the rod between hands.

Left- or Right-Hand Baitcaster Reel? [Which One is Better?]

Right-handed baitcaster reel is not for those who are right-handed. It simply means that right hand is used to turn the handle.

If you are left-handed, you will cast the rod with your dominant, left, hand. Then you will be able to use your right hand to reel in your modern multiplier reel. So, left-handed people should actually use right-handed reels to avoid swapping the rod.

To someone who is not into angling it may seem illogical to reel in with a non-dominant hand, but it is easier than swapping the rod. Besides, casting with a non-dominant hand would be even harder.

The same goes for left-handed baitcaster reel. It is perfect for right-handed people. You will cast with your right hand, you can continue holding the rod in your right hand, and reel with the left one.

Both casting and reeling with a dominant hand, even in cases of multiplier reels, has some benefits and some anglers prefer to do so. This is why many will still swap the rod between hands. However, lefthanded baitcasters are very common on the market and you can get them anywhere, as many right-handed people like to use them.

There is no better or worse option, you should see what suits you and which combination makes you efficient and successful.

Can You Switch a Right-Handed Baitcaster to a Left-Handed?

As already mentioned, modern spinning reels that are far less complicated can be switched. There are no left- or right-handed option. You can attach the handle where you prefer. Anglers buy a reel they want and don’t have to worry about the sides.

Left or right hand baitcaster is a dilemma you should consider before you make a purchase. Handles can’t be swapped between sides.

If you are unsure about this change, and you are used to either left or right-handed, you can always buy an entry level, affordable reel with a handle on the opposite site to see if it suits you. Many right-handed anglers switched to left-handed baitcasters so that they can cast with the dominant hand and don’t have to move the rod into the left hand. Some adjusting period will be required to get used to it, but eventually, you will see that it has a lot more sense and it is easier to use.

Why are Baitcasting Reels Right Handed - Switch

What is the Best Left and Right-Handed Baitcaster? [Price–Performance Ratio]

Many manufacturers offer the same model as both right-handed baitcaster reel and left-handed baitcaster reel. No matter which option you prefer, you can get a reel that you want. It would be a shame if you had to settle for the reel that is not your first choice when it comes to reel features and performance, only because of the handle position.

If you are looking for a good price-performance baitcaster, available in both left and right option, search no more! I know the perfect one.

That is KastKing Royale Legend II (GT) (#ad)

This reel has it all. Firstly, you don’t have to go bankrupt to buy it. It looks awesome and performs even better.

This low-profile reel has an incredible handle that offers comfortable yet dependable and strong grip. The reel itself is very smooth. Magnetic braking works excellent, and you don’t have to worry about backlashes or casting control.

It is very light, and pleasant to use all day long. It is definitely among my favorite reels and I’m sure that if you try it you will think the same!


Now you know why are baitcasting reels right-handed. Or at least, why they were right-handed. Today, many manufacturers make both left and right versions to accommodate needs of different anglers.

Many people dislike switching the rod between hands; however, others are so used to it that they would never change it.

Personally, I would recommend you to cast with your dominant hand and reel in with the opposite hand, but it is not mandatory.

Just make sure to have a good and dependable reel, no matter the handle side!

About Me

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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