Why Are Spinning Reels Left-Handed?—Here’s Everything You Should Know

If you have ever used a spinning reel, you might have noticed the reel handle is on the left side, which is contrary to the baitcaster reel. Now you’ll find the answer of “Why are Spinning Reels Left Handed” in the 3rd para.

So, one wonders why is it like this. Obviously, the baitcaster reel is a professional heavy-tier reel, so maybe spinning reel manufacturers made a mistake.

Well, that’s not the case. The reason baitcaster reels are on the right side, and not the left, is because of traditional manufacturing. Ordering fishing reels had these handles on the right side, so the tradition continued.

Why Are Spinning Reels Left-Handed

You will be surprised to know that having the handle on the left side of a spinning reel is quite advantageous for a right-handed person.

Also, keep in mind that we are speaking about right-handed people here, as most people are. If you are left-handed, then everything I am writing would just be at the opposite hand for you.

So, let’s discuss some of the major advantages of using left-handed spinning reels.

Benefits of Left-Handed Spinning Reels

For a right-handed person, the left-handed spinning reels are quite advantageous, and vice versa.

Benefits of Left-Handed Spinning Reels

1. Fight with Your Dominant Arm

Let me explain it in more simple terms. If you are right-handed, which of your arms has more strength? Obviously, right hand. So, you have a dominant right arm.

Imagine arm-wrestling with a left-hand while being right-handed. You stand no chance against a left-handed person.

Similarly, how would you stand any chance while using your less-powered hand while fighting a fish? Check Why Does My Spinning Reel Spin Both Ways?

When using a left-handed spinning reel, your right hand will be holding the rod and helping you take and fight the fish with your dominant arm.

So, obviously, you will be an advantage.

2. Easier Reeling with Left Hand

Your less-dominant hand will be responsible for reeling in the fish, which is an easy task that your left hand can handle. It doesn’t require power, it only requires spinning.

Now, baitcasters have the opinion that turning the handle with the left hand is not as fast as with the right hand.

Well, that is certainly true for baitcaster reels, because they have such a small turning radius that it becomes difficult for a right-handed person to reach the same level of dexterity with the left hand.

However, spinning reels are not the same as baitcaster reels. They have a much larger turning radius on the reel which makes it easier for a right-handed person.

Also, spinning reels have always focused on ease of use. So, turning the reel is a lot easier and similar dexterity can be achieved with both hands. You may also like to check Why Spinning Reels Are Better?

3. Instant and Stronger Reflexes

A righthanded person will have stronger reflexes in the right hand and will be able to react more effectively with the stronger and dominant arm.

So, when holding the fishing rod with the dominant hand, you will be able to make quicker hooksets and react immediately when you catch a fish.

The same cannot be said when you are holding the rod with your left hand.

Remember, we are speaking about spinning reels here, the ones used for lightweight to medium games with lightweight lures. They are easy to learn and use.

Beginners prefer spinning reels because there is less learning curve and they are able to master it easily. You may like to check What Size Spinning Reel For Bass?

You will be able to show some efficiency with baitcaster, but it will take years of practice.

4. No Hand Swapping

I always found it weird when I went fishing with my father. Why do they cast with their right hand and then switch the rod to the left hand to use the reel handle with the right hand? Obviously, if they are right-handed, they can just cast with their right hand and use a left-handed reel.

It was just traditionally so. There was no logic behind it. People just didn’t use left-handed reels or thought about making them bigger so they will be easier to handle with the left hand.

When using a left-handed spinning reel while being right-handed, you will get rid of this traditional hand swapping and will be able to focus on your game.

5. Just Swap the Handle

Unlike baitcaster reels, the spinning reels are not dedicated to one side. So, if you still don’t think that getting a left-handed spinning reel is beneficial, you can just swap it for the other side.

The instructions will be available in the instruction manual. Some spinning reels are simple to alter, while others require more work.

Unlike spinning reels, the baitcaster reels don’t afford you the same luxury. You have a dedicated handle, so if you made the wrong choice while purchasing, you will have to change it.

Disadvantages of Left-Handed Spinning Reels

Obviously, there will be a bit of a learning curve, and it will take time as you achieve the same dexterity with a left-handed spinning reel.

To make it easier, the turning radius of left-handed reels was increased.

Disadvantages of Left-Handed Spinning Reels

Other than that, I don’t think there is any disadvantage for a right-handed person.

You have the dominant arm ready to the right and the weaker arm to handle the reel. That’s the combination that works best for me.

Spinning Reel Vs Baitcasting Reel—Right Handed Vs Left Handed

Baitcasting reels are not the same as spinning reels, so you cannot expect to use them left-handed unless you are skillful with both hands.

Baitcaster anglers and fishers go after heavy trolling. They use bigger lures that spinning reels cannot handle. Also, the circumference of their turning wheel is smaller.

So, a right-handed person cannot achieve the same level of dexterity while turning the handle with the left hand.

Spinning Reel Vs Baitcasting Reel Right Handed Vs Left Handed

Hence, you can say that it is the compromise a baitcasting reel user has to make. To cast with the dominant hand and then switch the dominant hand to reeling.

On the other hand, with spinning reels, you can keep your dominant hand on the fishing rod and use your weaker hand for the turning handle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Traditionally, right-handed people cast with their right hand and then switch the rod to the left hand. However, with a spinning reel, you can keep the rod in your right hand, as the large circumference of the turning wheel makes it easier to reel for your left hand.

Both spinning reels and baitcaster reels are cast with the right hand by right-handed people and vice versa. The difference is, with a baitcaster reel, you have to swap hands after casting, while with spinning reels, you can choose not to.

Unfortunately, you can’t. There are some limited editions that might allow you to do so, but a good baitcaster reel is dedicated to one hand. So, you can either purchase a right-handed or a left-handed reel.

Baitcaster reels are used by professionals and seasoned anglers who go after big fish. They use big lures and also have a small turning radius on the spinning wheel. So, they reel with the right hand for maximum dexterity.

Wrapping up!

I have to say, using a left-handed spinning reel while being right-handed really feels different and I am not the only one. There are thousands of other people on the internet who share my preference.

Yes, many are indeed against it too. Well, I guess it doesn’t matter since you can easily swap the handle of the spinning reel to either side. So, those who don’t agree can just unscrew their handle and move it to the other side.

Let us know what you think in the comments. Have you tried using a left-handed spinning reel? How was your experience?

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