Most reels are designed for right-handed users since the majority of the anglers out there are right-handed. Even then, spinning reels are fairly easy to switch. The problem occurs when you use a baitcasting reel because this type of reel can’t be switched from the right hand to the left.
Changing the reel handle side from right to left is pretty easy. With a spinning reel, you won’t have to change the reel itself. Rather, all you have to do is change the handle side. In the following section, I’m going to show you how to change a fishing reel from right to left-handed.
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Right or Left-Handed Fishing Reel?
Which one is for me? A right-handed fishing reel or a left-handed fishing reel? If you are a right-handed angler and it feels natural for you to retrieve/reel with your left hand, then you already know what reel-type you will need.
For example, let’s say you are a righty. I’m actually right-handed, too, and have been fishing for over 15 years. If I had it all over again, I would probably use what is considered a left-handed reel for baitcasting.
The handle is on the right. However, there is one disadvantage. When you go to make a cast, you will always use your dominant hand, which most people do. This means you will cast with your right hand.
The reel handle is also on the right. After the cast, you would probably switch the rod to your left hand and grab the reel handle with your right hand.
Here is where the problem lies. If you throw a bait out and sometimes the fish will eat the bait right when it hits the water. So, if that happens and you go and make the rod side switch, you are going to lose that fish.
Nowadays, there are baitcasting reels available that have the handle on the left-hand side. What’s more confusing is that they call those left-hand reels, which is more suitable for a right-handed person.
Long story short, if you are a right-handed person and want a baitcasting reel, go with a left-handed reel.
Can You Switch The Handle On A Baitcaster?
No, but if you want to maximize your fishing efficiency, you can always buy the right type of baitcasting reel from the start instead of switching the rod from one hand to the other.
How To Change Reel Handle Side
Okay, so I’ve got the baitcasting reel part out of the way first because the handles on those reels aren’t interchangeable. Even if you are using a spinning reel, you will still use your dominant hand to hold the rod and gain a proper grip.
By using your right hand, you will get all the power you need to hold the spinning rod, and you reel using your left hand. But that doesn’t mean you are left-handed.
There are times when you have to change the reel handle from one side to the other because manufacturers don’t always adhere to a certain person’s fishing style. Luckily, spinning reels are highly versatile, and you can customize one to the point where it will feel like it was already made for you.
Changing A Spinning Reel From Right-Handed To Left-Handed
It only takes a minute or two to learn how to change reel handle sides on a spinning reel. For a better experience, try both sides, and eventually, you will figure out which side feels most comfortable for you.
- First, locate the handle, and on the opposite side, you will see a cap. This is called a dust cap, and you will need to start unscrewing it. If the handle is on your left, the dust cap will be on the right. Now, take it out.
- Turn the reel handle in a clockwise direction to unscrew it from the left side.
- Now, take the reel handle and insert it to the right side where the dust cap was. Now, turn the reel clockwise to tighten it.
- Take the dust cap and place it where the reel handle was before and screw it until it is tight enough.
- And that’s all there is to it. You have just changed your reel side from right to left.
Changing A Spinning Reel Handle From Left To Right
It’s literally the same process, but for the sake of this article, I will go over the steps again. Well, just so that you don’t get bored, I’ll also add some maintenance tips along the way, so make sure to read on.
- Unscrew the cap that is on the opposite side of the handle. Now, you will notice that as you unscrew the cap, the reel handle gets loose. This is because the cap works as a reel connector.
- It’s the same thing as your bicycle. It is the same mechanism as a paddle—one to one connection. Instead of having two-reel handles, reels only come with one. Keep on turning the cap till it comes off.
- The handle will get loosen up to the point where it will go back to its shipping position. This is the position that the handle comes to when you first buy the reel.
- Now, take out the cap and the handle. Now is a good time to add some lubricants inside the reel. If it looks dirty, clean it. Properly cleaning and lubing your reel from time to time will make it smoother and allow the reel to cast further and easier.
- When you take the dust cap off, you will see some mini ball bearings. On the other side, you just pull out the reel handle. Both sides will look the same.
- Now, all you have to do is take the handle and insert it on the other side and push it in and take the screw cap and screw it in till it is all the way tight.
That’s all there is to it. Since many people are right-handed, most of them don’t even think about switching the handles on their reels. This is the reason why most manufacturers make their reels for righties. But that doesn’t mean lefties should get worried.
Follow these steps and learn how to how to change a fishing reel from right to left-handed. It’s all about your comfort. Happy fishing, and make sure to maintain your fishing reel from time to time to get the best performance out of it.
When you are setting the hook, which hand do you think you will be better with? Your dominant hand or not so dominant hand? If you don’t want to go through all these steps, simply get a left-handed reel if you are a right-handed angler. There are different type of reels and lines for both right and left handed people.
There are anglers that can cast using both of their hands, and it doesn’t make a difference in their cast. That’s a rare case, though, but for now, just stick to the basics. Hopefully, this article was helpful to you.
I’ve included steps for both sides so that lefties and righties can benefit from it. If you have any more questions, leave a comment below.