Why are baitcast reels typically a right hand retrieve?

I am fairly certain that every angler out there, like me, asked this very same question: Why would the baitcast reel have the handle on the right side?

Most of you likely started fishing as a child, and cut your teeth on the domed spincast reel, and transitioned into the spinning reel later on. Only those who take their fishing very seriously typically progress to using a trigger rod and the low-profile or round baitcast reel.

Let’s face it, the baitcaster is intimidating.

  1. It blows up on you in a big tangle at the most inopportune times
  2. When you blow up your spinning reel, it doesn’t usually stop you from fishing for 20 minutes
  3. It typically has a higher entry cost than a spinning reel
  4. And someone put the handle on the wrong side!

I’m a little bit older now, and have come to the conclusion that the baitcast is not the enemy. However, I am still perplexed about why the handle is on the right side of the reel. I still cannot figure out how a right hand retrieve is more convenient or better than left. Most irritating of all is the fact that most manufacturers do not even make all of their models in a left hand retrieve. Kudos to Shimano and Abu Garcia for supporting the non-conformist angler in most of their product models; slight nod to Quantum as well, they are trying.

After doing some research, it is apparently because most people are right handed and the thought was that you would use your dominant hand to crank this type of reel. To me, casting with your right hand, then switching hands on the rod is counter intuitive. Further, I feel like I have far more control over the rod when palming the reel and rod in my right hand.

The only thing that plagues me about this is: Why do all the pros appear to use a right hand retrieve baitcaster, and switch their rod to the left hand?

I will let you know when I solve that mystery.

Happy fishing, and remember, when you need to get your lure wet, AnyPuddle will do…

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