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…

The difference between Monofilament, Braid and Fluorocarbon fishing line

One of the most confusing choices for anglers world wide is choosing the right fishing line. Which fishing line is the best? Well, that depends. Of the big three (we will discuss copolymer another time) each has a very specific purpose, and ideal condition for use. That is why there is no single answer to that question.

The first fishing line attribute to look at is stretch.

Monofilament stretches. Braid doesn’t stretch. Flourocarbon has very little stretch.

The next attribute of fishing line, is buoyancy.

Monofilament floats, Braid floats, Fluorocarbon sinks.

Another key, is visability:

Monofilament is slightly visible, Braid is highly visible, and Fluorocarbon is practically invisible in the water.

While there are  more, the last important characteristic is durability.

Monofilament is prone to abrasions and nicks. Fluorocarbon is considerably more durable than Monofilament, and Braid is the most durable of the three.

Ok, so lets bring that all together and discuss some scenarios.

  • When fishing crankbaits and other diving or sinking lures, fluorocarbon is ultra low visibility and quite durable. With limited stretch, you will detect even the most delicate nibble more consistantly. Because it sinks, it will help you get that lure down where you want it.
  • When fishing in heavy cover Braided line floats, has very little stretch for solid hook sets, and can typically cut through weeds when you are hung up. This line is super durable and can withstand repeated assaults from wood, shells and fish.
  • Most anglers will agree that for open topwater action, nothing beats Monofilament. It floats, so it will not hamper the action of your lure, it has low visibility, and a little bit of stretch. That stretch can give you a natural delay which allows the fish to really take the bait.

There is one last attribute that nylon braided line has that sets it apart from the others: diameter. Braid is far thinner than it’s counterparts; most spools of line will compare the braid diameter as an equivalent to monofilament. For instance the 50lb test Braid that I use has a comparable diameter to 12lb test monofilament.

The last important note about fishing line actually has to do with your reel. Should you wish to use line heavier than 12lb test, you should use a baitcast reel rather than a spinning reel. Baitcasters are specifically made to accept heavier/thicker line than a spinning reel.

Good luck, and remember, when you need to fish, AnyPuddle will do…

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