Using a Right-handed Baitcaster

Posted by MNAngler On June - 3 - 2010

About two months ago, I posed a question to my readers about whether I should use a left-handed or right-handed baitcaster if I am right-handed. I got some good information and settled on using the right-handed baitcaster that my brother gave me for Christmas. I’ve used the reel a few times now and can report on my personal experience.

Before I took it out to water, I practiced in my backyard a few times. It took me a few casts to get used to my new rod, let alone the reel, but got the hang of it without too much trouble. Being used to a spinning reel, the balance of the whole setup took some getting used to. The reel being on top threw me off a bit. But soon I was casting about 40 ft with a hook buried in my favorite lure as a casting plug. The magnetic brake was turned up all the way.

The first time I took it to a lake, I had no problem casting with my right hand and switching hands to reel. As my commenters pointed out, it was very natural. However, what didn’t feel natural was twitching the rod with my left hand. With spinning reels, I twitch flukes with my right hand. It feels natural controlling the lure with my dominant hand. It was awkward to twitch with my left.

I then took it out to my dad’s lake over Memorial Weekend. As I used the reel more, I began to feel more comfortable with left-hand twitching. But then I started noticing the length of the rod butt, which is a bit longer than my spinning rods. I’m sure I’ll get used to that as well.

I’ve been doing pretty well with the reel so far. I haven’t had any major backlashes since I’ve started casting into water. I just got a few minor ones and that was mainly because I was casting after dusk when I couldn’t see my lure hit the water. I was comfortable enough to turn the magnetic brake down to 50% and was getting some pretty good distance.

If you’re new to baitcasters, tuning the baitcaster to the lure is critical to the learning process. I would recommend sticking with one lure for the first bunch of times you use your reel to get used to it. Fiddling with different lures and having to tweak settings just complicates things. I’m now to the point where I’ll start trying new lures. I attached my baitcaster to my new St. Croix Premier and am anxious to test out its sensitivity with bottom bouncing a worm or jig and pig.

If you’re used to left-handed spinning gear, a right-handed baitcaster will take some getting used to. I’ll be sticking with the right-handed version for now, but my next one might be a left-handed one, just to see if I like to stick with using my right hand to move the lure through the water.

9 Responses to “Using a Right-handed Baitcaster”

  1. Mark says:

    I had to go through the baitcasting learning curve a couple months ago, it was pretty steep for me. The casting part anyway. I didn’t have too much trouble switching hands with the rod since I was brought up on a Zebco 202, casting with the right then switching to the left.

    A tip my wife’s uncle gave me is to start with a crankbait/spinnerbait/anything you can really whip out there, turn up the braking pretty high and then just cast really hard to overcome the braking. You need to make sure your knots are legit and it can lead to a sore shoulder after a couple of hours but it reduces the amount of backlashes you’ll get and lets you practice thumb control.

    • MNAngler says:

      Mark, I turned up my magnetic brake all the way until last weekend after I got more comfortable with casting. I look forward to turning the brake all the way off to see how far my lures will go.

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  3. bassdem says:

    This is good info I can use anytime any other spinning reel people pose the question to me. I can understand the trouble you were having with learning the twitch. Working on a post idea that could be of use to you later in the future. How’s that sidearm cast doing? Pitching? Those are two very useful casts.

    • MNAngler says:

      Casting with the baitcaster in general is going well. I still need a bit of practice to hit my targets like I do with a spinning reel, but it’s coming along. My pitching needs a bit more work, though. Whenever I pitch, the lure drops just as loud as a regular cast. Practice, practice, practice. Thanx for commenting.

  4. Justin says:

    I think it is a lot easier for me to use a left handed baitcaster even though I am right handed. Casting right handed and reeling left handed is more natural for me ,and can actually save a lot of time, meaning you can put your line in the water a lot more throughout the day. Resulting in covering more water and beleive it or not catching more fish in the long run.

    • MNAngler says:

      I don’t know that I would save that much time. I tend to let lures fall after a cast, so any time spent switching hands would be taken up during the drop. To me, it’s more about comfort. Or what I get used to.

      Thanx for reading. And for taking the time to leave a comment.

  5. Darrell says:

    I have been looking for a good used left crank and found one yesterday for a good price, of course at the same time I found a right crank new in the pack so I bought it also. When it rains…

  6. Chris says:

    I baitcast with left retrieve since I grew up on spinning reels and like the feel of the rod in my right hand. Recently, I went out Musky fishing with a buddy of mine and I had to use his gear. It was right handed and I didn’t seem to have much problem. I think the finesse of bass fishing would cause me a problem if I had to use a right handed baitcaster. I’ll stick with the lefty.

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