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Left hand right hand. I started out very young with a Mitchell 300 half bail reel. it was a left hand reel. Didn't know that then in fact never though about it till just a couple years ago. Used spinning reels only for maybe 30 yrs, or not quite, then around 1967 got a Zebco direct drive reel. Have no idea anymore how long it took me to be able to fish with that thing, still have it today! But it was a right hand reel, never really understood that but back then I think all bait casting reels were right hand. I graduated from that to ABU's and since a lot of different brands. One thing in common in everyone of them was they were all right hand Didn't bother me much at all, just learned to switch hands after casting. Then a short while back I found an ABU 6501 in an old building. Cleaned it up and worked great. Took it out and tried fishing with it, what a chore! Just didn't feel good at all trying to reel a level wind with my left hand and holding the rod with the right! Good reel but haven't used it since, just to weird feeling and I have maybe 12 other level winds and every one of them right hand! I'm not sure I could use a right hand spinning reel either! Learning there was a difference like that in fishing reels was a crushing blow to me! Before that I never though about it!
 

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My brother-in-law was left handed and used a right handed baitcaster or spincast reel. He could fish circles around me. I'm right handed and used a right handed reel. Not may left handed reels around back then except for spinning reels. If you did find a baitcaster or spincast reel you paid a little more for it. I tried the Shakespeare Wondercast left handled model, it was garbage.
Central Hardware was the first home improvement center in the area and they had sporting goods. On their bent and dent table I found a Johnson Century 100 B for $1. It was missing the rotor nut and handle nut. I carried it to nut and bolt section and started trying different nuts. The handle nut was standard and the rotor nut was metric. 59 cents per pack of 10 for 2 packs of nuts. The handle can be on the left or right side of the reel. The spool turned over. Plus on the handle plate was a switch for left and right or free reeling.
No more swapping hands and I could keep up with the brother-in-law.
Since then I have added lots of Johnson Century 100, 100 A, 100 B, 35, 40 and 50th anniversary models to my collection.
The Johnson Century 100 B Deluxe model is right handed only.
 

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I guess it may be because I'm almost ambidextrous. In baseball I'm a switch hitter. I can throw a baseball or football either hand 25-30 yards. But I write a whole lot more legible right handed. It is my dominant hand I guess. I reel in with my left hand on a spinning reel and my Abu's are 5501 and 6501. It's just natural to me not to have to switch the rod back and forth after casting to reeling etc....
 

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I'm left handed. When in use the handles of both kinds of reels point to my right. Why on earth someone decided a left hand baitcaster should be called right handed boggles my mind lol, can't imagine grabbing a handle with one hand on one style then the other hand on the other style. Makes absolutely no sense.
 

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I'm right handed.

All my weight 'n' bait rods for distance casting have right hand casting reels (i.e. - modified Abu 6500, etc) , and all my lure rods have left hand casting level wind reels.

It just feels more natural for me to level line with my left thumb while reeling in righty.

Thumb line leveling with the constant casting of lures is a PITA, as well as having to switch the rod from the right hand to left hand for each cast, so that's where a lefty level wind reel (i.e. - Abu 6501, etc) works best for me.

To each their own, do what ya gotta do. :)
 

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I see people ask all the time, should I be reeling with my right or left hand?? I say it depends. For catfishing, you want to control the fish with the dominant hand.

We are going to say you are right handed for this... and we are talking catfish.

So with a spinning reel, they do not have a lot of torque so you need to use the rod to fight the fish. For this you want your rod in your dominant hand (right hand) and reel with your left. With a spinning rod you will raise the rod with the right, then reel down on semi-slack with your week hand and repeat.

With a conventional reel (baitcast) they have way more torque and its more about winching the fish in/up. Youll hold the rod pretty stationary with your weak hand, with the butt end supported for big fish, and reel (winch really) with your dominant strong hand (right). Since the reel is above the rod, whenever you push forward on the reel handle you will be able to generate a lot of torque and reel that fish up so you do not have to do the pump and reel like with a spinning.
 

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I'm a lefty living in a righty's world, but I'm not full blown left. I can't throw with my left hand, but I shoot a gun, pool stick, work a wrench left handed. If I'm casting a larger rod/reel combo, I power with my right hand on the spool.. but I can't left handed.. but I can cast spinning or low profile either hand and prefer to use my left hand when small reel casting, although my accuracy is about the same with both.
 

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that is a good way to look at it. just enjoy the fight a little longer.

not relevant to catfish but in a scenario where artificial bait is being used a lefty reel could provide different retreive action
 
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Ramon, I did that to on my PB flathead. Winching a 35# fish straight up out of 45 foot of water using a Penn 155 on a 7 ft rod. My left arm felt like it was ready to come off. Flipped the rod over and cranked with my left was easier.
My PB blue was 22# on a large left handed spinning reel with a 12 ft rod, that was fun.

Here's something similar. Most can openers turn clockwise and leave the rim at the top of the can. I have 1 that turns counter clockwise to remove the rim from the top of a can. My wife wants to turn it clockwise everytime.
 
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