Re: Question about Vintage Hardy Lightweight Reels
I cast right, reel left. My wife casts left and reels right. My most traditional friends (several) cast right and reel right...it is the CORRECT way they maintain. In a pinch, hooking a fish on a friend's rod, I can reel with my right hand but I strongly prefer fighting a fish with my more dominant arm.
Back in the old days when fly fishing was all but exclusively performed in streams, Hardy and others assumed we should all reel with our right hand and thought little of offering options. I don't think I have ever seen a St. George (never have owned one due to this), my favorite classic Hardy, with a left hand circular line guard. Hardy offered a left hand Perfect around 1970...I bought one for my cane rod at the time but soon realized that it was less than "perfect"; putting the agate line guard and pawl/spring set-up left handed didn't work if they did not bother to reverse the threading direction on the spindle...fishing left handed un-screwed the spool! Well, this came from the same country that built Austin Healys.
Is there a "correct" side to wind your reel from? Yes, the one you are comfortable with. Lee Wulff started when young reeling right handed as he had little choice. As an adult, he switched all his reels to left hand wind as it seemed more intelligent to him.