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Old 03-24-2013, 09:01 AM
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Default Switching reel to left handed

I just bought my first fly rod and as I am completely new to this I have a question. I'm left handed and as such I cast with my left hand. I imagine that I need to switch the reel to left handed mode. I followed the directions in the manual and that seemed to work, with one exception. Do I now need to pull all of the line off of the reel and rewind it so that it now comes off of the bottom of the reel? If so (and I imagine that it is), what is the best way of doing this? If I just start pulling line off of the reel I'm going to have a serious mess. Any thoughts or ideas?
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Switching reel to left handed

Yes, reverse it.

Just unwind it by wrapping the line around something large like a cardboard box.

If you have another reel, use that.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Switching reel to left handed

do you feel comfortable reeling left hand and switching to cast. you should use whatever hand feels comfortable to you.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Switching reel to left handed

One solution I came up for this problem: Take you're rod apart and attach only the first section to the reel you need to reverse the line on, if you have someone who can this method works well with a second person but I've done it by myself as well. If you have a big lawn this method should work, if not go to a park or somewhere their is a vast expanse of grass and simply thread the line through the first and eye secure the rod and reel(picnic table, tree, etc. or better a friend holding it)pull off the line and backing in one fail swoop in a straight line or if needed double back. If you have a partner have them hold tension on the line as you reel it back on the reel right handed for left handed casting; If not try to create a little tension by placing a heavy bag on the line in sections, don't harm the fly line though. Also as you proceed make sure you have good knots from the reel to the backing and the backing to the fly line. You can find the info for the knot's on this forum. Have fun

Almost forgot, you will need to switch the reel on the seat and re rout the backing after you pull the line off : If you hold the rod in you're left hand you will retrieve(reel) with you're right.

Last edited by cw76; 03-24-2013 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Switching reel to left handed

Got it done. I took a 2' length of 2" PVC and slid it over a broom handle then placed each end of the broom on each of two chairs. I then propped up the rod and reel (only one section of rod) and taped the line to the PVC then spun the PVC like hell with my hand. After what seemed like forever the reel was finally empty. I then simply reeled the line back off of the PVC and back to the reel.

When I fished with my spinning reels and baitcasters I always cranked with my right hand so I am a bit more comfortable doing so with a fly rod. So far it looks like it will be fine.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Switching reel to left handed

I'm left handed and I just switch rod hands when reeling in a fish. I probably should have reset it, but I'm probably too used to it now to change it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Switching reel to left handed

E-Z line winder: 2 liter pop bottle with a small bolt through the lid from the inside and a nut to hold the bolt in place. Put the end of the bolt in a drill and wind all the line and backing onto the pop bottle. NOT TOO FAST! You don't want to fry the reel/drag. Do what you need to do with the reel. Take the pop bottle off the drill. You can set the bottle in a coffee can or basket or just set it on a carpeted floor and let it spin. Use the reel to crank all the line and backing back onto the reel.
I once built a jig that allowed me to use the drill to move line and backing to and from a fly reel, but it was pretty involved. Only really needed it for the spey line and backing. For 3 thru 9 weights it's not so much work.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Switching reel to left handed

I'm luck enough to have a circle hallway between the rooms of my house. I usually tie the line to a door knob and walk a few circles.

For those of you who have not purchased a friendly fly fishing equipped house This is a task I'd most likely perform outdoors. Before I had this setup, I used to use a pair of large saltwater reels I had to quickly rewind. I actually still use this method on spinning / bait casting reels.
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