Do the majority of people that flyfish cast right handed or left handed, orr BOTH like me :thumb:

I dunno why but i was wondering if i was an outcast that casts pretty damn good with both paws or not ha just curious:beer2:

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Used to be a left handed caster only. Practiced with the right. Now I'm equally crappy with both. Crappy, but capable of casting with whichever arm is more advantageous for the conditions.
DUDE thats like me too! maybe thats why we're always in a skunk??? haha just jokin! but yeah i broke my right wrist and learned to fish left handed now i just fish with the hand thats not tired
Of course, most of us fish our (single-handed) fly rods with our master hand (which in my case is the left). The rare attempts with my weak-side hand felt feeble and badly coordinated. When a strong side wind forces me to cast from the downwind side, I do it with my arm across my chest, accepting the loss of maximum distance.

When I got into spey casting, I had to learn to cast from either side. To my surprise, that ambidextrous spey casting came easily. Spey casting with my right/weak hand up is perhaps 5-10% weaker.


Long Drift Trouter
I initially learned and still cast primarily right handed. I put in the time and effort to re-learn left handed (off hand) and found that all of the things I knew about casting a single hander was much easier to learn correctly without that stinking muscle memory of bad habits to overcome.

So, I'm a bit better caster left handed, but still cast right handed unless the situation demands otherwise. Security blanket/confidence thing I guess.

Of course, it could just be that I haven't taken the time to switch my reels to right hand retrieve.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I fish with my right arm and reel with my left hand. I'm such a klutz that if I tried it the other way around I would probably be all thumbs.

Been doing it this way for as long as I have been fishing. About 65 years. I started when I was about ten.


Michael Thompson

the flavor of BADFISH
I cast with my right and reel with my left. when I practice casting with my left arm, I have no problem with the timing or the stroke but for the love of god I can't figure out line control with my right hand, I hear its pretty comical to watch.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
You want some comedy. You ought to watch me tread a fly and then try to tie a knot on the leader to attach the fly to my line/leader. In quick time it takes me about 5 minutes to get it done.. And sometimes it doesn't get done. It is my shakes that take over when I try someting that is close to the fly.

It get frustrating sometimes but if I stick with it I can get it done. It's the size 18 and 20 size flies that give me all the trouble.

Maybe this is the reason that I don't go out anymore.

Always with the left. Drives me nuts to borrow a reel and have the "bringing in of the fish" part with the wrong hand.

I have ways of dealing with being on the wrong side of the creek that involve wading out and/or casting the wrong direction up/down the creek.

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
I fish with a guy who casts right handed but his reel is also intentionally set up for right hand retrieve.

Talk about awkward.

Richard E

Active Member
I fish with a guy who casts right handed but his reel is also intentionally set up for right hand retrieve.

Talk about awkward.
I'll bet if a poll were taken, most folks that cast right-handed also reel right-handed. A particularly high percentage of saltwater fly fishers reel right handed. As klutzy as it might feel, a person can reel faster with their dominant hand. Saltwater folks more often encounter conditions where reeling quickly to gain line on a fish is important. I can reel more quickly right-handed (after a little practice), but it just doesn't feel right to me so I reel left-handed. It doesn't make logical sense to change the rod from one hand to another just because the reel has to be wound . . .

The ol' rub the head and pat the belly and then changing the sequence routine . . .


Active Member
Historically, all fly reels were set up for right hand reeling; on many, perhaps most, it was not possible to reverse the setup. The classic Pflueger Medalists and the Hardy Perfect come immediately to mind. For God-only-knows what reason, Lee Wulff began promoting the idea of cast right/reel left in the 1950s, an idea which has never gained much traction with saltwater big-fish fly anglers who rightly feel that reeling with the (in most cases) dominant hand works best.

I think the idea gained a lot of popularity in the post-war years when most anglers had cut their teeth on spinning reels (almost universally left-hand-wind) before turning to fly fishing. I grew up with right-hand-wind fly (and baitcasting) reels and don't feel that I have ever lost a fish due to the dreaded "switch-hands" maneuver.