How To Change a Fishing Reel From Right To Left Handed?

If you’ve ever wanted to make your fishing reel more comfortable, you can learn how to change a fishing reel from right to left-handed (or the other way around).

This adjustment involves moving the handle to the side that feels better for you. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been fishing for a while, knowing how to do this helps you make your fishing gear work just the way you like it.

In this guide, we’ll show you the simple steps to change a fishing reel so you can enjoy fishing in a way that feels just right for you.

How To Change a Fishing Reel From Right To Left Handed?

If you’re new to fishing and got a rod with the reel on the wrong side, you might be wondering how to switch it from right-handed to left-handed, or the other way around.

Moreover, it might seem like a tricky and tedious task. However, changing the reel’s direction is surprisingly straightforward. Let me guide you on how to switch reels effortlessly.

Steps To Follow:

In this part, I’ll describe how to change the reel from right to left in just four easy steps.

1. Undo the cork on the upper right side of the fishing reel’s dust cap until it can be taken off.

Undo the cork on the upper right side

2. To take off the reel handle, unscrew it from the left side. Remember, it will only unscrew if you turn it clockwise; if you go the other way, it will tighten up.

unscrew it from the left side

3. Insert the reel arm into the original reel and turn it clockwise to screw it in securely.

turn it clockwise to screw it in securely

4. The last step is to position the dust cap on the left side of the reel, secure it in the slot, and screw it tightly in place.

the dust cap on the left side of the reel

Changing the direction of a fishing reel from right to left can be done in four easy steps. Now that you know how to switch a fishing reel from right to left-handed, there’s no need to worry about it anymore.

It’s a good practice to lubricate the reel arm and dust cap of my fishing rod before screwing them on. This simple task enhances the performance of my fishing reel and contributes to its maintenance. Lubrication ensures that my reel runs smoothly, promoting its longevity.

How To Change A Fishing Reel From Left To Right Handed?

If you’ve adjusted your fishing reel for left-handed use and need to revert it to its original state, follow these steps. Remember, in this process, all rights become left, and vice versa.

1. Hold the Reel Arm: Start by holding the fishing reel and look at the left side.

2. Take Off the Dust Cap: Find the cap in front, unscrew it until it comes off.

3. Handle Unscrewing: Move to the right side, find the handle, and unscrew it by turning it counterclockwise.

4. Put the Reel Arm Back: Go back to the left side, where you took off the dust cap. Put the reel arm back and secure it by turning it counterclockwise.

5. Put the Dust Cap Back: On the right side, there’s another opening. Put the dust cap back, make sure it fits well by twisting it. That’s it! Your fishing reel is back to how it was.

Can I Changing The Reel Handle On A Baitcasting reel?

Changing the reel handle on a baitcasting reel is typically possible, but it depends on the specific model and design. Many baitcasting reels allow users to switch the handle to accommodate left-handed or right-handed preferences. To do this:

1. Locate the Screw: There is usually a screw on the opposite side of the handle. You’ll need to loosen this screw to remove the handle.

2. Remove the Handle: Once the screw is loosened, carefully remove the handle from the reel.

3. Switch Sides: If the reel is designed for handle interchangeability, you can now switch the handle to the other side.

4. Tighten the Screw: Securely tighten the screw back in place.

How To Make Sure That Everything Is Attached Perfectly?

Even though the reel may appear to work flawlessly on the right side, you might have concerns about its performance after switching to the left. However, you can easily check the reel in a few ways.

The simplest way to test the reel is to give it a spin and observe if it lags or swings. Another way to check its responsiveness is by attaching a small weight to the hook and reeling it in, making sure the reel responds appropriately to your movements.

If you notice any issues with the reel, such as lagging or unresponsiveness, I suggest unscrewing the dust cap and the reel handle, and then screwing them back on securely.

Switching the Handle on Fly Reels

Switching the handle on fly reels is a practical process that allows anglers to customize their equipment for comfortable use. Unlike baitcasting reels, fly reels offer the flexibility to change the handle from one side to another. This adjustment is particularly useful for accommodating different hand preferences, whether left or right-handed.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to switch the handle on a fly reel:

1. Remove the Spool and Arbor: To initiate the process, locate a small lever or lock on one side of the reel crank. By pressing the lock or unscrewing it, the reel can be separated, allowing access to the spool and arbor.

2. Identify the Clutch Bearing: On top of the clutch bearing, a thin piece called the flip spring plays a crucial role. In certain sealed reel body styles, accessing the clutch bearing in the male portion may require a flathead screwdriver.

3. Flip the Bearing: Flip the clutch bearing over, ensuring a secure reseal if necessary. This step is fundamental to the successful adjustment of the handle.

4. Adjust the Flip Spring: Examine the flip spring to locate the section designed to maintain tension on the clutch bearing. Gently pry out this gapped portion with a fine tool, taking care to prevent any accidental loss.

5. Flip the Nut: With the flip spring removed, the upward-facing nut is revealed. Flip the nut over to change the retrieval hand on the reel.

6. Reassemble the Reel: Replace the flip spring, ensuring a snug fit. Reinsert the male end of the reel into the female end, listening for the audible snap that confirms correct assembly.


Learn how to switch your fishing reel from right-handed to left-handed with these steps. Prioritize your comfort throughout the process. Regularly maintain your fishing reel to keep it performing at its best. Happy fishing!

Determining your comfort in setting the hook is essential. If you use your left hand, consider opting for a left-handed reel for simplicity. Fortunately, there are reels and lines designed for both right-handed and left-handed individuals, providing flexibility for anglers of all preferences.

While some anglers can cast proficiently with both hands, it’s advisable to stick to the basics for now, as this ability is relatively rare. Thank you for reading this article; I hope you found it helpful.

The provided steps cater to both left-handed and right-handed anglers, ensuring that everyone can benefit. If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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