Reviewed by: CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
Roughly one out of ten people are left handed so most tools and equipment are made for us “righties.” Some products are available in lefty versions, some lefty products are available only at a higher cost and many items just aren’t available in a made-for- southpaws version..
Most lefties just learn to deal with it. How hard could that be, at least in some instances?
When it comes to fishing reels, I didn’t think it would be all that tough. After all, when I’m wielding a casting or trolling reel, I turn the handle positioned on the right side of the reel. When I’m using a spinning reel, it feels just as natural to crank with the handle positioned on the left side.
So when Dena Vick from Traditions Media arranged for Daiwa to get me the most current model of the Daiwa’s Sealine Linecounter she asked, “Left hand or right?” There’s something many reel makers don’t offer – a lefty version.
I’ve got a dozen or more line counter reels from several different companies – all right handed. “Why not try a left handed version?” I thought.
I’m sure the features of the SG-3B in either lefty or right-handed versions would be equal. The carbon fiber drags would be the same, the three ball bearings that make the handle and spool turn smooth as silk, the clicker, the line counter and all the rest would be similar. “Send me the left handed model,” I said. “It will be an interesting trial.”
I introduced it to my line-up on a trip to Lake Erie with three friends. One of them was a lefty, the rest of us were right handed. I didn’t mention one of the reels would be a left-handed version. I wanted to gauge their reactions the first time they hefted it.
I made the initial set with “Lefty” and my friends didn’t immediately notice the reel was different. When the first fish hit on that set-up, one of the right handed guys grabbed it and though his back was to me, I could tell he was fumbling with the reel until he realized everything was back-assward.
When the walleye was in the boat, he asked me, “What’s with the left handed reel?” I told him it was a demo and he’d just been a part of the demonstration.
“Let Doug (the other right hander) reset that line and see what he thinks,” I said. Doug’s comment after doing so was, “Well that was weird!”
We each caught a several fish with the outfit and experimented with using it deployed on both downriggers and planer boards. I agreed with Doug – it was weird.
A part of the weirdness, for me, was how much different it was when reeling in a fish with this reel than if I’d been using a left handled spinning reel. It was a completely different, surprisingly awkward experience – and I’ve caught thousands of fish on spinning reels. For some types of fishing I like spinning reels better than revolving spool reels.
It’s not just the free spool lever being on the “wrong” side or the star drag in an unfamiliar spot. Just the act of holding and reeling seemed strange.
On the other hand (pun intended) the lefty in our group loved it! Being an avid fisherman, he was no stranger to using right handed, revolving spool reels. Actually, this was the first left handed one he’d ever experienced. Evidently, reeling “right” to a lefty is just as awkward as reeling “left” was to me.
So if you are a left handed angler and looking for a good quality, line counter trolling reel, consider the Daiwa Sealine SG-3B – available in the small “17″ size, the medium “27″ size or the salmon-sized “47″. Your right-handed fishing partners may not be thrilled, but why should you mind? Give them a taste of what you’ve been putting up with your whole fishing career.