Reel Handle Swapping

     Did you know that you can change your reel handle to suit your fishing situation?  Handles on freshwater baitcasters are usually one of 2 types, either swayback or standard.  Swayback handles allow for a more compact feel keeping the center of gravity closer to the rod.  Standard reel handles extend farther out from the reel and apply more twisting pressure when cranking in a lure or bait.  Using different handle combinations on the same reels can change the performance and feel.

     The reasons to change are simple:
  • Increased comfort
  • Ramp up your cranking power
  • Make a reel lighter
  • Change the look of the reel

     Lets briefly take a look at each.  Swapping handles can increase comfort by moving the handle closer or farther away from the reel center.  Also by adding a handle with bigger paddles your comfort while reeling improves especially on days when you are covering a lot of water.  By switching up to a power handle with only one large oversized knob, your cranking power for larger lures increases due the extended length of the handle.  On larger reels like the Revo Toro Winch by Abu Garcia switching to a smaller drilled or carbon fiber handle you can take almost 2 ounces off the overall weight of the reel.  That small amount of weight can make a huge difference over 8-10 hours of guided fishing.  Using a handle swap to change the look of your reel can be a fun way to increase your enjoyment of the reel.  If you like the look of something you'll use it more.  It sounds petty, but it's true.
     You can also swap handles by different reel manufacturers.  The most common and easily swapped handles are between Daiwa and Abu Garcia.  Most handles are able to bolt up directly with no modifications necessary.  I have included a YouTube video I made a while back to show the basics of handle swapping that covers removal and fitment.
     Tight Lines.

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