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Are Fishing Reel Handles Interchangeable?

It’s obvious that you can’t go fishing if you can’t wind a reel. This is why the size, handle length, and material of your reel handle are important!

Are fishing reel handles interchangeable?

Yes. Most fishing reel handles are interchangeable as long as they have similar sizing. Handles from Daiwa Corp, Abu Garcia, Shimano, and many others can be switched. All you need for this procedure is a screwdriver. Make sure you don’t damage the internal socket to which your handle is attached to.

You can change it while sitting at home. There are many reasons why you may need to change your fishing reel handle. Starting from the bad grip to damage. Before changing your handle, learn the length, diameter, and material of your new handle. 

Not only that, knob size can also affect how your handle works. If the size of your knob is greater than your handle, it might automatically rotate the handle. Although, having a lightweight handle is advantageous because it enables you to have a faster response rate.

How to change fishing reel handle? 

The first step to changing your reel handle is to know the types of handles available and which one is suitable for you. 

Type of fishing reel handle: 

The shape of the reel affects your ability to catch a fish and your comfort. 

Most spinning reels have single handles. But you can customize it in your own way.

  • Cylinder- Cheap
  • Round- Smaller in Size
  • T-bar- Magnifies Power and Grip
  • Potato- Higher Comfort Level
  • Paddle- Easy Grip
  • Oval- Middle ground between cylinder, potato, and round.

They have their drawbacks as well. T-bar handles are heavy and paddle handles do not work well with fishing that requires speed.

Material of the handle: 

The material of your reel handle is also crucial. The weight of the handle will not cause much of a difference when it comes to a spinning reel. But when it comes to a baitcasting reel, the weight can cause issues while casting.

  • Plastic- Cheap and Lightweight
  • Metal- Well built
  • Wood- Comparatively lightweight and cheap

If you’re looking for durability, wood material handles are not the best option because they can break with force. Plastic and aluminum materials are more resistant but not as comfortable. High temperatures can also impact reel handles that are made out of plastic and metal. 

Moreover, some handles are made of advanced composite. This is the ideal type of material since they are very lightweight and strong. However, they are very expensive to buy and produce.

Size of the handle: 

Another factor that is not looked into when searching for a reel handle is the proper sizing for your hand. If not considered, it can result in fractured knuckles and can cause pain in your wrist. So when you’re shopping for a reel handle, it’s best to try it on first. 

If you take all these into account, you can find the perfect reel handle according to your preference.

Steps to change a fishing reel handle

Only a screwdriver is needed for this procedure.

The steps to change a fishing reel handle (on a spinning reel) are as follows:

  • Step 1: Unscrew the handle of the reel.
  • Step 2: Crank the reel in the opposite direction.
  • Step 3: Turn it until the handle is loose.
  • Step 4: Take out the handle.
  • Step 5: Reverse the process for the new handle.

Which fishing reel handles are interchangeable? 

  1. Daiwa Corporation can be changed to Abu Garcia.
  2. Abu Garcia can be changed to Daiwa Corporation.
  3. Daiwa Corporation can be changed to Quantum handles such as smoke, Exo, and carbon kvd.
  4. Bass Pro can be changed to Abu Garcia.
  5. Bass Pro can be changed to Pflueger.
  6. Daiwa Corporation can be changed to Shimano.
  7. Shimano can be changed to Daiwa Corporation.
  8. Abu Garcia to The Tackle Trap

Most Daiwa Corporation handles are interchangeable. It is important to note that Abu- Lews Knobs will not fit on Daiwa Corporation handles and vice versa. 

Can you switch the handle on a spinning reel? 

Yes. In order to do that, first, you have to figure out the configuration of your reel handle. There are two methods to do it. One is the slide through shaft method, and the other is the “reverse” crank method. 

The slide-through shaft method is used when there is a threaded shaft. And the reverse crank method is used when there is no threaded shaft.

What side should my reel handle be on? 

You can always choose which side feels more comfortable. It is totally up to you. Although, having the handle on the opposite side can be beneficial.

If you’re right-handed, your reel handle should be to the left side, and if you’re left-handed, your reel handle should be to the right side. The reason for this is because shifting hands is not required after every cast, which makes it more efficient and faster. 

Your dominant hand is used to catch the fish since it is stronger, and the other hand can be used to do the easier tasks.

This is why most reel handles are on the left-hand-wind due to the majority of people being right-handed. Although, if you are accustomed to reeling with one side, there is no need to change it.

How to change a fishing reel from left to right? 

This depends on the type of fishing reel you are using.

Changing a fishing reel from left to right comes in handy if you are reeling with your left hand and casting with your right hand.

Steps to change a spinning reel from left to right: 

  • Step 1: Take the dust cap off from the left side using a screw.
  • Step 2: Turn the handle backward in the opposite direction of the reel.(anti-clockwise)
  • Step 3: Move the handle on the left side from where the dust cap was removed.
  • Step 4: Tighten the handle by going in the anti-clockwise direction again.
  • Step 5: Put the dust cap into the right side of the reel.
  • Step 6: Screw it tight. 

However, this does not apply in the case of a baitcasting reel. Normally, baitcasting reels have the handle on the right side so it does not require switching.

Steps to switch a baitcasting reel from left to right: 

  • Step 1: Make a cast.
  • Step 2: Hold the rod with your left hand.
  • Step 3: Crank the reel arm with your right hand.

How to replace a reel handle knob?

There are usually two types of handle knobs on a spinning reel.

  1. Riveted to the handle.
  2. Screwed on.

Screwed on types are attached to mid to high-end reels.

How to replace a riveted to the handle knob of a spinning reel 

There are not many ways to change the knob when it is riveted to the handle.

Unfortunately, the whole handle needs to be replaced if you want to change a riveted type knob. 

One way to change a riveted type knob is to cut the knob off. Before investing in a replacement knob, find out the specifications of your existing knob. Certain tools are required to replace the reel handle knob, such as:

  1. Hacksaw to remove the existing knob.
  2. Size 1 screwdriver according to the size required.
  3. Perfectly sized drill bits.
  4. Drill machine.
  5. Flathead screwdriver for the new knob.
  6. Vice tool.

The steps to do that are:

  • Step 1: Cover the handle with heavy paper.
  • Step 2: Place the knob tightly using a vice.
  • Step 3: Cut the knob off using a hacksaw.
  • Step 4: Drill out the center pin using drill bits and a drill machine.
  • Step 5: Use pliers to prevent the pin from spinning.
  • Step 6: Remove the existing center pin and drill it to the size of the new center pin.
  • Step 7: Place the end knob on the correct side of the handle. The retaining screw should be placed using the ‘lefty loosey righty tighty’ method.
  • Step 8: Attach the center pin of the replacement knob on the existing handle and tighten it.
  • Step 9: Put the handle back into the spinning reel.

How to replace a screwed-in handle knob of a spinning reel 

There are some tools required to replace a screwed-in handle knob of a spinning reel.

  1. Screwdriver
  2. A curly string

The steps to replace a screwed-in handle knob are:

  • Step 1: Place the curly string like a hook in the hole of the end cap.
  • Step 2: Using that, pull out the cap.
  • Step 3: Unscrew using a screwdriver.
  • Step 4: Take out the bearings or bushes.
  • Step 5: Now reverse the process to insert the new knob.

How do you take a handle off a fishing reel? 

This does not damage the fishing reel, including lightweight ones. Taking off the handle from the fishing reel does not require any equipment, and you can do it sitting at home. An internal socket holds the handle and is usually removable. All you require is a screwdriver.

Note: This method only applies to handles on a spinning reel.

  • Step 1: Unscrew the reel handle.
  • Step 2: Turn in the opposite direction from the way you are cranking the reel.
  • Step 3: Turn it until the handle is loosened from the drive gear.
  • Step 4: Pull out the handle.

Precaution is necessary when you’re changing your handle or knob because too many changes can affect the gears of the reel. Make sure all screws are tight to prevent salt-water from damaging the reel.

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