Often used by experienced anglers, baitcast reels are arguably the most sophisticated type of fishing reel. Their precision and power are unmatched, and they are ideal for all types of fish. That said, there are two major types of baitcasting reels. You can choose to use a round baitcast reel or low profile baitcast reel. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. In this guide, I will discuss the two in detail. Hopefully, the information will help you make an informed decision.
Low Profile Baitcast Reels
Low profile baitcasters have been around for many years, the first one dating back to 1927 when the Meisselbach Flyer was manufactured. They are often light and comfortable.
If you don’t have a low profile baitcast reel yet, here are a few things you might be missing out on.
Low Profile Baitcast Reels Are More Ergonomic
Low profiles reels fit in the hands excellently, making it easier for you when casting or retrieving. With the round reel, you have to hold it a little higher, which makes it slightly more uncomfortable. In fact, when you fish for extended hours with a round reel, you are at a higher risk of developing sores. But with a low-profile reel, you can fish all day without feeling uncomfortable or too tired. That’s why they are the most popular.
Low Profile Baitcasters Are Better With Smaller Fish
Typically, spinning reels are considered a better option for smaller fish than baitcast reels. But what if you would rather use a baitcaster? Well, if you have to use a baitcast reel for smaller fish like bass and crappie, I recommend using a low profile model. Low profile baitcasters are excellent with smaller and lighter baits or lures. They are almost as good as spinning reels. They cast excellently, and they are more responsive.
Most Low-Profile Are Lightweight
Low profile baitcast reels are not just smaller in size but also lightweight. This makes them less bulky, making them easier to travel with. Of course, different low profile reels come at different weights, but that does not change the fact they are technically less bulky.
As much as low profile reels are super comfortable, they are not perfect. They have a few shortcomings, although they are usually nothing to worry about. These downsides include:
Low Profile Baitcasters Hold Less Line
If you prefer allowing the fish to run along with the lure before retrieving, you might not enjoy low profile reels a lot. Their spool size is often smaller, and it holds less line compared to round reels. However, most people don’t see this as a significant problem. After all, most low profile lines can hold enough line for inshore and riverbank casting.
Not Ideal for Long Distance Casting
Typically, the casting distance is often independent of the weight of the lure or bait. Still, it is logical that the reel that holds more lines can cast over a longer distance than the one with a smaller spool. For that reason, round baitcasters are often the most ideal for long-distance casts. However, nowadays, there are 400 size low profile baitcasters, which have larger spools. Such low-profile reels can cast over long distances, just like round reels. But in general, low profile reels are inferior to round ones in terms of casting distance.
Round Baitcast Reels
Typically, round reels are attributed to their power and spool size. Some people find them slightly more uncomfortable but still prefer them because of their power, spool size, and smoothness while using. To help you make an informed decision about them, here are the pros and cons of round baitcast reels.
If you are still not convinced about round baitcasters, here are the pros of using one.
Round Baitcasters Hold More Line
Compared to low profile reels, round ones come with a larger spool that can hold more lines. For that reason, you can use the round reel to cast over long distances and fish from the banks. Furthermore, you can use a heavier line, and it will still hold enough line for long-distance casts.
Using a heavier line decreases the risk of the line breaking when retrieving hard-fighting fish. Many people use thick nylon monofilament fishing lines without facing any troubles. Still, you can use a braided line, which is thinner. Regardless of the type of fishing line you use, a round baitcaster will hold enough for long-distance casts.
Round Reels Are More Powerful
Typically, round baitcaster comes with stronger gears. Yes, you can still use low profile reels to catch larger fish like king salmon, but their gears tend to get weaker faster since they are often not meant for heavy fishing. That’s why most experienced anglers use round reels for larger fish and long-distance casts. You can comfortably battle a hard-fighting fish without worrying that it will overpower the reel’s strength at some point. Therefore, if you plan to catch steelheads and salmons, round reels are a better fit.
Excellent With Larger Baits
Generally, baitcast reels are considered much better than spinning reels when it comes to casting heavier lures. Well, nothing supports this statement better than round baitcast reels. They cast larger lures better and accurately than low profile reels.
Generally, the drag smoothness of both types is almost the same. They are both smooth, but the smoothness varies from one reel to another. However, round reels are likely to retrieve catches faster than low profile. This is because round reels usually have a larger spool, and each time you turn the handle, the spool collects a larger size of fishing line. Therefore, a round reel with the same gear ratio with a low profile one is likely to retrieve faster.
Yes, round baitcasters have many advantages, but they still have a few downsides. These downsides include:
Round Reels Are Often Uncomfortable
Due to their size, round reels are often uncomfortable when used for longer hours. This is especially true for persons with smaller hands that cannot grasp the whole reel. After 30-40 casts, your hand is likely to feel too tired. Some people even develop sores after using round reels for longer hours. However, if you have large palms or purchase smaller round reels, you are unlikely going to experience this discomfort.
Round Reels Are Often Bulkier
Although it depends on the size of the baitcaster, most round reels are often larger and heavier than low profile ones. This is not a major problem, but some people prefer using smaller reels. Furthermore, you are likely to feel more tired after a fishing trip if you are using a heavier reel. With that in mind, you are likely to have fewer casts per trip when using a round baitcaster.
What Does Low Profile Reel Mean?
A low profile baitcaster is a baitcast reel that has a handle and palm side. The palm side is designed to fit in the angler’s arm, making it more comfortable and easier to use. The braking system is also usually located on the palm side of the low profile baitcaster.
What Are Round Baitcasting Reels Best For?
Round baitcasting reels are excellent at casting over long distances, catching larger fish, and casting heavier lures. They are strong and often the best fit for saltwater fishing.
Why Do Anglers Use Low Profile Baitcasters?
Low-profile baitcasters are more comfortable and still strong enough to catch larger fish.
Round Baitcast Reels vs. Low Profile: Final Words
In the end, the best reel between a low profile and round baitcaster will depend on your tastes and preferences. Some people prefer round baitcasters because they are stronger and excellent with larger lures. This is especially true if the angler has larger arms to hold the entire round reels. Others prefer low profile baitcasters because they cast smaller lures better, and they are often more comfortable. Therefore if your hands can handle round reels, I suggest going for one. If not, choose a low-profile reel. After all, fishing should be fun. Therefore, choose a rod you will enjoy using.