Features of a Fishing Reel
Line capacity required depends on the type of fishing being done. Typically small fish such as bream, salmon, flathead and whiting will only require the smaller capacity spin reel, as typically these fish run out of energy pretty fast. If fishing larger fish like Tuna, Giant Trevally, Marlin or the like you may require 100-200m of reserve line to accommodate a strong run by one of these strong fish.
Drag capability refers to the friction that can be applied to the fish pulling out line. Generally a better reel will give the fisherman the ability to adjust drag in small increments across a broad range. Cranking up the drag to maximum puts all other parts of your rod under pressure so remember that a high maximum drag can be useful in fishing larger fish, however all the other parts of your setup need to also be strong enough including the person fishing.
Types of Reels
For everyday bait fishing where you are casting from the shore or a boat either a spin or overhead reel will do the job well. However if you are new to fishing a spin reel is the way to go given it is simpler to use. As things become more specific and you want to try different types of fishing you may need to add an overhead reel to your kit.
For Trolling, for example, you are best off with an overhead reel, as the shape of the reel is better suited to putting the reel in fishing rod holders and are more suited to handling unexpected strikes. For casting on the other hand there are good options in both spin and overhead reels. However spin reels are simpler and allow for lighter weights to be cast as the fishing line flow more freely off the spool. Furthermore spin reels are lighter than overhead reels and are therefore easier to carry and move. Bait casting reels allow for extra feel, precision and control which means more accurate lure casting in estuaries, lakes, rivers and inshore. This achieved because there is direct contact between the thumb and the spool. However some are able to use their index finger on the spool of spin reels to achieve a similar result.
For Jigging and bottom fishing a bait caster reel is generally considered to be the preferred option due to the robustness of its parts providing longevity.