For a long time, we as anglers have had many choices when it comes to what reel to buy. But since I'm a saltwater fishing guide, who specializes in "light tackle" inshore fishing in Jacksonville, Florida. I'm going to talk about saltwater, and review the newest and a few of the older Shimano brand bait casting reels.https://reelpolice.com/
Years ago, my arsenal included pretty much all Abu Garcia ambassador reels. Round Bait Casting, reels. The Abu Garcia's have been around forever, and I always referred to them as the "Timex" of casting reels. The round design stems all the way back from the first casting reels. It was proven, it worked, and really no one gave the reels design, a second thought.
Then, came the Japanese manufactures. And I believe, because of the growing popularity of bass fishing in Japan. They found a more comfortable design. When all you do is stand and cast lures all day long. The emphasis then, and now, is lighter, stronger, and more comfortable to cast.
I'm not a bass fisherman. But a good 3/4's of what comes into the tournament bass fishing industry, can equally relate to saltwater world as well. Especially when you're talking coastal, inshore fishing for species like Redfish, Speckled Sea Trout, Flounder, and so on.
Texas anglers who wade fish the shallow bays were the first ones to really seem to gravitate towards the lighter, more comfortable casting, of the low profile bait casting reels. Some of the first ones were the Shimano Bantams, and Lews Speed Spool, as I remember when I was a kid.
If you hold your hand out, pointing your thumb out straight. That curve between you index finger and your thumb is where a low profile bait casting reel fits. Yeah it sounds stupid, but being that the reel is "tear-drop" shaped, has a lower profile, isn't round at all, is what makes it fit in your hand nicely. And more comfortably.