I’m going to give a quick rundown of some of the different types of fishing equipment and the pros and cons of both. Ultimately, a well-rounded angler will be proficient in the use of spinning, baitcasting, and fly gear—but I will discuss what works best if you are just starting as well.
This is the reel that everyone used as a kid. I recall having a fisher price model that actually caught fish when I was very young. To cast you just hold down the button and move your arm. Retrieve is as simple as just turning the reel handle clockwise. If you have young kids learning to fish for the first time these can be simple to use and lots of fun. For anyone older they should be avoided. They are incapable of handling strong enough line to fish larger fish or pull anything out of the weeds. Also, since the reel is closed you may not see tangles forming.
For anyone looking to get into fishing as an adult or for a kid who wants to learn to fish (after mastering a spincast reel) the spinning reel is the goto. Relatively simple to use it can take a moderately heavy test line and has enough power to pull in some large fish. Casting is as simple as flipping open the bail while holding the line with your index finger on your grip hand, and releasing the line as you cast the rod. To retrieve you simply close the bail and start turning the reel handle. They are affordable (a good reel can be purchased for $60) and less prone to tangles and line issues than baitcasters. Every angler should have at least one good spinning rod and reel.
The baitcasting reel is the professional bass angler’s tool of choice. It can handle the strongest line and heaviest lures. This allows it to cast the farthest and winch fish out of deep and heavy cover. Some considerations typically deter beginners from baitcasting reels. They are more expensive than spinning reels. They are harder to spool, and there is the potential for backlash (basically during your cast your reel ends up looking like a tangled mess). Despite these negatives baitcasting reels remain extremely popular. If you want to go after large fish in heavy weeds, the baitcasting reel is what you will want.