Round vs Low Profile Baitcast Reels: Pros & Cons of Each

Baitcasting reels are an essential part of any fisherman’s arsenal. With the right reel, an angler can catch just about anything that swims in freshwater or saltwater. The two most popular types of reels that baitcasters have are round and low-profile baitcaster reels.

If you don’t know how do those baitcasting reels work, figuring out the best reel-type among them for a specific scenario can be a daunting task, not to mention a confusing one as well. I have prepared a well-researched guide that you can follow before buying a baitcasting reel.

In this blog, I’ll talk about the difference between the round and low profile baitcast reels, their pros, cons, and uses so that you can choose the right one for your next fishing adventure.

What is a Round Baitcaster Reel?

A Round Baitcast Reel on White Background
A Round Baitcaster

As an angler, I understand the importance of having a reel that is up to any challenge. The round baitcasting reel is geared for larger fish and has stronger drags than low-profile models. That makes them best in certain situations, such as fishing heavy baits or throwing deep crankbaits. Anglers know how important it is to find the right equipment to catch bigger fish on their next trip out!

These reels could be a good choice for crappie and bass fishing.

Pros of Round Baitcast Reels

  • Firstly, they have a much bigger build, which means that they can hold much more line than the low-profile baitcaster reels. You will be able to handle heavier lines due to the more robust construction of these reels. Experienced anglers use heavier lines when they expect fighting hard-to-catch fish because it’s less likely that the fishing line would break in these situations.
  • Similarly, their drag system is usually excellent, and they can also provide you with a lot of power.
  • You can use these reels for achieving maximum casting distances, and you can troll big lures and cast heavy baits.
  • More versatile than low profile models. They can handle both finesse fishing but also heavy fishing jobs. That makes them ideal for someone who is into different styles of fishing.
  • The mechanics behind round reels are different from the typical low profile reel. The spool is larger with a round design, and each time you turn the handle, it collects more of your line for faster retrieval. This makes them great if you’re looking to save time when reeling in fish!

Cons of Round Baitcast Reels

  • Many people would say that it is challenging to palm the round reel, which is true. Round reels are often uncomfortable after using them for long hours. It’s due to the size of round reels, which makes it difficult for people with smaller hands and palms to use them without experiencing pain or soreness after using a longer period. If you have larger palm sizes than usual, though, this will likely not be a problem as your hand can grasp most of the reel itself instead.
  • They have a long handle and spool. So, they will take more space on your bag. No big deal, though.

What is a Low Profile Baitcast Reel?

Low-profile baitcasting reels come with a handle side and also a palm side. These reels are designed for comfort and the best fit in your hand. They have two sides: a palm side to contour with your hand when casting or retrieving line, while the other has an ergonomic handle that fits comfortably on any size hands. If it’s equipped with a braking system, this will be located where the reel meets your palm.

A Low Profile Baitcast Reel on a White Background
A Low Profile Baitcaster

If you search any tackle website, you will get thousands of designs for a low-profile baitcaster reel, and each one of them will have some unique benefits and features. However, it would help if you also considered – gear ratio, weight, and casting controls.

This type of fishing reel works well for fish species like pike, muskie, salmon, and steelhead. They are a good choice for saltwater fishing as well as freshwater fishing.

Pros of Low Profile Baitcast Reels

  • One of the main advantages that the low-profile baitcasting reel has over the competition is the palm side’s design, which fits naturally into the average hand’s contours, leading to maximum comfort. With this reel, even a smaller person gets a better grip.
  • Usually, lightweight, which gives more control with a lighter feel on the rod.
  • Easy to operate with just one hand if you’re busy fishing on the other side of your vessel
  • A good choice for lighter fishing
  • Easier to store on a boat or in your home
  • Great for trolling with smaller lures as they won’t get tangled up behind the larger vessel
  • They are also an excellent option for fishing in close quarters. This is because, in these situations, your casting distance need not great, but you should be able to cast frequently. Again, this possible with a low-profile baitcaster where the reel is very user-friendly and comfortable, so frequent casting is not an issue.

Cons of Low Profile Baitcast Reels

  • The major disadvantage of the low-profile baitcaster reels is that they have a small design. Thus, they are not able to hold as much line, unlike the round design baitcaster reels. For these, the sizes start at 100, usually the smallest ones available in the market. They can go up to about 400 though.
  • They are not ideal if you plan on doing any heavy line spooling or casting long distances. So keep that in mind before making your decision.

Round vs low profile baitcast reels; Which one to choose?

As you can see, the main difference between a round baitcaster and a low profile baitcaster is the design, line capacity, and robustness. When considering what style of equipment would work best for your needs, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many factors you should consider, such as the type of environment or species of fish you’ll be targeting. For example, people who engage in lighter fishing tend to rely on low-profile baitcasting reels. An excellent alternative to the spinning reel. And When it comes to heavier fishing, people more likely to rely on the round design baitcast reel. But the difference is marginal. At the end of the day, it all depends on your preferences.

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