Spincast: This type of reel has a closed face. All the important parts are kept inside, under the nose cone. The line comes out of a little hole in the cover. You see a lot outfits designed for children sporting this type of reel, because it is the easiest to use. To use a spincast reel, you press the button on the back of the reel during your forward cast. The line peels out, and you let go of the button the line stops. Its very easy to get the hang of this reel, but you sacrifice some accuracy and distance.
Baitcasting: This is the probably the most difficult to master, because the spool turns when you cast. The spool must be kept under control so as not to turn into a nasty nest of line. It works great with heavier lines and lures, and is considered very accurate. But, because it can take a while to master casting with this type of real, they tend to be used only by experienced anglers.
Spinning: This is the most popular reel, it has an open faced design, it is easier to use than a baitcasting reel and more accurate than a spincast. It’s versatile. It has great line capacity (can put a good amount of line on it) and you can usually buy one with an extra spool, making it easy to change out your line while your on the water. Though it doesn’t perform as well when heavier line (20 pounds +) is required.
There is one more term you are going to run into around reels that you absolutely need to understand, and that is:
Drag: This is the mechanism that allows you to set how much resistance a fish feels when it pulls on the line. The tighter you set the drag, the more resistance the fish feels. You want to set the resistance tight enough that it tires out your fish, but not so tight that the line gets over stressed or breaks.