sorry if I was confusing. by the vertical backing-up thing, I mean that instead of reeling in the line, I can go backwards with the spinning reel and it will stop where the line is at the top of the reel closest to the pole. so I can easily put my index finger over the line. shimano does make ~$12 reels and they have the easy cast thing, although I don't know exactly what that function is called.http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Spin-Reel-...ds=shimano+reel
the shimano "backs up" even with anti-reverse on/off, however the pflueger does not do it in the off position. maybe I am weird for even wanting to put my index finger on the line to feel for a bite? thanks for the suggestion about fluoro or mono...I have some very cheap 6lb mono, and it just kept breaking any time a fish would get on, so I bought the braid and have never had it snap. I don't know if I need to buy better mono or go to fluoro? i see fluoro is super expensive.
also, I don't know why I can't say I fish on golf courses? there are no courses in particular, I just have a telescoping rod that I pack in my bag. if I am waiting to tee off and by a pond, i'll throw a bait out for a few casts. I do catch fish, although it's not really "fishing" in that I don't put a ton of effort in it, but it is fun for me.