If you need a lot of line, I figure you must be trolling. In that case, I believe going with one of the round baitcasters would be more suited to the application. Shimano has the Calcutta series or you could go with an Abu Garcia.
I like the low profile baitcasters since I am strictly a bass fisherman and do not do any trolling. I don't have any need for all that extra line.
I'm with you about the 3.8:1 ratio, Steve. Way too slow for me. I have never really seen any good reason for going with even the 5:1. I just physically slow down my retrieve. It is important to me to have that 6:1 so I can keep up with the bass when they head towards the boat. There have been many anglers tell me they love the 5:1, so I picked up a slightly used one at the show yesterday to field test. I'll try to keep an open mind while using it, but the first time I lose a smallie when it charges the boat and gets underneath, I will sell it off in a heartbeat.
When it comes to the wiffle spools, every Super Free Curado, Castaic and Chronarch I have has these. You guys must be looking at the 100 size reels. The 200's are plenty wide for me and I have wide thumbs.