Re: reel sizing for us warmwater guys:)
I tend to pair the reel size based off pysical size of the reel itself if its a heavier rod. For the smaller reels and lighter weight rods, I tend to go with smaller reels for creeks because of the reason you mentioned, no need for lots of backing. However if Im in a creek where I know I have a shot at carp i will bring a heavier rod then normal with lots of backing as a just in case.
"When you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all."
Storm Drain Bonefisher