Baitcasting reels were originally designed for saltwater fishing. They are strong and capable of handling large fish in the ocean. Baitcasting reels have become quite popular and are now used in freshwater fishing for larger fish like largemouth bass and catfish.
Use of baitcasting reels can be a bit intimidating at first. Do not use light test weight line or an overly full spool on the reel. Use a smooth motion in casting and avoid whipping in your motion and use your thumb as a break on the spool. At or near the end of each cast use your thumb to stop the spool to avoid the backlash, which is a tangled mess from the line overfeeding. Do not use lighter lures or baits and try to avoid casting into the wind, all of which can contribute to backlash problems.
As a final tip, practice, practice and your baitcasting reel could easily become a good friend.