Bottle all the way. No buttons to push, no drag, and simple.
A retriever takes a little practice to get used to. There is a fine line of too much pressure and not enough. The reason it took your dad so long is because he hadn't got the feel for it. I agree that the bottles aren't for everyone, but neither are spinners. I've had spinner reels hang up screw up a shot and They are more apt to tangling.I took my stepdad out for his bday. He had never been before. I let him ise my loaner bow which has a ams retriever pro on it. I could shoot reel in, get a fish off, shoot again before he was able to get his line back in and renocked.