I’m stunned by this thread I just thought almost everyone wound to close the bail arm, I even sold a reel because it was a bit stiff in closing when I wound. I shall reflect on what I do, but 40 years one way will take some changing.
Manual - even with the Mitchell Match! Less prone to tangles, loose loops on the spool and keeps noise to a minimum too. Also reduces the possibility of bumping the fish when stick fishing, so general good-practice IMO.
The obvious exception is closed-face reels: you have to turn the handle to engage the bail, but all the potential problems listed above don't happen with these reels. I'm surprised anglers don't use them more often for stillwater mid-range waggler work as well as trotting, they're more efficient when a lot of casting is required.
I mostly close my bailarms manually on my fixed spools although it’s usually automatic on my baitrunners when I’m Carping.
I find that on my Abu55 closed face reel it’s fine for trotting until I hook something big and then the line starts to bed in for a few casts after playing a decent sized fish, which can be time consuming in a match.
For float fishing I use Mitchell match or Abu 500 series reels, so it’s always by turning the handle.
NB. There is a technique to avoid the bump off risk with the match, I uploaded a video of it earlier this year.
i use daiwa TDM for feeder and lead fishing, and assumed that I closed them automatically ... but noticed yesterday whilst feeder fishing that I actually close it manually!