I have had this same problem on other reels, with out having one in my hand I cant tell you what the problem is,
when you pull back the bail, look to see where the catch is that holds the bail back in place. there may be a burr somewhere along the machanical lever ither on the outside of the bail or inside.
I am asuming this is not the case because I beleive you tested the bail prior to perchase. "provided you did not on line perchase"
if when you got it, the reel did not behave in this mannor, more than likely you have gotten some debre in the reel. this is easy to do. the answer would to take it apart and clean it, taking out all the old lubricants and putting in new. also it could be a peice of dislodged slag metal that was not taken off of a part. either way cleaning it is the solution.
if when you do get the bail to release and it dose not close all the way, it may have picken up sand or the coil spring that is mounted under the screw that holds the bail in place may have come unattached, "dropping it can cause it among other things.
let me know if any of this helps, if not take a photo of the working parts and post it here, I will see if I can diagnost it from here.
Dave Your Message Board Administrator
Wage war on natural desasters, not humans !