Ugly Stik Fishing Pole 2023

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  • Post category:Fishing Brands / Fishing Rods
  • Post last modified:June 1, 2022

Ugly Stik Fishing Pole

Ugly Stick Fishing Pole – Best Fishing Rods by Shakespeare

In this article, we’ll talk about a fairly confident and serious brand that has been on the fishing market for over 100 years and has been producing fishing equipment – Ugly Stick. In particular, we’ll analyze the 10 best fishing rods that are very popular with anglers this year, compare their characteristics, and make a detailed review of each model.

About Ugly Stick Company

The history of the company began back in 1897. Since then, the company has been the leader in the American market for quality fishing rods and tackle at an affordable price. The company has a fairly extensive coverage around the world and has offices in countries such as the USA, GB, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, etc.

The company’s slogan is very simple: “Make fishing easy and enjoyable.” Throughout its existence, the brand has made many mistakes and followed the difficult path of becoming a company whose products are recognized and loved by anglers around the world.

What Products Can I Get From Ugly Stick?

The brand’s products are very extensive and aren’t limited to simple rods and reels. Ugly Stick produces not only reels and rods separately but also combo sets that allow the fisherman not to think about which rod or reel is best to choose. The company also makes excellent lightweight and easy-to-use reels and rods for ladies and children. The brand even has its own line of clothing for fishermen. And of course, the product line includes all kinds of hooks, floats, and fishing tools.

Why Should I Buy Ugly Stick Fishing Poles?

Because Shakespeare’s Ugly Sticks are among the best for their quality. It’s strong and tough, but sensitive, flexible, and lightweight. These rods can handle extreme loads where any other rod will break. Weather, rough handling, or heavy fish can’t break the Ugly Stick rod.

What About Service and Warranty?

All Ugly Stick products come at least with a one-year warranty. But depending on the product, it can be more. Some rods and reels are warranted for 3, 5, and 7 years. If you notice any manufacturer defects in the product, then to return it, you need to fill out a special form for repair/return of the item and attach a shipping receipt, as well as a copy of the purchase receipt if you’re requesting repair under warranty. Wear, breakage, careless handling, improper care, and damage due to natural disasters aren’t covered under warranty.

Top 9 Best Fishing Poles From Ugly Stick – Guide & Reviews

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning RodUgly StikBuy on Amazon
Ugly Stik® Elite Casting RodUgly StikBuy on Amazon
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 6'6"- Ultra Light - 2pcUgly StikBuy on Amazon
Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Jig Casting Fishing RodShakespeareBuy on Amazon
Ugly Stik® Striper Casting RodsUgly StikBuy on Amazon
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod (Salmon/Steelhead), 8'6" - Medium Heavy - 2pcsShakespeareBuy on Amazon
Shakespeare 1423367 Ugly Stik Bigwater Casting Rod, 7' Length, 1pc Rod, 12-25 Line Rate, 1/2-3 oz Lure Rate, Medium/Light PowerUgly StikBuy on Amazon
Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rods, , 7'/Medium HeavyShakespeareBuy on Amazon
Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod, 7' - Heavy - 1pcsUgly StikBuy on Amazon

Well, we have sorted out the main aspects of the brand, now let’s go through the 9 best rods from Ugly Stick. In making this list, we tried to include models with good performance, but in a different price range, so that you can find the rod for you regardless of your budget.

1# Ugly Stick GX-2 Spinning Rod – Best Pick Overall

Ugly Stick GX-2 Spinning Rod

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The clear winner is the Ugly Stick GX2. This is a fishing rod that has been holding the top positions in all the tops for several years; every third angler uses it in competitions. Why is the rod so good? First, with its material. The structure isn’t made of pure graphite or fiberglass, but a composite material. This gives great durability, strength, flexibility, and lightness.

The handle is made of EVA material. Non-slip, soft, large, and tight. The best material a rod can have, after that – cork. I can hold this rod for 2-3 hours and my hands won’t get tired, although the rod has an impressive length of 6’6″. The rod has a one-piece construction, so it may not be as comfortable to carry. Apart from the inconvenience of carrying, this rod has no drawbacks. By the way, the seller additionally gives a 7-year warranty for this product.

  • Composite construction

  • Lightweight

  • Flexible

  • EVA handles

  • 7-year warranty

  • Can’t be folded

I used this rod with my Penn Battle II. Pulled out a 38lb cobia without trouble.

2# Ugly Stick Elite Casting Fishing Rod – Runner-Up

Ugly Stick Elite Casting Fishing Rod

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I put this model in second place only because it has cork handles and is made entirely of graphite. Otherwise, this rod is in no way inferior to the Ugly Stick GX-2. Cork and graphite lovers – this is definitely your choice. Of course, cork as a handle material is a great option. It doesn’t slip with wet hands, or even if they are covered in mucus from fish. Still, EVA feels a little more pleasant tactilely. But since pure graphite is used here, and not a composite material, this reel loses a little in strength, flexibility, and lightness to the previous model.

There are two options available: 6’6″ and 7′, but in both versions, the rod is 1 piece, you won’t be able to fold it in half and throw it in the back seat of the car, so it takes up a lot of space. The rod guides are very high-quality. As in the previous model, it generally doesn’t abrade the line, quite nimble and smooth. Also, unlike the previous one, this model is cheaper.

  • Two lengths to choose from

  • Despite the graphite body, it’s quite durable

  • Good line guides

  • Non-slip cork wood on handles

  • Quite weighty

  • Made from 1 piece

Overall a great choice for your money. I use this rod mainly on open water with the Abu Garcia baitcasting reel.

3# Ugly Stick Elite Spinning Fishing Rod – Best Budget Pick

Ugly Stick Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

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A very sensitive rod that captures the slightest vibrations of the line. Therefore, if you’re an experienced fisherman and you need to cast as accurately as possible, this is your choice. The guides are made of stainless steel, so I often take this rod to the sea as it doesn’t rust when water hits it. And in general, it does well with marine fish. The construction is predominantly made of fiberglass with graphite inserts. So you get lightweight, indestructible, and great balance because of this.

I really like how the reel seat is made here. Thanks to the soft stainless steel caps, the reel always fits very tightly and has no backlash. The handles here are made of cork. Shakespeare is very fond of this material in their rods. On the one hand, the material isn’t very soft, but on the other, because of this, the cost is lower and the hands never slip.

  • The very high-quality reel seat

  • Composite material

  • Great for saltwater fishing

  • Fiberglass durable tip

  • Cork handles

  • Takes up a lot of space

In short, a great rod with great performance for a great price.

4# Ugly Stick Tiger Elite Casting Fishing Rod – Best Sensitive Pick

Ugly Stick Tiger Elite Casting Fishing Rod

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Are you a bottom fishing lover and always looking to increase your arsenal of fishing rods? Tiger Elite fishing rod will be an excellent addition. This Ugly Stick is designed for trolling, jigging, and drifting. This is great because you can use many numbers of techniques. It’s light enough to hold even for a kid. Because of added graphite, the rod is sensitive and fast for passionate fishermen. Without any issues, you can catch such species as big sturgeons and the rod wouldn’t break. Flexible and sensitive rod, which is easy to master and use. But the tip of the Tiger Elite sometimes can’t handle big presses, tips of more expensive models are more durable.

  • Great for heavy fish

  • Nice EVA handles

  • Suitable for both beginners and pros

  • Weak tip

5# Ugly Stick Striper Casting Rod – Best Strong Pick

Ugly Stick Striper Casting Rod

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This Ugly Stick is perfect for ocean and sea fishing and was created for the striper fish. Great rod for catching ocean fluke and black sea bass. Designed to make your fishing pleasant and joyful. The rod material is a combo of graphite and fiberglass, which is durable and long-lasting. Besides, this rod is inexpensive and allows to fish without spending hilarious money to experience a high-quality striper rod. It’s perfect for fishermen who are looking for a durable pole without breaking after a few months of usage. Of the minuses, I note the following: the old version of the Striper rods had a better taper. Also, the bulbous butts on the new models make it harder to fit a reel on the rod.

  • Excellent value for money

  • Durable but sensitive

  • Easy to use

  • Inconvenient to install the reel

  • Past versions had a more convenient taper

6# Ugly Stick Elite Salmon Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Stick Elite Salmon Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod

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This rod can be used extensively without any complaints. Strong enough for bass and sensitive enough for perch. Anglers with different levels of skills and ages can use it from trolling to casting. Great rod, super flexible, and durable. The design of the rod looks great. Such a versatile elite spinning rod will be a great present for a friend who loves fishing outing, as well as for a person, who never tried to catch a fish.

  • Nice design

  • Durable tip

  • The fishing reel is installed quickly and easily

  • Inconvenient to install the reel

  • Past versions had a more convenient taper

7# Ugly Stick Bigwater Casting Rod

Ugly Stick Bigwater Casting Rod

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This model is great for targeting steelhead and large fish. The appearance or rod is quite unusual: has a transparent tip made of fiberglass and graphite blank. That’s why this rod is sturdy, tough, but flexible and sensitive. The rod is lightweight but powerful enough to catch a trophy-fighting fish. Also, Ugly Stick Bigwater is equipped with an advanced design using materials that preventing corrosion. Beautiful and glossy rod.

  • Lightweight yet powerful

  • Suitable for salt and freshwater

  • Durable material

  • Ceramic coating scratches quickly

8# Ugly Stick Catfish Spinning Rod

Ugly Stick Catfish Spinning Rod

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Especially for those who love catfish fishing, there’s an Ugly Stick catfish rod. The catfish has strong resistance, with a weight of an average 5kg it can easily break the rod and tear the line. That’s why it’s so important to have a strong and durable rod of high quality, like a Shakespeare spinning rod. But the rod isn’t made of composite material. This sometimes confuses some people who are buying online. Despite this, the rod has excellent strength and flexibility. And the EVA grips let you fish for hours on end and notice the slightest line wobble.

  • Lightweight but powerful

  • Suitable for salt and freshwater

  • Durable material

  • The inconvenient butt of the grip sometimes gets stuck

9# Ugly Stick Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Stick Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

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An amazing fishing tool that has the backbone to fight larger fish, but lightweight and very sensitive to action. The fishing rod, made of stainless steel, looks thin, but powerful, even for catching alligator gar of 50-70 inches. With this rod, you can try various fishing techniques. The best for casting, for jigging, might be a bit slow, as it’s a medium action. For a high level of convenience, the reel seat has cushioned hoods, made of stainless steel. You can take this rod everywhere, in case you go fishing to a new reservoir it will assist you well, doesn’t matter you going for catching medium or large fish. It’s very multitasking.

  • A versatile and multitasking rod

  • Withstands very heavy loads

  • Comfortable reel seat hoods

  • Heavy

  • The upper handgrip is short


To preserve any fishing rod, it is necessary to rinse it in fresh water after each fishing trip.

Summing Up

Now, after reading this article, we can confidently say that you are completely familiar with Ugly Stick rods. We figured out all the aspects of the manufacturer and looked in detail at 10 of the best rods currently available on the market. We hope this review was helpful to you and you have chosen the rod that you like. If our guide helped you, then share it on social networks and tell your friends. Have a nice fishing!

Tags: #ugly stik fishing pole / #ugly stik fishing rods / #shakespeare ugly stik fishing rod / #ugly stik gx2 spinning fishing reel and rod combo / #ugly stik ice fishing rod / #ugly stik junior fishing pole kit / #shakespeare ugly stik fishing pole

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Mibriam Mercuto
Mibriam Mercuto
17 minutes ago

Great article on Ugly Stik fishing poles! I never realized how versatile they are. I recently purchased a GX2 and I have been a fan of the classic Ugly Stick for many years. Although the GX2 feels lighter in my hand, it might not have the same level of sensitivity as the classic. Despite that, I am overall satisfied with my purchase so far.

Sebethera Lierin
Sebethera Lierin
14 minutes ago

I’ve been considering buying a new fishing pole and after reading this article, I’m convinced that an Ugly Stik is the way to go. I appreciate the detailed information and recommendations. I recently acquired an Ugly Stik Lite this year, which is my first proper fishing gear. I did thorough research before buying it.

I needed a two-piece rod for ease of transportation, and it needed to be strong and durable for fishing from the shore and navigating through weeds, bushes, and logs. Additionally, I was looking for an affordable option, and I was able to get it on sale for around $50 instead of the usual $90.

The rod is 6’6″ and has a medium action. So far, I have had no complaints about it, although I don’t have much experience to compare it to other than a cheap rod I had years ago. Although it might not be the most sensitive rod, I can still feel the smallest fish biting on my lure. Additionally, I have had no trouble reeling in a big pike or abusing it while fishing through logs and rocks, and there are no signs of damage.

Taladice Papher
Taladice Papher
12 minutes ago

Thanks for highlighting the different models of Ugly Stik poles. I’m definitely going to check out some of the new ones mentioned in the article. I recently purchased a 6ft Ugly Stik and I am pleased with it. It is significantly lighter than older models and has faster action. The guides have been updated to a one-piece design. I considered a 7ft GX2 but it was too heavy for my preference. The shorter rod is light and has good sensitivity to my needs.

Decad Menor
Decad Menor
9 minutes ago

This article was very informative and has helped me understand why Ugly Stik is such a popular brand among anglers. I began with an Ugly Stik combo for $50 purchased on Amazon. It served me well for several months with 2-3 days of fishing per week for a few hours each time. I caught multiple basses without any issues. I switched to bait-casters later in the summer but for a starting combo, I was satisfied with the Ugly Stik.

Grogunn Rokdon
Grogunn Rokdon
5 minutes ago

I’ve been using Ugly Stik poles for years and I couldn’t agree more with the points made in this article. They’re durable, affordable, and perfect for all levels of fishing. A $50 Ugly Stik combo from Amazon makes for an excellent beginner choice. Assembly is easy by sliding the two pieces together and giving it a quarter turn for a secure fit. While the reel may not be top-notch, it’s sufficient for starting out and can always be upgraded later. The writer has been using the same combo for 10 years and considers it the best $40 spent on fishing gear.

Dexamyre Klisque
Dexamyre Klisque
2 minutes ago

The Ugly Stik is a top-notch fishing pole. When traveling and looking to go fishing spontaneously without your gear, it’s a great option to grab. Even after upgrading to better gear, it can serve as a backup or lend to friends.

Prystellian Klegg
Prystellian Klegg
27 seconds ago

I was pleasantly surprised by this fishing rod. I recently took it on a trip to the boundary waters/Quetico and was amazed at how easily it packed and traveled. Despite carrying it with me on a plane, driving, and hiking with canoes and gear, the rod fit comfortably inside my backpacking tent bag.

In terms of performance, the 6.5ft medium action rod felt similar to my traditional 2-piece rod, but with a more sensitive tip. When paired with my Shimano spinning reel and 10lb test Trilene line, I was able to make the best casts of my life, with great distance and accurate placement. My friends were impressed and I felt like the star of the show.

Product Name
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod