Top 5 Reasons to Use an Ugly Stik

Let’s face it — fishing is about so much more than just catching fish. A lot of people fish as a way to blow off steam, relax and unwind. That’s why so many people invest in an Ugly Stik fishing rod because of the unmatched quality and performance. Combined with the unbeatable lifetime guarantee, you can rest assured that your fishing pole will last a lifetime, too. 

If you’re a fisherman looking for a good rod at an affordable price that helps make your fishing experience the best, the Ugly Stik is perfect for you. The rods are made of graphite, so they’re strong enough to stand up to even the largest fish, yet they’re light enough to allow anglers to cast for hours on end without tiring out their arms.

History of Ugly Stik

Ugly Stik is a registered trademark of Shakespeare, Inc. The Ugly Stik was introduced in 1897 as the first spinning rod to feature a graphite and fiberglass combination. Since then, millions of anglers have trusted the Ugly Stik name for their fishing adventures.

William J. Shakespeare, Jr., founded the company in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Today, they are a division of Pure Fishing and have manufacturing plants around the world that produce everything from lines to reels to nets. Although they’ve become one of the largest companies in their industry, they continue to focus on quality to ensure they provide anglers with the best tools possible.

In the summer of 2013, Shakespeare launched the new Ugly Stik GX2™ series featuring 35% more graphite than the original Ugly Stiks, creating a lighter blank for improved balance and sensitivity. The new series also features a re-designed reel seat that provides greater comfort, ergonomics, and durability.

Top Reasons to Use an Ugly Stik


If you are wondering what makes this company so popular, here are the top 5 reasons to use an Ugly Stik:

1. Durability

Ugly Stiks are known for their durability. The traditional Ugly Stik has a graphite and fiberglass composite blank, which makes it very strong and flexible. The clear tip of the rod provides extra strength where you need it most and can even detect those lightest bites. The stainless steel guides make this rod extremely tough and help resist corrosion from saltwater fishing trips.

Also, many anglers say they’ve used the same rod for years without it breaking or showing signs of wear.

2. Sensitivity

While being one of the toughest rods around, Ugly Stiks also provide great sensitivity in the tip section. This allows you to feel even the slightest bite from fish as small as crappie to big catfish. In addition to being sensitive in the tip, the entire rod transmits vibrations well, allowing you to feel when your bait moves or when bigger fish are chasing it away.

3. Flexibility

The Ugly Stik is not just stronger than any other rod on the market, but it is also more flexible. The combination of strength and flexibility makes it perfect for catching fish such as bonefish, snook, and redfish. All of these fish put up a tremendous fight, and the Ugly Stik allows you to land them without breaking your back or your rod!

4. Affordable

These rods are pretty reasonably priced, especially considering their excellent build quality. They are also easy to find and available in most sporting goods stores as well as online. When you’re just starting out and trying to figure out if fishing is something you enjoy doing, starting with an inexpensive rod first makes sense. Once you decide that you like fishing and want to invest more money into the sport, only then upgrade your gear.

5. Has a Long History

The Ugly Stik has been around for decades and has proven itself time and again. It is a very trusted product, and anglers know that they can rely on this rod when they are in tough fishing conditions or targeting larger species of fish.

Fishing Rod Buying Guide


Picking out a fishing rod can be tricky. A lot of rods on the market have different actions, which means that each fishing rod is designed for a specific action. One rod may have a fast action, and another may have a slow action.  A lure might require an ultra-fast or heavy rod to perform properly, so in order to maximize your performance, you need to get the right rod.

Following are some factors you should be familiar with when buying a fishing rod:

1. Information about the Rod

Look at the lure and line rating information printed on the fishing rod. Various rods are rated for specific lure weights and line sizes, so use the right lure weight and line size to take full advantage of your rod. Using extra light (or extra heavy) lure or line can impact the rod’s performance and casting ability.

2. Power

Rods come in a variety of powers. Each one is rated by three factors: the size and type of fish you are trying to catch, the size and type of lure, and the thickness of your fishing line. 

  • Ultra-light rods are ideal for smaller fish, light lures, and light fishing lines. However, they can be challenging to use with heavier lures or bass on their end. 
  • Light rods are stronger than ultra-light and work well with several different types of lures. 
  • Medium rods have a bit more power than light and tackle fish that are a bit larger. 
  • Heavy rods have a lot more power than mediums and don’t get bogged down by big fish or heavy lures. 
  • Extra-heavy rods are made for very large fish or hauling in incredibly heavy lures, such as big saltwater plugs or jigs.

3. Rod’s Length

Rod length is a matter of personal preference. Longer rods are helpful for casting distance, but shorter rods can be easier to use when casting near obstacles. Therefore, choose a rod based on your height, the type of fish you are after, and the location.

4. Action

A rod action describes where on the rod the bend occurs. The most common types of rod actions are fast, moderate, and slow. They can also be further categorized as extra-fast, medium-fast, moderate-fast, and slow.

Fast action rods are usually the most sensitive. They are best for lures that need to touch the bottom. Moderate actions are ideal for crankbaits and other faster-moving baits. These rods lack sensitivity but gain distance when casting. On the other hand, slow-action rods allow lighter lures to be cast with light lines, such as when fishing for panfish or trout.

Our Top Picks

Where to Buy
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
Shakespeare USLDSP602M/30CBO Women’s Ugly Stik
Ugly Stik Carbon Casting Fishing Rod

1. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is a lightweight, well-balanced rod that is extremely reliable. It features a graphite and fiberglass construction for durability and has a clear tip design. It also has one ball bearing, roller bearing, and a stainless steel shaft.

In addition to its toughness, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is versatile. You can use it in both saltwater and freshwater conditions. The reel is heavy-duty but still extremely lightweight due to its graphite body design.

Overall, it is one of the best ugly stik combos available on the market right now. 


  • Offers a variety of lengths and actions
  • The casts work well with smaller test lines
  • Smooth reel


  • The drag can be made a bit smoother

2. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod

This pole is made to be sensitive, highly responsive, tough, and balanced. It works best in subtle currents and the roughest of waters. All in all, it allows you to work less with your body and yet achieve amazing results.


  • Sturdy construction
  • Lightweight with a nice soft grip
  • Works well if you are looking to fish in a variety of conditions


  • The guides are not very strong and can be bent easily due to the lack of a secondary support

3. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

If you’re an avid fisherman and plan to do a lot of fishing, you need to invest in a strong and well-made pole. You have a solid companion in this model because it’s built to withstand multiple uses. This rod is constructed with stainless steel guides that contribute to its durability. Also, cork handles provide comfort during long hours of fishing.

All in all, it is a perfect fishing rod for seasonal fishermen.


  • High-quality and comfortable cork grip
  • Lightweight; hence, it is easy to handle, control, and maneuver
  • Has a stainless steel construction, unlike cheaper rods that are made of regular steel


  • Not a recommended choice for true deep sea saltwater fishing

4. Shakespeare USLDSP602M/30CBO Women’s Ugly Stik

Shakespeare poles are renowned for their durability and strength. If you want a fishing rod that is easy to use and won’t break on you in the middle of a fish fight, get one of these rods. The best thing about this rod is that it is suited for beginners, advanced anglers, women, and average-size men. In addition, the lightweight EVA grips and soft-touch handle knobs provide comfort for long fishing trips.


  • Offers great value for money
  • An excellent choice for beginners and women
  • Durable construction


  • You might face some issues in its sensitivity

5. Ugly Stik Carbon Casting Fishing Rod

If you want to avoid the danger of breaking your fishing pole when hooking a big fighting fish, use a heavy rod made out of steel. These rods tend to be strong enough to take the impact without snapping. This is where this fishing rod comes in. The larger, tapered end makes it easier to maneuver, while its medium-heavy weight helps you control it more easily.

Furthermore, its EVA handles make gripping more comfortable. 


  • Heavy and sturdy rod, but not too heavy to ruin your fishing experience
  • A good option for all species of fish – be it fresh or saltwater 
  • Great sensitivity


  • None so far

For more information, check out these Top 5 Ugly Stik Fishing Poles.


An Ugly Stik fishing rod is meant for more than just fun — it is a solid little tool. Sure, you may be able to fish with a stick off the ground or find an old piece of metal that’s free and easy to use, but if you have the chance to house an Ugly Stik in your collection, it may just prove irresistible. Considering the price point and benefits of these durable, high-quality fishing rods, you might want to add an Ugly Stik to your tackle box today.

In short, the Ugly Stik does all you could ask for in a fishing rod. The comfort and convenience features are just icing on the already delicious cake. To sum it up, the Ugly Stik is worth every penny.