Is Ugly Stik GX2 the Last Rod You Ever Need to Buy?

Would it be a brag if I said that the Shakespeare Ugly Stik has been around since Shakespearean times?

ugly stick gx2

I guess it would, but that doesn’t change the fact that these robust rods are ancient. 

With the Ugly Stik in their gear (read weaponry), many of our grandfathers have fought in the river and the seas gallantly back in the ’70s. Then in 2013, almost 8 years from now, the GX2 was born. To this day, the Ugly Stik GX2 fishing rod is essential in any seasoned angler’s fishing gear. 

What is this sorcery? How did the GX2 range of fishing rods turn out to be a staple in the industry?  Is this as great as most Ugly Stik GX2 reviews claim? 

I have poured down my knowledge and experiences to help you figure out just that. So let’s cut the crappie ( pun intended, wink ) and get to the point. 

Ugly Stik GX2: The Highlights

ugly stik gx2 reviews

Pivotal Features:

  • Ugly Tech™ and Ugly Tuff™ construction
  • Single piece durable guides
  • Sensitive and robust clear tips
  • Price tag below $100
  • Mammoth 7-year warranty

The Pros:

  • Great value for the price
  • Wide range of configurations to choose from
  • Extremely durable
  • Highly versatile

The Cons:

  • Small spool size
  • The 2-piece rods could come apart

The Pivotal Features

A secret to GX2’s success is the continuous upgrades that this fishing rod series went through. The Ugly Stik spinning rods that we see in the market these days are better and more mature than the 2013 original Ugly Stik. These features have made all the differences.

The Ugly Tech™ Construction:

The rod blank is a trademark design of the manufacturers that combines the strength of graphite and the sensitivity of fiberglass in a perfect proportion. This gives this fishing rod a matte black finish. The features are highlighted with a silver diamond winding pattern and a touch of red above the grip area. 

The Ugly Tech composite construction provides the users with two distinct benefits. 

Number one, the strong graphite backbone makes it sturdy enough for working lures and fighting large fish. Some varieties of the GX2 can bring home a 100 lbs tarpon with ease. 

Number two, the sensitivity offered by the fiberglass tip. The GX2 is so sensitive that you can never miss the nibbles no matter how stealthy your trophy is. 

Moreover, the perfect blend of graphite and fiberglass enables the GX2 to be robust without being rigid.The rod gives you a good amount of flexibility. Surely, the angler in you knows how important that is. 

Signature Clear Tip:

A clear tip is the signature mark of Shakespeare Ugly Stik and it is here for a purpose. This design further enhances the sensitivity of your Ugly Stik spin rod, hence, adding to its performance.  

Even the lightest strike won’t go unfelt by your fingers, thanks to the design. The makers rightly claim in their tagline that their product is, 

“Sensitive, so you don’t have to be!”

One Piece Line Guides:

Next comes the line guides. The 2013 Ugly Stik rods had line guides with easily breakable pop-out ceramic inserts. Thankfully, the upgrades don’t.

The line guides in Ugly Stik fishing rods today are one-piece, stamped, stainless steel structures. The makers call it Ugly Tuff™.

The Ugly Tuffs are way above the league of flimsier aluminum oxide guides that come with fishing rods available in the same price category. The best part is, these are literally unbreakable. 

Comfortable EVA Grips:

The makers have replaced the older cork grips with EVA grips. Although many anglers like the good old ones more, there’s no denying that EVA grips reduce stress to your palms. These overall reduce fatigue and enable you to pull through long fishing hours. 

The Varieties

Ugly Stik GX2 casting rods and spinning rods come in an array of configurations. There are 20 spinning models, 15 casting models, 3 pack rod options, and 6 models specifically crafted for ladies. These fishing rods range from light to heavy power models. 

Our favorite is the 2-piece 6’ model, the USSP602M. This is a medium power spinning rod with a line weight of 6-15 lbs and a lure weight of ⅛-⅝ oz. This pole is best for fish weighing between 3 to 10 lbs.  

In case you want to know the details of what’s in the menu for you, check out the specifics of some popular Ugly Stik GX2 models. 

ModelLengthLine WeightLure WeightPower Action
USSP602L6′4-10 lbs.1/8 – 1/2 oz.LightFast
USSP602M6′6-15 lbs1/8 – 5/8 oz.MediumFast
USSP601MH6′8-20 lbs1/4 – 3/4 oz.Medium-HeavyFast
USSP601H68-20 lbs.3/8 – 1 oz.HeavyFast
USSP662M6’6’’6-15 lbs.1/8 – 5/8 oz.MediumFast
USSP702M7’6-15 lbs1/4 – 3/4 ozMediumFast
USSP701MH7’8-20 lbs1/4 – 3/4 ozMedium-HeavyFast
USSP902M9’4-20 lbs.1/8 – 3/4 oz.MediumFast

Needless to say, the Ugly Stik fishing poles in the GX2 series come with a commendable degree of versatility. The trick here is to choose the model best suited to your fishing style. 

However, if you are a newbie in the arena, this long list of choices can make your head spin. In that case, I suggest you begin with the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo. I have tested this rod and reel combo and gave my insights here in the best spinning reel for bass.

Things that We Like about the Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rods

ugly stik surf rods

These are truly the features that earn the GX2 series a huge thumbs up. 

Strength, Durability, and Versatility:

The best Santoku knives use three virtues to reign in the world of culinary arts. Similarly, Ugly Stik GX2 surf rods use the three virtues- strength, durability, and versatility to reign in the fishing gear market. 

These rods are strong enough for a salmon and at the same time sensitive enough for a trout. The composite construction makes them almost indestructible. I even found videos on YouTube where people have literally taken up the challenge to break a GX2. This tells a lot about the might of the product.

You won’t have to handle it with care in the midst of a rough trophy game. The GX2 is built to take a beating. 

Not only the composite structure, but the stainless steel guides also have a tremendous role in contributing to the durability of these poles. Besides, factors such as tip design and the position of the balance point add to the resilience of GX2. 


Ugly Stik is a bargain brand loved by most anglers. The tremendous quality that it offers for every average consumer deserves a round of applause. The price range of the GX2 series starts a little over $30 and the priciest of them costs less than $100.

When it comes to quality build, most spinning fishing rods of the same price category don’t even come close to the GX2. Ugly Stik reviews invariably agree that the GX2 fishing rods are a great value for your money. 

Industry Leading Warranty:

Another feature the GX2 is famous for is the enviable 7- year warranty policy. This hugely reflects the confidence the company has in the GX2 series. 

Other poles with a similar price point hardly come with a year-long warranty. Even Ugly Stik doesn’t offer such a generous warranty for any other product apart from the GX2.

This fishing rod will last you for years. And if by any chance you do need to claim the Ugly Stik warranty, just send photographic evidence of the damage and your money receipt. You’ll not be disappointed.  

Things that We Dislike about the Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rods

No product is flawless, and my job is to point that out. Here are certain points you should take note of before sealing the deal.

The 2-Piece Models can Snap:

Although it’s rare, the longer 2-piece models are more prone to snapping than the one-piece models. The one-piece GX2 models are stouter and more stable, so if carrying them around is not an issue, go for them. 

The Spinning Reels are Better than the Other Varieties:

All GX2 rods are great, but the spinning varieties are excellent. Somehow, the makers have mastered the crafting of spinning fishing rods more than the other types.

Heavier than Higher End Graphite Rods:

Even though the upgrades are lighter than the original GX2 poles, they are still a bit on the heavy side. Under normal circumstances, you are not even supposed to feel the heft.

 However, if you have experience using ultralight fishing gears, you may find the GX2 poles a bit heavy.

Guides Placement is Not Always Perfect: 

There is a rare chance that the guides have not been perfectly placed on your Ugly Stik. Usually, this is not a problem but may become an issue when you are tackling a trophy-sized fish. 

Fresh Water Performance

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rods are ideal for freshwater fishing sprees. An Ugly Stik GX2 is just what you need for trout fishing in lakes. Again, credits are due to the sensitive and flexible fiberglass tip. 

With the GX2, you can go after bass, crappie, salmon, walleye, and whatever you wish for. Just choose the right size for optimum performance.  

Saltwater Performance

The key element for saltwater fishing is the reel. Hence choosing the best reel for saltwater fishing comes first. The rod quality comes next. 

As far as the GX2 is concerned, you can pack it for your next expedition at peace. This is a mighty fishing pole that can take a good amount of beating. 

Is There Any Alternative to Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rods?

In the same price range? Not really. 

However, we could recommend the next best thing. I am talking about Shimano Saguaro

The reason why I think this is a worthy alternative is the versatility of this rod. You get just as much versatility with Saguaro as you get with Ugly Stik GX2. The price point is also similar. This Shimano rod is durable, dependable, and great, especially when casting heavier lures. 

The reason I call it the next best thing is because it struggles with lightweight artificial lures. Also, the guides are less durable than the ones you get with the GX2. 

Some reviewers also suggest upping your budget for the Ugly Stik Elite. For me, when it comes to Ugly Stik Elite vs GX2, I prefer the GX2


Enough talk. It’s time for the final verdict. Here are the ratings.

Grip Comfort8/10
Final Score8.9/10

Do I recommend it? 
Do you need to ask?

Now to Answer the Question

Angling is a passion and there’s no end to adding new tools to your fishing gear. However, if you are a prudent buyer, the Ugly Stik GX2 indeed is a great does-it-all fishing rod to have. Plus when you factor in the amazing strength and durability, this turns out to be the only rod you need to pack for your fishing sprees.  

The GX2 is truly capable of being the last rod you ever need to buy. Try it. There’s a reason it is timeless in dominating the market!

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