Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod Review



Size Options


Rod Construction


Grip Comfort


7 Year Warranty


Reel Quality



  • Graphite and Fiberglass Construction
  • Lightweight EVA Grips
  • 1 or 2 Piece Rod Construction
  • Ugly Tuff Guides
  • Equipped with Reel


  • Reek Bearings Seometimes Go Out
  • Small Spool Size
  • Not Great for Large Diameter Line

You know, I have owned an Ugly Stik GX2 or two in my day. Ever since my earliest fishing adventures ugly Stik has been a staple in the industry. They have not however, always been known for quality mid to high end products.

With so many fishing rod options to choose from how do you even know where to start? There are literally hundreds of options out there ranging from $20 up the a $1000 or more.

Well I am here to let you in on a few details about the GX2 Combo From Shakespeare and Ugly Stik.

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That’s a very good question! It’s not like you know me or who I am. I don’t claim to be the fishing guru of all fishing gurus, but I have been around the block. I have fished with, broke and retired some great fishing rods in my 33 years of fishing experience.

There is nothing more frustrating than buying a product just to find out it’s not what you had expected. I won’t let you get tricked by all the marketing pitches and expensive adds trying to get you to blow your hard earned dollar.


Hopefully by know you know what you are going to get out of this review. I’m talking about good, honest, hard core facts! Lets get to it.

In the following sections I will be talking about the following topics.

  • Rod Construction (materials, components, grips)
  • Available Size Options
  • Customer Service

Lets get into these topics for some more details.


The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 has touted its toughness maybe more than any other fishing rod manufacture on the market. They have claimed to be unbreakable by any fish. They even showed and ad one time of a fisherman lifting a boat anchor with his fishing rod.

I will share a funny story about this in a moment.


The GX2 is made with both graphite and fiberglass material. This takes the best of both strength and sensitivity and puts it together in one fishing rod. They claim that the rod alone weighs 0.8 ounces. That’s pretty stinkin light!

Now I don’t have a scale that can weigh that small of a measurement but my best guess is its not 0.8 ounces . It is however very light.

These rods bend more than most due to the fiberglass material mixed into the graphite. I can literally bend these rods darn near in half while trolling for trout on a down rigger.


Lets move onto the grip of the GX2. The EVA Grips only come in one color, black. The Grip itself is actually quite comfortable.

If I had to make one complaint about the grips, I guess it would have to be the fact that the Ugly Stik name is etched into the foam in a bad spot. It makes for an awkward feeling on my hand where I hold the rod. Not the end of the world but it does take some getting used to.


With the Ugly Stik rods they have something call Ugly Tuff technology. Basically its is one piece stainless steel guides that do not have inserts. While a nice fiberglass insert on a fishing poles eyelets are very helpful for preserving line and improving casting distance, they are also expensive.

It is important to note here the cheap plastic inserts are not good at all. They almost always fall off within the first couple of uses leaving your line exposed to sharp edges and abrasions.

While the Ugly Stik GX2 has not inserts, The one piece stainless steel is the second best option in my opinion. Being that the guides are metal there is a chance for it to have a sharp edged after being doped or hit on a rock. This would be operator error though and not the fault of the company.

To prevent this from Happening, inspect your fishing rods guides frequently, at least before every fishing trip.


To be completely honest this is where I wish the company had more involvement and oversight. Anytime t products are shipped around the world we are going to have issues damaged products form time to time.

Reading reviews on popular shopping websites, its seems as if the company is a little slow to respond to these issues.

Many times however, people leave negative reviews because they are not happy with the product they received. You have to understand that you are buying a fishing rod for under $40 (at the time of this article). Expecting the same product as say a $150 item is not realistic.


There is a silver lining to the Ugly Stik GX2 Review. These fishing rods come with a 7 YEAR WARRANTY. Ya you read that right, and the company stands by it to.

Remember when I mentioned earlier in the article how the company touted its toughness by picking up a boat anchor?

Well I had a friend try this exact thing one day in the boat. After giving him a hard time about how beat up his fishing pole was, he decided to try and show off a little. He attached his line to the boat anchor and yells out “can your rod do this?” He proceeds to lift the anchor about 2 feet in the air before his Ugly Stik snapped in half.

After catching my breath from laughing so hard i replied, “Ya I bet it can”.

The point of telling you this story is that he submitted his broken rod to Ugly Stik and received a new fishing rod in the mail a couple weeks later.

He Spoke of how easy the process was and how he was happy that they stood by their product.


After all of this information is the Ugly Stik GX2 any good? Believe me it’s plenty of fishing pole for most styles of fishing. I can see how this rod would be great as a stow away rod in a boat, left in a tool box of a pickup truck, or packed into a backpack for a hiking trip.


Absolutely this rod is great for fresh water fishing. It was designed to be a great all purpose fishing rod that can catch a multitude of species.

I use this rod mostly for trout fishing in lakes. It has the perfect amount of sensitivity and trout fighting ability.

What can I fish with using the GX2?

  • Trout
  • Bass
  • Crappie
  • Salmon
  • Catfish
  • Carp
  • Pike
  • Walleye

These are just the most popular species of fresh water fishing and this rod works well for all of these. Just be sure to select the rod with the correct power at check out. There are 7 size options available.


Well in theory I suppose this rod would work just fine for most salt water fishing. The most important aspect to salt water fishing is the reel. Not all fishing reels are made to be fished in the harsh conditions of the ocean. One use and they could be destroyed for good.

The rod however should hold up just fine . Make sure and give the fishing pole a good spray down with fresh water within an hour or so after fishing in the ocean. Salt is very corrosive and can cause irreversible damage if left on the rod, particularly in the areas that contain metal.


As I previously stated I was able to find this rod in 7 size options. Below you will find a table with the available sizes for the GX2.


I will say that I am a proud owner of the Ugly Stik GX2. I use this rod while bank fishing, trolling light tackle, or fishing from my kayak. It is a good all purpose fishing rod and you can’t beat the price.

This rod is very much worth a shot in my honest opinion. If you are fishing on a budget, or not ready to spending chunks of money on a fishing rod, then this is the fishing rod for you.

shakespear ugly stik gx2