Oh Ugly Stik, the brand that every angler seems to start off their fishing life with. You probably think Ugly Stik is for beginners only, not something that a real kayak angler would use—but you’re wrong. Ugly Stik’s GX2 series offers a casting rod at the budget price of $39.95, but it seriously outperforms its price point.
Ugly Stik Gets Serious with GX2 Rods
For every angler who wants to get serious about fishing, filling out a quiver of rods that costs hundreds of dollars apiece is not only daunting but often impractical. The new GX2 generation of rods from Ugly Stik provides an affordable alternative.
Available in both casting and spinning models, Ugly Stik’s GX2 rods are priced to let you buy as many as you need. Swap rods quickly and hookup during a tournament, no matter what type of action you’re looking for.
Key Features of the Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod
- Ugly Tech construction combines lightweight Graphite and fiberglass to create a strong, yet sensitive rod with better balance
- New one-piece Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides eliminate insert pop-outs and can be used with all types of line, including braid
- Ugly Stik Clear Tip design for extra strength and added sensitivity
- Durable and lightweight EVA grips
- Enhanced cosmetics for a more modern look
- 7-year warranty
Testing the GX2 in the Weeds
Jerkbait and spinnerbait require practically zero touch and feel, so I tied a white soft plastic swimbait on a jig head to test the GX2 rod’s sensitivity. It was clear that this rod can handle subtle presentations as I lightly tickled the bait over rocks and through weed beds looking for smallmouth bass. With water temps still at only 50ºF around me, I barely moved that soft plastic and I felt every rock, weed or tap of a fish.
Ugly Stik GX2 rods continue to perform when you do want to let ‘er rip or need that power to shine on a hook set. Learning to get a good hook set from a fishing kayak is a common problem for novice anglers. I replicated this tricky position by intentionally dropping anchor so that I pointed away from where I wanted to fish. Casting directly behind myself, I was able to hook a fish with a barely-there hook set. The power translated really well through the GX2 rod and I was able to sink that hook in deep enough to land the fish.
GX2 Rods Can Take Rough Handling
While the EVA foam grip isn’t the prettiest of handles—I’m a big fan of cork—you have an insane amount of grip, even when the rod is wet. When the weather turns and there’s fish slime all over, this rod will stay in your hands much better than most others. The mix of graphite and fiberglass in the rod blank also makes it feel lighter in your hands, because it’s perfectly balanced for casting all day long.
The shining feature of the Ugly Stik is obviously the durability. I still remember that Ugly Stik commercial with the angler’s wife trying to destroy his rod while he’s sitting at a table eating lunch. When he’s finished he takes his rod out of the trash compactor and goes fishing. Brilliant.
Cast Carefree with Ugly Stik’s GX2 Rod
Not having to worry about breaking the Ugly Stik GX2 means you can fish your heart out worry free. Let the rod roll around your fishing kayak while you land or release fish. The peace of mind will let you focus on the task at hand and forget about everything else in the world. What more can you ask for in a rod?
Video Review of the Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod:
For more information about Ugly Stik or their new GX2 casting rod, check out their website, UglyStik.com.
The Ugly Stik GX2 casting rod will surprise you. | Feature image: Ben Duchesney/YouTube