Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod Review: A Powerful Rod

Today, I’m excited to share my review of the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod by Shakespeare. I’ve been using the 5-foot ultra-light version, but it also comes in 6-foot, 6.6-foot, and 7-foot lengths and medium-light,medium-heavy, and heavy options.

This versatile rod is fantastic for catching a variety of fish, such as bass and trout, as long as they’re not over 20 pounds. 

With its six stainless steel guides, premium cork handle, and lightweight graphite construction, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod provides both durability and comfort for long fishing days.

In my personal experience, this rod has held up well over the years and helped me catch numerous fish. Its legendary toughness, precise tip, and lighter-weight design make it a clear winner among fishing rods. 

I highly recommend the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod to anyone looking for a reliable and versatile rod to add to their collection.

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod Review

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 5'6" - Light - 2pc

Key Takeaways

  • The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is versatile, lightweight, and suitable for various fish species.
  • Its graphite construction, stainless steel guides, and premium cork handle ensure durability and comfort.
  • Years of personal use and success make the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod highly recommended.

Technical Specification

SpecificationUgly Stik Elite Spinning Rod Details
MaterialGraphite and Fiberglass
Length Options4.6 – 7.6 ft (available in multiple lengths)
Power VariationsUltra Light, Light, Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy
ActionMedium Fast, Fast
Line Weight Range2-20 lbs (depending on the model)
Lure Weight Range1/32-3/4 oz (depending on the model)
Number of Guides5-9 (depending on the model)
Handle MaterialPremium Cork
Rod PiecesAvailable in one-piece and two-piece
Tip DesignClear Tip
Warranty7 Years
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod Specifications

Length Options

I’ve used the Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod with various lengths to cater to different angling needs. The available options are:

  • 5 foot
  • 6 foot
  • 6.6 foot
  • 7 foot

The right rod length is essential for a great fishing experience, and the Ugly Stik fishing rods cater to that need.

Power Options

This Elite series by Shakespeare is available in different power options like:

  • Ultra-light
  • Medium-light
  • Medium
  • Medium-heavy
  • Heavy

The lighter-weight rod I use is the ultra-light version, which is great when targeting smaller fish. However, if you’re aiming for big fish, you might need a medium, medium-heavy, or heavy-powered rod.

Targeted Fish Species

Ugly Stik Elite spinning rods are versatile and can catch various fish species, such as bass and trout. The rod’s legendary toughness and clear tip design make it suitable for catching fish weighing up to 20 pounds with the heavier powered rod models.

The premium cork handles on these elite rods make them comfortable and ergonomic for long hours of fishing. The stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides can withstand saltwater fishing, ensuring durability and reliability. The reel seat and cork grip design make it easy to handle.

I highly recommend the Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod as an excellent fishing rod, mainly due to its legendary toughness, versatility, and durability. 

This rod caters to all anglers with various lengths, power options, and targeted fish species. I’ve caught a lot of fish on this rod over the years, and it has held up well, proving to be a clear winner in quality and performance.

Rod Materials and Construction


Ugly Stik Elite Guide

The Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod that I use features six guides on the rod, made from stainless steel. These stainless steel guides provide durability and longevity. These rods also come with a micro guide that ensures optimal line performance. 

The number of guides also ensures smooth line movement and helps with casting accuracy.


Ugly Stik Spinning Rod Handle

One of the key features of this spinning rod is its handle, which is made from premium cork. The cork grip is comfortable and lightweight, making it ergonomically great for holding during long fishing sessions. This is an essential attribute of the Elite series rods.

Rod Material

Ugly Stik Elite Rod

The Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod is constructed from graphite, contributing to its lighter weight and legendary toughness. 

This rod’s medium and heavy versions are perfect for handling big fish, large fish, and a variety of species like bass and trout, as long as they aren’t over 20 pounds. The graphite rods also ensure long durability and make it a clear winner compared to other fishing rods on the market.

When you’re out fishing, it’s essential to have a comfortable, durable, and practical rod. The Elite rods, with their premium cork handles, stainless steel guides, and graphite construction, offer the perfect combination of these qualities, making them the ideal choice for your next fishing pole. 

Pros and Cons

As an avid angler, I’ve been using the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod for quite some time now. This rod is part of the elite series, boasting lighter weight and the legendary toughness you expect from Ugly Stik fishing rods. 

Let me tell you about the pros and cons I’ve experienced using this great rod.


One of the main pros of the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is its versatility. There’s a perfect fishing rod for nearly any situation, available in different sizes, ranging from five feet to seven feet, and in various power options such as ultra-light, medium-light, medium, and medium-heavy.

I’ve been using the ultra-light version, which works wonders for catching bass, trout, crappies, and bluegills.

Another noteworthy advantage is the premium cork handles, which offer a comfortable and lightweight grip. The reel seat and cork grip have an ergonomic design, ensuring hours of enjoyable fishing. 

The rod is made of graphite, adding to its lighter weight while maintaining the sturdiness that the Ugly Stik Elite series is renowned for.

As for the guides, the rod comes with stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides, ensuring durability and resisting corrosion, making it suitable for saltwater fishing as well. 

The clear tip design contributes to the rod’s sensitivity, allowing me to feel even the slightest nibbles. The rod’s moderate-fast action and line weight flexibility further cater to various fishing styles and techniques.


On the downside, while the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod fares well with smaller fish, it might face challenges with large fish above 20 pounds. 

Although the number of guides is sufficient, more experienced anglers might prefer a greater number of guides for increased control and a smoother line lay. 

Lastly, while it is a low-priced option compared to premium brands like St. Croix, some might prefer investing in high-end rods for specific purposes.

Considering the lighter weight, legendary toughness, premium cork handles, and the variety of rod lengths and power options in the elite series, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod does a fantastic job fulfilling most anglers’ needs. 

Personal Experience and Recommendation

As an angler, I’ve had the chance to use different rods, and I can confidently say that the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod by Shakespeare is one of the better fishing rods I’ve ever used at this price point. 

One of the most important things I learned when selecting a rod is to focus on the details. With the Ugly Stik fishing rods, the premium cork handles are comfortable and lightweight, while the stainless steel guides and Ugly Tuff guides add to the legendary toughness of the rod. 

The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod’s clear tip and graphite construction provide a lighter-weight rod than the Ugly Stik GX, making it more comfortable for long fishing periods.

Over the years, I’ve caught plenty of fish using this rod, from bass and trout to even some larger ones, without any problem, thanks to the moderate fast line weight and the different sizes available. 

Regarding fishing rod and reel combos, the reel seat and cork grip on the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is perfect for accommodating different types of reels, making it an excellent choice for various fishing styles. 

Fishing Guide: 7 Best Tarpon Fly Rods

Conclusion – Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod Review

With all these features and my personal experience in mind, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod to all anglers who want a top-quality rod that can withstand even some big fish encounters while providing unparalleled functionality in various fishing scenarios. 

So if you’re looking for a durable, versatile, and efficient rod, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is the way to go.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is an Ugly Stik Spinning Rod?

The Ugly Stik Spinning Rod is a popular series of fishing rods designed and manufactured by Ugly Stik, a renowned brand in the fishing industry. They are recognized for their strength, durability, and affordability.

What materials are Ugly Stik Spinning Rods made from?

Ugly Stik Spinning Rods are made from a composite of graphite and fiberglass, providing an optimal balance of strength, sensitivity, and durability.

What type of fishing is the Ugly Stik Spinning Rod best suited for?

Ugly Stik Spinning Rods are versatile and can be used in various fishing environments, including freshwater and saltwater, and they are suitable for catching a wide range of fish species. They are typically popular among bass, trout, and inshore anglers.

What are some of the unique features of the Ugly Stik Spinning Rods?

Ugly Stik Spinning Rods often feature “Ugly Tech” construction with a combination of graphite and fiberglass to create a strong, yet sensitive rod, “Ugly Tuff” one-piece stainless steel guides, and “Ugly Stik Clear Tip” design for extra sensitivity and strength.

Are Ugly Stik Spinning Rods suitable for beginners?

Yes, Ugly Stik Spinning Rods are considered beginner-friendly due to their durability and ease of use. Still, they are also popular with seasoned anglers due to their reliability and performance.

How should I maintain my Ugly Stik Spinning Rod?

After every use, especially in saltwater, it’s recommended to rinse the rod with fresh water. Avoid using soap or detergents. Always allow your rod to air dry before storing it to avoid any damage or mold growth.

What size of Ugly Stik Spinning Rod should I purchase?

The size of the rod you should purchase depends on your specific fishing needs, such as the type of fish you’re targeting and the conditions in which you’ll be fishing. Ugly Stik offers a variety of rod lengths and power ratings to cater to a wide range of fishing scenarios.

Can I purchase replacement parts for my Ugly Stik Spinning Rod?

Yes, Ugly Stik offers replacement parts for their rods. If a component of your rod becomes damaged, you can contact Ugly Stik customer service or visit their website to inquire about replacements.

What type of warranty does Ugly Stik offer on their Spinning Rods?

Ugly Stik offers a limited warranty on their spinning rods, which covers defects in materials and workmanship for a certain period from the date of purchase. For the exact terms and conditions, it’s best to refer to the warranty information included with your rod or visit the Ugly Stik website.

Where can I buy an Ugly Stik Spinning Rod?

Ugly Stik Spinning Rods can be purchased from various retailers, including sporting goods stores, general merchandise stores, and online marketplaces such as Amazon and Ugly Stik’s official website.

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

See Price on Amazon


  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Sensitive

Cory is a content writer-editor and founder of Tackle Box Talk. Favorite Quote: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

Leave a Comment