The Shakespeare Ugly Stik spinning rods come in a variety of models, and reviews say even the $30 Stiks are an excellent value for casual fishing enthusiasts. The graphite core is surrounded by fiberglass, making the Shakespeare Ugly Stik extremely strong but not inflexible. One Field & Stream reviewer set out to break seven fishing rods, and only the Shakespeare Ugly Stik survived until he finally ran out of weights at 55 pounds. The durability, seven-year warranty and low prices have helped make the Shakespeare Ugly Stik popular for more than a quarter century. Users say experienced anglers might want more sensitivity and less weight, however, and reviews recommend the lightweight graphite Okuma Guide Select (*est. $75) as the best bridge between budget and high-end spinning rods.
We found the best review at Field & Stream magazine, where the magazine's fishing editor set out to snap seven fishing rods, all of them more expensive than the Shakespeare Ugly Stik and none as tough. User reviews at the websites of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's give better indications of actual fishing performance, however.
1. Field & Stream
The article's headline is inaccurate because the Shakespeare Ugly Stik did not snap, the only one of the seven rods that didn't. It held up to 55 pounds of stress – the author ran out of weights -- and it was the cheapest of the seven rods.
Review: Give Me A Break! Fishing Editor John Merwin Tortures Seven Rods Until They Snap, John Merwin
About 50 reviewers give the Shakespeare Ugly Stick very high average scores, and even some of the most critical say this is a good choice for beginners who don't require a sensitive product.
Review: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Spinning Rods Reviews, Contributors to BassProShops.com
About 50 users give the Shakespeare Ugly Stik high average scores, most liking the rod's strength and price. Only a few disliked the Shakespeare Ugly Stik, with no common thread on the complaints.
Review: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Spinning Rods Reviews, Contributors to Cabelas.com
This website gives no indication of its testing standards, but calls the Shakespeare Ugly Stik "one of the best." On another part of the website, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik is called "durable and lightweight."
Review: Consider One of These Best Fishing Rods, Editors of MyFishing-Guide.com