Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod Review: 40 Years and Still Going Strong

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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Getting the right fishing rod is very important for any angler, and there is no more durable rod than the Ugly Stik Elite.

This is the piece of equipment that’s going to give the most output, while a fishing reel of high quality is attached to it. However, the quality of the fishing rod is also important, as it provides support and balance in both casting and retrieving your lure. A good rod can bring out the best from your fishing reel.

Ugly Stik is a brand that is dedicated to crafting different fishing aids for years. Since 1975, this brand is one of the most awarded companies to satisfy professional anglers. This Ugly Stik elite spinning rod is a brilliant product that is going to satisfy you will all of its features. With the use of stainless steel material and graphite body parts – this fishing rod is going to help you get the ultimate result while fishing in saltwater.

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
  • Comfortable Cork Grip
  • Graphite/Fiberglass Composite
  • Virtually Indestructible
  • Ugly Tuff Guides

Ugly Stik Elite Features

  • Line Rating – 8-17 pounds
  • Ugly Tech Construction with added graphite for lighter weight and increased sensitivity
  • Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides provide maximum durability

Dragging Support

The stiffness of the fishing rod creates balance and the better it is balanced, the easier you can both cast and retrieve. This is the case with the superior-quality Ugly Stik elite fishing rod. This rod will allow you to remain firm even in deep conditions.

The material used in the rod from Ugly Stik creates the foundation of the fishing rod and that ultimately creates the difference while reeling in large fish.

Casting Ease and Perfection

Beginners feel that the casting ability in fishing relies on the spinning reel alone but the professional anglers know the importance that the rod plays. The combination of the rod and reel, and any imitation in each, allow for long-distance casting and fast cranking line retrieval. 

This Ugly Stik elite graphite spinning rod has an aluminum rear and front edge that is going to aid your casting superbly.

Gripping Ease

Gripping your fishing rod is another aspect that must be dealt with sincerely. It is the grip that prevents slippage and makes casting easier for beginners.

If the grip of the device is slippery, then dragging with force will eventually result in slippage that will break down the retrieval of the line.

Hence, it is always nice to have a well made grip on your fishing rod for any angler, and especially the beginners, who are still learning. This Ugly Stik elite graphite fishing rod has a solid grip made of rubber and induced with synthetic materials.

The cork grip allows a smooth effect and provides better hold on the spinning rod. At the same time, the grip of this fishing rod has a synthetic material applied on it which makes it last longer.

Material of Construction

It is the body of the fishing rod that signifies its durability. In the case of a fishing reel, the gears, rotors, or blades add to the body to signify longevity, but that is not the case in a rod.

Speaking clearly, this rod from Ugly Stik has been made from the best, most durable material to ensure it is long-lasting. While the main stick’s body is made of graphite, the guides and hoods are made of stainless steel, so that it can fit well the reel and can serve better during dragging or retrieving.

The Ugly Stik high caliber spinning rod is thus a perfect one that fits the purpose of angling in both offshore and inshore circumstances.

Ugly Stik Elite Rod

Durability Expert

All the things that you look for in a fishing rod are meant for two major lookout points. While the first one is related to the performance of the rod in different conditions, the second one is all about being lightweight and durable.

The rod’s body is made of graphite and has a cork grip, giving the best outlook and the perfect performance in all conditions. Graphite that has been used in the case of the body gives it lightness in terms of weight and for this lightness; professionals prefer Ugly Stik products, as it supports offshore fishing.

Due to the use of graphite the durability of the spinning rod increases by a lot. It is the durability that makes this product a preferred item for professionals and for beginners too.

Single Stick Preference

Some of the products available in the online store are made in two parts. In those cases, the rear part can be adjusted in height and that marks the difference in the length for the different users. This is one of the features that professionals do need at times.

However, the grip of the rod decreases in this case and the dragging force is also affected. Hence, the best fishing rods are those which have only a single stick in them. This very thing reduces the chances of bending during a deep drag and thus the efficiency of the stick is also increased by a lot.

The Ugly Stik high caliber fishing rod has been engineered in a similar fashion and that makes it one of the most looked at items in the market.

Hooks and Reel Seats

The hood of the fishing stick, reel placing area and hooks attached at the rear portion are the three things that are the most sensitive areas in a fishing rod. These are the things that you may have to replace from time to time, as they are usually made weaker. In the case of Ugly Stik steel hooked rod, this is not the case at all.

All three components are made of stainless steel and hence can be perfectly used in the offshore and onshore areas, without any damage. More than that, the stainless steel reel placing area is going to add comfort to the reel, without leaving any space in between.

In the case of the hooks and the hood, stainless steel serves as to balance and also improves durability, which will actually guide you with the stick for a longer duration. 


  • The Ugly Stik spinning rod is a high-class fishing rod. It is made from materials that will increase the performance, the durability, and the rigidity
  • The best part of the entire rod stands at the two ends – the rod itself, which is made of graphite to decrease the weight and increase the balance in the system; and the second one is in the grip of the rod – made of cork, it is going to give you the best comfort
  • At the same time, as it is blended with synthetic, you are going to get perfect durability too. The synthetic is meant to reduce the corrosion that the rubber usually faces due to friction
  • The lightweight nature of the rod and its excellent balance will allow you to exert the right kind of pressure during your casting and retrieval, providing you a better edge every time
  • In terms of durability, the Ugly Stik extra strong rod is excellent 
  • All of the components made out of stainless steel makes the rod wonderfully long-lasting.


  • The fishing rod does not having any parts in it. This increases the performance, balances and can withstand dragging force, but eventually can corrodes out for handing the excess pressure
  • Steel made hooks, hoods, and reel seat area get corroded due to friction between metals. This is mostly seen in the case of the reel seat area. This is where it gets damaged at times.
Ugly Stik Elite in Field Test
Ugly Stik Elite in Field Test

Alternative Option Comparison

Let’s have a look at some of the other Ugly Stik fishing rods available so that you can make in informed decision. These are all solid options but are just better suited for different situations and fishing environments.

FeaturesUgly Stik TigerUgly Stik EliteUgly Stik GX2
Shaft MaterialGraphiteGraphiteGraphite and Fiberglass
GuidesUgly ToughStainless SteelStainless Steel
ActionFastMedium Fast to Extra FastFast
PowerMedium Light to MediumUltra Light to Medium HeavyUltra Light to Heavy
Length Options7′5′ to 7’6″4’6″ to 9′

Ugly Stik Elite Video Review

To see this rod in action have a look at this video by Jared Tuck:


Among the different fishing rods that are available in the market, the Ugly Stik extra-strong spinning rod is one of the top-rated due to its extraordinary features. Built in a style that naturally makes it durable, this is one of the most sensitive rods that you will ever find. Parts of the rod are also made in such a way that they will last for a long time and serve you throughout your fishing adventures.

This rod is very balanced as well as superbly strong. Not only during the time of dragging but also during casting you will feel the actual strength of the rod. The Ugly Stik extra-strong fishing rod is effective to help you cast long distances and catch hold of a salmon, carp, or catfish, standing at the shore.

Finally, this is one of the best available rods that you can find in the market that will provide you a perfect edge, regardless of whether you are an experienced angler or a novice. It can be used by anyone and anywhere, and is one of the preferred spinning rods for bass.

Let me know in the comments below whether you have anything to say about Ugly Stik Elite Rods.

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