Ugly Stik Elite Fishing Rod Review

The Ugly Stik Elite is one of the most popular freshwater spinner rods. But is it worth the hype?

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The Ugly Stik Elite is one of the most popular freshwater spinner rods. But is it worth the hype?

The Ugly Stik Elite fishing rod is an exceptional freshwater fishing rod. It utilizes high-quality graphite and fiberglass construction and a comfortable and durable cork grip. Overall, the Ugly Stik Elite is an ideal freshwater rod for all experience levels.

In this article, we’ll cover the best features of the Ugly Stik Elite and show how they stack up to other rods in this price range. Additionally, we’ll go over some of the downsides of the Elite and cover some of the fish it’s best suited for.

We sourced this Ugly Stik fishing rod’s specifications directly from the distributor to ensure accuracy.

Table of Contents

What Is The Ugly Stik Elite?

The Ugly Stik Elite is a popular spinning rod with a long-standing reputation. It’s simple, comfortable to use, and affordable. There are multiple variations of the Ugly Stik Elite available from 6 feet to 7 feet and for multiple kinds of game fishing. These rods are popular for everything from river trout and redfish to speckled trout and bass.

You can buy an Ugly Stik Elite in all sizes from Amazon starting at just shy of $50.

What Is The Ugly Stik Elite For?

Ugly Stik Elite fishing rods are primarily designed for freshwater fishing. This is due to their strength, size, and line weight ratings. The most popular type of fish they’re used for is freshwater trout. Varieties include river trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout.

Some fishermen use this rod for larger saltwater fish, such as small sharks and snappers. It all depends on the rod strength you choose and the line weight, and there are many options available.

Ugly Stik Elite Variations

Ugly Stik Elite spinning fishing rods are available in medium to medium-heavy variations in one-piece and two-piece models. These are ideal for freshwater fishing, and many people use the heavier varieties for shallow saltwater fishing. Here are the most popular Ugly Stik Elite variations, along with their average pricing.

  • 6’ Medium 2-Piece: $92.51
  • 6’ 6” Medium 2-Piece: $49.95
  • 6’ 6” Medium-Heavy 1-Piece: $49.95
  • 7’ Medium 1-Piece: $119.57
  • 7’ Medium 2-Piece: $49.95
  • 7’ Medium-Heavy 1-Piece: $120.99

As you can see, prices vary widely between sizes and configurations. This is mostly due to demand and availability, as pricing changes based on both types and between distributors.

Ugly Stik Elite Characteristics

The Ugly Stik Elite is a fundamentally simple rod, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. It retains many classic characteristics that fishermen prefer, including a basic black rod and cork grips.

Cork is an excellent material for fishing rod grips. It feels good in the hand, it’s lightweight, and it doesn’t degrade and become sticky like synthetic materials. Many high-end rods feature cork grips for this reason, and Ugly Stik costs significantly less than most of these.

Additionally, the black-coated non-reflective rod material prevents fish from being scared by sun reflections. Black is an effective color for this, and it’s also very easy to clean.

Ugly Stik uses graphite to increase strength and add a premium feel to the rod. The Elite uses 36% more graphite than previous models, along with high-strength fiberglass for flexibility to extreme angles. It’s virtually impossible to break an Ugly Stik Elite, even under the most extreme conditions.

Best Features Of The Ugly Stik Elite

The cork grip is one of the best features of this fishing rod. It gives it a high-quality feel, simplifies cleaning, and lasts for the life of the rod. Additionally, the Ugly Stik Elite is a lightweight rod that’s easy to transport.

Unlike many other smaller fishing rods, which are designed primarily for freshwater fishing, the Ugly Stik Elite is available in both takedown two-piece and solid one-piece configurations. This gives you a choice between convenience and strength.

The Ugly Stik Elite uses stainless steel line guides on all models. Unlike cheaper rods, which use regular steel, Ugly Stik Elite guides can’t rust. They’re remarkably resistant to bending, and their high strength reduces the odds of damage if your rod is dropped or stored improperly.

The Ugly Stik Elite comes without a reel, and you can use virtually any standard spinning reel on it. This gives the user a wide selection of reels and lines to choose from, and it’s rated from 8 pounds to 17 pounds. It also features Ugly Stik’s Xposed blank reel seats and cushioned stainless steel hoods for strength and corrosion resistance.

The Ugly Stik Elite is also highly affordable compared to other graphite fiberglass spinning rods. If you’re looking for a great spec sheet on a multi-purpose freshwater rod, the Ugly Stik Elite is likely the best value on the market right now.

The Ugly Stik Elite is a very sensitive rod due to the quality of materials used in its construction. This makes it ideal for fishing with lures, especially in deeper freshwater. The flexibility seems to hit the sweet spot, and it’s a remarkably easy rod to cast with.

One of the most common compliments received is about the remarkable strength of this rod. Users report catching remarkably heavy fish with them and use terms such as “indestructible” to describe it.

Downsides Of The Ugly Stik Elite

No fishing rod is perfect, and the Ugly Stik Elite is no exception. For the price, this spinning rod is an excellent value—but for occasional freshwater fishing, you can find a much cheaper rod that will do the job (and come with a reel). You’ll have to purchase a reel separately for this rod, along with tackle, so entry-level fishermen might want to consider a starter kit instead.

Also, none of the Ugly Stik Elite rods available in this category are sufficient for true deep sea saltwater fishing. You’ll need a much stronger rod to go after sharks, rays, and larger saltwater fish. But other than that, the Ugly Stik Elite is a serviceable dock or beach fishing option if you’re looking for smaller fish.


Scott Kimball

Scott Kimball

From a young age I was introduced to fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding and more through family, friends, and scouting. After 20 years of learning and participating in these outdoor activities, I share what i've learned (and continue learning) with you.

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