Shakespeare Fishing Rods – Top Picks & Reviews 2018

Shakespeare! Some know him as the national poet of England. In the realm of fishing, the Shakespeare name brings about a non literary kind of drama. It’s the build up of the presentation, leading to fish exploding on bait or lure, that creates a theatrical display on the water. It takes more than a pen to make this kind of magic happen while fishing. It requires a fine rod. Anglers turn to Shakespeare fishing rods year after year for their magic wand on the water.

What Makes Shakespeare Fishing Rods So Special?

Shakespeare Fishing RodsShakespeare has to be one of the smartest fishing companies on the face of the planet. They make equipment that performs, at the most affordable prices. Shakespeare fishing rods target the family with good cause. They know the financial commitment it takes to raise children. Shakespeare’s goal is to provide an affordable option to both kids and adults so that they may enjoy the activity of fishing.

Questions and skepticism always appear when fishing rods sell for substantially lower prices. How can a company like Shakespeare sell fishing rods for such a bottom rate and turn a profit? They must not be very good. Nothing is further from the truth. Shakespeare constantly refines their rods and they have 120 years of experience under their belt. The proof is in the product and it goes by the name Ugly Stik.

Pros And Cons Of Shakespeare Fishing Rods


As a writer, I normally avoid talking about myself when speaking to you the reader. In this case I have to make an exception. I’ve used a one piece Ugly Stik to land a 50 pound Albacore Tuna. The Shakespeare fishing rod had no business being out on that kind of an ocean trip.

Shakespeare Fishing Rods

That Ugly Stik was put to the test that day. I could feel the strain start at the tip and run all the way down to the handle. There wasn’t any more pressure a 6’3″, 200 pound man could have put on that Ugly Stik, and it didn’t come close to breaking.

Shakespeare may not make the top performing rods on the market. What they provide are incredibly durable fishing rods at prices that no one else can beat. You’ll find cheaper poles for sure, but they will not give you the same level of performance nor the durability that Shakespeare fishing rods provide.


Shakespeare builds quality fishing rods for the entire family. The serious angler or tournament fishermen will want a higher performing fishing rod. If this describes your fishing style, be sure to catch recommendations on the top saltwater or freshwater spinning rods.

Shakespeare Fishing Rod Reviews – Top 3 Picks Of 2018

#1 Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Fishing Rods

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod. Notice The Clear Tip Design.

The Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod series makes a change from the popular GX2 series right out of the gate. It adds 35% more graphite. The result is a rod similar in strength but with a weight reduction that’s noticeable when it comes to sensitivity. Take a look at the defining features of Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik Elite spinning rods:

  • Premium Cork Handles
  • Ugly Tuff Guides That Increase Durability
  • Clear Tip Design 
  • 1 & 2 Piece Models
  • Exposed Blank Reel Seats With Padded Stainless Steel Hoods
  • 7 Year Warranty
Shakespeare Fishing Rods

The Ugly Tuff Guides Are Strong And Durable.

Shakespeare offers the Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod in 17 different models. This includes 1 and 2 piece rods as well as rods of various lengths, power, and action. In total, you have 7 two piece options and 10 1 piece Stiks to choose from.

Ugly Stik Elite spinning rods cover a range of power from utlra light to medium heavy. You’ll find light, medium-light, and medium power rods filling in the middle. When it comes to the bend or action of the rods, you have 3 options. Medium-fast, fast, or extra fast. Line ratings start at 2 pound mono with the heaviest model capable of holding 17 pound monofilament.

Click For All Rod Specs & Prices On Amazon

#2 Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Fishing Rods

Shakespeare’s Ugly Stick GX2 Series Spinning Rod.

Because of thier price value and performance, the GX2 series sells more than any Shakespeare rod. Anglers have 23 models to sort through to fulfill their fishing needs. The series includes 10 one piece rods, 10 two piece rods, 1 three piece option, and 2 four piece models. Rod blanks are a mix of graphite and E-glass material. Check out the features that make up GX2 rods:

  • One Piece Stainless Steel Guides (No Inserts To Pop Out)
  • Mono Or Braid Ready
  • Clear Tip Design
  • Durable EVA Grip Handles
  • Top Handle Screw Down Style Reel Seat

Ugly Stik GX2 models offer a wider range of power options than Elite series rods. They start ultra light and go up to heavy. Shakespeare doesn’t provide action ratings for GX2 rods but users find them more sensitive than older models. The action starts a little further up towards the tip. Rod lengths range from 4’6″ to 6’6″ and line ratings go from 2 to 20 pound mono.

Click To View All Models & Prices On Amazon

#3 Shakespeare Ugly Stik Striper Casting Rods

Shakespeare Fishing Rods

Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik Striper Casting Rod.

For anglers that prefer the baitcasting reel, Ugly Stik Striper casting rods take your game to the next level. Ugly Stik Striper casting rods are perfect for all types of bass fishing. Their specific Striper design makes them capable of handling a lot more fish than your average largemouth bass.

Ugly Stik Striper casting rods use the same mix of graphite and E-glass material as the GX2 series blanks. The Striper casting series contains four 1 piece rods, all longer than GX2 or Elite models. Striper casting rods also come with a rubber gimbal, perfect for locking into rod holders while trolling. Here’s a list of their features:

  • Ugly Tuff 1 Piece Stainless Steel Line Guides
  • Clear Tip Design
  • Durable EVA Grips On Split Handle Rods
  • Finger Rest Reel Seats With Stainless Steel Padded Hoods
  • 7 Year Warranty

Ugly Stik Striper casting rods offer more length than other series with two 7′ and two 7’6″ models. They’re capable of holding mono line from 6 to 25 pounds. Power ratings range from light to medium heavy and they all have moderate-fast action. Whether targeting lunker largemouth or full length striper, Ugly Stik Striper casting rods will beef up your setup.

Click To View Specs & Rod Prices On Amazon

Shakespeare Fishing Rods & Reviews Wrap Up

Ugly Stik fishing rods bring the enjoyment of fishing to the entire family at prices anyone can afford. Shakespeare puts all their years of business experience and rod building expertise into current models. The result? Shakespeare fishing rods provide true value because they perform, they last, and they barely disturb your budget.

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