Ugly Stik GX2-first impressions
I first heard about a newer version of the famous Ugly Stik just recently when looking at a fishing website.
My interest was aroused when I read the details.... a lighter rod with the same legendary toughness together with new guides that would not get easily damaged by rough handling.
Although a full range of the rods is now being made in the GX-2 version,I ordered the 6 ft. (one piece) model USSP601H rated for
8-20 line (4-10 kilos) from the US.
The price is an unbelievable US$40 for the rods....which staggered me as this was the price I paid for my first Ugly Stik way back in
1979 in a small tackle shop in Montreal,Canada.
That rod caught me countless fish of all freshwater species and never let me down and in fact still rests on my rod rack in Sydney!It is the reason why I still like these rods and have several in my collection.
I chose the one piece 6ft.version as I am looking for a relatively easy rod to travel with in the confines of an SUV and later perhaps in a helicopter, fishing for barramundi.
The usual 3-4piece travel rods are too cumbersome to dismantle every time one has to enter and dismount from the above modes of transport.
The new rod weighs only 225 gms.on the scale ,and is a joy to use mated to a Stradic 4000FJ .... at a later stage of life the necessity of light equipment cannot be overrated as it enables one to cast for long periods without getting fatigued.
The rod looks good with the usual dark colour scheme and the standard EVA grips,with silver and red bindings and a hook retainer above the fore grip.I find this feature, which seems to be lacking on many rods,to be very useful in keeping the lure hooked onto the rod and out of harms way when not in use.
The rod is made of graphite and fiberglass with the famous "Clear Tip" still retained for it's legendary extra strength and sensitivity.
The guides are one piece stainless steel and are able to handle braided line.There are no inserts that can pop out.The guides seem to be tough as I have seen a video of a person hammering on them without ill effect!
The rod butt is nicely finished off with a hard cap incorporating the Ugly Stik logo in red.
Would I change anything?Yes.
I hate the stamped logo on the EVA grip, there is no need for it when it is already incorporated in the mentioned butt cap.
The reel seat does not seem to be made by Fuji anymore and to me that is a disappointment.
If this rod could be made with a cork grip, it would look stunning and could give some of the established top end rod makers a run for their money!
At the price ,I think Ugly Stik are on to a winner and this would be a good rod for any angler,whether a novice or an experienced hand.
If it is mated with one of the new Penn Spinfisher V reels, which retail for around $140 or so, you have a reasonably priced outfit that will last you a lifetime and be able to take punishment without letting you down!