Home Fishing Review: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Spinning Rod

Review: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Spinning Rod


Outdoor Empire top pick for spinning rod.

Durability is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing any fishing gear, especially with rods. Your rod is probably the most significant piece of equipment that may break on any given outing. But anglers seldom give much thought to this consideration.

Many anglers simply decide they’ll be careful with their new gear and protect it from any possible harm. But this never lasts.

Six weeks later, they are chucking their favorite new rod onto the bottom of the boat as they try to switch fishing poles quickly enough to cast out to that school of feeding strippers.

Like it or not, you are going to abuse your new rod so you need one that can take this kind of wear and tear, and still be ready to get the job done now and for years to come. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Spinning Rod series offers exactly this.



Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik Tiger Spinning Rod series makes most comparable fishing poles look like flimsy garbage. They are built to take a beating and user after user raves about their durability.

Built from a combination of E-glass and graphite, they are designed to have a fast action which is the most popular choice among anglers of all types. This gives you enough tip to cast small lures a mile, yet enough backbone to turn a fish headed for heavy cover.

Users report that properly selected Ugly Stiks excel in almost every fishing application – you just need to select the best length and power combination for your needs.

This is true for fishers seeking tiny native trout in secluded streams and off-shore anglers trying to drag in 50-pound cobia.



The Shakespeare Ugly Stick Tiger series includes rods of two different lengths with several power ratings.

  • Length: Most models are 7-feet-long, but they also offer an 8-foot-long model
  • Power: Medium-light to medium-heavy
  • Action: Fast
  • Material: E-glass outer construction with a graphite core
  • One-Piece or Two-Piece: Both options available
  • Number of Guides: 6 to 8
  • Handle: Trigger-grip casting or spinning



Comparison to Similar Products

ModelShakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger

Bass Pro XPS Bionic Blade
Bass Pro XPS Bionic Blade

Browning Fishing Medallion GT
Browning Fishing Medallion GT

Length7' to 8'5’6” to 7’5’6” to 7’
PowerMedium-Light to Medium-HeavyUltra-Light to HeavyUltra-Light to Medium-Heavy
MaterialE-glass, GraphiteGraphiteHigh-Tensile Carbon
CostCheck PriceCheck Price$$


Rating the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Spinning Rod

This is based on a 1 to 5 stars rating.


three star rating

Most users find it adequately sensitive, but they are not the most sensitive rod in the class. In part, this is a result of the effort that Shakespeare has put into making the rods durable, which many anglers find to be a more important criterion.

Nevertheless, you may miss a few light strikes from crappie or bluegill, but you’ll still feel it when a big bass slams your jerk bait or sucks up a Texas-rigged worm. 3 stars are given for its sensitivity.



five star rating

Although there are a few scattered reports of anglers breaking their poles, the vast majority of users found it to be nearly indestructible. This allows anglers an important flexibility.

You can opt for a slightly lighter-powered rod than you will normally use for a given application which will improve your lure presentation and help you detect lighter strikes. 5 stars are given for its durability.



three and half star rating

These spinning rods by Shakespeare aren’t any more flexible than similarly priced models, except that their durability makes them slightly more flexible when testing the limits of power.

In other words, you could probably get away with using a slightly underpowered rod without risking a rod-snapping malfunction which provides a little more flexibility than average. 3.5 stars are given for its flexibility.



three and half star rating

Ugly Stik rods aren’t terribly expensive and they are much more durable than their similarly priced competitors.

However, as noted earlier, they are not very sensitive rods. This is an important factor to consider when making value judgments, as most of the difference in price between entry-level and intermediate rods relates to its sensitivity.

This means that you will miss more fish on a given outing but you will catch more fish over time than you would with a less durable rod. This makes the Ugly Stik a better value pick, if only moderately so. 3.5 stars are given for its value.



four star rating

This series includes rods ranging from 7 to 8 feet in length which allows you to tailor your pole to your fishing style.

If you fish in cramped conditions – such as the banks of tree-lined creeks – you’ll be better served by the shorter models. But if you place a premium on casting distance, some of the longer models will better suit your needs.

Although some users may miss the lack of parabolic- or extra-fast-action models, most users find that the fast action rods work well for most purposes. 4 stars are given for its options.



The Ugly Stik Tiger Spinning Rod Series got an overall rating of 3.8 stars. They are high-quality rods in the below-$100-price-range and most users felt good about making the purchase.




Final Impression

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Spinning Rod Series is well-designed for its intended purpose and market. You won’t grab a half-dozen of these and hit the pro bass tour; but if you are looking for a first rod or one to suit a specific purpose, Ugly Stiks will serve you well.

Bass anglers looking for a dedicated drop-shot rod, crappie anglers needing a light-weight but long poles for casting tiny jigs, and catfish anglers who never quite seem to have enough rods will all enjoy the quality for the dollar value that Ugly Stiks provide.


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