Review: Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Published on May 18, 2023, 11:41 a.m.

The Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is an excellent starter kit for young anglers looking to catch their first fish. Ugly Stik has long been known for making durable and dependable fishing rods, and this youth combo continues that tradition. With the right balance of quality and affordability, this rod and reel set is a great value for budding fishermen and women.
 Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Fishing Rod and Reel Combo


  • Brand: Ugly Stik
  • Rod Length: 5‘6”
  • Rod Construction: 2-piece Ugly Tech graphite and fiberglass blend
  • Rod Power: Medium
  • Reel: Size 30 spincast reel
  • Reel Features: Twist-lock design, right/left hand retrieve, 5.2:1 gear ratio
  • Line Rating: 6-12 lb test
  • Warranty: 7 years on rod, 2 years on reel


  • Lightweight graphite and fiberglass rod construction
  • Eva split grips provide comfort for small hands
  • Twist-lock spincast reel is easy to use
  • Durable enough for rough handling by kids
  • Available in multiple color patterns
     Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Features and Benefits

The GX2 rod utilizes Ugly Tech construction that blends graphite and fiberglass to provide a sensitive yet strong rod that can handle the occasional rough treatment that comes with youth fishing. The split EVA grips and rubber buttcap offer a comfortable and secure grip for small hands. The Size 30 spincast reel features a simple twist-lock design and smooth 5.2:1 gear ratio that make casting and retrieving easy for beginners. Its durability and ease of use make it a perfect starter reel.

Performance and Quality

In testing, the GX2 combo performs very well for its price point. The rod offers good backbone to fight feisty fish while still being sensitive enough to detect light bites. The reel’s smooth drag allows fish to be fought efficiently. While not as refined as more expensive setups, the GX2 combo delivers reliable performance for casual freshwater fishing.


The GX2 combo is perfectly sized for young anglers, with the 5‘6” rod being easy to handle and cast while still offering good fishing versatility. The rod telescopes down into two pieces for easy transport and storage. The reel can be configured for right or left handed retrieval with a simple switch. Everything about this setup is designed for usability by youth and novice anglers.

 Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Ideal Use Cases

The GX2 Spincast Combo works great for:
- Introducing kids to fishing
- Casual freshwater fishing like ponds, lakes, rivers
- Catching common species like bass, catfish, panfish

User Feedback Analysis

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spincast Combo has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers. With over 800 ratings on Amazon, it has earned a 4.5 out of 5 star average rating.

The vast majority of buyers mention the high quality and durability of the rod itself. They are impressed by how the graphite and fiberglass blend can withstand the rough handling that often comes with young anglers, from accidental drops to knots and tangles. Many reviewers say the rod feels very sturdy yet still sensitive enough for detecting bites.

The smoothness of the reel’s drag mechanism earns consistent praise in reviews. Customers mention how helpful the smooth drag is for teaching kids how to play and reel in fish, allowing them to practice fighting against the pull without break-offs. A number of reviews point out that the reel itself does feel a bit cheaply made, but it functions well for the price.

Some experienced anglers recommend replacing the monofilament line the combo is spooled with to improve casting performance and reduce twisting. Others suggest cleaning and lubricating the reel periodically for optimal longevity. However, most agree that light preventative maintenance is expected for a reel at this low price point.

In summary, the consensus among customers is that the Ugly Stik GX2 combo provides a high-quality fishing rod paired with a reasonably decent reel at a very affordable price. For casually introducing kids to the sport of fishing, most find it to be a perfect starter setup.


  • Durable Ugly Stik rod
  • Lightweight and well balanced
  • Smooth drag for fighting fish
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Great value for the price


  • Reel is lower quality
  • May need to replace line
  • Not ideal for big fish


Considering its quality and capabilities, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spincast Youth Combo provides exceptional value for the price. The rod alone could easily cost this much for a premium Ugly Stik model designed specifically for young anglers. Yet this combo also includes a fully functional, beginner-friendly spincast reel and line for under $50.

For parents looking to buy their child a first fishing rod and reel, it’s hard to find a better value option. The GX2 combo fits nicely within a $50 budget, yet doesn’t compromise on providing a genuine Ugly Stik experience. While the reel may eventually need to be upgraded, the durable rod will continue serving young anglers for many fishing seasons to come. This makes the Ugly Stik GX2 an investment that pays dividends in both memories and longevity.
 Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Fishing Rod and Reel Combo


With its durable rod, smooth-functioning reel, and beginner-friendly design, the Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Combo is an excellent choice as a first fishing rod and reel. It provides young anglers with quality tackle that will help them gain skills and confidence on the water. For parents looking to get their kids hooked on fishing, this Ugly Stik set up is both an affordable and valuable investment.


  • Rod Length: 5‘6”
  • Rod Power: Medium
  • Rod Pieces: 2
  • Reel Size: 30
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Line Capacity: 4-8lb test
  • Rod Warranty: 7 years
  • Reel Warranty: 1 year

What’s Included

The GX2 Spincast Combo comes with:
- 5‘6” 2-piece Ugly Stik rod
- Size 30 spincast reel
- 6lb monofilament line

How to Use

The combo is easy to setup and use:
1. Insert rod through reel hole and tighten screw to secure reel
2. Thread line through guides and attach lure/hook
3. Set drag by turning reel spool tension knob
4. Press button to release line and cast lure
5. Turn reel handle to retrieve line and lure
6. Keep rod tip up and reel at an angle to fight fish

Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Fishing Rod and Reel Combo