I want to get into fishing but don't know the technical side because I just fish with rods pre-setup. So I decided that I wanted to get a spinning reel and am pretty sure I want a Shakespeare ugly stick.

I want a general rod I can use to land anything from bream to a small catfish. What would the best combination of action, test #, reel, weight of end tackle be for a general fishing rod? I will be fishing mainly in bays/rivers/ponds.

1 Answer 1


Your choice of an ugly stick is fantastic. I fish more specialized rods now, but I have owned many ugly sticks over the years, and they are rock solid performers.

For the "small-water" fishing destinations and the species you say you'll be targeting, I would go for something in the 5-7' range - in a light rod power (to use Shakespeare parlance). Moderate to moderate fast action.

As you are a novice, I'd recommend using a heavier line weight than you might use after you have more experience - 10-12 lb test braided line. It has the diameter of something like a 4-6 lb monofilament, but greater strength, sensitivity, and performance overall. Look for a spinning reel that will hold 120 yards or so of 6 lb monofilament and it will hold much more briaded line. I believe Shakespeare offers combos that would probably be perfect. Just make sure that whatever you buy is rated for saltwater

The heavier line will definitely limit how far you can cast very light (<1/4 oz.) lures and rigs, but I think you'll lose fewer fish than if you were using 6lb test line.

With a rig like this you could fish for bluegills or crappie one day, and then fight nice sized stripers the next. And catfish should be no problem.

  • What about this one: amazon.com/gp/product//B00F0KMLCK/… for example. I am thinking about getting the gx2, does that sound good? For line could you suggest a specific company that is trust worthy? Basically, I am shooting for a rod, reel, line and sufficient tackle for under 100 bucks. Does that sound possible? Tackle would just be extra hooks, swivels, floats and sinkers and maybe a couple lures.
    – NULL
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 22:55
  • Wrong link above...won't let me edit!! I meant this one:uglystik.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-PureFishing-Site/default/…
    – NULL
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 23:19
  • 1
    @NULL - Those look like good setups. I like the MODEL # USSP502L/25CBO as it is light action. Heavier than that and it'll feel like you are using a broomstick on small fish. I use PowerPro braided line and have for years, but I have friends who use Spiderwire and other brands. I find that they're all pretty good nowadays. As far as lures go - start with a variety of bucktail jigs in sizes from 1/8 - 1oz. in white or white/chartreuse and you'll be on your way.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 13:06

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