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Shakespeare Two-Piece Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod Review

Last Updated: 24.04.24

Strong and consistent, the Shakespeare Two-Piece Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod series offers a collection of the best saltwater fishing rod models that have successfully accumulated a huge fan base around the world and in the industry in general. The rods in this series are built to withstand the demands of big water fishing or the ocean. Designed for surf casting, the fishing rods are engineered for use in saltwater angling.



Our Review


Versatility at its best

The amazing rod blank on this fishing pole is constructed using the exclusive Howald Process. This manufacturing technology employs graphite to build a core with exceptional hoop strength, which is overlaid with a layer of fiberglass on the outside to endow the unit with that necessary balance and even distribution of flex. The remarkable combination of materials in the rod makes it extremely versatile. The graphite Fuji reel seat and the stainless steel hood supplement the material mix and also provide corrosion resistance. Built to be strong, the rod can withstand the pressure of heavy loads while being equipped with a tip sensitive enough to help the fisher feel even the small fish bites.

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Hauling your trophy catch with this rod is easy

The strength of the rod assures you of safe reeling in of large fish that can deliver a big fight. The rod is made to withstand the pulls and yanks on the line without danger of breakage. Perfect as a beginner rod, this product deserves high praise.

Haul in your trophy catch with this dependably tough two-piece fishing pole. It has the proprietary Ugly Tuff EVA grip that is made durable. Unlike low-quality cork handles that crack easily, the EVA foam grip has more longevity than cork and is much easier to keep clean. Typically cheaper, EVA foam grips are not prone to chipping and dents under extreme conditions. Foam handles maintain their integrity particularly when the fishing pole is held in a rod spike or holder for extended periods. EVA foam handles are quite easy to keep clean. Simply use detergent to scrub off buildup of slime, protein and fish oil. These handles are bait-friendly and beach-spike friendly.



Outstanding strength and sensitivity

The aluminum oxide inserts are of less weight and greater compression strength compared to other types of inserts. They are built into double-footed stainless steel guides that work impressively well with the blank-thru-handle construction and the exclusive Ugly Stik Clear Tip design for optimal levels of sensitivity and strength.

The 9-foot BWS110090 model accommodates a line weight between 12 to 30 pounds and lure weights from 1 to 4 oz. Equipped with a J-type handle, this model offers medium heavy power for landing muskellunge, striped bass, blue catfish and flathead catfish, or flipping and casting jigs for largemouth bass. The rod has a total of 6 line guides. Use it for surf casting.

The 10-foot BWS1100100 model offers medium heavy power as well and can handle line weights between 12 and 30 pounds. Use this rod for lure weights between 1 and 6 oz. The J-type handle is complemented with a total of 6 guides. This product is perfect for surf casting.

The BWS1100110 model is an 11-foot rod that delivers heavy power. This pole is great for flathead catfish, blue catfish, largemouth bass, striped bass and muskellunge as well, and can handle heavy line weights and lure ratings from 12 to 40 pounds and 2 to 8 oz., respectively. The K-type rod handle is complemented with a total of 7 line guides and is great for surf casting.

The BWS1100120 two-piece 12-foot rod offers heavy power to land really big fish, casting large lures from 2 to 12 oz., and fighting those heavy and powerful specimens such as big muskies. The rod has a line weight rating of 12 to 40 pounds. The 7 line guides are able to work well with the K-type handle. This is a surf casting rod.


Every rod in the Ugly Stik Bigwater series is outfitted with epoxy-coated blanks that deliver protection from the sun’s UV rays, ensuring lasting use. The fishing poles have metallic underwraps for the guides, as well as rubber butt caps and nylon gimbals. They are able to withstand the stress of having to haul in large fighting specimens, giving the angler plenty of pulling power. They are fun to cast. The Shakespeare Two-Piece Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod models will take a lot of pressure and twisting to break, so you can confidently haul in the biggest catch without worrying about losing the fish.


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—> One of the questions that seem to be on the mind of prospective buyers is whether or not this spinning rod can be cumbersome when used for several hours on end. Based on the info that we’ve gathered on the matter, it seems that owners may start feeling some discomfort in their hands and arms once they’ve been fishing for four to six hours. Steady surf casting requires a good deal of commitment so if you’re unsure about your capabilities and the ones of your pole, perhaps you ought to take regular breaks to avoid getting tired.


—> Pairing this rod with several types and models of reels is another dilemma that’s been bothering some potential customers. Most forums and question and answer sections on many online retail websites are rather straightforward about this issue. In fact, a plethora of anglers will go out of their ways to advise you as best as possible. One particular individual was worried as to whether or not this pole would be a good fit for a Penn Battle 8000 or an Okuma 65 BF. The 11-ft rod combined with one of these two reels make an amazing setup, as emphasized by some of the fishermen and women who took the time to reply to this inquiry.


—> It’s common knowledge that due to their physical attributes, some people can’t choose rods that are too long and heavy. That’s what happened with an angler who ordered the 10-ft medium heavy action rod and then ended up asking himself whether it would raise up to par when fishing for sharks in the 3 to 7 foot range. The feedback that he got from other fishermen and women was surprising, in that the rod is durable enough to withstand the abuse of large species that one might be targeting on various fishing expeditions. Nonetheless, it should be pointed out that you have to use a stout reel in order to be sure that it provides the best performance, as in this case it should be packed with 65lb braid or higher.


—> It’s also worth noting that several buyers were curious as to whether or not this pole would be a good option for salmon fishing if they used a fly reel. Although owners don’t recommend this practice as it would lead to a poorer performance than the one offered by a fly rod, it could do the trick if it’s the single thing you have on your hands. However, this pole shouldn’t be bought primarily for fly fishing.



The Shakespeare Brand


You might think that the name of a famous author has nothing to do with fishing, and you’re probably right. That is unless you don’t take into consideration that the actual name of the person who started the Shakespeare Fishing Tackle company was actually named William Shakespeare Jr.

Don’t worry, the creator of this company has probably nothing to do with the famous author. The company was founded in Michigan (Kalamazoo more precisely), and it has been around since 1897. As a result, it has plenty of experience in the fishing industry, especially taking into account that is what it has been doing since its beginnings.

The company is known for some popular products like the Ugly Stik and the Catch More Fish kit, and if these names didn’t tell you that already, it’s a company that likes to keep things simple and efficient. That is why their objective is also simple – to keep fishing easy and enjoyable.

In order to do that, the brand created some unique designs and inventions over the years and in 1937 the Backlash brake and the Wondereel were some of the most sought-after products that hit the market, thanks to their unique designs.

The famous Ugly Stik rod was created in 1976 and it featured a clear tip construction and it was considered indestructible thanks to that. In terms of design, this rod has suffered some changes along the way, but it stayed just as strong. From 1996 the Ugly Stik Lite was the improvement that everyone waited for and it used a Howald Process triple build construction that made it a lighter rod.

Creating the rods using the Howald Process means that the construction process implies a central spine of fibers that are encapsulated in a series of parallel fibers surrounded by polyester resin. This is a patented process and it allows the rods to break double as much without breaking.

Shakespeare Fishing Tackle managed to win the “Best Kids Tackle” award in 2011 when it launched a cute casting game featuring products from famous franchises. However, things weren’t that great in this domain, as in 2005 the company was forced to recall more than 400,000 of their fishing gear for kids as the products were found to contain lead paint, which was toxic.

Nowadays the brand sells all kinds of gear, and each product seems to be made for a specific group of people. It has gear for kids, but they also have fishing tackle and clothing accessories for females, and of course, for males. The company also specializes in selling products made for amateur fishing youth.

Shakespeare is also responsible for creating one popular model of reels today, the level-wind fishing reel. This is a baitcasting reel that comes with a level-wind mechanism used to distribute the line automatically in an even manner on retrieval. The reel does that using two vertical wires that create a line guide moving steadily from one side to another while retrieving.



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