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Best Reel for Ugly Stik GX2 - [2022 Review]

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Fishing Reels for GX2 Rod

best reel for ugly stik GX2

The Ugly Stik GX2 fishing rod offers tremendous value for the money. Whether you're a bass angler, fishing for panfish, or targeting inshore saltwater species, the GX2 will hold its own! However, it's important to pair this rod with the right reel to get the best balance and performance.

In this guide, we discuss the best reels for the Ugly Stik GX2 fishing rod. From spinning reels and baitcasters to "push-button" or spincast reels, we've found the best options for anglers of all experience levels.

Fishing Reel Options

Multiple types of reels pair well with this rod. If you don't already own the GX2 rod, you'll get the most value out of premade rod and reel combos. The manufacturer designs these setups, and every component is fine-tuned to give you the best performance.

If you already own this rod, there are multiple reels that you can buy without the rod itself. You should match the spinning GX2 models with spinning reels and casting models with baitcasters. Spincast reels are the easiest to use and are ideal for children and anyone without fishing experience.

Shakespeare Alpha Spinning Reel - Best Value GX2 Reel

4.2 Stars | 160 Angler Reviews

Shakespeare Alpha Spinning Fishing Reel

The Shakespeare Alpha Spinning Reel is one of the two best spinning reels for the Ugly Stik GX2. For the money, this reel offers to most value, and it's made by Shakespeare, which works in tandem with the Ulgy Stik design team.

Our team at Bass Tackle Lures put all of Shakespeare's spinning reels to the test, and this model outperformed the others. The Alpha offers the longest casting distance, most torque, and most importantly, it's the perfect weight for the GX2 rod.

For less than $15, the Alpha Spinning Reel is an exceptional bargain. However, if you're willing to spend more and want the most durability, smoothest reeling, and least amount of line tangles, the Ugly Stik reel we discuss next is the best overall.

Ugly Tuff Spinning Reel - Best Spinning Reel Overall

4.5 Stars | 30 Angler Reviews

Ugly Tuff Spinning Reel for GX2

The best spinning reel overall is the Ugly Tuff Spinning Reel. It offers exceptional performance and smooth reeling, given the low price. Since Ugly Stik makes this reel, it has the ideal components and balanced weight for the GX2 Rod.

We were surprised by how durable the Ugly Tuff is. Usually, when you pay less than $75, you can't expect a whole lot in return. However, the brand lives up to its name, and this reel is tough enough to match the strength of the GX2 fishing rod.

With 5 ball bearings, a graphite air-rotor, and an aluminum body, this reel can fight much larger fish than the Shakespeare Alpha.

When you combine the Ugly Tuff with the GX2, you'll get a setup with the same capabilities as other +$150 combos we've tested.

Shakespeare Synergy TI Spincast Reel - Best Reel for Beginners & Kids

Shakespeare Synergy TI Spincast Fishing Reel

If you're searching for an affordable youth model, the Shakespeare Synergy TI Spincast Reel offers the most compatibility with the GX2 rod.

This is a spincast or "push button" reel operated using a single button in the rear. It's easy to cast and is harder to tangle than other more advanced designs.

We like this spincast reel the most because it's durable yet light enough for kids to cast with it. The button is well lubricated and easy to press, which means you won't get as tired after long days out on the water.

This is an affordable and high-quality spincast reel that boasts the ideal qualities for the Ugly Stik GX2.

Abu Garcia Black Max - Best Baitcaster for Ugly Stik GX2

Abu Garcia Black Max GX2 Baitcaster

Our team put dozens of baitcasters to the test and found the Abu Garcia Black Max Reel to be the best for the Ugly Stik GX2. While it's slightly more expensive than the alternatives on this list, the Black Max is well worth the money.

Not only will you see a reduction in backlashes, but this reel has a much better balance to it than other models from either Shakespeare or Ugly Stik. This is an entry-level reel made by one of the most well-respected fishing reel manufacturers in the world.

With four stainless steel ball bearings, a lightweight one-piece graphite frame, MagTrax brake system, and compact handle make it capable of battling some seriously massive fish.

From casting distance to reduced cranking resistance, the Black Max sailed through our trials with flying colors.


GX2 Rod & Reel Combos

Anglers that don't already own the GX2 rod should strongly consider investing in a complete rod and reel combo from the manufacturer.

These pairings are scrutinized for months and fully optimized to give you the best all-around performance.

Ugly Stick GX2 Spinning Combo - Best Spinning Reel Package

Ugly Stick GX2 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

The best spinning rod and reel package is the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo, the original pairing straight from the manufacturer. This series offers everything from inexpensive beginner setups to top-of-the-line saltwater fishing combos.

Whether you're hoping to catch your PR Largemouth or intend to head out into the ocean, spinning rod and reel setups offer the most versatility.

You'll get the heightened sensitivity these reels are known for combined with the increased strength of the Ugly Stik blank.

Ugly Stick GX2 Baitcasting Combo - Best Casting Package

4.3 Stars | 55 Angler Reviews

Ugly Stick GX2 Baitcasting Combo Rod and Reel Combo

Slightly more advanced anglers may be inclined to upgrade to the Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcasting Combo. This type of setup can be difficult to learn at first, but once you get the hang of it, they offer incredible casting distance and powerful retrieves. Casting rods and reels are ideal for most types of bass fishing lures.

This is the most affordable baitcasting combo on the market that's actually worth your money. Other inexpensive models are cheaply made and feel like they backlash every other cast.

Ugly Stik does an outstanding job keeping their costs low to provide innovative products at a reasonable price.

Ugly Stick GX2 Spincast Combo - Best Beginner Package

4.4 Stars | 15 Angler Reviews

Ugly Stick GX2 Spincast Rod and Reel Combo

Last but not least is the Ugly Stik GX2 Spincast Combo, which we've found is the best rod and reel combo for beginners. This "push-button" style setup is easy to use, lightweight, and far more durable than your typical youth push-button rod and reel from Walmart.

We put this pole to the test to make sure it offered the strength Ugly Stik claims. Not only did it cast well and reel smoothly, but it had no problems fighting a seven-pound catfish into shore.

Whether you're looking for an activity for the kids or simply want a setup with a reduced learning curve, the GX2 Spincast Combo is a fantastic option.


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