I bought this particular rod for my son-in-law as a Christmas gift. I did so remembering him coveting my Ugly Stik, a twin brother to the one I got him, when we were up at the lake last summer.
We pack several Ugly Stiks on our boat. Their light action makes it easy to detect bites and the actual landing a ton of fun. A couple of years ago, my wife lost the tip of hers due to carelessness, and some friends who were with us suggested that we take it to a rod repair shop. Well, our area is not teaming with repair shops, and the fact is, due to the reasonableness of the price, it was cheaper to replace the rod.
If you want a staus synbol, go to the high-end brands. But if you want a fun, well-balanced rod, stick with the Ugly Stik.
ps. Being an "old-school" guy, I really like the cork grips.