Bought this rod for salmon fishing, I was most impressed with combination of tip sensitivity, overall rod flex, yet solid spine to handle these 20+lb fish.. I also bought a Daiwa DXS 9.6ft salmon rod,, line/load capabilities are similar, that is all. The Daiwa is very stiff,, the Ugly Stik is much more flexible. The Daiwa is on the bench.. The Ugly Stik goes on the field.. Only reason I gave this rod 4 stars is the cork handle was not seated properly during construction, minor cosmetic flaw.. rather than send it back (which I could have done) fixed it myself. I have found dealing with Shakespeare customer service a positive experience.. Any company with any common sense will do what it takes to make the customer happy. Shakespeare does that very well. Based on my experiences, I highly recommend Shakespeare,, also take a look at their 10wt 9 ft flyrods,, those are beautiful!!.. There's nothing Ugly about this Stiks!!