I really was wanting this rod and reel combo, it seemed perfect for the price and a fishing buddy of mine bought one and loved it so why not right? I had to go to a Walmart an hour away because the one a mile away would never have this rod and reel combo in stock so after two weeks of waiting I went to the other Walmart. I went out and had a good time with it, I do not know why the ez-cast system should be named a cast crippler, this thing is great for cast and retrieve fishing. As soon as I have the lure in it is right back in the water. It was so easy to cast with and no time lag at all, I caught numerous 17 inch or bigger large mouth bass to prove so. After coming home from that trip I noticed the reel was a little loose on the rod, so naturally I tightened it. I do not have he-man strength however after tightening down the reel holder I went back to check the wiggle room and the coupler broke. Upon further inspection you can clearly see that it is just plastic whereas other rods have this piece made of metal. Nothing electrical tape and a lighter can't fix and for 30 bucks what do you expect but for a stick to be unbreakable I would think Ugly Stik would invest in just a little aluminum to wrap around the reel couplers to keep them from cracking and breaking. Otherwise a good setup for seasoned fishermen or new comers, just don't try to get rid of the wiggle room and don't give up on the ez-cast system with a little practice it will be hard to go back to an open face without one, however, if it just doesn't work for you just take it off, only one screw holds it on.
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