BWCA Do I need a new rod? Boundary Waters Fishing Forum
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Fearlessleader
distinguished member (177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/05/2023 09:48PM  
Sadly, almost all of my fishing is done when on our annual trip to the BWCA/Quetico. The lack of pristine natural lakes where I live here in Ohio makes it unappealing to me. But I’ve had wonderful success up there. Thus, I don’t upgrade my equipment like more serious fishermen.

We’re using Ugly Sticks which are several years old. I don’t carry extras on our trips. Am I risking equipment failure or are they as durable as some people say?
 
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12/05/2023 11:49PM  
Ugly sticks are an excellent and durable rod and very underrated for the price. The key is to have rods that match the weight of the lures you plan to cast. For lures in that 1/2 to 1 oz size, a medium heavy is a good choice.

Most rods have the recommended line and lure weight written right on the rods. Being that you're from Ohio, you might want to strike up a conversation with Quetico Mike. He fishes the Great Miami river system often and does very well.
 
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5279)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
12/06/2023 06:20AM  
There are a ton of great options for fishing in Ohio. No, they aren’t pristine wilderness lakes, but there are some beautiful places to fish. Check out my Instagram page at - Queticomike.

As far as the rod goes, if you only fish once a year, then you should be ok using Ugly Stiks. Personally, I would bring a second rod just in case, plus it’s nice to have two rods rigged up so you don’t have to change lures all the time.
 
OMGitsKa
distinguished member (368)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/06/2023 11:38AM  
I bought a new rod last season that was a little "fancier" it broke the first trip to the BWCA..... I am sticking with Ugly Stiks from here on out for canoe camping. Even Jim Baird (Winner of Alone / Canadian canoe tripper on YouTube) recommends them since they are as tough as nails!
 
12/06/2023 03:11PM  
QueticoMike: "... I would bring a second rod just in case, plus it’s nice to have two rods rigged up so you don’t have to change lures all the time. "


That says it all.
 
AdamXChicago
distinguished member(1169)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/06/2023 04:15PM  
I’ve been using an Ugly Stick as my primary rod for 30 years. I’ve got pricier rods, but the UG is a tank and rugged enough for up there IMHO.
AdamX
 
lundojam
distinguished member(2720)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/07/2023 06:59AM  
You don't NEED a new rod, no. You might like one though. If you do any jig fishing--like vertical jigging for walleyes or casting real small jigs and live bait --you'll be amazed at how many more bites you get with a rod with more "feel." If you primarily troll and bobber fish, it doesn't matter much.
 
Chuckles
distinguished member (253)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/07/2023 08:00AM  
lundojam: "You don't NEED a new rod, no. You might like one though. If you do any jig fishing--like vertical jigging for walleyes or casting real small jigs and live bait --you'll be amazed at how many more bites you get with a rod with more "feel." If you primarily troll and bobber fish, it doesn't matter much."


Agreed. Never thought it made any difference until one time fishing for bass using QueticoMike's Zman setup and was out catching my canoe partner 5 to 1. He switched from his heavy rod to a stupid little extending one that was really flimsy and started catching 'em. He couldn't feel the subtle bites on the big rod. I became a believer that day.
 
12/07/2023 12:17PM  
I always carry an extra rod just in case I break one (which has happened). You can never have too many rods.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14409)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
  
12/07/2023 09:32PM  
I would say every person that is fishing needs 2 rods minimum on a fishing trip to the BWCA. Two rods gives you peace of mind, in case you break one, and less time rigging up another presentation. Maybe another rod for Pike too.
 
papalambeau
distinguished member (292)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/08/2023 11:19AM  
AdamXChicago: "I’ve been using an Ugly Stick as my primary rod for 30 years. I’ve got pricier rods, but the UG is a tank and rugged enough for up there IMHO.
AdamX "


Same for our crew - Ugly Stick for over 30 years of BW trips. For our group of 8 we bring along a dozen rods with 6 of them being Ugly Sticks. I have added a few rods that are more sensitive for jigging but the grandkids use the Ugly Sticks and haven't broke one yet. Stick with the Uglys.
 
12/08/2023 12:19PM  
egknuti: "I always carry an extra rod just in case I break one (which has happened). You can never have too many rods. "


Sometimes (2x) they fall out of the boat...
 
IAWoodsman117
member (6)member
  
12/11/2023 03:31PM  
It’s never a bad idea to have a couple of different options. UglySticks are incredible, a medium power Uglystik with a 2000 size Pfleuger President or Daiwa Regal would be a perfect option to have a spare.

But there are other options, 13 fishing makes quality stuff for not much money and their combos have done really well at the hunting and fishing shop I work at in Iowa.

Another option would be the Shimano Nexave combo, which is a fine rod, but the money your paying is getting you a good quality reel. Brands like Shimano, Daiwa, Pfleuger or Lews all make good quality reels.

And if you wanted to get real crazy, you could always pick up a fly rod and fish for bass on the fly, which in this humble anglers opinion, is the most fun way to do it! :)

I don’t think you need a new rod if your old rod is working, but don’t be afraid to head to your local tackle shop and ask the folks at the store what they think! There’s not a right answer but go with what you feel!
 
Chieflonewatie
distinguished member (145)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/12/2023 04:27PM  
The answer to that question is always yes.
 
MarshallPrime
distinguished member (416)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/13/2023 10:04AM  
I agree with Chief...Yes, yes you do.
 
WesternHills
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
  
12/16/2023 01:34PM  
I have an ugly stick I inherited from my dad. It's near 50 years old at this point, but still works like new. Do you need a new ugly stick? Not in my opinion. They seem to be as durable and long lasting as everyone claims.

Now, do I use this ugly stick I have? No, because I belive there are much better rods out there, and I'm willing to spend the money on them, as I fish multiple times a week, year round.

That said, for most people, it is extremely hard to beat an ugly stick for a canoe trip. They are affordable, extremely durable, and work decently well in most scenarios.
 
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