I just got back from Gander Mountain. I was looking at the 8ft 2piece ugly stik cat rods. I guess I knew better but I "checked" the rod by bending it & it broke about 12inches from the tip. I didn't even bend it very far before it cracked. I've bent a lot of the 7ft Ugly Cat rods at wal-mart & they never broke. :embarassed: The clerk at Gander Mountain was pretty cool about it though...they didn't make me pay for it. I went ahead and bought one of the 8ft ugly stiks anyway because I've been wanting one for a while now & I'm hoping that one breaking was just a fluke. I've heard so many good things about Ugly Stiks that I thought I could afford to risk the $30 anyway. Even though it was embarassing, I'm glad that I bent/broke that first rod anyway because I think there had to have been something wrong with it. If I hadn't tested it beforehand I would have bought that one & regretted it later.