The Ugly Stik had to make the list, of course. This rod has hauled in more fish than I can count. I’ve never had one fail.
I’ve done some ridiculous things to these rods and I swear I could almost hear the rod laughing at my attempts to break it.
You want to have at least one workhorse rod you can throw in the truck bed without a care, and this is it. It won’t give you as much precision as some of the other rods, but it makes up for it in strength and grit. It’s usually $35~$45 for most sizes – see the reviews and links there for current pricing.