Kistler, owner and President of Kistler rods
familiarity with Kistler Custom Rod’s dates back to 2002 with our review
of their 6’6” medium heavy Mark Tyler Signature Series Rod: a rod Zander
described as a high end stick packed with plenty of muscle. There have
been some dramatic changes since that time, but Kistler Rods remains one
of our favorites to report upon not only because of their willingness to
push the envelope with intriguing rod designs, but also for the
accessibility of their president and owner. When I contacted the company
with the idea for this interview, it didn’t take much get things moving.
The following is a synopsis of my conversation with the man in charge of
Kistler Custom Rods, Trey Kistler.
Cal: Trey, thanks for taking the time to
talk. First things first, congratulations and how proud are you of Steve
Kennedy's recent BASS win on Clear Lake, California featuring your He2
T.Kistler: What better way
could I have asked for to show the fishing world the strength and
versatility of our finest rods. We couldn’t ask for a nicer, more down
to earth guy, to represent our company to the good ol’ boy angler. I
expect great things coming from Steve for years to come because he is so
very grounded and humble still after doing so well for over a year. The
fans are loving him, the media enjoys reporting on him, and his wife is
such an awesome supporter. He’s got a lot going for him right now, and
we are seeing great exposure because of his success.
With the knowledge Kennedy
was throwing some big time swimbaits to catch his record breaking limit,
do you have any plans to introduce some swimbait sticks in your Helium 2
or Helium lines?
T.Kistler: If the demand
is there, we will be happy to provide Helium swim bait sticks, but at
this time, our Graphite Plus 8’ Big Swim Bait Special is super well
built and perfectly designed. It took us over one year to finalize this
model and we can’t keep them in stock.
Trey has a long history in the rod business, going all the way
back to Castaway rods
Speaking of things new and exciting, what can you share with us with
regards to what Kistler Custom Rods has in store for ICAST 2007?
T.Kistler: Nothing earth
shattering to be honest. I am working on additions and changes to our
current line for the 2008 ICAST. This might be a great year for someone
else to be in the spotlight. I don’t mind sharing. LOL.
Cal: Backing up a bit, how
did you get your start in the rod building industry and what made you
decide to start up Kistler Custom Rods?
T.Kistler: After helping
my father, get Castaway off the ground, I decided to take a break. Well,
later he decided to retire, so I figured I could get back in the
industry and do my own thing. Well, after many years of sweat, blood and
tears, our business took off like crazy and has been a hundred miles per
hour ever since. With the introduction of our Helium “Lighter Than Air”
rod series back in 2003, everyone has realized the many benefits to our
When Trey isn't in the office he's out fishing for a wide range
It's been argued, by a lot of consumers, that the
components you use on your rods (i.e. the guides and reel seat) are
inferior to the widely accepted industry standard of Fuji. While we're
not here to argue the point of who makes the better guide or reel seat,
can you tell us what was behind your decision to go with Batson
components over Fuji?
T.Kistler: I have chosen
to use the components that provide the best performance throughout the 8
years. We have switched from Fuji to Pac Bay to Batson and tried others
for only one reason, to provide the best performance possible. As a rod
manufacturer, we are limited to how well the component manufacturers
design and build their parts. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes
they don’t. Every year there is a new challenge they face, which in turn
causes the rod manufacturers to adapt, in our case change to the better
at the present time. All of the component makers have had their
challenges and most have corrected inferior designs, but it takes time
and we don’t have time when it comes to our customers’ satisfaction.
They and we want it right the first time.