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Event Article: 2008 ICAST Show - Las Vegas, NV

A Year of Change on the Horizon For Kistler Custom Rods

Date: 7/17/08
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Reviewer: Team TackleTour






Introduction: At a time when more and more companies are sourcing their products overseas to battle the high cost of manufacturing within the United States, Kistler Custom Rods is taking steps to regain control over their brand and product by bringing all aspects of rod design and manufacturing in house.


Billy Kistler shows us the new mandrels in Kistler's skunk works display

Hoping to have all their pieces in place and be able to announce the launch of their new rod manufacturing plant in Texas, Kistler Custom Rods instead had to scale back those announcements by simply displaying sheathed, prototype blanks and some of the mandrels they intend to use to roll future rod blanks.

The new, Carbon Steel rods will be priced at an aggressive $99


Billy Kistler, Trey Kistler's father, was on hand to share with us, this unofficial official news and told us that while not everything is in place, a lot of the key elements are including key personnel needed to pull of such a feet. Meantime, equipment is on order and they hope to make all of this a reality before too long.


The Argon series is placed right between the Magnesium TS and Helium LTA and features Fuji SiC guides

Of course, not one to rest their laurels while looking ahead, Kistler did have some actual product news to share with us as well. Continuing the theme of change is good, there will be some repositioning of brand starting with a new value line of rods called "Carbon Steel" that will retail for right around $99.

A close-up of the new guides on the Argon

Just above the new Carbon Steel rods will be a repositioned Magnesium TS line priced down from $179.99 to a new price of $149.99. Then, inserted just above the Magnesium TS line will be the new Kistler Argon rods featuring American Tackle Ringlock Titans with Nanolite rings and a Fuji reel seat priced at $199.

The Helium LTA's new split rear grip

The heart and soul of the Kistler lineup, the Helium LTA sticks receive the a new, split grip, burled cork grip treatment with an upgrade in guides to Fuji SS SiC's. These changes will bump the price of the Heliums approximately $20 - $30

Gone are the blue Zirconia guides of the Helium LTA and in are the top end Fuji Ti SiC guides

Lastly, the company's Helium 2 lineup will receive new guides as well switching to the ever more pervasive REC Recoils. All these changes were rather unexpected, but a welcome sign that Kistler is not one to stay pat.

We look forward to witnessing Kistler's transformation into a fully in-house operation 

Conclusion: It looks like a lot of changes are in store for Kistler Custom rods in the near and far future and so far, everything we've witnessed indicates the changes will be for the better. The reshuffling of their middle lineup took us by surprise, but we really like what we saw and felt of the new, made in the USA, Argon series of rods. When will the first all in-house rods roll of the new Kistler mandrels? Only time will tell, but hopefully soon. We can't wait to see the result of this rather aggressive and unexpected move.










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