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The man in charge, Trey Kistler talks about Helium Rods

Date: 5/23/07
Interview: Trey Kistler
Title President & Owner
Interviewer: Cal



Trey Kistler, owner and President of Kistler rods

Introduction: Our familiarity with Kistler Custom Rodís dates back to 2002 with our review of their 6í6Ē 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 didnít 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 LTX sticks?

T.Kistler: What better way could I have asked for to show the fishing world the strength and versatility of our finest rods. We couldnít ask for a nicer, more down to earth guy, to represent our company to the good olí 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. Heís got a lot going for him right now, and we are seeing great exposure because of his success.

Cal: 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 8í Big Swim Bait Special is super well built and perfectly designed. It took us over one year to finalize this model and we canít keep them in stock.

Trey has a long history in the rod business, going all the way back to Castaway rods

Cal: 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 donít 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 ďLighter Than AirĒ rod series back in 2003, everyone has realized the many benefits to our rod designs.

When Trey isn't in the office he's out fishing for a wide range of species

Cal: 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 donít. 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 donít have time when it comes to our customersí satisfaction. They and we want it right the first time.

Next Section: Cal digs deeper...









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