My entry into the fishing industry probably started with my Grandpa Kistler when we made my first fishing rod, around 1949. I fished with it on the lakes around my home in Mansfield Ohio. As I grew up through the years, fishing was always my favorite hobby and my Grandpa was my favorite partner.
After my military service in the Navy was complete, and thanks to the VA, I completed college and received my degree. I spent 15 years in the Energy related industry, but the fishing bug was still in my gut. I then decided to build a few rods with a friend of mine and it didn’t take long to recognize the incredible need for a good bass fishing rod in Texas. And that’s how ALLSTAR rods was formed. ALLSTAR took off fast and furious thanks to using Gary Loomis Graphite Blanks and the Hemphill guides at Pendleton Harbor on Toledo Bend.
After selling ALLSTAR, I spent about a year on the golf course, but along with boredom and fire in the belly, I was sold on getting back into the fishing rod business. That’s when I founded CastAway Rods. Now with a new brand name and good contacts in the industry, the growth of CastAway just exploded! After 10 enjoyable years with CastAway, my wife Rose and I decided to move to the hill country. I put down my fishing rods and went to work with a major US Home Builder as a Sales Manager. As the real estate market slowly died, we moved back to Montgomery, Texas to help a family member’s rod company. I served as VP of Sales for four years.
Now that I’ve experienced every American’s dream of retirement and enjoyed a little relaxation, I’ve grown a little restless. So, I figured I’d just get back to doing what I love and what is in my heart. Back to my roots. Back to the fishing industry. That is how PRIDE Rods was born.
The name “PRIDE” not only relates to being proud of the product I create, but to me as an AMERICAN. I was then, I am now and will always continue to be an American company. To me, nothing is more American than a fisherman and a “fisher woman”.