A paid “whim”, personalized Trump fishing rods
Driving down North Carolina Highway 12 in the tiny village of Hatteras, a hardware store owner and manufacturer of custom fishing rods bet on President Trump. And it pays dividends.
I heard about it as I walked past his shop. On its road sign: “Custom Trump Rods”.
Inside, owner Steve Hissey was working on a 10ft long surf rod in red, white and blue.
“Hey Steve, what is a Trump cane?” I asked, walking into his shop and expecting him to tell me it’s just the name of a tackle company, like Penn or St. Croix.
Nope. He waved to me from his rack which contained some of the same red, white and blue rods he was building and pointed to an oval sticker near the handle that read, “Trump 2020 makes you cry. the liberals again â.
He smiled and said, âWhen you’re in business, sometimes you need an edge. And that’s my advantage.
Hissey has a well-deserved reputation for making quality rods. He has been doing this for 40 years and is particularly known for his diamond hourglass design made by crisscrossing colored thread above the shank grip.
He is also known as a huge Trump fan on a Trump Fan Island. He even sells “Trump 2020” campaign hats. âI’m on my second order,â he says from across a wooden bar in his shop where fishermen come to drink beer and tell stories.
âWhen you’re in business, you’re not supposed to choose sides. But I guess I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve, âhe said.
On a “whim” he started building his Trump cane about six weeks ago. He made two and they quickly sold to a bunch of ex-cops. They asked him to fit the rods with reels and lines and, he said with a big smile, “It was $ 881 before they came out the door.”
The Trump rod rumor has spread so quickly that he has a waiting list of paying customers. Most like its âTrump 2020 Make Liberals Cry Againâ sticker under the upper finish. And as an additional touch, he puts about fifteen red and blue stripes as decoration on the stems.
âI am saving 13 rods at the moment. I’ve been making fishing rods for 42 years and have never had a backup of 13 rods, âsaid Hissey, his shop decorated with his fishing quotes. âI hunt deer, but I probably won’t see any deer this year. I will be looking at red, white and blue until December.
I asked Hissey what he sees in Trump and why he stays with him in the face of an impeachment inquiry and overwhelming negative press.
“You know, Trump is a nut in a lot of ways, a big mouth.” But, he said, âThe end result is what impresses me. There has never been a president more scrutinized than Trump. Nobody’s been through the shit they’re going through. And a part, yes, he deserves it. Overall, in the end, he did a good job.
Like many Trump supporters, Hissey remains impressed with the president’s past business career and willingness to take a risk, even in the Oval Office.
And he said that was part of what drove him to make the Trump rod when he had no idea if it would sell.
âPeople have to go through 14 hardware stores before they reach me, so it was really a godsend for me to do that. And the good thing is that most of them put high priced rolls on them, so it’s more money, âhe said.
If the president ever managed to talk about his success, Hissey thinks Trump would be impressed.
“That’s the kind of thing he would like, he’s an entrepreneur, he’s a businessman, he would appreciate that I would do that and make money.” I think he would like that, âHissey said, as he pulled out a long surfcasting rod to stand for a photo.
In fact, he plans to send President Trump a cane once he executes his orders – and the latest controversies are passing.
âI’m thinking of sending him a cane. I know he doesn’t fish but maybe he would like one in the Oval Office. I have to catch up first, however. And right now, I think he’s busy.