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Discover Takedown Rod Holders: A Small Business Transforming Catfish Bank Fishing with Unparalleled Quality and Craftsmanship

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Discover Takedown Rod Holders: A Small Business Transforming Catfish Bank Fishing with Unparalleled Quality and Craftsmanship

Founded in August 2021 by Austin Pettigrew, Takedown Rod Holders has quickly gained a reputation among catfish anglers for their custom-built, handcrafted rod holders. This small business, located in St. Joseph, Missouri, offers the highest quality rod holders for bank fishing enthusiasts across the country.

Quality and Craftsmanship: The Takedown Rod Holders Difference

What sets Takedown Rod Holders apart from the competition is their unwavering commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Every single rod holder is hand cut, bent, welded, and shipped by Austin himself, who brings over 13 years of manufacturing experience to the table.

Whether you’re fishing off a boat, sand, rocks, mud, packed dirt, or clay, Takedown Rod Holders has got you covered. Each order is custom-built to meet the individual angler’s needs, ensuring a perfect fit for any fishing situation.

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Supporting Small Business: The Impact of Takedown Rod Holders

As a single-man operation, Takedown Rod Holders represents the epitome of small business success. Supporting Takedown Rod Holders not only means investing in top-notch fishing equipment but also contributes to the growth of a hardworking, passionate entrepreneur.

By choosing Takedown Rod Holders, anglers are directly supporting Austin’s goal of getting his rod holders into the hands of every catfisherman in the Nation.

A Personal Touch: Connecting with Takedown Rod Holders

Austin Pettigrew’s dedication to his customers is evident in his desire to connect personally with those interested in his products. Anglers can find and interact with Takedown Rod Holders LLC on Facebook, where Austin shares updates and news about his business.

Shipping and Turnaround Times – Quality Takes Time

With high demand for Takedown Rod Holders, the processing time for each custom order is approximately 7 days, with shipping taking an additional 2-3 days. Although the readers may be used to shorter turnaround times from bigger companies manufacturing their products in larger lines, or importing from overseas, Takedown’s production turnaround time is excellent when you consider each order is unique and crafted specifically for you. Every package comes with tracking information and insurance, ensuring that your purchase arrives safely and securely.

Investing in Quality: The Long-Term Benefits of Takedown Rod Holders

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By purchasing a Takedown Rod Holder, catfish anglers can rest assured that their investment will last for years to come. The durability and quality of these handcrafted rod holders offer peace of mind, allowing anglers to focus on their fishing experience without worrying about their gear.

With a Takedown Rod Holder, you can walk away from your rod with confidence, knowing that it will remain exactly where you left it if a fish comes by and tries to take your bait.

A Commitment to Excellence: Takedown Rod Holders’ Promise

Austin Pettigrew’s dedication to his craft is evident in every aspect of Takedown Rod Holders. From the precision cutting and bending to the expert welding, each rod holder is a testament to Austin’s passion for excellence and his commitment to providing the best product possible for catfish anglers.

Achieving what they have done so far is no easy task: the logistical challenges behind small operations are often unknown to the general public and may, at times, feel overwhelming to entrepreneurs as they are catapulted in a world where they must learn (fast) to master every single aspect of their product design, production, shipping, customer service, sales channel development, trade shows, without failing to mention the delicate balance of personal life and financial liability. 

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Celebrating the Positive Impact

The Catfish Conference recognizes and celebrates the positive impact that passionate individuals like Austin Pettigrew bring to the catfish fishing industry. Launching a small business driven by dedication and expertise, like Takedown Rod Holders, not only enriches the commercial ecosystem but also inspires innovation and sets new standards for quality. By supporting and nurturing these entrepreneurial endeavors, we foster a thriving community that benefits anglers, businesses, and the catfish fishing industry as a whole, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for all.

Steve and Herve, both seasoned entrepreneurs (Monster Rod Holders, Catfish Conference, and other ventures), jointly express their excitement as Co-Owners of the Catfish Conference about the role the conference and its community of business leaders play in fostering and welcoming healthy competition and diverse product offerings to the market.

They understand that the presence of passionate entrepreneurs like Austin Pettigrew, who focus on specialized niches within the industry, such as Takedown Rod Holders’ bank fishing rod holders, only serves to elevate the entire catfish fishing market. | Steve & Herve – Catfish Conference

They are thrilled to see businesses like Takedown Rod Holders – amongst other companies forging their reputation and brands through excellent services and hard work – specializing in their respective domains, coexist and contribute to the growth of the industry.

The Catfish Conference serves as a platform for these innovative businesses to showcase their products, network, and learn from each other, ultimately leading to an enriched and more robust catfish fishing ecosystem. Catfish Conference is committed to supporting such entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging collaboration, and celebrating the success of passionate business owners in the industry, as they collectively contribute to the bright future of catfish fishing.

Get to Know Austin Pettigrew: 15 Interview Questions with Catfish Conference.

1 – What inspired you to start Takedown Rod Holders? 

I have been catfishing ever since I was old enough to hold a rod in my hands. Gradually as the older I got, the deeper into the catfishing world I got into. As a young kid it started as channel cat fishing trips with my dad, at local reservoirs, and lakes around our part of the country. Around 2013 my dad bought a boat and we started to explore the Missouri River, which as soon as my soul felt the boat gliding across the water, I was instantly in love. Several weeks of skunk trips came along, which brought in a new challenge, and thousands of hours of studying books , watching youtube videos, and then heading back out to the water to see if we could put those techniques to work. It wasn’t long before we were seeing 20-30 lb fish come out of the river. Then 50-60 lb fish here and there wasn’t a big surprise.

2 – How has your background in robotics and welding influenced the design and manufacturing process of Takedown Rod Holders?

My background in manufacturing has blessed me so much. I have been a mig/tig welder, cnc machinist, robot programmer, and maintenance, and have done several jobs that involved designing and building fixtures. I have a whiteboard on my fridge, and every time a new idea comes to mind, it’s straight to the whiteboard, and within minutes it’s ready to go! Understanding what will work before you even do it is a major advantage to this part of the business and saves tons of time wondering what will work or not.

3 – What challenges have you faced in growing your small business and how have you overcome them?

The night that I posted my first set of rod holders, I had absolutely no intentions of ever making another set for someone else. When I woke up to over 100,000 views, and over 70 comments, it was a no-brainer that there was something there that I had to chase. Before that night, I had never sent a package, let alone even stepped foot into a post office before. I had never set up taxes, ran a business, made a website, or handled anything in that line of work. Without my grandpa, Curtis Pettigrew, I would never made it to the point that I am today. He gave me a small loan to start my company, build a table to work on, in front of my house on the porch, and enough money to get materials and start throwing sparks in the air. Every single challenge that has came my way, he has been there with great knowledge and advice on where I should head, and where my heart should be.

4 – Can you walk us through the process of creating a custom Takedown Rod Holder?

I fish the rocky banks and dikes of the Missouri River, so when I began to design my rod holders, I knew that I would have to have a rod holder strong enough to be beaten into the ground, yet compact enough that when you take your long hikes, its almost as if you’re not even carrying anything with you. My Original Takedown Rod Holders will stack inside of each other and are only 1.7 lbs a piece. They can withstand being hammered into rocks, stumps, and anything else you put them up against with a 3lb hammer. I am a small, one-man business. Each day starts with a step a different step in the process. I do everything completely by hand myself in a vise. From cutting the bodies before bending, cutting the 2” bars by hand, to bending and welding them in the fixtures I made. After the rod holders are ready to go, I bring them inside, where I box them, weigh them, and get them ready to go to the post office.

5 – How do you ensure consistent quality in every rod holder that you create?

Absolutely every single rod holder that I make, whether it’s a boat rod holder, xtreme series, original, salt water, or even the extensions, I am the only one that makes them, and that ensures the highest level of quality control possible. From the first cut to the last piece of tape, I am the only person to touch them from the beginning.

6 – What types of materials do you use in the construction of your rod holders, and why did you choose them?

Takedown Rod Holders are available in Stainless Steel and Cold Rolled Steel. I designed the rod holders to last a lifetime, and cover the welds with a 100% warranty after you purchase them directly from me. I take great pride in every single piece of equipment I make, because I am out there using them every day too.

7 – How do Takedown Rod Holders compare to other rod holders on the market in terms of durability and functionality?

Takedown Rod Holders has absolutely taken over social media for the bank fishing community, and it’s for a reason. There is absolutely nothing on the market that compares to the compactness, strength, usability, and durability of all my rod holders. Since August of 2021, I have sent out over 4,500-rod holders to over 1,000 customers, and out of all those orders, I have had less than a half dozen bad comments over them. As soon as you see the rod holders in person, you automatically know what they are capable of.

8 – What feedback have you received from customers about their experiences with Takedown Rod Holders?

Feedback from the fishing community has been nothing but a motivational movement from the beginning of the business. I have run several test videos of the rod holders against my f150, and my step dads 20ft Sea Ark. Here are two direct reviews from my google page “Best rod holders hand down you can literally beat them into rocky ground you can strap them to a tree or take them to the beach, and they will absolutely never disappoint you.  I’ve had plenty of rod holders, and these outperform them time and time again.” Another one is “Hands down the best rod holder out there. The owner is an amazing dude, and the quality of the products is outstanding. I was searching for something to hold my larger rods, and these fit the bill perfectly. And they are super sturdy, you can hammer them into a stump without worry of breaking them. And if for whatever reason you break it, the company stands by their product with a killer warranty” Every single review is along those lines, and it means the absolute world to me knowing I can send out a product that is literally changing how the world is chasing their next personal best.

9 – How do you balance running Takedown Rod Holders with your full-time job as a robot programmer and welder?

Running Takedown Rod Holders, and working a full-time job as a tig welder and robot programmer has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. Working 10 hours a day, and coming home after work to work another 6 hours on rod holders, 6 days a week, has been the hardest test in my life. A week ago, I decided to chase the dream, I bought a new tig welder and decided to try to go full-time making rod holders, and bringing new products to the fishing world.

10 – What sets Takedown Rod Holders apart from other companies in the fishing industry?

I think what sets Takedown Rod Holders apart from other companies is that when you buy from me, you’re buying a product that isn’t mass produced, literally every single rod holder that I make, is made from scratch, by hand, personally by me. When you message through the website, or Facebook account, you will be talking directly with me, and that allows me to build relationships will all my customers, and provides chances for me to build, and learn new things along the way.

11 – What are your long-term goals for Takedown Rod Holders?

My long-term goal for Takedown Rod Holders is to become one of the largest family-centered Fishing Companies in the country. I want to be able to chase this dream and work for myself the rest of my life. To provide my kids with the life they deserve. The only way to achieve this will be to continue providing the highest quality of products possible and expanding and executing new ideas that I have every time the opportunity may arise.

12 – How do you stay connected with your customers and the fishing community?

Staying connected with the fishing community has been one of my favorite tasks of this entire journey. 4 months into the business, I decided to start sponsoring anglers, making Tik Tok videos, and within a week the name started spreading like wildfire. My primary source of staying connected with my customers, which a lot of them have become my friends, has been through my Facebook page, I try to do giveaways once a week, if not every other week. Make daily posts, and keep everyone updated with what I am doing every day.

13 – What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own small business in the fishing industry?

The fishing industry is an extremely brutal place to find your way into, between copycats, criticism, and people just simply not liking you because you’re not using their favorite companies’ products. The best advice I can give to someone coming into the industry is to come up with something that is 100% original to you, design it to perfection, and then release it. Absolutely ignore the “haters”, and keep on trucking every day.

14 – What is your favorite aspect of running Takedown Rod Holders?

My favorite aspect of running Takedown Rod Holders is seeing the hundreds of pictures posted daily, and knowing that I made everyone’s lives better by giving them a product they can trust, day in and day out. I see pictures of families, and kids using my rod holders, and I know that I am giving them a chance to catch absolutely giant fish, without them having to worry about losing their rods. But the biggest joy of all of this is when we go to the Catfish Conference, and I get to meet and put names to the faces of all of the people that I have gotten to talk to. The first night after Louisville 23’, I actually sat down and cried in my hotel room. First thing Friday morning I had someone come up to me and ask me for my autograph, and took a picture with me, and it took everything I had to not break down on the spot. That little kid that used to stand in my grandpa’s front yard, and practice casting at the base of the trees, is now known across the country as the guy who makes Takedown Rod Holders. I have sold in every single state, one set in Australia, and 2 sets in Canada, and sometimes it really hasn’t set in what the future really holds.

15 – How do you see Takedown Rod Holders evolving in the future?

In the near future, Takedown Rod Holders will be expanding the product line by double. Just since March 1st, 2023, I have added 6 products to my website and will be adding another 3-4 products by the end of April. I have partnered up with some of the biggest companies in the industry, and have begun wholesaling across the nation. I have held Missouri Conservation Seminars and given away rod holders, and plan on doing my own Seminar on the banks of the Missouri River this summer. In the future, I can see boat trailers, boats, live wells, rod racks, windshields, steps, and many other products coming your way!

Source of information

[1] Takedown Rod Holders. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[2] Interview with Austin Pettigrew. (2023).


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