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When you meet Ralph Craft of Crafty One Customs in Portsmouth, RI, one thing is clear: he’s passionate about everything in his business. That is undoubtedly what’s made his unique company something to be reckoned with.
Ralph Craft, owner of Crafty One Customs.
For Ralph Craft, fishing is a passion that changed his life. After serving our country, he came back to a job that just didn’t fit him, and was looking for something more. He found exactly what he was looking for when he built his first custom fishing rod in his garage in 2005. As an angler himself, he was sick of the lack of quality and ‘fit’ of the rods offered by big box stores. Ralph wanted a rod that would fit him and his needs, from his fishing style, to what he was fishing without being overly expensive.
In crafting his first rod, Ralph found his passion and decided with the help of his wife that now was the time to follow his dreams. Together, they began to build a business based on meeting the needs of other passionate anglers like himself.
When asked about making the leap from home-builder to business-owner, Ralph gives this advice, “If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough. Fear is there to help you grow; it’s how you leverage it that matters.”
Ralph has certainly leveraged it with his custom rods, but it’s clear he’s passionate about more than just fishing. His customers are like family, and he treats them like that. When you walk into the store, you’ll be put you into a dazed wonder. Every rod is an absolute work of art, making even a novice angler pine for one, but the team at Crafty One Customs won’t take advantage of you.
The process of creating a Crafty One Customs rod.
“I’m not going to sell you something that you don’t need or can’t use,” Ralph says, laughing as a long-time customer comes in the door. “Like this guy, he’d buy a rod every time he came in here, but that’s not how we operate. Every rod is custom; from the ergonomics of the way it fits the customer to the design on it. We want you to love your rod.”
Crafty One Customs stands behind their products and will let you ‘test’ drive their most popular rod right in the shop. Ralph even had the team from Savings Institute Bank & Trust pick up one to see how durable it was. Light and constructed of carbon fiber, the rod stood up to Ralph yanking down on it with all his strength, proving that it could certainly handle a marlin, bluefin tuna, or whatever large fish you’re looking to land.
Demonstrating the torque of a Crafty One Customs rod.
The most striking thing about Ralph and his team was just how down to earth they were. They joke with one another, and you’ll find a smile plastered on your face the whole time you’re there.