NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Works: The Famous Mepps SpinnerSubmitted: 11/15/2012

ANTIGO - Fishing has been part of the Northwoods for as long as anyone can remember.

In the 1950’s, fishing took on a new meaning in the area when Todd Sheldon decided to importing Mepps spinners.

Mepps fishing lures are a mainstay in many tackle boxes.

The original Mepps Aglia was rated as one of the top lures of all-time by Field & Stream magazine.

The company still runs a majority of its operations in Antigo – and more than 4,000 different fishing lures get assembled just off Highway 45.

"We assemble, package and ship out all over the world," Long-time Sheldon's/Mepps employee Rosella Spencer said.

"All things considered between sizes, styles, colors, we make about 4,000 different lures," Sales & Marketing Manager Michael Sheldon said.

Michael Sheldon represents the third generation to be part of Sheldon's Incorporated.

"To think that it's made in a town of 8,500 people in Northern Wisconsin," Sheldon said.

"It isn't something we've taken overseas or to a big city."

Sheldon and his dad, also named Michael, run the business that Todd Sheldon kick started in the late 1950's.

"A lot of lures have come and gone in the time we've been in business," Sheldon's/Mepps President Mike Sheldon said.

"One thing about Mepps Spinners is they really haven't changed in the last 50 years. By that I mean the quality available. We still manufacture almost all of our parts ourselves. We do all of the assembly here, that's a rare thing now-a-days."

The original Mepps spinner, or the Aglia, is still manufactured in France, but the newer product lines are done in Antigo.

"Quality is so important," Michael Sheldon said.

"We really want to be able to control that and the best way to do that is right here."

And many employees find their role unique.

"It is very unique in that we're the only place in the United States that makes the Mepps lures," Spencer said.

"That's kind of a neat idea knowing that there's no other place that makes these Mepps lures."

The Antigo operation assembles, paints, packages, and ships all the lures.

And what about that sign you can't miss along Highway 45 - squirrel tails wanted.

Squirrel tails are all hair, whereas other tails are mostly fur - perfect for Mepps lures.

"It gives the lure a larger profile," the younger Sheldon said.

"There is some action with the hairs on the tail when the lures pulled through the water. And for some species of fish they've got a lot better sight and look the lure over more before they strike it and the hair is kind of a way of covering the hook."

Just like so many fish, you could say the employees are, well, hooked. More than half of them have been here more than 25 years.

"I'm often amazed at the pride they have in their work," the elder Sheldon said.

"To think that you may sit and assemble 1,000 lures a day for years and years and you're still attentive enough that you're watching the quality control, making sure the right pieces go on in the right order. We don't have problems with the final product as a result of it."

And the results are hard to argue with.

The company still offers tours if you’re interested.

Although most retailers can’t come close to carrying all Mepps products, you can still order any from the office and get what you want.

Related Weblinks:
Mepps Lures

Story By: Matt Doyle

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story
Story Photos/Images:
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
Meth bust in town of Pine LakeSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police arrested four people in a meth bust near Rhinelander.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department says the bust went down yesterday in the town of Pine Lake.

Arrested were 38 year old Gerry Frederick, 55 year old Thomas Franz, 40 year old Scott Dumpprope and 46 year old Carrie Steinmetz.

Potential charges include conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

+ Read More
Big bucks to expand nutrition, physical education in Wisconsin schools Submitted: 04/16/2014

WISCONSIN - Seven Wisconsin school districts have been awarded a total of $3.2 million in federal grants to help them expand their nutrition and physical-education programs.

To qualify, the districts have to implement programs that teach students healthy eating habits and good nutrition. They also have to make sure kids have access to certain physical fitness activities, which could include fitness assessments or developing certain team skills.

The largest grant is going to the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, which will receive about $850,000. The Mukwonago Area School District and Pittsville School District will each get about $445,000.

+ Read More
Support for baiting and feeding ban before deer seasonSubmitted: 04/16/2014

MADISON - Outdoor enthusiasts think Wisconsin should ban deer baiting and feeding in the days leading up to the November gun season.

The Conservation Congress is a group of sportsmen that advises the DNR on policy.

Annual spring hearings across the state we held Monday.

People who attended answered nearly 60 questions asking for their positions on a number of proposals.

+ Read More
DNR prepares for trout stocking Submitted: 04/16/2014

MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is working to stock 316,000 trout across the state ahead of inland fishing season opener next month.

More than 100,000 trout will be stocked in urban fishing waters, small lakes and ponds. The rest will go into waters where the habitat is marginal and there's no natural reproduction.

DNR officials say lingering ice cover on lakes is delaying some of the stocking, but they still expect to get all the fish in the water by the May 3 season opener.

A complete list of water bodies in line for fish is available on the DNR's website.

+ Read More
Ice cover might lead to more fish killsSubmitted: 04/16/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Winter can be hard on everything, but you might not think it's hard on fish. They're protected under a layer of ice from the weather. But that layer of ice can create problems if it lasts too long.

"You don't get enough light penetration that goes down into the water. So there's no photosynthesis by the algae in the water so there's no oxygen that's produced," says Jim Kreitlow, DNR Lakes Biologist


+ Read More
Roads to blame for 2 car crash in Minocqua Submitted: 04/15/2014

Play Video

MINOCQUA - People need to drive slow since roads are still icy. There was a two car crash at 8 a.m. Tuesday on Old Highway 70 in Minocqua. Two people were transported to Howard Young Medical Center. Police say road conditions were a factor.

+ Read More
Another snowstorm headed our way hear what people thinkSubmitted: 04/15/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - We may want spring, but Mother Nature has other plans. Whether you like it or not more snow is on the way. We got people's reaction to the upcoming snowstorm. Click on the video link to watch.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here