Loading

63°F

65°F

64°F

63°F

64°F

64°F

63°F

65°F

64°F
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
Langlade County fish farm highlights Wisconsin aquacultureSubmitted: 07/25/2014

Play Video

ELTON - An afternoon of fishing might be your way of relaxing on a hot summer day.

But for brothers Terry and Tim Winkle, it's business, and their entire world revolves around fish.

Three generations of Winkel family have worked the ponds at Silver Moon Springs.

Brothers Tim and Terry took over the property in 1977.

+ Read More
Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

+ Read More
Garden tour Saturday to raise money for hospiceSubmitted: 07/25/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You can learn how to improve your garden while also supporting a Northwoods hospice provider.

The Master Gardeners of the North and Ministry Hospice will host a garden tour Saturday, July 26th. People will get to tour six gardens in Rhinelander's historic courthouse neighborhood.

Organizers hope the event will raise at least $2,000. That money will go to patients who are unable to pay for their services.

+ Read More
Burke releases rural jobs plan, focuses on schools, health & growthSubmitted: 07/25/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new job plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on her economic objectives with rural Wisconsin.

Many parts of Wisconsin's rural areas, like the Northwoods, lags behind the rest of the state economically; for example, five of the ten Wisconsin counties with the worst unemployment rate in the state are in the rural portions of the Northwoods, according to June unemployment numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Her focus is on growing the rural economy, boosting healthcare and improving schools.

+ Read More
Wisconsin named #1 in cranberry production; Northwoods farm contributes to keeping title Submitted: 07/25/2014

Play Video

WISCONSIN/THREE LAKES - Wisconsin continues to be the best state nationwide when it comes to producing cranberries. One Northwoods farm is preparing to make this year even better.

James Lake Farms in Three Lakes harvested close to 8,000 barrels last year. They hope to meet those expectations this year.

Right now they are in the growing season. The assistant manager believes Wisconsin is a natural environment for growing cranberries.

"It's fairly consistent as compared to somewhere out on the coast where most of the other cranberries are grown. I think a lot of those things combined help make it a good place to grow," said James Lake Farms Assistant Manager Benjamin Riker.

+ Read More
UPDATE: Man suffering from depression before killing himself after shootout & car chase Submitted: 07/25/2014

Play Video

MARINETTE COUNTY - The Marinette County Sheriff's Office believes the man who killed himself after a police chase Thursday was dealing with depression. He had also recently become agitated.

Robb DeGroot, 43, of Green Bay shot at Police during a car chase Tuesday.

Police lost sight of DeGroot's GMC Yukon in the Town of Goodman. Deputies later found him dead next to his car in the woods near Goodman.

Police had originally reported that the suspect was a 35-year-old man driving a Chevy Tahoe.

+ Read More
More than 50 boats featured in weekend boat showSubmitted: 07/25/2014

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Many people enjoy boating during the summer months.

This weekend you can check out the beauty and workmanship of antique boats in Minocqua. More than 50 boats will be on hand for the 22nd Antique and Classic Wooden Boat Show. The event is free to the public and features classics from the early 1920's to the 1960's. It will kick off tonight with a boat parade before the Min-Aqua Bat waterski show... and continues all weekend on the docks of The Boathouse Restaurant.

Boat owners and the public get together to share their love and stories of these antique beauties.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here