Loading

28°F

30°F

25°F

28°F

25°F

28°F

29°F

31°F

25°F
NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Works: The Famous Mepps SpinnerSubmitted: 11/15/2012
Story By Matt Doyle

Play Video

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

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





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/31/2014

- The mining issue might deicide the winner of the 25th State Senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district: a proposed taconite mine in the north and sand mines in the west. Newswatch 12s Adam Fox sat down with both candidates; he'll have the story tonight.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More
100 Yards of Halloween DecorationsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - A lot of people in the Northwoods will put out decorations for Halloween. But one Rhinelander woman and her daughter have gone above and beyond. They've grown their display for the past 10 years to extend between their houses and covering more than 100 yards.

"We had four boys and we wanted a girl and she was born on Halloween, so my husband said, 'Look, we finally got our witch!'" said Linda Klaver.

+ Read More
Homeless charity drive needs helpSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing needs your help taking care of the homeless. The alliance helps homeless people in Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, Oneida, and Vilas counties. Organizers just started the Everybody Deserves Shelter Campaign. Local businesses are helping run the campaign.

"We are working at establishing businesses ,within our hopefully five counties that we serve, that will offer customers and employees the chance to make a nominal one dollar donation," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.

+ Read More
Milwaukee police vote 'no confidence' in chiefSubmitted: 10/31/2014

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee police have taken a vote that expresses no confidence in their chief after he fired a white officer who shot and killed a black man in a downtown park.

Union president Mike Crivello announced Friday that about 99 percent of the votes expressed no confidence in Chief Edward Flynn.

He did not say how many of the union's 1,600 officers voted, only that it was a majority.

+ Read More
Drivers surprised by icy roadsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - Drivers got an icy surprise as they hit the road this morning.

People needed to show a little caution as they got used to driving on snow and ice again.

Some accidents tied up traffic for a time. In Wausau, one lane of Highway 29 was shut down near Highway 51.

An accident caused the problem shortly after 4:00 a.m. The road was fully open again around 6:00 a.m..

+ Read More
Hire me then fire me, Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants to eliminate positionSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - Hire me then fire me. That's what a Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants voters to do.

Jerry Shidell is a libertarian from Rhinelander. You'll find his name on the ballot for State Treasurer. He plans on getting rid of the job.

Shidell says the treasurer doesn't have many responsibilities and the position costs too much.

+ Read More
25th Senate candidates differ over mining law, agree on importance of broadband and educationSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The mining issue might decide the winner of the 25th State senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin stretching from parts of Vilas County to parts of Barron County. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district. A proposed taconite mine in the north, and sand mines in the west.

Gogebic Taconite is proposing a four-mile open pit taconite mine in Ashland and Iron County. Project leaders say the project will lead to 700 direct jobs, as well as numerous spillover jobs because of the construction of the mine.

Republicans rewrote and passed the state's mining law in 2013. Many believe the rule change weakened water protections, but Republican candidate Dane Deutsch doesn't agree.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here