If you have ever wondered where Mepps lure company gets the hair used on the treble hooks of its lures, the answer is they get them from hunters–and they want yours.
We recycle… but we don’t want your old aluminum cans or plastic soda bottles. We do, however, want your squirrel tails. We need them to create hand-tied dressed hooks that do a great job catching fish. We know this for a fact because, here at Mepps, we’ve been recycling squirrel tails for about a half a century, and we recycle more of them than anyone else. This makes us some kind of recycling pioneer and we’re proud of it.
We’ve tried hundreds of other materials, both natural and synthetic and nothing else works as well. Todd Sheldon discovered this in the early 1960′s. While fishing the Wolf River with Mepps spinners, he caught his limit of trout and was heading back to his car when he met a boy who also had limited out fishing with Mepps. But, all of the boy’s trout were larger than Todd’s. This is not something easily accepted by any fisherman.
Todd noticed the Mepps spinner attached to the boy’s line had a tuft of squirrel tail tied to the hook so he began experimenting with dressed hooks. Bear hair was tried as well as fox, coyote, badger, skunk, deer, even Angus cow. But the only two tails that provided the pulsating action Todd was looking for were squirrel tails and buck tails.
Squirrel tail quickly became the dressing of choice for Mepps trout spinners, while larger spinners for trophy musky, pike and bass were dressed with bucktail. It wasn’t long before Mepps Bucktails had caught more trophy musky and northern pike than any other lure in the world. We have been recycling squirrel and deer tails ever since.
“Squirrel Tails Wanted” reads the large carved wooden sign on Wisconsin’s highway 45 north in Antigo. The sign amuses some folks, but it intrigues others so much they stop to find out what we’re all about. This is fine with us. We welcome inquisitive visitors and offer weekday tours. Our favorite visitors are hunters who stop by with tails to sell.
For more information on the Mepps squirrel tail program, visit: http://www.mepps.com/programs/squirrel-tail/