The Eppinger tradition began in 1906. Lou Eppinger spent a month in the Ontario wilderness camping and fishing. He used a lure of his own design …a spoon weighing 2 ounces. The metal was hammered out so that it was thinner in the middle and thicker toward the edges. When he cast it into the shallows it would swing from side to side, nearly turning over, but always righting itself….kind of like a Dardevle.
By 1912 Lou turned his prototype into a finished lure, the Osprey. It caught fish: lots and lots of them. Especially pike, the favorite sport fish in the Midwest.
In 1918, Lou’s nephew Ed came to work in his uncle’s shop. They changed the name of the Osprey to Dardevle after the Teufelhunden or Devil Dogs, the name given by the Germans to the 4th Marine Brigade which successfully penetrated and captured the German Belleau Woods in 1918. The allies called these U.S. Marines “Dardevles”, the name now used for Eppinger’s most successful line of lures.
The company that sold around 500 lures a year is now an international success, and tens of millions of Eppinger lures have been sold to knowledgeable fisherman over the years. The original Dardevle has since spawned an entire family of lures. Now more than 17,000 different sizes, shapes, and colors of Eppinger lures are available to match every fishing need.
Since 1987 Ed’s Daughter Karen has been at the helm and is now successfully leading this company into the 21st century. In 1994 she was joined by her daughter Jennifer, keeping this remarkable family owned tradition alive.
Other companies have attempted to copy Eppinger’s designs and colors for many years. They’ve used inferior materials and farmed the work out to factories overseas in order to sell their lures for less money. But their finished product cannot compete with the genuine Dardevle and Eppinger quality.
More world record fish have been caught on Eppinger lures than any other lure on the market! None of those record fish are any more important, though, than the fish you or your children will reel in on Eppinger lures.
Eppinger takes pride in its history of American made quality and for giving fellow anglers what worked time after time. We build performance, value and tradition into each and every Eppinger lure. An Eppinger family member personally oversees the operation of their factory in Michigan every day to insure quality, and that the integrity of the Dardevle’s legacy lives on.