he Eppinger Tradition began in 1906. Lou Eppinger spent a month in the Ontario wilderness, fishing, camping and thinking… all alone. 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, a favorite sport fish in the mid west.
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 Germans in the Battle of Belleau Woods in 1918. The allies called these U.S. Marines “Dare Devils,” the name now used for Eppinger’s most successful line of lures.
The company sold around 500 lures a year is now an international success, and millions of Eppinger lures are sold each year. The original Dardevle has since spawned an entire family of lures. Now more than 16,000 different sizes, shapes and colors of Eppinger Lures are available to match every fishing need.