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Tool Review

The Mac Squid, the lure retriever with tentacles designed to save lures

Date: 5/1/03
Tackle type: Tools
Manufacturer: Mac Squid
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 7.75

Introduction: Unless you have an unlimited supply of free lures, losing lures can be frustrating and expensive, especially if you lose your favorite top performing. But don't worry, each time you go out to fish, bring along the patented Mac Squid, a new lure retrieval system designed to help get your lure back while fishing from watercraft.


Mac Squid Specifications

Type Lure retriever
Materials Steel cylinder and metal chains
Rope 350lb. test nylon
MSRP $24.95

About Mac Squid: John McAfee, the President and inventor of the Mac Squid has being an avid bass angler for many years and was simply tired of losing lures to structure. He thought there must be a better way to get your lure back, and sought out to develop a retrieval system that is easy to use, and one that would work 100% of the time. He created many prototypes and then introduced the much evolved Mac Squid. The Mac Squid now goes on all John's fishing trips and is a permanent part of his tackle. He didn't design the lure retriever to make money, but to give something back to the community of anglers who could use his invention to bring back their otherwise lost lures.


Impressions: Throughout history, people have invented many different types of lure retrievers from hangers with weights attached to them to spring loaded hooks. So what makes the Mac Squid different from others?  First of all the design is clever and simple. Unlike some other products where they use wires that flex, the Mac Squid is very solid.  It's constructed of a 4 inch heavy gauge steel cylinder with 4 welded chains attached to it. The entire Mac Squid is powder painted yellow then heat treated for a hardened finish. It comes with 25 feet, 1/8 inch nylon rope at 350lb. test which is tough enough to break any underwater branch. A 180 degree cut that spirals down the cylinder is used for insertion of fishing line, and two plastic locks to keep the line inside the cylinder at all times.


The Mac Squid consists of a heavy 1 pound cylinder and 4 durable chains that are completely powder coated to prevent corrosion

Real World Tests: Fishing lures that can drop or dive down always have a higher rate for snags on underwater structure such as downed trees.  Getting your $3-20 dollar crankbait snagged can mean the loss of your lure. To test the effectiveness of the Mac Squid, Zander and I set out on a quest to find the nastiest branches and structure we could find in local lakes to test out the Mac Squid.


Zander purposely runs a crankbait through the structure and snags.  He then pulls up hard to make sure the hooks dig into the branch so we can put the Mac Squid in action


Directions: Detailed instructions are provided with each Mac Squid, and in a few steps you are on your way to retrieving that lost lure. Here's how it works:


1) As best as you can, maintain your fishing line in a vertical position directly over where your lure is snagged


2) Insert the fishing line through the slot on the Mac Squid

3) Slide the upper and lower locks over the open slots


4) Lower the Mac Squid into the water until it touches the area where the lure is tangled, holding tightly to the nylon cord at all times


5) Jogging the Mac Squid up and down will normally knock any lure loose.  Remember to maintain a strong hold on your fishing line at all times


6) A circular, up and down motion will cause the lure treble hooks to become entangled in the four loose hanging chains and you can pull the lure up, usually by breaking the branch it was snagged onto


A simple design with simple instructions.  Putting the Mac Squid to work takes only a few steps


Ease of Use: As you can tell by the instructions, it's just a simple 5 or 6 steps to retrieving a lure after a snag occurs. So how easy is it to work the Mac Squid in reality? Throughout our tests the Mac Squid took no effort to work the initial stages of getting the line inside the cylinder, locking it, and getting down to the destination. The process of retrieving the lure can be as quick as a few seconds when the weight of the Mac Squid knocks the lure loose or at times when the lure was severely snagged it would take a little longer, especially when high winds are blowing the boat away from where you want to be positioned. The importance of keeping yourself right above the lure is critical because if the weight of the Mac Squid doesn't knock the lure loose, the chains will be able to snag the hooks and then allow you to pull upwards to get your lure back. So the Mac Squid actually utilize multiple features to assist in the retrieval of your lure.


Durability: Durability shouldn't be a concern with the Mac Squid.  It's so solid it can be dropped, stepped on, and even run over by a truck (not recommended). The steel cylinder is thick and will not distort easily.  Instead of spray paint the Mac Squid is powder coated for better protection of the metal surface, preventing it from corroding. Powder coating is a dry finish process. The powder itself is a mixture of finely ground particles of pigment and resin. The "paint" is then electro-statically charged and sprayed onto the Squid. The entire Mac squid is grounded, causing the powder particles to bond to the surface of the metal. The unit is then placed in a curing oven and heated until the particles melt and fuse to form a tough permanent coating. Thus the results give the Mac Squid a uniform, durable, and attractive smooth surface. This entire process is more environmentally safer than wet paint.


The only way you would require a new Mac Squid is if you accidentally dropped it in the water or buying one as a gift for your fishing buddy.  The chains are just as tough as the main cylinder, no worries here.


The results show that the Mac Squid works in many situations and will save your lure.  In this picture, the weight didn't knock the lure loose so the tentacles tangled the hooks and here comes the lure


The Verdict: The Mac Squid is fairly easy to use and extremely durable, but I am sure everyone wants to know if it is truly the fail-proof lure retriever that it claims to be. Zander and I went around multiple lakes fishing in structure just to snag our crankbaits to, and throughout the test cycle the Mac Squid succeeded in getting the lure back most of the time. It doesn't work 100% of the time and it depends on how nasty the lure is tangled on the structure. There will be times that the weight of the cylinder won't knock the lure loose and the chains can't get the hooks to snag, but rarely from what we have seen in our trials.  One downside that was noticed was the plastic locks. Yes, they stay on really tight, but if you don't put them on correctly they have a potential to come loose and can become the victims of the very structure you're jogging the Mac Squid against.

Mac Squid Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Constructed using durable metal and then powder coated for a fine finish 8
Performance Retrieves the lure back approximately 92% of the time 8
Price A bit more expensive than all the other competitors out there 6.5
Features Weighing 1 pound is a feature itself.  Also the added 4 squid tentacles to the cylinder is handy when the weight won't knock the lure loose 8
Design (Ergonomics) Simple and easy to use design and fits well with your other tackle with a bright yellow, it's easy to find 8
Application Work with almost all types of lures, but only used from a watercraft 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Durable L Doesn't work 100% of the time
J Works better than other lure retrievers L Can lose plastic locks if not put on correctly
J Easy to use  

Conclusion: Everyone who fishes lures has lost a few lures to underwater structure, and those who fish more frequently are usually constantly replenishing their supply of lost favorites. The Mac Squid can be your solution, saving you trips to the tackle shop, the expensive cost of new lures, and actually help you become more effective angler by having the confidence to fish around structure without the fear of losing anything. With just a few easy steps the Mac Squid lure retrieval system is on its way to bringing that lost lure back to the rightful owner....you. While it may not work 100% of the time there is no doubt that it will save your lures the majority of the time, and if the Mac Squid just saves 3 or 4 lures then it has already paid for itself.









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