by Billy Breland, Mississippi
A few years back Mr. Rob Caven of Minnesota designed a trap of what would become a favorite coyote trap for many trappers. The trap that came to be called the MB550RC was a five and a half inch jaw spread with 3/8" thick cast iron offset jaws and built to handle most any coyote or Bobcat from across the nation. Though built rigid and extremely sturdy it was not the cheapest double coil spring trap on the market but definitely earned the title "You get what you pay for".
In early 2008 I purchased a couple dozen of these traps for my year around coyote line. I was very impressed to say the least. With well over 100 coyotes to its credit on my line it held every single one perfectly even with the occasional "toe" catch in the 3/16" offset cast jaws.
As time progressed and a lot of feedback to the Cavens, it was found that once a coyote was caught, many trappers were having problems with the long 2.06" 30 degree bend dog of the trap either bending severely or breaking off completely. Of the more than 100 coyotes the first year, I had this happen twice and only saw it as a maintenance issue and not a problem. I was still in high favor of the trap. At this time I decided this trap was worthy of larger numbers in my arsenal. When I purchased a couple more dozen from Minnesota Trapline Products, I was sent a "Newer" version of the MB550RC.
In 2008 Rob redesigned the dog and pan of the 550 and in conjuction with Mr. Ed Medvetz, came up with a "New Style" MB550RC. It had a shorter dog that measured 1.60". The pan also took on some new changes to accommodate the shorter dog. The new "Paws-I-Trip" pan has a coining where the dog contacts the pan, this coining raised that part of the pan and helped achieve the stock 2 lbs. of pan tension. It also has the spring pin formed after the pin is slid through the pan posts and not crimped on.This itself increased the strength and stability of the pan. The new pan style was brought onto the market on 06/01/2008. On this date there was no inventory of the "old" style traps.
As a trapper, Forrester, and Millwright for more than 35 years, I am a firm believer in one of my late dads quotes of "If it ain't broke, Don't fix it". At more than a half a century old, my hands and fingers are not what they used to be. The long dog of the old style 550 made for a better leverage when setting the traps. When your setting more than a couple dozen traps at a time this will make a difference on an older, worn out thumb. Another thing was that the old style dog was a good bit easier to set the poundage for those who required a little more tension than the stock 2 pounds. Several trappers have agreed with me on this statement.
If you were one of the "Lucky" ones to purchase the older style 550 and have had the broken/bent dog problems, a real simple fix is to contact Mr. Ed Metvetz of M-Y Enterprises (Paws-I-Trip Products) 220 S. Lincoln St. Homer City, PA 15748. He has a harden stainless steel dog in his inventory that will resolve most if not all of the dog problems.
This review is in conjunction with:
Ed Metvetz of M-Y Enterprises
Rob Caven of Minnesota Trapline Products
and the personal opinions of