A few months back we posted a piece on a 1977 Mister Twister Catalog. That post brought a lot of good Mister Twister memories back and hopefully today we can do the same with this 1985 Mister Twister Catalog.
Mister Twister without a doubt started a whole new revolution in soft plastics – the twist tail. Prior to Mister Twister, there were tons of worms with straight tails, paddle tails, coffin shaped tails, you name it. But they all had one thing in common. They were straight and provided no action. The around 1973 Mister Twister came out with the Phenom twist tail and worm fishing changed forever.
There had never been a worm that had integral action, or action that had to be imparted by the angler. I guess you could argue that the Phenom had to be reeled to give it action, and that’s true, but do that with a straight-tailed worm and all you had was a stick moving through the water.
That, at times was action enough as Charlie Brewer proved with his Slider worms, but the action put forth by the Phenom’s tail, gave the bait a whole new action, almost like it was swimming.
By the end of the 1970s, Mister Twister had a selection of baits that ranged from curl-tail worms and grubs, to a spinnerbait skirt, that was knocked off of Charles “Doc” Morehead’s Nasty skirt. But, the fact remains, Mister Twister invented the curl-tail and they were making everything with it.
The around 1980, Mister Twister came out with another gamechanger – the Sassy Shad. This boot-tailed fish had a completely new action in the water that looks as if the fish was kicking its tail. It was another hit among anglers who fished for crappie to bass and even offshore gamefish. It was the forefather of the modern soft swimbait. Mister Twister moved the concept from a fish profile to a grub profile and even made the Sassy Worm for a couple years.
In the early 80s, a couple of guys at the shop I worked at took the 3-inch Sassy Shad to a different level, though, and made it into a flippin’ bait. Back then, Lake Elsinore in southern California, was a phenomenal fishery. Flooded trees along the west side of the lake in the early summer were the spawning beds for millions of threadfin shad.
One of the guys, Dan Feyo, Texas rigged a 3-inch Sassy Shad on a 3/0 Mustad 33637 worm hook, pinned the head of the bait with a toothpick and then pinned a 1/2-ounce worm weight against the head of the bait. The result was a weedless shad imitator that destroyed the bass. He and Rip Nunnery had that secret for a few months before word got out. The next spring, we couldn’t keep the fake baitfish in stock.
Another bait they were selling at this time was the Poc’it Phenom. Back then bait scents were in their prime, with Fish Formula probably getting the nod for the most popular of the time. Mister Twister got on that band wagon with a worm specifically designed to hold scent, the Poc’it Phenom. As the name suggests, the Poc’it Phenom had deep dimples up and down the length of the worm that would, supposedly hold scent better than a standard bait.
To get even deeper into the scented bait boon, Twister also came out with their own scent, Poc’it Potion. Poc’it Potion came in three different scents, Nightcrawler, Crawdad and of course, Anise. It was oil-based, so it would soak into the worm if left in contact for any length of time.
The catalog presented here didn’t stop at softbaits, though. Mister Twister also showcased their jigs, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. The Lunker Buzz came out right after Rick Clunn nearly won the 1976 Tennessee Invitational on Cordell Hull Reservoir using the Lunker Lure. The Twister version was a pretty good substitute and even came with a twin-bladed version that would track straight in the water due to the counter-rotating blades.
One of the more surprising things I found in this catalog was Twister was selling an H&H spinnerbait. H&H has been around since the 1950s and was manufactured in Louisiana, not far from where Twister started. I guess it was easier for them to just OEM spinnerbaits from H&H than to make their own. Interesting that they kept the H&H name, though.
To fill out the catalog, Twister showcased their crappie jigs, jigheads, and pork, as well as give some good tips how to use their baits. It’s a pretty cool catalog to look back on as anyone who was bass fishing back in those days can’t help have used these iconic lures.
The full catalog is in the gallery below. Click on the first picture to scroll through all the pages.