The plastic worm has been a big part of bass fishing history, with some brands enjoying a strong regional presence, while others were better known nationally. But how good is your memory?

The idea here is to match the brand name with the worm. The brands are alphabetically (A) Big Mert’s, (B) Burke, (C) Creme, (D) Ditto, (E) Kalin, (F) Mann’s, (G) Mister Twister, (H) Stembridge

The worm models are: (1) Fliptail, (2) Fluttertail, (3) Gator Tail, (4) Hard Head (5) Jelly Worm, (6) Lunker Worm, (7) Phenom, (8) Shimmy Babe

Let’s see how you do. Post your answer in Leave a Reply section. I’ll put together a package of modern plastic worms to the viewer who does the best job of matching up.

You may be surprised that many of the popular plastic shapes we use today have been around for decades. Included in this group are straight tails, sickle tails, hook tails, a paddle tail, and one that almost defies description–it was almost hand or claw-shaped! But we’ll talk more about that after we’ve played the “name game.”


9 Responses to “It’s contest time: Match the plastic worm…”


I turn 50 next week and can remember most of these worms from when I was a kid back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Hope I am close…GS


Here is my shot.

(A) Big Mert’s, (2) Fluttertail
(B) Burke, (4) Hard Head
(C) Creme, (8) Shimmy Babe
(D) Ditto, (3) Gator Tail
(E) Kalin, (6) Lunker Worm
(F) Mann’s, (5) Jelly Worm,
(G) Mister Twister, (7) Phenom
(H) Stembridge (1) Fliptail

by George Kramer

We have a winner! Big Mert’s “Explosive” Fluttertail worms were a pretty hot deal in SoCal in the early 1970’s (with that flat claw-shaped tail). Burke’s Hard Head could be found on the end of some San Diego anglers’ lines, while Creme’s Shimmy Babe (the shorter version of the Shimmy Gal) followed the original Scoundrel. Bobby Ditto’s Gator Tail was a Gary Klein favorite around the time of the 1981 BASS Classic, while Kalin’s Lunker Worm was a 4-inch ribbontail (I personally wish they would offer again). We loved Mann’s “flavored” Jelly Worms, while Mister Twister went from ribbontails to this thinner worm with a little hooked tail. And the Fliptail? The 9-inch Big Daddy Fliptail (straight tail) accounted for Rip Nunnery’s all-time, 98-pound, 15-ounce, BASS, one-day catch record (smoke and watermelon, 1969).

by George Nochta


I was part of the late ’80s and on thru the ’90s custom hand pour plastic worm business here in the San Diego area.
I was the new kid on the block with my Intimidator Lures skinny worm line and joined Gary White’s AA Worms and Joe Masurko (not sure of spelling) Western Plastics. I made a very nice home business which put my twin boys through private high school and continued on a limited basis until around 2006 or 2007. I am still asked to make worms to this day and of course am completely retired from that endeavor now. Having just read the article in the FEB 2011 issue of BASSMASTER by Mike Pehanich about California Garage Shop baits, I was astounded by how very little was mentioned about the historical evolution of custom baits originating out here. It’s not that I felt slighted, but moreover disappointed that Mike really did very little to articulate how all this came about…..I believe a better job could have been done

by George Kramer

Hey, George. I remember the name and the baits. And for the record, that was “Mazzurco.” As for the shortsightedness on the subject of hand pours, just remember, most people under the age of 30 have little awareness of anything before 2000. Don’t take offense, it’s just the way it is. 😉


Awhile ago you talked about Kalin’s 4″ Lunker worm. You stated you wish they still made it. I don’t if they do, but if you would like a few I have some for you. That was one hell of a worm!

by George Kramer

Since then, Larry, they have reintroduced it, although they don’t call it the Lunker Worm anymore. It’s on the Uncle Josh website. 🙂 And thanks for the offer!

by Vickie Mericle

I have Explosive X-tra soft floating Fluttertail worms new in package made by Championship Tackle , INC. 5606 Work St. Shreveport, la 71108 in the 1970’s. With instructions on the proper way to fish the fluttertail worm.
Does anyone know anything about this worms they came in different colors. I am wishing to sell them.

by George Kramer

The Big Mert’s version of those baits would be the ones Californians would recall from back in the day.