Dressed in bib overalls, shock of gray hair askew, he saunters into Toledo Town mega-shop near the banks of massive Toledo Bend Lake. He takes a seat at a table in the restaurant and the waitress brings him a plate of bacon and eggs.
At first glance, you’d think he was just a local fellow who has spent the last hour in his garden and stops by for breakfast.
In reality, this laid-back old guy just happens to be the owner of Toledo Town. His legacy goes back more than half a century when Dr. Robert Glynn Carver was a professor of biochemistry at McNeese State College in Lake Charles.
In 1972, Carver introduced to the world a concept in fishing lures that literally changed the way fishermen went after bass. He invented the Mister Twister curly tail worm.
Legendary outdoor writer, the late Homer Circle, was impressed with Carver’s invention. “The curly tail concept is the most exciting built-in action I have seen in soft lures. This amazing principle of animation doubtless will be added to many new types of lures in the future.”
We had the opportunity to sit down with Carver a couple of years ago to pick his brain a bit about his amazing invention.
“I was living in Claiborne Parish in Athens when I started my company in Minden,” Carver said. “I’d always heard folks say they’d like to see a worm that swam. I was at a show in Chicago and there was a French lure that had a curly tail but it was a stiff type lure. I felt like it would work on soft plastics.”
The National Fishing Lure Collector’s Club awarded Carver an honorary membership in the organization when they first saw his invention.
One day, he dragged a curled ribbon of plastic through a tank of water and the resulting rippling action was so life-like that he knew he was onto something extraordinary. In short order, Carver moved from the world of academia to president and owner of a lure manufacturing firm, capable of producing 400,000 units a day.
Carver reminisced about the company he founded. ”We built all those buildings in Minden when we were going full bore with the company. Over the years, I’ve had 16 or 17 design patents on my lures. Just about every other lure company in the country followed us and they are now adding curly tails to lots of their soft plastic lures.”
Carver eventually sold his company to Mepps, one of the nation’s largest lure manufacturers.
“The folks at Mepps said they’d like me to continue to manufacture lures for them. By that time, I’d moved to Toledo Bend and I told them that as long as I could do it on Toledo Bend, I’d do it. I started manufacturing lures for them, working lots of long hours. I built Toledo Town and eventually, I dropped the manufacturing operation and now I’m just involved with the store,” Carver said.
You have been reading excerpts of an article I did on Glynn Carver a couple of years ago. I share these with you again after reading his obituary in the Homer Guardian Journal last week.
He passed away September 28 at the age of 82. Condolences to his family and the bass fishing world as they say goodbye to a genius from Claiborne Parish who turned the fishing industry on its ear 46 years ago.