The MS Slammer is made by Mike Shaw in Atascadero, CA. Mike first started making the Slammer to fish for stripers around 1993 and all of the original baits were 12" big boys. Over the years the Slammer has changed and evolved a little, but the basic style is largely unchanged. I look at the Slammer like the Japanese car of trout plugs. Every year a new model comes out that looks about like last year's model, but there's always some small improvements that make it even better than it was.
The Slammer is a basically a surface or trolling bait. Cast and retrieve it and it will dive to 3 or 4 feet tops. But it's real deadliness comes in it's surface waking retrieve. This bait throws a huge wake and there are really times when this action is super effective. The Slammer kicks up a huge disturbance of noise and motion on top and large fish tend to know that something big that is struggling around is going to make a really nice meal.
If there is one area where the Slammer out does all other trout plugs, it's night fishing. This lure kills them at night. Just kills them. Don't say I didn't tell you about it! During the day it's a grab bag, but typically your big bite on the Slammer will be in choppy/breezy condition. The buoyancy of the bait on top causes it to kick around erratically in chop and that drives them pretty nuts most times. There will be the super calm days where they will assassinate it with reckless abandon anyway, but the strength of this bait is really when you have some 'condition' going on.
The Slammer's two hooks make it one of the best big baits for hooking and landing fish, and the durability of the lure is also excellent. The paint jobs have been refined over the years and they are in the top sector of what few wood baits there are on the market. I have seen several baits chewed with almost 1/4" grooves in them that still get bit. You really can put 100 fish on this lure. The hooks are premium VMC's as of around 11/03, and I believe the VMC's are good enough to fish as is. If you have baits from before that time frame, I would highly recommend either sharpening or replacing the stock hooks.
Unless you troll, the Slammer is not a bait that can be fished at any kind of depth. It is a surface bait and lacks versatility in this regard. There are some older baits out there that had some paint issues so that could go as a con also. The tails on the bait typically last for many many fish, but when they do rip out, they can be a little tedious to replace until you get used to doing it.