Choosing a duck call is similar to choosing a new car. First, you consider your price range. Then you find a reputable dealer. Finally, you look long and hard at the truck that catches your attention. How does a duck hunter, especially a new duck hunter, choosing a duck call from an almost unlimited number of calls readily available? With a little background information, the choice is a little clearer.
Use A Trusted Callmaker
A proven call from an established company is an extremely important point. That doesn’t mean the call has to have won a world championship contest. There are numerous established and proven callmakers who do not participate in the contest scene. What they do need to offer are excellent customer service and quality products.
Duck calls are produced using three main decisions: material, color, and reed number. Each offers advantages and disadvantages. Using this information can provide confidence in choosing a duck call.
We will discuss those advantages and disadvantages to further simplify the choices.
Wood is the traditional duck call material. Wood creates a raspy, rich tone, but it can be limited in the volume it can produce. It is less durable than other materials such as acrylic or polycarbonate. Wood also requires more maintenance and is affected by moisture. In general, wooden calls are less expensive than acrylic calls.
Acrylic has become very popular in today’s duck call market. Acrylic is durable, unaffected by moisture, and requires less maintenance. It produces clear, crisp tones and produces greater volume. Unfortunately, acrylic is the more expensive choice for the callmaker and buyer.
Polycarbonate is a less expensive synthetic material. Polycarbonate calls are cheaper to produce and make great starter calls. However, not all callmakers produce a polycarbonate call
The color of the material can play a part in the tonal qualities of a call. Within the three main material types, there are density differences in wood species and acrylic colors.
A denser wood will create a crisper, clearer tone. While a softer wood will produce a more mellow, softer tone. Transparent acrylic colors are harder than solid color acrylics. The transparent colors can produce a louder and sharper sound.
Single Reed or Double Reed
The biggest decision you have to make is single reed or double reed. Each has its merits. Personal taste and desires will make that decision. Single reed duck calls are more versatile, offering a wider range of sounds, and produce a clear and demanding tone.
They do, however, require a broader knowledge of calling mechanics, such as air control, positioning, and tongue control. Double reed calls are more forgiving. They require less knowledge of calling mechanics, but lack the versatile range a single reed has. Double reed calls can help build the confidence of a novice caller.
Whether you pick a wooden duck call or acrylic duck call, single reed or double reed duck call, remember to practice before hunting season starts!
Lover of hiking, nature, camping, bird calls, and more. I run ATO and do my best to provide interesting information for my readers to help make their outdoor adventures more fun.