What TRULY makes a good call IF

Discussion in 'Duck & Goose Calling Forum' started by grahler, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. grahler

    grahler Senior Refuge Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    Theres so many great calls now. I have have quite a few that I have used over the last decade or so. Some expensive some super cheap.
    You can go high end custom and get beautiful wood or acrylic or whatever with a tone board and tune that’s set loose or tight according to your desire if you are a connesuir.
    Custom is pretty dang cool. I know folks that have done that and all of them seem quite happy about the results.
    It’s taken me a lot longer than I ever thought it would to be what I would say is proficient with a call.
    Some calls have so much range it’s ridiculous. These calls are super fun to use. After lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of practice you can find great variety in tone/rasp within some of these masterpieces.
    The problem for me with range is that I can get two different ducks in one greeting at times. I am not and will never be truly expert. So too loose is fun but for hunting nah.
    What TRULY makes a good call for me is one whose range is less and whose tune is setup to my air which I always end up doing myself. It needs to run smooth through it’s available range while never squeaking or locking or putting out a bad note whether it’s getting hammered on or coming down soft.
    I have found in buying mass produced higher end calls that often they come tuned on a ragged edge to show off maximum tonal range, but they require (many not all) user proficiency with the air that can be challenging for me to rub proficiently. Almost like, guys better than me tuned em up haha.
    This is also true on some of the mid level calls I have bought as well. Generally what I have done for hunting is put the stock reed or reeds aside in the box and set em up myself.
    With LA style, people often have trouble if they disassemble. I really like this design though now that I can tune em for me.
    The bottom line to me is that in today’s world it’s very rarely the calls fault if one is having trouble. Yes, some calls are better than others, but almost any call can be made functional for a person who has reasonable ability based on its setup.
    I’ve found a few of what would be called low end to mid in terms of price that out of the box were setup poorly period. Put a tune on em for me though and they make great hunting calls.
    So to me a good call is one that you can run in your style that’s setup so that there’s no fear of creating goofy sounds through its range. That’s it.
    Call setup matching the user is the most important thing to me.
    I’ve come full circle on this. I used to look down on cheap calls, but it was never the calls fault. If you don’t wanna bother about tuning, it seems like a strong argument also for going custom IF you are truly honest about your ability when you order. Not all of us can drive formula one cars, but most of us can drive.
    Randy_Cesco likes this.
  2. joecitrano

    joecitrano Senior Refuge Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    I'd say pretty well said grahler
  3. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    Klondike, Louisiana
    Reads like you're probably happiest with a second reed that helps govern against foul-ups.

    But I want the greater range of a single I might squeak or squack accidentally from time to time, in part because there are times when I dang well want it to readily squeak or squack like a double won't without greater effort, if at all.

    Different strokes...
    OneShotBandit likes this.
  4. grahler

    grahler Senior Refuge Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    You know, I put some thought into this response. I think my call evolution over the years has gone basically from Iverson to RNT original to Lares A5 to T1 (made before there ever was a hybrid) with a bunch of other calls that never really had a lengthy lanyard stint in there as well.
    Those four calls made it a few years each before I changed for whatever reason. They are all excellent calls.
    To this day my two best coco calls are my original and short barrel. Those are easy smooth running calls.
    My personal favorite sounds come out of my T1. That call requires more practice than the others though. Also, my experience with hunting heavily pressured ducks is that I can throw the fancy show off moves out the window. Whine is good, fancy bouncing hens and what not are more for the caller than the birds.
    For me timing cadence and a bit of inflection trumps all.
    Again, I understand you run traffic and finish with that MVP. You guide and are clearly an authority on calling and we come from different areas.
    In my case, I am not trying to break ducks, and while I have not had the opportunity, I think doing so in my locales would require at least 3 good callers working in tandem. That might work...Never tried it. In my locales you need to be quiet and let the ducks settle in and get a bit comfy as they come down to maybe 60-80 yards up then start in a bit on em.
    One guy can wail all day on a call and where I hunt it won’t matter at all to the traffic. Those ducks know where it’s dangerous and also where they want to be. 3together with a fourth whistling might do it though.
    I use the call to get the birds from say 150 to 10 you know? Or 60-20. I see the call as that last element once you are in a good spot and hidden decent and have a logical decoy setup. A lot of guys in my area don’t call. Their shots are at a range I don’t like for the most part (they shoot well, far better than me) and I don’t enjoy duck hunting to kill every available duck. I like getting them in close and I will almost always pass on a forty yard shot. My pattern is poor at that range anyhow.
    Anyways, yeah, I like the double reed for this, BECAUSE I am only worried about timing and cadence so I want a call that’s super easy to run. My coco short barrel is the same. Also Echo Timber super smooth runner... My t1is awesome if I blow it some everyday. I think the key to any call is having a call you can run and know that the sound is good, then you can focus on the important things, the sound doesn’t have to be phenomenal, it’s just a duck call. If you practice more a looser one is great but I see it more as a personal enjoyment factor than anything.
    Far more important to call at theright time imo.
    That’s why I say a good call is one tuned so that that individual can run it consistently. Breeds confidence.
  5. Rickard

    Rickard Refuge Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    Different strokes indeed. I was fortunate this fall to get into a decent push of ducks while I was on leave with the wide range of attitudes on my morning hunts over public land. My hides were good, not great, birds were mostly interested in working, i ran 2 doz mallard/pintail/gadwall decoys, but the one thing that absolutely did make a difference was the calling. Some birds wanted to be talked to all the way to the gun, some wanted unconventional calling sequences, and others didn't want anything other than the initial greeter to turn them. I tried a lot of fun notes and whines and at least agree that it wasn't absolutely necessary for those ducks at those times. However, I do prefer running a call that can "do it all." My main call is a Ducklander DLC-300 that can be finicky some days, but like Rick, I'd still rather have a call that has all of the abilities than sacrifice those for a call that is harder to get over the top of and squeak out. I run a Lares Hybrid a lot hunting and will occasionally overdrive it due to excitement, but honestly, I pick that one up to run at home just as much as my other ones. I dunno, I figure if a bird bugs out over a squeak out, then I've probably done something else wrong too. I usually correct the air presentation issue pretty quickly... Got lucky this year and most of the birds that started working my spread were pretty serious to begin with and forgave a little excitement, even with other callers trying to pull them off. For me though, I go back to the 300 and even DLC's Loudtimber model for the higher pitch and cleaner sound. They seem to garner a better response for me when some of my other tried and true calls aren't getting birds attention.

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