I picked up a Primos Honky Tonk Friday.... Called on it a couple times before I left (although I'd had a borrowed one for about six months prior) and then over the weekend called in a flock of ten, a flock of thirty totally cupped into the dekes that my hunting buddy dropped two out of and then had a single circling me calling back for about ten minutes or so yesterday. I'm no pro caller but it takes hardly any air/back pressure to work and like my buddy said.... proof is in the pudding... or in this case, the pictures. He hardly calls at all when he calls at em (less is more theory) but I know he blows a Sean Mann short reed. Hope that helps... his Sean Mann is pretty sweet... he let me play around with it a little bit but I will ALWAYS have that Honky Tonk with me from now on... thats one cheap (21.99) but extremely effective call.
I'll have to throw in my vote for the Honky Tonk as well... it's the only short reed call that I can make decent sounds with. I've tried the Quackhead Goozilla, the Canada Hammer, the Primos shaved reed, and the Knight & Hale Pit Boss, and I can't get any of them to sound near as good that Honky Tonk.
Does it get cold enough here that the reeds freeze? I've not ever run into that problem with my duck calls... and I'd think it'd affect the longer reeds more.... I don't know for sure though... I mostly just run into problems with duck calls sticking... blow hot air into your call against your hand until it squeals and that seems to break them free to call again. 8)
Cabelas has them for 22 and at Sportsmans they're a dollar more.... If you can, get the package that has the mastering the art DVD.... it'll help get you started. I think thats like 28 or 30 bucks. Also, I hung out with a guy that calls the geese pretty well and he showed me some things. I've also hung out around ponds with geese and ducks on them, listening to what they do and then I just tried to mimic that. It'll probably take a few flared geese but you'll get it... if I can call that many geese in, anybody should be able to do it... because I'm no champion caller..... not even close.
Man there's a zillion calls out there.... from high end customs to cheap but ducky sounding poly carbs. I would just stick with Primos stuff if you like that Honky Tonk.... their calls are just so easy to work....pretty foolproof. You also have Foiles (ah, I can feel the rotten tomatoes flying my way now) Hunters Specialties (HS), Buck Gardner, Quackhead (RNT polycarbs) the list is quite possibly endless....I guess the only real way to find what you like is by trial and error.... pick one up (most are about twenty bucks or so) and if you don't like it, make a note and pick up another one. I like the Bill Collector by HS and I have a wooden call that I was given that I really like too. Good luck....
I agree with RiverRat, the list is possibly endless, but the first call that I wever purchased was the Primos Double Wench. I still have that call, and it is one of my favorite calls ever. There are several different variations of the Wench; the Double Wench, the Timber Wench, the Hardwood Wench, the Diamondwood Wench, & the Cocobolo Wench. I have at least one or 2 of each. There's acrylic Wenches, too, but I haven't shelled out the bucks for one of those yet. I would if I could afford it though.
No matter which Wench I'm using, they always seem easy to blow, they don't stick, and they sound like ducks. the Double Wench has a tuning hole in the stopper that can be covered/uncovered, whererby changing the pitch of the quack, so you can sound like multiple ducks while only having to carry one call. It's also a very forgiving call if you make mistakes. I think these Wenches are the best calls that beginners can start learning on and I still think they sound great and perform well even for more experienced callers.
I'm not a good duck caller, I'm still learning, and the Wench is still one of my favorites. I also really like Southern Game Calls. I've got a Little Joel and a Nasty Boy that both sound great. Buck Gardner's older calls are also some of my favorites. I also like the Hunter's Specialties Bill collectors as well. I have a single reed and a double reed. Cutt Down also makes some good cocobolo wood calls, too.
All of these calls would be great calls to learn on. (2cents' worth)
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