In an ongoing series of posts, Balog checks out new waterfowling gear for this season
As watefowlers, we live with our calls. We carry them everywhere in the truck, and blow them all season long. Perhaps it's the mystique: somewhere in that call is the secret to never-ending success. This year, call makers are introducing models for all of our likings -- and budgets -- and they will surely keep us practicing.
Banded Specklebelly Goose Call
Banded has an extensive lineup of bargain-priced calls for 2014, and at $24.99, this new Specklebelly Goose Call is about as good of a bargain as you'll find. It's a short-reed polycarbonate call that's exceptionally easy to blow and incredibly loud -- just what a speck hunter needs. It's available in Realtree Max-5, too, which is always a bonus.
RNT Daisy Slayer Duck Call
RNT's new Daisy Slayer is a modification of their incredibly popular Daisy Cutter call. The Daisy Slayer has a shorter insert and unique bore design, which builds back-pressure and allows for very soft, realistic low-volume chatter and quacks. This new call is the choice of RNT president John Stephens when afield, so you know it's the real deal. The Daisy Slayer is a single reed call, and retails for $145.
Kelly Powers is the only person to win the Triple Crown of goose calling competitions: World and International Champion and World Champion of Champions. For years, his contest winning calls were thought to be un-duplicable due to their worn in guts. This year, Tim Grounds Championship Calls introduces a call labeled as containing the original worn-in guts Powers used to claim his title. Contest callers and call-junkies alike will love the open bore and loud sound combined with realism. This call design has won over a quarter-million dollars in calling contests, and retails for $199.99.
Flextone founder Tom Wiley created the first Flextone call using surgical tubing. The soft material closely mimicked the soft tissue of an animal, giving the call a more natural sound. This year, Flextone expands their realistic line of calls with the Supernatural Goose. This call features a hybrid barrel of rigid interior material and softer exterior, which allows sound to carry through the call's layers. The sound transfer is said to produce ultra-natural Canada Goose vocalizations. Like all Flextone calls, the new Supernatural Goose is quite economical despite its high-dollar appearance, complete with Realtree AP finish. It's priced at $29.99.
Many old-schoolduck hunters argue that no modern, synthetic call produces the true, realistic sounds of old wood models. Fans of new materials argue that wood won't hold up like synthetic, especially in the call's tone board. Now both camps can have their say. Renowned call experts Field And Clay Hudnall have created a call with an Osage Orange mouthpiece and a polymer tone board in their new Hybrid Double Shot. This double reed creation is hand-tuned, offers a lifetime warranty, and is priced right at $49.99.
Primos Mean Mallard Duck Call
The new mallard call from Primos features tone ridges and tuning ditches on the sound board. Not only do these implementations give the call a ducky, raspy sound, they keep it from sticking. Primos is known for making calls that sound good right out of the box, and any level caller can quickly master. Their new creation retails for $42.95
Can you really call diver ducks? Rod Haydel, one of America's foremost duck call builders, is here to prove you can. This year, Haydel introduces the DC-14 diver duck call, which creates the Brrr sound that most diver species use to communicate. Knowing that the diver hunter often hunts over massive expanses of water, the call features a small, removable plug in the barrel. When taken out, the volume increases significantly. Haydel's newest creation to fool everything that flies is priced at $24.95
Cabela's newest edition rivals many custom calls at much higher price points. This acrylic single-reed is designed to be loud, offering ringing highballs for open water callers and contest performers alike. The interior features double O-rings when the caller needs to back down and maintain realism. Each call is hand-tuned and polished, features a lifetime guarantee, and is priced far below competitors' acrylics at $69.99.