Dunn adds that acrylic calls don't require as much care as wooden calls. "Wooden calls are porous, and they tend to absorb moisture and swell," he explains. "They should be taken apart after each hunt and allowed to air-dry. But because of the high density of acrylic calls, they won't swell, and they produce very consistent sounds."
And finally, what's the difference between a $140 custom call and a $30 mass-produced call? "You can call ducks with both," Dunn says. "But custom calls can be finessed more. They are capable of making soft whines and other subtle sounds that mass-produced calls can't make. A custom call can also be tuned specifically to a hunter's calling style."
So when choosing a new duck call, consider these variables: distance, volume, type of material, and cost. After working through these options, apply the "sounds good" test to make the final selection. Then, if you are like me, all that remains is coming up with a good name.
Call Tuning Simplified
Any hunter who has ever taken apart a duck call knows that putting all the internal components back together in the right position can be more difficult than you might think. That's why it's a good idea to mark the original placement of the reeds, tone board, and wedge with a magic marker before disassembling them.
Primos Hunting Calls has gone one step further by designing their Wench series duck calls with a patented reed relocation system. The call's interlocking reed assembly takes much of the guesswork out of call tuning.