Expensive vs. cheap!

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Expensive vs. cheap!

Postby empire_baller » Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:48 pm

what is the real difference between a 120 and 20 dollar call
the expensive one is made from either acrylic or a fancy wood i beleive.

so i'd guess it makes a bit better sounds, but is it really worth it?
do the ducks just charge right in, or is it one of those things, like making a titanium pencil, it'll be good, but be pretty damn close to the 12 cent wood one right
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Postby bowhunter20 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:33 pm

good question... i dont know... but i only get the cheaper ones and they work fine for me. but they dont get put under bullet proof glass at cabelas. :lol: :rofl:
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Postby ncduckkiller » Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:20 pm

For the most part, you will get better sound from the more expensive ones but not always the case. I would suggest you ask around your duck hunting group and try a variety of calls and see which ones sound the best with you blowing it. Some people have a real good sound coming from cheaper calls and others can't make it sound like a duck if they tried. It is all up to the user. I personally don't have a call that cost over 50 bucks and have had no problems killing my share of the birds.
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Postby The Cat Island Drake » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:04 pm

I'm like ncduckkiller I don't hunt with a call over $50 and I kill my share of duck's and geese.
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Postby XR-2 Fan » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:04 am

Here's the deal. It really depends on what's important to you. My self personally, I blow duck calls year round whether it's duck season or not. I love mess'n with em and matter of fact if I had to pick between my gun and my duck calls I'd take the calls every time. I love experimenting with different sounds and I know what sounds I like, therefor I tend to lean towards the more expensive acrylic calls that are more custom tuned. If you only pick up your calls during duck season and just use em to whack ducks, go with the cheap ones, they'll work just as well. Let's face it, most ducks really sound pretty bad as far we're concerned. I've heard em before and thought to myself now if that were a person calling that sounded like that we'd think that guy was terrible!!! It just really doesn't matter what call you use because ducks are like people in that they all sound different. Some good some bad. The more important thing is when to call and just make sure you have a call that you're confident with and the ducks dang sure don't know how much you paid for it!!! Good luck!!!
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Postby Duck Crazy » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:42 pm

plain and simply, you pay for what you get....

A custom call will more consistently produce better sounds. You pay for that extra time and effort that call maker had to put into that call to make sure it was a true quality duck call.
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Postby mollyworker » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:46 pm

Not to be a smart arse,$100. Cheap calss can and do souynd as good as expensive calls. I own both and regularly hunt with a $35 green bodock with a plastic insert. NO ONE can tell the difference in the soud of a good cheap call and a very expensive acrilic call. It's like a lexus and a toyota...snob appeal. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Get yourself one of the $35 echos and kill some ducks! The $50 custom made call of today will be worth hundreds in 20 years!
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Postby KO » Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:40 pm

In the most general terms....the more expensive calls will perform anything YOU are able to make it do......or.....if a screaming hail call is something you want your call to do....there's little chance a 20.00 call will be able to do that......now see if that 20.00 call can not only do that hail...but also walk back down without losing something along the way....ie the rasp of lowend ect...there's a transition where the reed will change vibration....a good call will easily make the switch...a cheaper call is far less likely......A GOOD expensive call should be able to do everything..from the soft quacks to absolute highs...whether you use all of it is up to the operator....in the end...the question will be.....what do I want the call to be able to do...then set out to find that call....
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Postby young ducker » Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:26 pm

mollyworker wrote:Not to be a smart arse,$100. Cheap calss can and do souynd as good as expensive calls. I own both and regularly hunt with a $35 green bodock with a plastic insert. NO ONE can tell the difference in the soud of a good cheap call and a very expensive acrilic call. It's like a lexus and a toyota...snob appeal. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Get yourself one of the $35 echos and kill some ducks! The $50 custom made call of today will be worth hundreds in 20 years!


Just wondering what ya ment by Toyota being a "snob" appeal. just wondering we all drive em and we sure ain't snobs
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Postby Cobra » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:13 pm

Difference? Bragging appeal on sites like this. Is a $120 a bit better than a $20, hope so and it better be. 6 times better, no way. Many here think by simply spending $$$$$ they'll be greater than you and have no problem letting you know about it. Goes for guns as well. Never really been about what you have, it's more do you really know how to use it. Plenty of people think ability can simply be purchased without the need to learn the craft.
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Postby Kiskadinna » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:36 pm

young ducker wrote:Just wondering what ya ment by Toyota being a "snob" appeal. just wondering we all drive em and we sure ain't snobs


I believe he was referring to the fact that Lexus was a re-branded Toyota - not that a Toyota itself has snob appeal. In other words, why drive a lexus when a Toyota will do just as well.

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Postby Kiskadinna » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:51 pm

Additionally, I don't buy the idea that its about "bragging appeal" - Is there a difference in the calls? Heck yes - That it should be six times better is an oversimplification to say the least.

First of all, people value different aspects of a sport or their life for that matter differently. I have a cheap shotgun compared to many, a cheap boat and I learned to squeeze the nickel in a lot of aspects of my life. But I like nice calls - so some of the calls I own are in the $100 dollar price range - a good deal though cost less than 40 dollars.

Second, a high end call is a most often a hand made, thought out INSTRUMENT. You're paying for a craftsman's work, not someone in china running an injection mold - there is a cost associated.

Third, with a good company you pay for service - local call makers don't generally charge to set up the call the way that is best for you and will adjust as needed - usually for no charge!

That being said, one of my favorite duck calls is a $35 wood/poly by a small call maker out of MN - and it was built per my specs.
You don't HAVE to spend 150 on a call for it to be good, but if someone enjoys nice calls and if it gives you confidence as a caller to have a more expensive call, no worries.
This comes up all the time and it's really silly in my mind. There's the side that thinks expensive calls are worthless, and the side that thinks you get what you pay for. Whatever works for you I say.
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Postby waterfowler9 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:17 pm

One reason i moved over to top end calls is that most of them guarantee a life time warranty on there calls. That being said rather than throwing away a cheaper call you can send it back and get it fixed or re tuned. and also they can tune them to preference where as the cheaper call you pick up thats it, it is kinda hit or miss if you are going to like it or not. which i think you can save money overtime.
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Postby Duck Crazy » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:14 pm

it is important to realize with calls, you can develope your skills enough to where you as the caller are hindered by the limits of the call, in other words you can outperform the call.

THIS IS WHERE THE PAYING THE $$$$ FOR CALLS BECOMES PRAGMATIC!

if you are just starting out...it makes more sense to buy cheaper calls. once you have developed your skills enough to the point where you can handle a more expensive high-end call then it makes sense to dish out the green if you want to.

Cobra wrote:Never really been about what you have, it's more do you really know how to use it. Plenty of people think ability can simply be purchased without the need to learn the craft


somebody with average calling ability will always get out called by someone with more expert calling ability, no matter what call they use. A proficient caller is greater than a top-of the line duck call.
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Postby dx1187 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:18 pm

Duck Crazy wrote:plain and simply, you pay for what you get....

A custom call will more consistently produce better sounds. You pay for that extra time and effort that call maker had to put into that call to make sure it was a true quality duck call.


WHAT?! If you are going to duck calling competitions, go with a $140 call. As far as putting ducks in the blind, I'll put my $20 calls up against a $140 call any day. There's a lot that goes unsaid about the "caller" too.

Just my .02!!
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Postby Duck Crazy » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:22 pm

dx1187 wrote:WHAT?! If you are going to duck calling competitions, go with a $140 call. As far as putting ducks in the blind, I'll put my $20 calls up against a $140 call any day. There's a lot that goes unsaid about the "caller" too.

Just my .02!!


OKAY! you get the $20 call and Buck Gardner gets the $140 call...we'll see who wins
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Postby Duck Crazy » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:28 pm

PLUS how are you sure that the mold-injected call with pre-cut reeds and a rubber stopper is actually quality when it compares to a hand-made call that is tuned to your specific calling style?

Im not saying $20 calls can't call ducks. The price of the call does not constitute its effectiveness in the field. BUT! an proficient caller will be able to operate a more expensive custom call more effectively than a less expensive mold-injected call. Because he or she will have a far wider range of tones and pitches that he or she can produce using a custom call. however this only applies after he or she has gained calling experience and can truely operate the call. Stick that $135 on the lips of a novice and they will probably flare off more birds than they would have with a $20 call.
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Postby Littlejohnny29 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:48 pm

This is an interesting post.

When I started hunting waterfowl 6 years ago, I tried an RNT acrylic and it seemed like it was not any different from the $20.00 calls I own. Then the other day, I tried that same RNT call sitting in the glass case at Gander Mountain. Yes it sounded that same as the cheap calls I own, but this time, after gaining more experience calling, there was something unique about that $127.00 RNT. It just felt perfect, I guess smooth.

It was like sipping a fine wine, instead of a cheap table wine.

My take on this is as you gain experience, the more expensive calls will feel better (I guess, or, I might be wrong)
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Postby THIN MAN » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:38 pm

Everyone has an opinion so here's mine... Will a $20 plastic call work...yes. Will a $120 custom acrylic work...yes. Will the cheaper model work just as good as the more expensive one in the blind, probably so. If the only reason you blow a call is because you feel like you must to kill ducks, then the high dollar call will not be for you. But if you have a passion for calling, a true interest in calls, so much so that working the birds to the call is just as important than shooting....well there's nothing like the feel of a custom call in your hand!!!

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Postby gomer snerd » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:20 pm

as long as you can get the 150 dollar call to sound like a DR 85 it will call ducks.
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Postby ncduckkiller » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:33 pm

gomer snerd wrote:as long as you can get the 150 dollar call to sound like a DR 85 it will call ducks.



:rofl: :lol: :rolleyes:
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Postby Kiskadinna » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:42 pm

why do people have to make these things a write and wrong issue?
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Postby njplotts » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:34 am

My 2 cents.

The cheap calls & not so cheap calls are mass produced. a better descricption would be they are assembled. So if the molds, dies or cutters are worn there is no tellong what comes out of the package. Some of the "big callmakers" say they so & so hands tunes every call. Impossible if you look at how many call are out there. That's why some say "so & so" call is the BEST call. While others complain the same call is junk. As a callmaker I believe you'll NEVER get a store bought call as good as a hand turned call.
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Postby thaner » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:19 pm

Hand tuned call by someone who knows how to blow a call and tune a call is better than one some Chinese factory worker is throwing together. For $20 you get a thrown together call even if it is tuned in the USA by someone who can blow one, but is assembling them one every 5 minutes or less. You have to pay for a good hand tuned call by someone who knows how to do it right. The difference a sliver of reed length makes to a call tune can be major. You can't turn an expensive piece of acrylic or wood and then put on a solid brass or engraved SS band, and then pack it in a bag to keep it nice and box to store it in for what you can slap an inject plastic call in a bubble pack for. It's simple economics of material and labor cost.

I have had about 20 mass produced poly calls I used for years as I learned and got better. I killed a lot of ducks with them. When I started I couldn't tell the difference between decent low $ calls and high end calls. Some of the high end ones were hard to blow and didn’t sound good. Now I can tell a ton of difference. I do not have a poly call that can hold a candle to an acrylic or high end wood call with the exception of the Buck Gardner Pocket rocket Titan I have. That is darn close in some areas because they spend more time tuning the call, but it still doesn't have the sound, range, and top end of an acrylic or the tone of a wood call, but I use it a lot as it doesn't stick and makes a good work horse call. It is the only poly call to make my lanyard. However, when I need low and soft, down and dirty raspy or all out top end it is not the call I reach for.

There is noting wrong with a good budget call, but they are not the same or as good as the high end calls for top performance. You can even hand tune a plastic call and get one that sounds better than the factory version so they at least will do the best possible with the materials and call design. However, you are still limited by the material and if you could blow them all as good as they can be blown and had them all to work with I think you would agree. Do you need better than a budget call to kill ducks? Much of the time no, but sometimes it can make a difference.

I would be interested to know how many people who argue a poly call is as good as a high end call actually are accomplished callers and have actually owned and extensively used the high end wood and acrylic calls. If you are an accomplished caller with a lot of experience with all call types and think the poly call is where it is at or there is no difference or benefit between $20 calls and high end calls then post up. I would be interested in your input.
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Postby Rdneckhnter09 » Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:53 pm

i own both expensive and cheap calls, you can tell the difference between an expensive custom call(T SALT CALL) and a cheaper on(duck commander) when its late in the season i bust out the T salt and give the ducks something they haven't heard a lot. it works but for the first two seasons i use the cheap duck commander call.
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