There are 3 parts of a duck call that affect the sound it
- Toneboard (Insert)
What we have tried to provide below are some tips on tuning
your call to your own voice.
The reed is where 90% of the tuning is done. A good cut on the toneboard can be made to
sound like a number of different calls simply by trimming the reed in different
Starting with a long reed, there are 3 easy ways you can try
trimming your reed.
- Trim the back of the reed to make it
shorter. The shorter the reed, the less
air (back pressure) required to make the call work. Additionally, the shorter the reed the higher
the tone’s pitch.
- Round reed: with 220 grit or finer sandpaper
gently sand the end of the reed so as to shape the end of the reed in an even
round shape similar to the profile of the end of your thumb. Once the front end of the reed is round you
can trim the back end of the reed to make the length of the reed fit your
- Dagger reed:
With a sharp pair of scissors cut “shoulders” onto te end of the reed so
that the end of the reed is flat (straight) and the corners of the reed are
dog-eared instead of the rounded curve a long uncut reed has. Adjusting the length of the straight “dog-ear”
sides as well as the length of the flat/straight part on the end of the reed
will both affect the sound.
It is important that your cork fit snuggly. Genuine cork will expand or swell as it gets
wet, making it fit more snuggly. Poly
cork on the other hand wont swell very much since it is largely composed of
rubber. The most important thing about
the cork is that it fit snuggly. It is
possible to make your cork fit too tightly and an overly tight cork will reduce
the reeds movement when calling and therefore will weaken or flatten the sound.
The height of the cork will affect the sound the call
produces. A taller cork will reduce the
amount of back pressure the call requires, whereas a shorter cork will increase
the amount of back pressure the call requires.
As you trim the cork shorter you will find that it has more “rasp” on
the top end (loudest calling), however it will lose some of the tone in the low
end quiet calling. If you trim the cork
too short it will start to sound like a deer grunt.
The toneboard on your call is foundation for the sound. It is the mechanism that pushes the air that
you put into the call up and into the reed.
The toneboard is what the reed contacts as it moves back and forth as it
A “cut” is the shape of the toneboard. There are many different ways to cut a
toneboard. The shape of our toneboard is
one that we believe is not only a good one, but is a shape that will work well
for most folks voice. We have made the
material of the BSOD to respond well to sandpaper and files. If you are so inclined there are lots of
slightly different sounds you can get out of your call by cutting on the
Some people cut the end of their insert flat, others cut the
end of the insert at an angle, others use a variety of a rounded end similar to
our cut. If you choose to cut on the
toneboard we suggest sanding slowly with a 220 grit sandpaper so you don’t take
too much off too quickly. Work on your
toneboard with caution….you can definitely take it too far.
Feel free to contact us if you want some more detailed help
on cutting your toneboard.