Types Of Turkey Diaphragm Calls - Mouth Calls

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Types Of Turkey Diaphragm Calls - Mouth Calls

by Matt Wettish

There are almost as many variations of mouth calls as there are turkeys in the woods.  Different sizes, number of reeds, cuts, tensions, etc.  Although this may create a slight amount of confusion for the consumer, it's not a bad thing to have variation when heading to the woods.  Having the variety not only gives hunters an opportunity to find the call that works best for them, but it also allows them to carry multiple calls that all sound different.  Which means one of them might just be the one that ol' gobbler you've been hunting  wants to listen to.

A standard 2 reed mouth call.
Photo by: Primos Game Calls
The basic mouth call is a single framed call with tape around the outside, and anywhere from one to four reeds of latex, prophylactic rubber, or a combination of the two.  This type of call can be found in anything from a single or double reeded beginners style call, to a more advanced cut style call that can not only call turkeys, but judges as well.  With a wide variety of sounds, styles, cuts and difficulty levels  to choose from, this is the style to look at no matter what you have for experience as a caller.

The youth call is identical in all ways except size. It is much smaller to fit both children, and people with smaller pallets.
Photo by: HS Strut
The exact same type of call, with the same number of reeds, same type of tape, and the same type of latex, can also be found in a small frame.  Now, the small frame is often referred to as a "youth" style, but that's just because of its size.  People that find standard frames to be to large in the mouth, may want to try a call of this type.  No two people's pallets are the same, so if yours seems to be small and a standard frame is to large and seems very uncomfortable, search out a call maker that manufactures a small framed mouth call and try that.  It may be the just the ticket to get you yelpin without a slate or box call.

This double frame call has two frames rather than just one. It can make some great sounds, but if you have issues with calls being to large, this may not be the choice for you.
Photo by: Primos Game Calls
There are some two and three framed calls out on the market.  They are called true doubles or true triples.  This means that they are two or three completely different frames holding one or more reeds each.  These calls keep the latex apart and have a very distinct sound.  But tend to be quite bulky in the mouth.  You may want to perfect the standard call before moving on to one of these.  Furthermore, if you have an issue with a standard size call being too large for your mouth, then multi-framed calls are not for you.

The addition of a dome to mouth calls has been known to help many beginning mouth callers find the proper positioning of the call in their mouths.
Photo by: Primos Game Calls
A few manufacturers make calls with a dome like feature built in to the call.  It is placed above the reeds, is half dome in shape, and is usually plastic.  This addition to the ordinary mouth call has been developed to help properly align the call in the mouth.  It has been known to help many beginning mouth callers find the proper positioning of the call in their mouths.  So, it may look a little funny, but if you're having an issue with getting the call to sit right in your mouth, or maybe your an experienced caller that just has the same issue, definitely give this call type a try.  It just may be the ticket to help you progress with your calling.

If having so many styles of calls wasn't hard enough to choose from, now there are all types of reed configurations to deal with as well.  Choosing  the type of call that best suits you, may not be as difficult as it seems.   These are a couple basic guidelines to help understand what is what when looking at all the different reed configurations.

A Clean double call with no cuts is a great call for a beginning turkey caller to start with.
Photo by: Primos Game Calls
Starting off with a reed with lees reeds and no cuts is usually best for the novice mouth call user.  The less reeds in a call, usually the easier they are to blow, meaning they take less air.  Combine this with a call with no cuts in the latex, and it's a great place to start.  The cuts in the latex give the call a raspy sound which can hide the imperfections in your calling.  This can be good for someone starting out, but it will not help them progress or get any better at calling.  If you can't hear what you're doing wrong, you'll most likely not change it.  So one and two reed calls with no cuts may be the best way to start.

Calls with cuts give the raspiness to the call. Cuts, like this cutter style call, come in many different styles. Try a few to find out which one works best with your style of calling.
Photo by: Primos Game Calls
The calls with three or more reeds tend to take more air to blow, and because of this, are usually capable of producing louder calling.  They also come in a wide variety of cut styles such as, cutters, v-cuts, half backs, 2.5's, ghost cuts, etc.  All of these are designed to add a raspy quality to the call.  No one is better than another, since everyone blows a call differently.  So trying more than one style to see which one works best for you, is not a bad idea.

Hopefully this information will help you out next time you're looking to purchase a mouth call.  Maybe it will help you from going cross eyed trying to figure out which one is best for you, and hopefully it will help you chose the call that will help you call in the big gobbler you've been trying to get for so long.  Hunt hard, and hunt safe.

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