Get to Know: Strikers
More than likely, your pan-shaped friction call came with a hand-matched striker. This means the call maker painstakingly paired that pot and peg together so they sound perfect together. And, thats a good thing! But, if you want to produce diverse (or better) sounds from your pot call, buy another striker. A new or different striker will recharge your turkey calling.
When it comes to after-market strikers, solid, one-piece laminated wood is a popular choice. Laminated wood is known to be denser (heavier) than other woods. This man-made wood is crafted by laminating thin sheets of wood (usually dyed various colors for dramatic appearance) with strong epoxy to create a technically enhanced wood thats phenomenal in strength and beauty when finished.
One-piece strikers are popular because they are known for reliable consistency no matter what pot call surface you try them on — slate, glass or aluminum calls. These strikers are commonly individually handcrafted by master woodworkers by hand-turning on a lathe, or expertly machined to precise tolerances for ultra consistency. Flared bell or mushroom tips are a popular feature as they are more forgiving when it comes to striker angle when playing the pot call. But flat, straight tips are offered as well.
Two-piece strikers are typically designed using a special combination of select materials to produce distinctive sounds. They are commonly made with one type of material for the handle and another for the rod — these different combinations produce a unique tone and pitch. Other two-piece strikers might possess an innovative feature, like an aluminum peg, a waterproof ceramic coating or built-in locator call.
Diverse wood and materials produces a wide variety of sounds: high-pitch or deep tones, raspy or clear, loud or soft. Different types (and density) of materials will affect a strikers sound. Oak, purpleheart, canary or diamond wood will sound different than aluminum, ceramic and acrylics. All these different types of raw materials means a call makers options to craft a striker are almost limitless, resulting in a huge volume of products for you to choose from.
Rejuvenate your pot call with a new striker. Its safe to say that pretty much all call makers offer individually packaged strikers. So, go out and find some that you like! Here are just a few good ones that I recommend:
Woodhaven Strike Three – a one-piece striker crafted out of laminated birch wood. The peg is tapered from 5/16-inch to 1/4-inch with flared, bell-shaped tip.
Illusion Systems Pure Diamond – a one-piece, diamond-wood striker designed to have unique balance and a reverse taper between the handle and peg.
Commando Smart Strike II – a two-piece made of machined aluminum tube with a weatherproof composite tip. It also has a built-in locator reed in handle sounds-off like a hawk, peacock or crow when blown.
Cody Carbon Tipped – a two-piece striker with a carbon tip embedded in peg and protected by non-slip sleeve.
— J.J. Reich