Reader's Tips - Good Vibrations
Brand new pot-and-peg calls wont work perfectly right away. To break-in a slate pot call, rough up the surface regularly while using the call. For slate surfaces, use a flat kitchen scouring pad, such as a green Scotch-Brite pad. For pot calls with a calling surface of glass, crystal or aluminum, use 50 to 80 grit sandpaper, a piece of coarse metal screen used for sanding drywall or a sharpening stone.
You also need to rough up your peg or striker. To do so, scrape it with a dull knife or sandpaper to ensure the tip is clean and coarse.
NWTF Grand National turkey calling champion Chris Parrish taught me this neat little trick: Pop a little pyramid pencil eraser onto the tip of your striker after you condition it. The eraser protects it from getting slick while its in your pocket.
When roughing up the calling surface, use firm pressure and tight circle motions. Then slowly move from left to right, so the rough area on the slate runs horizontally. This way, when you pull the striker up and down the call (vertically), the ridges in the striker tip can slide across ridges in the calling surface, creating reliable vibrations and producing good turkey sounds.
—JJ Reich via email