arkansas, louisiana, reelfoot, catahoula duck calls

Posted: April 26, 2017

There are three major styles of duck calls (Arkansas, Louisiana, and Reelfoot), each having their own unique construction methods for the tone, or sound board, and the effect it has on the reed material used.  Either of these styles can be made out of wood, acrylic and even materials such as Corian and Micarta are used.  Most calls are made with a single reed; however, there are calls with double and triple reeds.  Another style tone board that is not that common is a Catahoula style, see below.

Arkansas - An Arkansas insert is constructed with a curved tone board and a flat reed, and is fabricated with a wedge slot.  The reed is held in place by a cork wedge.  There are a total of 3 parts; Reed, cork, and the insert with a curved tone board.

Louisiana – A Louisiana insert is constructed with a curved tone board, flat reed and wedge.  However unlike the Arkansas style, the Louisiana insert components are placed together and then placed inside a barrel insert. There are a total of 4 parts; tone board, reed, wedge and insert barrel.

Reelfoot – A Reelfoot insert has a flat tone board, a curved metal reed, and a wedge block.  The reed is held in place by the wedge block once it is inserted into the barrel of the call.  There are a total of 3 parts; reed, wedge and the insert with a flat tone board.

Catahoula - Developed on and around Catahoula Lake, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana area. This style is sort of a hybrid of the Reelfoot and Arkansas type design.  As you can see the insert has the same construction as an Arkansas insert, but the difference is in the construction of the wedge block.  It's been around for more than 80.    Not much is known regarding this setup.  However, Brad Elliott (Stickman Calls), from Jena Louisiana, has a call from his wife’s grandfather, that has this style of insert (and is well over 80 years old).