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Strikers for slate call
I have a slate call that came with two strikers. It seems like my strikers don't work very good anymore. Is there something I can do to get them to work more consistently? Sanding the tips or whatever?
I lightly roughen up a small spot on the slate. Make sure the slate doesn't get wet or it likely won't work. I switched over to diaphragm calls many years ago and will never go back to slate. Your hands are free with diaphragm and you are always ready to call rather than fumbling around with call and striker that may spook turkeys with the movement.
The direction you sand makes a difference too. I'm no expert by any means, but in general I found if you twist the striker (the ones I have are uniformly rounded at the tip) so the sandpaper makes grooves around the shaft, much like the direction of tree rings, it helps grip the slate.
Also depending on the type of slate it needs to be sanded too. Same thing, the direction of sanding needs to make the grooves run perpendicular to the direction you are running the striker.
Neither of these actions is enough sanding to majorly remove material, it just sets up some micro grooves on each piece so the striker can grip the slate and create the sound.
A Scotchbrite type pad and and/or 100-140grit sandpaper on both the slate and the striker tip helps a lot. Sanding perpendicular to the direction you are pushing/pulling the striker gets better sound quality, IMO.
I much prefer a diaphragm as well, but sometimes they respond better to a peg n slate, box call, etc.
I'll sand my striker tips and slate call daily, when using them... the more I run them, the more I sand them... If you have never sanded them, start there.... scotch pad for the slate, light grit sandpaper for the striker. I use heavier sandpaper for glass calls....
Yup, scotchbrite both call (straight line perp to top) and striker. I generally bring diaphragm calls with along with two slates: aluminum and glass. Slightly off topic but the best thing for slates is to have a whole bunch of different pegs with you of different materials. I have around 10 and keep the rubber banded together. Some days they love carbon, other days rosewood etc... LOTS of combinations with that. Best of luck! TODDY
If you're running slate then use scotch brite on the surface, if it's crystal, glass, or anything like than get yourself a good conditioning stone. Condition by sanding north and south on a small portion of the pot call you plan to use.
Strikers, biggest problem is that they get dirty. Any dirt or oil on the tip can change the friction and sound or cause they to skip, etc. I use a scotch brite pad on my striker tips to clean them. Do NOT use the same one you used on your slate call. I don't like to sand striker tips as it can change the angle on the tip, etc over time and change the sound. I generally wipe my striker tip off very frequently when calling, pretty much after every sequence. Usually just on a clean spot on my shirt or something to insure it stays free of slate/crystal dust from the surface of the call.
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Thank you all very much!! I like to use diaphragms also, but last year they were shot and I couldn't find new ones anywhere last minute. So I used the slate. It worked great and we shot our toms, but it started to be hard to get good sound out of after awhile. I will try some of the methods to fix.
Get yourself one of these things! ;-)
i glue a small strip of sandpaper about 2" long right to the side of the slate/glass call. That way i always have it handy for roughing up the striker tip and another round piece on top of the striker handle that i turn upside down to condition the call surface as needed.
As several have said, the tips of hickory strikers will burnish over time, so you need to “rough up” the surface area around the tips. Sandpaper works well, but if in a bind, you can rub the tip on any rough surface. I’ve used the edge of the ventilated rib on a shotgun before. Anything that will increase friction against the slate.
Is the surface of the call true slate, or something like glass, metal,...?
The more “high-tec” the surface, the more challenging it is to get good contact.
Have you tried other strikers on the call? Some people just run a particular striker better than another.
Had a great time the night before season opened in Alabama when the lodge owner brought out a box with at least 40 strikers to try on our calls. We could keep any we wanted, but had to leave another.
Tough to beat a slate/glass call. I’ve hunted with some of the best mouth callers in the sport - Salter, Eye, Keck, Waddell, Harris, Drury, Morrett...all used friction more than mouth calls, with the exception of Salter.
recently got a slate call in trade but don't thing it will have the range of one of my box calls.