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A Pot Call Needs a Striker to Attract Turkeys
As a turkey hunter, I own and use several strikers. Depending on which pot friction call I am using that day will determine which strikers I bring on my hunt.
The striker is used to rub across and cause friction to the surface of a pot call. When the two surfaces collide, movement is made across the surface and the friction between the two (striker and pot call surface) causes those sweet sounds of a hen turkey.
Strikers are used with every style of pot call to make the call sounds that attract the gobblers. The type of material used on the striker and the surface of the pot call determines the tone and pitch of the sounds.
If you’re anything like we are at Shaggy Outdoors one striker is never enough. We use a variety of pot calls including slate, ceramic, and glass and each has a striker that makes that perfect sound. Finding the best pot call for you and your striker can start by checking out our review on the 9 Best Pot Calls for Turkey Hunters. The great part about the pot calls is we are not limited to just one striker. By varying our strikers we are able to get different high-pitched sounds or soft tones.
What makes for the best turkey sounds when calling using a pot call and striker? The combination of materials used in the pot, and the different striker materials all influence the great sounds.
New to turkey hunting? We have comprised a comprehensive list of gear needed for turkey hunters. You can find all things turkey hunting in our review of The Ultimate Gear Guide for Turkey Hunters.
Shaggy Outdoors “Best of” list for Pot Call Strikers
Best All-Around Striker - Primos Triple Seven 777
Best Striker for Wet Weather - ESH Custom Calls Wooden Pan
Best Striker for Slate Calls - Woodhaven Deluxe Strike w/Diamond-Wood
Best Striker for Glass or Crystal Calls - ESH Custom Calls Dymond Wood Pan Striker
Best Acrylic Striker - Woodhaven Calls Acrylic Turkey Striker Game Call
Best Combination Package of Strikers - H.S. Strut Quick Strike Peg Pack of 3
The prior list is just our “Best Of” list. We have provided a review of each of those strikers and six additional strikers that we know will get you those longbeards strutting to your location.
Remember every pot calls typically come with one or two perfectly paired strikers with your purchase.
Sometimes, we’re not completely satisfied, or we just want to check out a few other options. That’s why you’re here. Get all the great options below and let Shaggy Outdoors help you learn a little more about strikers, materials, and uses in this article.
Striker Material and Design
Are you a turkey hunter that has been looking for a new striker? Are you finding there is a plethora of offerings and choices on the market? When you understand the construction of the striker and the materials used you will start to understand which one is best for you and your hunting situation.
Each striker has the same general design. They look like long pencils with a fancy tops. The truth is you could use any design and materials and get a great sound. Custom call and striker makers will design strikers that are appealing to the eye but don't have any more use than a standard striker you can find on the shelf of any store.
How Are Strikers Made
Strikers are constructed with three parts the tip, dowel, and head. The three parts of the striker can be constructed with three separate pieces of material and assembled, or the striker can be made of a one-piece design with the same wood or acrylic material for the whole structure.
Is one style of construction better? No, in our opinion you can get great sounds from a two-piece striker as you can with a one-piece striker. You will get different sounds based on the striker material along with the pot you are using.
Parts of the Striker
Tip – the tip is the end of the striker which makes contact with the surface of the pot. The tip can be the same material as the dowel or it could be made of different materials.
Dowel – the dowel is the middle section of the striker and can be made of different wood materials or synthetic materials. The dowel material will influence the flexibility of the striker and the sounds. The harder or softer the material will influence the sounds made.
Head or Handle – this is the area at the top of the striker dowel. The handle can be of any material if you are working with a two-piece striker. The material for the head will influence some of the sounds, but mostly it is there for design and looks.
Striker Tip Structure
Custom striker makers will develop a variety of tips. Most commercial strikers will come with a standard straight or flat tip, flared beveled tip, or even a mushroom tip. Tip styles can vary and each will produce a different finished sound.
Tip materials can be the same as the dowel or a maker can add a carbon tip, composite, or metal tip for wet weather conditions.
Notice that most manufacturers that finish their one-piece strikers with a glaze or stain finish will leave the bottom ½ inch of the dowel (or tip) bare so the material is only the wood striking the call.
Each wood material will influence the sounds of the call. Try different wood materials, the hardness of the wood, and tip styles to get those raspy yelps or soft tones.
The dowel or middle section of the striker can have a variety of wood or other materials. In a one-piece design striker, the dowel will be the same wood material as the head and tip.
Most dowels will be made of solid wood (one-piece configuration), wood, or laminated wood (two-piece configuration), or they may be constructed of aluminum (two-piece configuration).
With two-piece strikers, the dowel can have a different wood than the striker. The material of wood can have an impact on the sounds made when the tip rubs against the pot.
When you are looking at a custom or two-piece striker make sure you look at the wood material of the dowel to understand what wood you will be using.
The dowel size can have an impact on the sounds being heard. Dowel size can come in 5/16th dimension which is a standard size for most strikers. You could also find 1/4 or even 3/8 dimensions of a dowel.
The average length of a dowel is nearly 5 and 1/2 inches long.
Head or Handle Structure
The top of the striker is called the head or handle. This is a decorative piece of the striker that can have little to do with the finished sound and more to do with design or it can be hollowed out and based on how deep the dowel is inserted will affect the sound produced.
The head could be hollowed out or solid. The vibrations made during the dragging and friction between the surface and the tip can help with the sound.
Heads can be made of wood, composite, corn cobbs, and more.
Some custom designs could include a shotgun shell, corn cobb, lighthouse, or just a standard head. This portion of the call is for your enjoyment and discussion with the other turkey hunters in your group.
Striker Materials, Response, and Pairing
Each hunter will want to pair different strikers with their pot call looking for the perfect raspy yelps or soft tones. Most turkey hunters using pot calls will have several strikers in their vests to use depending on the hunting situation. Let Shaggy Outdoors help you understand and possibly pair wood materials with the pot surface.
Carbon Tip Striker - works best in wet or dry conditions with aluminum or slate surface
Aluminum Peg Striker - works best in wet or dry conditions on glass or crystal surface
Bloodwood – is a hardwood, heavy striker, that pairs well with crystal & ceramic surfaces
Yellow Heart - is a good all-around striker, it has a heavier weight that works with all surfaces
Purple Heart - good all-around striker, who works with all surfaces
Permission - softer wood pairs well with slate for soft calling
Hickory - a hardwood that is good with slate and can be used for both soft and aggressive calling
Macassar Ebony - heavier weighted striker makes great sounds and works well wilh all surfaces
Cherry Wood - is a hardwood with varying grains. This material makes excellent yelps used with all surfaces
Dymond Wood/Diamond Wood - is a laminated wood material that is pressed together with a proprietary resin, pressed, and heated in the oven to make the finished material extremely hard. Works well with slate or glass pot calls.
Hunters are often looking and asking questions like “What is the best striker” or “What is the best wood for a striker” or “Is a one-piece or two-piece striker better”?
The answer is yes, they all make for good strikers. There is no one better or best choice on the market that we have found. Each has its own sounds and pairs well with all or a few different material choices.
11 Strikers for Slate, Aluminum, Glass, and Crystal Pot Calling
These 11 strikers and a combination of strikers are what the Shaggy Outdoors team believes every hunter needs in their vest. You can get great sounds using these strikers.
Given the reasonable prices of these strikers and the combination of strikers, hunters can purchase a few options to compare when starting out. Know your current striker first. If you don’t own a pot-style call and striker yet, check out our review of the 9 Best Pot Calls and start with one of those first.
Once you get more experience with your pot call and have an idea of the sounds your current set-up provides, start diversifying your strikers to change up the tones and sounds when you're hunting.
Best Combo Pack of Strikers - H.S. Strut Quick Strike Peg Pack of 3
- 3 Strikers for Every Situation
- Cross-Cut Striker - made of Rosewood rod and has cross cuts in the bell to change tones
- Power Stik Striker - made of Ipe Hardwood
- Master Striker - made of Mahogany Rod with a carbon tip
- Good for all types of pot materials
- Good for rain or shine
Quaker Boy Wildwood Striker 2
- Two Strikers
- Wildwood Maple Striker series of Maple & Tunable Rosewood
- Rosewood Striker series has a great grip on a slate, glass, aluminum, or ceramic striking surface
- Tunable Rosewood Striker can be shortened or lengthened by twisting head and pushing it in more or pulling it out
How to Get Great Turkey Sounds with a Pot Call and Striker
Making a pot call and striker sing can be of a challenge. While not the most challenging turkey call, that honor is given to the turkey mouth calls, the pot call takes some practice.
First, you need to condition your pot and even the tip of the striker. Make sure you have conditioned both before each usage.
Second, make sure you are angling the striker correctly. Check out this video here where World-Champion turkey caller Preston Pittman shows the basics of using a "pot" style turkey call and how to hold the striker.
Key striker moves to make hen sounds
The key to making excellent hen clucks, yelps, cutts, and purrs is practice. To get an idea of the striker movements on the call see the diagram below.
Remember the best sounds come from the outer edge of your pot call. Before you start making calls, condition your pot call and striker.
How to Condition Your Striker
To condition, the striker, use a fine piece of sandpaper and scrape off the tip. What happens is the material from the surface of the call will stick to the tip.
You can use rubbing alcohol towelettes to clean the tip but don't use water on the wood surface. The moisture will absorb into the wood and influence the use of the striker.
You should condition before every hunt starts and you may need to condition during your calling. You will need to listen to the sounds you are making and determine when it is the right time to condition the striker and pot.
How to Condition Your Pot Call
Conditioning the pot call is important to get those proper sounds.
Condition a slate call by using a red or marron colored scotch brite pad. Condition before each use and expect to condition while in the field. Condition after you touch the call with your skin. You want to keep any oils off the surface.
There are different thoughts on how to scuff up the surface of the slate call. Some believe you should find a holding spot with the pot in your hand and mark that spot and use the same holding position every time. If you do this then make sure you are using the pad in the same left-right direction every time.
If you are one that just holds the pot and is not worried about the positioning within your hand then you can scuff up the surface of the pot in any direction.
Slate Calls - soft surface use a maroon scotch brite pad
Glass/Crystal Calls - is a hard surface, use a conditioning stone
Aluminum Calls - not necessary to condition, you can wipe with alcohol to keep clean
Composite Calls - soft surface use a maroon scotch brite pad
Final Thoughts on Pot Call Strikers
Getting the right equipment has a part to do with the success of a turkey hunter. There are three types of turkey calls every hunter should have in their vest. Check out our blog on the 3 Types of Turkey Calls. Having multiple types of turkey calls on hand when hunting will give you the best opportunity.
Each pot call type is different and each striker will make a slightly different sound.
You can be successful using one striker that was paired by the manufacturer and sold with your pot call. Or you can get creative and use different strikers to get different sounds and reactions from the mature tom.
Chasing turkey can be the most fun had in the woods. Spring or fall, turkey listening to those hens yelp and the gobblers cackle send chills down my spine. Pick up a new striker today and show those longbeards who's boss!!
Frequently Asked Questions
A Turkey pot striker is a tool used to cause friction on a pot call making the sound of a hen turkey. It looks similar to a rod or dowel and can often have unique designs and colors. The striker, when rubbed correctly on the surface of a pot call, will make a district sound mimicking a hen turkey to attract a gobbler. Sounds made by using a striker and pot call can include a yelp, purr, cutt, or cluck.
A friction call striker is also known as a turkey pot striker. The striker is used to make the sounds of a hen turkey when applying pressure on the surface of a pot call. The designs can be one piece or two pieces. Both types work well to entice a longbeard to come to check out who's calling if the appropriate sounds are made. Hen sounds made by using a striker and pot call can include a yelp, purr, cutt, or cluck.
The head or the top of the striker can vary in design, color, shape, and material type. Some custom call manufacturers will create a different head material than that of the dowel and tip. Some believe the head or top of the striker can and does influence different sounds and tones for the striker. Hollow heads can produce a variety of sounds and some two-piece striker configurations will give the hunter an opportunity to move the head up or down to get different vibrations and sounds. Since piece striker designs will typically have the same wood material from the head to the tip of the striker.
Dowel sizes vary depending on the model and manufacturer. Yes, the dowel size will influence the sound of the striker and pot call. Checking out different size dowels for the advanced caller you will hear the difference in size and material.
Yes, the tips of the dowel or the point which comes in contact with the pot call has an influence on the sounds, tone, and raspiness of the call. The different tips include flair or mushroom, flat, carbon, and aluminum. The mushroom head is a little more forgiving, the flat tip requires the correct positioning on the pot call, and the carbon and aluminum tips are excellent for wet conditions. Some dowel wood materials will include the same material at the tip, while some strikers will have a wood dowel and a aluminum tip.
This is an excelling striker option for glass or crystal both in wet weather or dry conditions.
There is no BEST option for wood striker material. Each wood product whether laminated wood or solid wood provides its unique sounds. Rosewood and Yellow Heart are two that I've used and enjoy with my calls.
All strikers make great sounds. But when buying a new striker consider these three points.
- What is the surface of the pot call
- Do I plan to use the striker during wet conditions
- Do I want a universal striker that I can use on multiple surfaces
Knowing these will help you determine which striker to purchase. There is no wrong purchase unless your plan is to use the striker during wet conditions. Then a wood-based striker tip will typically fail in these conditions.
Prices for strikers will depend on the materials used. Wood that is more expensive to import can increase the cost of the striker. A Custom vs. a Manufactured Striker will also influence the price.
Yes, different wood materials will influence the sounds of your friction call. Laminated wood, Solid wood, Hardness, and Thickness of the Dowel all influence the sound.
This is a common debate on the turkey hunter forums. But the answer is neither one is better than the other. Knowing and understanding the different wood materials will help you get a better sound for your call. Two of the same wood materials, one single piece, and one two-piece will have a different finished turkey sound.
The three parts to a turkey pot call striker are:
- Head/Top - can be of various materials, designs, and sizes
- Dowel/Rod - can be part of a one-piece design or made of different materials included as part of a two-piece striker design.
- Tip - can be the same material as the rod or dowel, or it could be a separate piece attached to the end of a dowel
Condition your striker tip using a small fine sandpaper or a rubbing alcohol cleaning towel. Do not over-rub the tip with sandpaper causing the tip to change forms. Use with a soft touch to remove any slate or other materials stuck on the tip.