What's new for 2011?
There are lots of new and exciting things going on at Rolling Thunder Game Calls and we want to tell you about them. We hope that you’ll take a few minutes to read about the new calls we are offering as well as some of the things that we’ve got coming down the pike in the future.
We have been working hard on expanding our line of calls and think you’ll like the things that we have come up with. There are several new duck calls as well as a line of diaphragm turkey calls that we’ve developed. This summer we are introducing several new duck calls to the BSOD line up. All of our new duck calls will be available July 15th, 2011:The “Original” Cut BSOD – (yellow/gold insert band) The “original” cut is not really a new call for us, however since we have significantly changed the production process and have made several new modifications to the tone board we wanted to tell you about it. The original cut BSOD was produced by an injection mold that had the shape of the tone board built into it. However, the mold for the original cut wasn’t ever able to make perfect tone boards. This meant that we had to significantly cut and modify every call that we produced. Our goal this spring has been to streamline this process and increase the quality and consistency of every call. What we’ve ended up with is a very different production process, and in my opinion, an improved sound. To get us there, I spent several days in the shop fine tuning exactly the way that I wanted the original cut to sound. I started with several of our uncut tone boards and worked to carefully cut what I considered to be the perfect “original” cut BSOD. After a few days in the shop, I finished a call that I thought was perfect. It is much easier to blow than our early original cut calls but still has all of the bark that you would expect. I am really happy with the way that we are now making the new style original cut calls and am even more pleased with the way they sound. Once I finished the new original cut tone board we went back into the machine shop and began working on a jig. We have now finished the jig and are really happy with it. As of July 1st, 2011 every original cut call that you purchase will start as an uncut tone board, get rough cut on our custom jig, then finished out by hand and tuned for each reed. Though the way we’ve changed up the process increases the amount of labor that we put into each call, what I am excited about is the consistency that we are now able to produce in every call.
NEW INSERT BANDS
Starting July 15th, 2011 all of our calls will include an anodized color band differentiating the cut of the call’s tone board. Each band is laser engraved with “Rolling Thunder” on one side and the name of the cut on the other.
The colored band idea was inspired by my electric tape collection and the way that I have identified my different custom cuts over the years. Typically when I cut a call for someone, I would wrap the insert with a 0.25” piece of colored electric tape in order to help me remember how I cut that insert different from others. I kept notes for myself describing how I had cut the call, how the call sounded, and who that call had been cut for. Basically, the electric tape was just a way for me to identify the differences between my cuts. So as Wes and I discussed how to differentiate the different BSOD cuts from one another, we decided that a colored stripe would do it. We didn’t want to copy the distinctive goose band that Lester Capps on the barrels of the P.S. Olt’s that he cut for folks, but we really liked the look of a metal band as well as the look that a little color added to our black call. Eventually we landed on the current electric tape band as we call it.
Many have already asked about getting one of these bands installed on their BSOD and we would be glad to do that. The cost of machining and etching those bands is not cheap, so we’ve got to offset our cost some by charging a nominal fee for retro fitting bands on existing inserts. We hope that you’ll understand and appreciate out continued effort to keep our prices as modest and as reasonable as possible. That said, if you would like us to install a band on your insert we are asking for $5 to cover the cost of the band, the labor to install it, and the shipping. Just mail us your call with a $5 check and we’ll take care of the rest…..just don’t forget a return address so we can send you your call back!
Here is a list of the band color for each cut:
- Original Cut – Yellow/Gold band
- Colt 45 – Blue band
- Easy Bark – Green band
- Uncut – Silver band
NEW CALL COLORS
In addition to the standard black we’ve offered our calls in, this year we’re introducing two new colors to the lineup: Natural Gear Camouflage (natural) and Pink. Each cut is offered in these colors and will still include the colored band identifying the cut.
In addition to the new calls that we have available for 2011, we have several new merchandise and accessory items that we are excited about.
· RTGC Lanyards, duck straps, & turkey totes – Lots of folks have asked me about the lanyard that I use and I tell them that I made it. I’m not good at making lanyards and my lanyard really isn’t all that special, however the unique thing about my lanyard is that it is made out of black #36 tarred trotline cord and it is super durable. While many like the paracord lanyards that are popular right now, I’ve never been a big fan of them….mostly because I only carry one or at most two calls into the woods at a time and have never had a need for 3 or 4 call loops. But so many people have asked about my homemade tarred trotline lanyard that we’ve been looking into having a custom line of lanyards made for our calls. Well, we’ve finally gotten it all ironed out and are excited about what we’ve come up with. We got the first batch of inventory in about a week ago and they look awesome! They are pretty simple in their design and have 3 double loop call drops. The two drops on the sides are easily removable if you are like me and prefer to just have 1 or 2 calls on the bottom of your lanyard. We also have several additional drops that can be added for things like dog whistles, e-collar remotes, chap stick, etc. So if you want something different than everybody else, check out our lanyards.
One last note about the lanyards…..the other reason I’ve not been a big fan of paracord is because I don’t like the way it fits on the BSOD inserts. The size of the paracord crowds your hand in my opinion and interferes with calling. Many have gotten around this by on putting one drop on the call and electric taping their insert into the barrel so as not to loose it. The tarred trotline presents an even better option in my opinion. The tar in the trotline cord gets super snug and is pretty small so you can cinch one of the drop loops on your insert just behind the colored band and hardly know that it’s there. (Duck straps and turkey totes will also be available in the same tarred trotline set up that our lanyards have.)
· RTGC Logo gear in Natural Gear Camouflage – We are really excited about our partnership with the folks at Natural Gear. They have been super easy for us to work with and have helped us stay outfitted in some of the best clothing and gear on the market. We wore their SCII pattern all spring and found that it was lethal on the turkeys, and we already know that the same will be true again this fall on the ducks. We will be offering several RTGC logo-ed Natural Gear items and hope you’ll help us out by sporting our logo! Here’s a list of the Natural Gear items we’ll carry (pattern in parenthesis):
- 6 panel hat (natural)
- Mesh back hat (SCII)
- Bush shirt (natural)
- Vented "fishing" style shirt (SCII)
- Full zip fleece vest (natural)
- Full zip fleece jacket (natural)
- Fleece hoodie (natural)
- Fleece beanie (natural)
· RTGC tuning kits & tuning supplies – We now offer mylar reeds (0.01 or 0.014 thickness mylar, genuine cork wedges, poly cork wedges, or tune up kits that include reeds and corks in the same bag.
NEW CALLS TO COME…..
We’ve got lots of new stuff that’s still in the developmental phase right now, but we’re pretty sure you’ll be excited about them. Here’s a little sneak peak into what we are working on:
· Duck Calls: I am working on one more call for the BSOD line that will include the use of acrylic. I’m not quite finished with it, but have modeled a few prototypes and am really excited about the possibilities. I am also working on a completely new line of production calls. This will take some time, but what I intend to do is create an entirely new line of calls that will be much more like competition style calls than the cut down keyhole olt style calls the BSOD is modeled after. My hope is to build this line of calls out with several various tone board variations much like the way we have expanded the BSOD line.
Turkey Calls: I have built several custom slate calls as well as a custom box call that we are working on putting into production. Our hope is to have these new turkey calls ready to go by January 1, 2012.
In closing, let me say that we would not be able to continue producing and developing new calls if it weren’t for the loyal hunters that support our work by purchasing our calls and using them in the field. We are very grateful to all of you for your feedback, your input on various parts of the design process, and for choosing to use our calls when you hunt. There are lots of game call options on market today and we are aware that you have made a choice to use our products….for that we want to say thank you.
Finally, if there’s anything we can do for you please don’t hesitate to call us. I am almost always available to talk on the phone or correspond by email and my aim continues to be to help you be more effective in the field. If your call needs to be tuned, if you want a call custom cut for you, or if you just want to ask me some questions about the way we designed our calls the way we did…..Wes and I will always do what we can to make ourselves available to you, so if you need anything please don’t hesitate to call. Please take a moment to sign up for our newsletter, follow us on facebook, twitter, youtube and our Blog as these are the channels that we’ll use to share information on new products, festivals, shows and retail partners.
Kill ‘em all,