The Zink Calls ATM Green Machine- A duck call we won't be leaving home without!
I’m a gear junkie. I’ve been told the first step toward recovery is admitting I’ve got a problem. However, I’m not sure I want to recover from this “problem.” As a waterfowler my mind is constantly circling calls, guns, loads, decoys, clothing, bags, packs and other assorted waterfowling truck like a flock of late season mallards scrutinizing a spread.
Over the years the gear bug that’s bitten me the hardest and the most often comes in the form of calls. I’ve owned and still own a couple dozen, some wood and acrylic collector’s pieces and others simple plastic freebies. It began for me at about age 10 and my first duck call was a Yentzen Sure Shot. I spent hours annoying my mother while perfecting the siren song that was sure to lure any passing duck to the barrel of my shotgun. I’m certain if I’d practiced my trombone as much I’d be first chair in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Instead I chose early morning marshes and frost covered fields over a concert hall and have never looked back.
My addiction has put many of the big name calls in my hands with only a couple of those seeing active duty on my lanyard for more than a year. One that has made the cut and continues to impress three years later is the Zink Calls ATM Green Machine.
I’d been admiring Fred Zink’s creations for a couple of seasons before I finally pulled the trigger on the ATM and I’m glad I did. The model I purchased is a stealth black and upon arrival I opened the box to find a cordura case akin to a high end sunglasses case. Once opened I was surprised to find not only my long awaited call but a drawstring soft pouch, instructional mini-DVD and an extra set of reeds. Blown away isn’t putting my reaction too mildly.
Now before I get too far ahead of myself let me explain what attracted me to the ATM in the first place. I was looking for a high-end acrylic double reed call that would not stick! Waterfowling the West means hunting in November, December and January in brutal temps that demand a lot from a call. Thus the number one factor in my choosing the ATM was the Z-Cut no-stick tone channel. This design breaks up the surface area of the tone board of the call, therefore reducing the amount of surface area the reeds can stick to. While not expressed by Zink Calls, I’ve also found that the recesses in the tone board serve to channel moisture away from the reeds. This is huge when calling ducks in below freezing temps where any excess moisture in a call will freeze it solid. While I have been able to “stick” this call it is a rare occurrence. Knowing that my call is going to ring true when I need it on a frigid January morning is priceless and has been the deciding factor in this call still hanging on my lanyard.
The ATM retails for $140.00 putting it right in the middle of the pack for acrylic duck calls. The range of notes one can get from this call is only limited by the ability of the person driving it and quite simply, when the chips are down this call puts green in the dekes time after time. I do not foresee the ATM losing its place in my lineup anytime soon and while it hasn’t been the last call I’ve bought, it is without doubt one of the best! Who knows, I might just pawn my old trombone and pick up one of Zink’s other acrylic offerings.
-Todd J. Helms