The first two thousand DC-200 (now known as the Classic Commander) were built in 1972. Phil contracted his design to a local woodworker to make the barrels and tone boards. He mainly traded fresh fish for the woodwork and used his commercial fishing operation to fund the duck call venture. The reeds were assembled by hand with a drill and a hammer was used to connect his new double reed system. It was Phil’s dad that later came up with the idea of a dimple in between the reeds to prevent the reeds from sticking together (an idea that is now evident with almost all duck call manufacturers in the world).
The next year (1973), wood working machines were bought on credit and the Duck Commander factory was born on the bank of the Ouachita River behind Phil and Miss Kay’s house. Even though the actual structure resembled an old storage shed, the duck call factory became filled with a lathe, sander, borer, tenor, drill presses, various types of saws and a lot of sawdust. The barrels were originally made from Mahogany or Walnut with the tone boards exclusively made from Cedar. The reason for using Cedar was because it simply sounded the most like a duck.
The original DC-200 became known to hunters as “ducky” in contrast to most other calls on the market that sounded more like “championship-style”. This contrast was used later in the Duck Commander cassette tape series that featured wild mallard hens compared to the “classic” duck calls being used, and then overlaid together becoming indistinguishable.