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Floating Duck Decoy Test Part 1

There are an abundance of floating duck decoys on the market today. Everyone has their opinion on which is best and their own personal reasoning behind it. To help anyone who is in the market for decoys, we performed a floating duck decoy test with blocks from six leading manufacturers. To keep our testing as baseline as possible, we selected similar decoys from each manufacturer. We kept the “hot buy” and “economy” decoys out as well as anything foam filled or flocked. None of these decoys were given to us and we have no affiliation with any of these companies. These tests aren’t meant to determine which duck decoy is best, it’s merely a presentation of our findings. Our tests included decoys from Avian X, DOA, Tanglefree, Higdon, Hard Core, and Greenhead Gear.

***Click on any of the pictures for full size.***

Test Video


Avian X Top Flight Mallards

Avian X Topflight Mallard Hens

Avian X Topflight Mallards

Price: $69.99

Length: 16″

Width: 7″

What’s in the box: 3 drakes/3 hens  (feeder drake, feeder hen, high head drake, low head drake, swimmer hen, high head hen)

-The darkest paint scheme out of all of the decoys we tested. They are also the softest. Unlike the other brands, they are not hard plastic and can be compressed a bit.

Higdon Full Size Mallards

Higdon Full Size Mallard Hen Decoys

Higdon Full-Size Mallards

Price: $49.99

Length: 16″

Width: 6″

What’s in the box: 4 drakes/2 hens (active drake, low head drake, sleeper drake, surface feeder drake, low head hen, surface feeder hen)

-One of the smallest decoys in our test, but comes in a variety of postures.

DOA Refuge Series Mallards Review DOA Refuge Series Mallard Hens

DOA Refuge Series Mallards

Price: $69.99

Length: 16.5″

Width: 7″

What’s in the box: 4 drakes/2 hens (2 upright drakes, 2 low head drakes, 2 hens)

-Lots of detail in the tail and the material feels just as sturdy as the others, but not as thick.

-The largest decoy in our test.

Hard Core Standard MallardsHard Core Standard Mallard Hens

Hard Core Standard Mallards

Price: $59.99

Length: 15″

Width: 6.5″

What’s in the box: 3 drakes/3 hens (1 active drake, 2 resting drakes, 1 surface feeding hen, 2 resting hens)

-The only in our test with a unique keel designed with a hole in it for added motion and for throwing.

Tanglefree Pro Series

Tanglefree Pro Series Mallard Hens

Tanglefree Pro Series Mallards

Price: $39.99

Length: 16″

Width: 7″

What’s in the box: 4 drakes/2 hens (all the same low head pose)

-Overall, these have the lightest colored paint scheme and least detail as a whole.

Avery Greenhead Gear Life Size

Avery Greenhead Gear Life-Size Mallard Hens

Avery Greenhead Gear Life-Size Mallards

Price: $49.99

Length: 15.5″

Width: 7″

What’s in the box: 4 drakes/2 hens (2 standard drakes, 2 low head drakes, 2 standard hens)

Overall, a more tan/brown paint scheme than the others. Unboxed with a paint chip on the top of head.

90 Day Pond Test

In our first test, we set a hen and a drake from each manufacturer in a pond for 90 days during the summer. Our objective was to see how the paint stood up to fading, cracking, or chipping from bumping into other decoys as well as if the decoy took on any water over the course of the 90 days.

Avian X Topflight Mallards

  • The drakes color stayed very much the same after the 90 days on the pond
  • The hen had a noticeable difference in color after the time spent on the pond.

Higdon Full-Size Mallards

  • The drake lost a bit of vibrance in the head, but the rest of the body faired well.
  • The hen had very little if any difference from before to after.

DOA Refuge Series Mallards

  • Neither the drake nor the hen showed much fade in the paint at all.
  • Both seemed to have more shine to them in the environment the photos were taken than any of the other decoys

Hard Core Standard Mallards

  • The drake showed some fading throughout the body, but especially in the head and bill.
  • The hens lost a little bit of their color over the course of 90 days, but it had far less fading when compared to the drake.

Tanglefree Pro Series Mallards

  • The body on the drake remained nearly the same, but the head/bill faded a bit.
  • Color on the hen showed no noticeable fading.

Avery Greenhead Gear Life-Size Mallards

  • The color on the drake didn’t necessarily fade, it had more of a change in hue toward red/brown rather than gray.
  • The hen remained relatively unchanged.

Side By Side Comparisons

Floating Duck Decoy Review
Floating Duck Decoy Review
Floating Duck Decoy Review
Floating Duck Decoy Review
Floating Duck Decoy Review
Floating Duck Decoy Review
Floating Duck Decoy Review
Floating Duck Decoy Review

We’re not saying this decoy won or lost in these tests, we are visually presenting our finding and leaving the decision up to you!

Watch Our Two Other Decoy Tests

Frozen 2×4

floating duck decoy test

2 Mile Road Drag

Floating Duck Decoy Review
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