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What is a Fishing Scale?
Whether you fish for fun, commercially, or as a sport, it's important to get the accurate weight of your catch and this is where fishing scales come into play. In short, fishing scales are essential in determining the weight of fish. Generally, fishing scales are designed with hooks that can be used to weigh fish by their gills. These types of scales are more secure and are commonly used in competitions. Some fishing scales are designed with stainless steel weighing pans and are commonly used in commercial selling. The type of fishing scale that you go for should depend on the size and quantity of fish that you're planning to weigh.
How to Choose the Best Fishing Scales
Before diving straight in the actual fishing scales, let's take a brief look at the features to consider when shopping for the best fishing scales. This will help make your final decision easier if not more successful. After all, choosing a suitable fishing scale can be quite challenging for recreational anglers and commercial anglers alike.
You should go for a fishing scale that has the capability of handling the potential weight of fish that you'll be weighing. As such, it's important to know the weight of the fish that you're likely to catch as you do not want to become wasteful by spending extra money on a higher capacity scale.
For instance, a fishing scale that can weigh up to 50lbs should be enough for a vast majority of fishermen. Even though some scales may weigh up to 100lbs, it may not be advisable to spend the extra money on it if you are not going for the bigger species.
If you're struggling to read the scale's display or dial, then it may not be of great help to you. This is why it's vital to ensure that the read-out display is large enough and visible both at night and during the day. The fishing scale should have enough light to illuminate at night as it will make life simpler, especially if you're planning for night fishing trips.
Digital vs. Mechanical Fishing Scales
Choosing between a digital or mechanical fishing scale may come down to personal preferences. While some anglers may prefer a digital read because it's much simpler to work with, other anglers just love looking at the dial on the mechanical fishing scales.
Digital fishing scales have come a long way from the days when they were made with sub-standard and rust-prone components. Today, digital scales are designed with tough and impact-resistant thermoplastics that can withstand force. They also have superb waterproofing materials while others can even withstand the saltwater environment.
One main reason why you may choose a digital scale is they tend to be more accurate than mechanical scales. Well, you can measure the weights down to the grams or even ounces. Digital scales are also a lot better than mechanical scales when it comes to weighing smaller fish. That's not all; digital scales are also a lot easier to read than most mechanical scales as they have large LED or LCD screens to ensure that there is no guesswork involved.
On the other hand, mechanical fishing scales are completely waterproof, do not require you to replace the batteries, and are durable. They can be a great choice if you're looking for a low-maintenance fishing scale. The downside of using a mechanical scale is that it's not as accurate as a digital scale and may not store weight recordings in memory. Again, mechanical scales are not as easy to read as digital fishing scales.
Fishing scales are sensitive and this requires them to be thoroughly waterproof. Expensive models tend to be more effective in waterproofing than cheaper models, so you get exactly what you pay for. All in all, you shouldn't be careless with your fishing scales when around water. Remember; mechanical fishing scales are much better in terms of waterproofing than digital scales.
How to Care for Your Fishing Scales
Luckily, fishing scales are low-maintenance fishing gear that does not need a lot of special care. As long as you handle them with care, they'll perform well for many years.
Here are a few tips on how to care for your fishing scales.
- Wipe down the fishing scale before and after use and dry it before storing it.
- Do not store the fishing scale for long periods with batteries inside as this can lead to corrosion.
- Always use fresh batteries when going fishing.
- Make sure that you send it for calibration each year.
- Occasionally test its accuracy using an item with a precisely known weight.
Best Fishing Scales
Here are the best fishing scales currently available in the market today.
1. Eastaboga Tackle Boga Grip
Equipped with 300-series stainless steel jaws, the Eastaboga Tackle Boga Grip is a robust mechanical fishing scale that will hold fish firmly and securely without wounding their mouths. With proper care, this heavy-duty scale will serve you well for a long time thanks to its sturdy construction.
This fishing scale may lack digital components but it's a good old-fashioned analog scale that's of high quality and doesn't require batteries. The spring is perfectly created for durability and great gripper action to allow you to firmly hold on to the fish without any worry.
- Calibrated with certified weights
- Very durable
- Sturdy and quality construction
- Great for catch-and-release fishing
- Quite expensive
2. Dr. Meter Electronic Balance Digital Fishing Scale
Featuring just about everything that the average angler needs, Dr. Meter Electronic Balance Digital Fishing Scale is one of the best fishing scales in the market today. With an affordable price tag, portable size, and durable construction, this fishing scale features stainless steel hanging hooks and a sturdy metal handle to make it a lot easier to use.
This 110-pound capacity fishing scale comes with a large LCD screen that displays weights in pounds, kilograms, grams, and ounces. The screen is also backlit, which makes it superb for night fishing trips. It also has an automatic shut-off feature that will help you save battery life, especially when it's in sleep mode.
Its tare function is also a great plus for catch-and-release anglers. You can weigh an empty net or bucket then reset the scale to zero before weighing a loaded bucket.
- It's quite affordable
- Very durable
- Comes with a large LCD screen
- Has ware function
- You'll have to carry an extra battery
3. Berkley Digital Fish Scale
Designed with an angled handle that fits perfectly into your palm, the Berkley Digital Fish Scale is more comfortable to grip than most models, especially when weighing extra-large catches. It can weigh up to 50 pounds and is built from quality materials to ensure that it's durable and offers the highest level of resistance to water.
It has an auto-culling feature that can store up to 10 weights in memory and can instantly help you assess your total of the day. If you're looking for a fishing scale that offers great accuracy, Berkley Digital Fishing Scale will never let you down.
- Offers accurate measures
- Tare features
- Waterproof construction
- Display comes in pounds, kilos, and ounces
- Not very accurate for light objects
4. Entsport Fish Lip Gripper Fish Scales Grip Grabber
This is another fish scale that's superb for catch-and-release anglers. That's because it allows you to land fish safely without using a gaff. This fish scale also makes it a lot easier for anglers to handle and control fish without damaging the fish's slime coat.
The quality of this fish scale is up there with the best fish scales on this list. It's made from durable stainless steel and is structured to withstand exposure to both fresh and saltwater. Thanks to its extra-wide opening and quick release lever, you can easily operate this fish scale with one hand. The handle has an adjustable wrist strap to offer extra security and has a lanyard to always keep the gripper within reach. If you're on a budget, this is a great fish scale for you.
- High-quality corrosion-resistant stainless steel
- The handle is comfortable and comes with an adjustable wrist-strap
- Great for catch-and-release angling
- Its non-slip EVA handle isn't that superb
5. Mango Spot LCD Digital Fishing Scale
At around $7, the Mango Spot LCD Digital Fishing Scale is probably the cheapest fish scale on this list. It is a hanging fish scale that's compact and has the capability of measuring up to 110 pounds. It's very accurate given that it can go down to 0.01-pound increments and will give you the fish's exact weight.
That's not all; the fishing scale has an in-built overload indication, as well as an auto power-off that will ensure that the device goes off if it's inactive for 2 minutes. Needless to say, this is essential in ensuring that you do not drain the batteries while on a fishing trip.
- Very affordable
- The auto power-off will ensure that the batteries aren't drained
- Has an in-built overload indication
- Not fully waterproof
6. ReelSonar Digital Fish Scale with Measuring Tape
If you're looking for a fishing scale that's compact and truly comfortable on one hand, the ReelSonar Digital Fish Scale with Measuring Tape is a great option. With a weight capacity of 45kg, you can use it to weigh a wide range of fish sizes. And even if you're having a hectic day out on the water, this fish scale has an utterly comfortable grip to minimize any sort of hand strain.
This fish scale is also designed with an effective fish lip grabber that makes it a lot easier to ensure that your fingers do not get bitten. Thanks to a single red button, you can easily operate this device and do multiple functions. This fish scale also allows you to measure the length and size of the fish thanks to its additional measuring tape.
- Offers fast and accurate measures
- Tare weighing
- Come with a large LCD digital display
- Easy one-button operation
- The battery life of up to 500 hours
- The hook may get snagged on things
7. Rapala Touch Screen Tourney Scale
This is an excellent fish scale that goes beyond normal by including several useful features that make it the ultimate choice for sports and competitive anglers. Its LCD touchscreen is packed with several features such as back-lit and is water-resistant. It allows you to weigh and record up to 8 measurements at a time and will display each weight in size order.
The clip is also designed for catch-and-release fishing and can be easily set so that you do not exceed tourney limits. Other features include a storage bag, two AA batteries, backup memory, and a weight clamp.
- Very accurate
- Offers great back up memory
- Tare weight
- Large backlit touchscreen
- Includes a storage bag
- The composite clamp isn't that effective
8. Ultimate 54 Portable Digital Hanging Hook Fishing and Luggage Scale
This is another angler-friendly fishing scale that's compact and sleek as you can easily carry it around in your pocket. Its bright adaptive display is great for use both during the day and at night. This fish scale is very versatile and accurate as it can weigh as low as 1lb and as high as 110lb.
Some of its amazing features include the functional auto power-off, different weighing scales, and tare measurement. If you've been looking for a truly compact fishing scale; something that can perfectly fit in your pocket, look no further than the Ultimate54 Portable Digital Fishing Scale.
- Very compact
- Tare measure
- Comes with functional auto power off
- Come with a luggage strap
- The hook may not be the greatest for catch-and-release angling
9. South Bend Digital Hanging Fishing Scale
With the ability to weigh up to 110 pounds, the South Bend Digital Hanging Fishing Scale is perfect for weighing both small and massive catches without injuring your catch. Its ambient backlit LCD is so functional that you can use it both during the day and at night. It offers an accurate reading that you can easily convert into pounds, kilos, and ounces.
This fishing scale also comes with a battery-conserving feature, tare function, audible weight lock sound, and auto power-off function, as well as an ambient temperature reading in Celsius and Fahrenheit plus a 100-centimeter tape measure to quantify your catch's length.
- Very accurate
- Comes with an audible weight lock sound
- It's lightweight, compact, and portable
- Includes an ambient temperature reading
- Protective case could be much better
10. Weston Scale Spring and Hook
This fishing scale is designed with an old-fashioned technology that heavily relies on a very sensitive spring that's up to the task of weighing even the biggest of catches. We're talking about a fishing scale that can weigh up to 150 pounds. It's designed with an anodized aluminum scale that will withstand saltwater harshness.
It's a very versatile fishing scale that can be used at home when not out on the water. If you want to go for records, the Weston Scale Spring could be the answer thanks to its incredible spring.
- Weighs up to 150 pounds
- Very accurate
- Comes in a wide range of size options
- May regular calibration
11. Piscifun Fish Lip Gripper Tool
With an added advantage of having its digital scale embedded in the handle. The Piscifun Fish Lip Gripper Tool is one of the best fishing scales out there. The LCD screen is so large and bright you won't have to worry about unreadable displays. The scale's 60-pound capability may not be up there with other models but it's still suitable for a wide variety of fish.
This is a water-resistant scale that won't have you worried even if water splashes on it. Do not, however, try submerging it as this may be the end of it. This scale also comes with incredible steel jaws that open and close your catch's mouth without necessarily using your fingers.
- Great for saltwater
- Camouflage design
- Has comfortable rotating abs handle
- The steel jaws are functional
- Not very suitable for heavy catches
12. YOGAYET Portable Hanging Hook Scale
With a chrome-plated hanging hook and a water-resistant ABS casing, this is probably one of the most durable fishing scales out there. This is an exceptional scale for those who prefer a more traditional look and an easy-to-read display.
Given that it's a manual fishing scale, you won't have to worry about your batteries running out when you're just about to land your record catch. With a weight capacity of 50 pounds, a retractable 38" measuring tape, and a foldable handle, this scale fully deserves its place on this list.
- It's compact
- Very durable
- Requires no batteries
- Is not very accurate
Fishing scales may seem like one of the most complicated fishing gears but they aren't if you know what to look for on a perfect scale. While there are many fishing scales out there, we've made it a lot simpler for you by offering you the best fishing scales available in the market today.
About THE AUTHOR
From a young age I was introduced to fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding and more through family, friends, and scouting. After 20 years of learning and participating in these outdoor activities, I share what i've learned (and continue learning) with you.Read more about Scott Kimball