How to choose a fishing scale

When you go fishing, whether for a tournament or for leisure, it is important to have the right tools. A rod, a reel, the right kind of bait, and a fishing scale. Why a scale? Because weighing fish provides useful information for conservationists and recreational anglers, along with telling you an accurate weight for the monster you just reeled in.

Not all fishing scales are the same. But with so many choices on the market, it can be hard to determine which scale might be right for you. Below are some tips to finding a scale to fit your needs. 

What is a fishing scale?

A fishing scale is used to find the weight of a fish. There are different types of scales, such as washdown scales used by commercial fisherman and hanging scales used by competitive fisherman. An important factor to picking a scale is to know how it will be used.

Fishing commercially requires a trade approved scale which has a large weighing capacity. Recreational fishing would likely need a smaller scale that is quick and easy to use.

Weight range

One consideration when looking for a new fishing scale is the weight range. Every scale has a device called a load cell, which is what weighs the fish, so try and pick a scale that matches your fishing habits. If you’re regularly catching fish that weigh five pounds, it might not make sense to get a scale with a weight range of 100 pounds.

Let your needs determine your decision.

Attachment mechanism

Once you’ve found the right weight range, next you’ll want to look at the attachment mechanism. Does the scale have a circle shaped hook or a closed hook? A circle shaped hook slides under the fish’s gill plate while a closed hook protects against species with sharp teeth. Lip grip attachments are available to help hold the catch by the mouth and protect the gill plate.  It all depends on the type of fish you normally catch.

Frequency of use

Next is determining how often you will use the scale. If you are a frequent fisherman who enjoys competing in weekend tournaments, it might be wise to invest a more expensive fishing scale. A more expensive fishing scale could withstand more rigorous use. A cheaper scale may be the best option if you only plan on using it occasionally.

Data Collection

The scale can also be an important tool when keeping track of catch data in a journal or log book.  It is important for anglers to collect data in order to identify trends and understand what has worked in the past. Information such as tide, weather, moon data, water temperature, water depth, and wind direction are important bits of information to record on every trip. You’ll also want to record techniques and tactics during specific trips, including what bait was used.

The ConnectScale® Bluetooth® Digital Scale and Fishing App system automates this process for you.

If you are a tournament angler, you likely use a culling system. Good culling systems allow you to easily keep track of your catches so you know which one will need to be replaced when looking to upgrade your limit.  ConnectScale's culling feature allows you to manage your catches simply by weighing your catches one time logging them in the app. Having a fast system will reduce stress on the fish and helps keep the mortality rate down because the fish will not have to be handled multiple times to be put on a balance beam or eyeball test to determine which catch was bigger. The ConnectScale system lets you know exactly how much weight is in your live well. The app will send a push notification to your mobile device alerting you on which catch to replace next if you reel in a bigger fish.

Stay on budget

And the final point is to determine a budget for your needs. Instead of buying a cheaper scale and needing to replace it over and over, it may be better to go ahead and buy a more advanced scale now and save time and money in the long run.  

Happy fishing!