If you’re a regular trophy angler, you probably have a fish scale in your tackle box. And no, I’m not talking about the reflective disks that cover a fish’s body, but rather the tool used to measure the weight of a catch. But even if you have a more relaxed view on fishing than a trophy angler, a fish scale can really come in handy on day-to-day trips.
Fish scales enable you to truly gauge the weight of your catch, and therefore, provide some concrete bragging material. If you’ve said you’ve caught a 25-pound fish, you’ve probably been met with skeptic looks; a fish scale can erase those doubts.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Fish Scales
Comparison of the Best Fish Scales
Our Top Pick
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How to Choose a Fish Scale
Fish scales come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. Some are more modern, while some stick to the tried and true methods of older generations. No matter what style you prefer, all good fish scales should at least be accurate and durable. Besides this, there are several top qualities to search for in a great scale.
The weight range you need will really depend on your own fishing style. Many digital scales can weigh up to 100 pounds, while the more traditional hook and spring scales usually cap out at around 50 pounds. If you don’t plan on pulling in absolute monsters, a lower weight range should work just as well.
Ease of Use
A great fish scale should be very easy to use. If it serves you well, try to find a scale that doesn’t have a ton of unnecessary technological features that would potentially make the learning process difficult.
Although it isn’t necessary, digital abilities in a fish scale can be very beneficial for people who have eyesight problems as they can display the weight clearly on a screen rather than on a small weight marker.
Pros and Cons of Using a Fish Scale
Fishing scales are great for those anglers who participate in fishing tournaments and need an accurate way to gauge the weight of their catches. It’s also an easy way to keep track of past catches.
Most fishing scales are very lightweight and portable, especially digital scales, so they won’t take up a massive amount of room in your tackle box.
A fish scale is also a great way to validate your claims. Unfortunately, a photograph of your giant catch isn’t always super convincing or can make the fish look smaller than it was; adding in a scale to the photo can add another layer of evidence.
It’s an extra piece of gear to keep track of. Although scales tend to be small and compact, you may not want to deal with another piece of equipment in your gear.
Some of the more technologically advanced fishing scales tend to be on the pricier side. If you don’t want to make a bigger investment, go for a less modern device.
Review of the Best Fish Scales
Because there are so many choices of fish scales on the market, we’ll try to provide a little assistance by giving you an overview of some of our personal favorites. While this list won’t be the end-all of all fishing scales, there are some great choices for newbies and oldies alike.
Dr. Meter PS01 Electronic Balance Digital Fishing Postal Hanging Hook Scale
The Dr. Meter electronic hook scale is a mighty little tool that handles its job well. It’s a digital scale with a clear blue LED lit screen, which also features a night vision setting, making it the perfect scale to bring along to an evening or night fishing trip.
It’s capable of accurately weigh fish ranging from .02 pounds all the way up to 110 pounds. The scale is created with high-quality, durable material, but is not waterproof.
One exciting aspect of this tool is its ability to tare, or “zero out.” This means that you can weigh a fishing net, tare out the scale, put your catch in the net, and get an accurate reading. This effectively eliminates the need to hook your fish, which can be tricky.
But if you do prefer to hook your fish, it’s a sturdy piece made of steel. The tool also features a built-in measuring tape that can measure up to one meter.
This is a great pick for anyone looking for a versatile fish scale that does its job well. It weighs fish accurately and the digital display is a huge plus for those who may have problems with vision.
The main downside of this device is that it isn’t waterproof. This means you’ve got to be super careful when it comes to handling it on your boat, as a splash of water could permanently damage the tool.
Kraken Bass Fishing Scale
Kraken’s fishing scale is a small, lightweight device made specifically for weighing bass. The digital scale features a small blue LCD screen lit with LEDs, which can easily be seen during the day or evening. The scale can accurately gauge the weight of catches from a couple grams up to 110 pounds.
The scale comes with a strong hook with a magnet mount for weighing fish, created with stainless steel. This is a great feature as it prevents it from rusting if you want to throw it in your tackle box after a day on the water.
This tool also has a feature that allows you to switch between kilograms, pounds, and ounces, depending on your preference. It also has an auto-off function in which the screen will turn off automatically after a certain amount of time in order to extend the battery life of the scale.
This fish scale also comes with a built-in measuring tape so you can measure your catch right out of the water.
This is another great option for anglers looking for a super portable, ultra lightweight scale to bring along in their tackle box. It’s very easy to use and has a couple of added attributes that make it hard to beat, including a hook magnet and different measurement units. Be careful when using the measuring tape on this device as some users say that it isn’t as durable as the rest of the tool.
Best for the Money:
Weston Spring & Hook Scale, 50 lb
If you don’t want to mess with a digital scale, you can go the old fashioned way with the Weston Spring & Hook scale. Just because it doesn’t require batteries doesn’t mean it isn’t a great pick for modern anglers.
This scale comes in four different weight sizes ranging from 20 pounds up to 150 pounds. Their spring and hook design accurately depicts weight on the front of the scale with a sliding indicator. The body of the scale is created with anodized aluminum, while the hook and spring are made of stainless steel to prevent rusting.
It’s fairly large compared to digital scales on the market, which may make it a little easier for some users to handle. It also has a non-slip grip. This scale can also be used to set the drags for your fishing reels.
This is a great pick for those of you who like the oldies but goodies. The Weston Spring and Hook scale is a no-frills tool that does its job simply and accurately. There are a couple of annoyances that come along with this tool, including the lack of a place marker on the scale, which can make it hard to read the weight while juggling a fish on the hook.
But overall, it’s easy to use and made with materials that won’t get rusty in your tackle or toolbox, which is a plus.
4. Rapala RHCDS50 High Contrast
Another digital scale, the Rapala High Contrast scale is one that comes with several added attributes that make it an attractive buy.
While most scales opt for a hook to weigh a catch, Rapala threw that out the window and went with a clip, which clamps tightly on the mouth of a fish, keeping the fish steady and in place for accurate weigh-ins. The device can weigh catches up to 50 pounds and displays information on a high resolution LED screen.
The scale has a directional pad that allows the user to scroll through a couple of different options. You can select different measurement units, tare out the device, as well as display your maximum and minimum weight. In addition, this is a small, lightweight scale, which makes it easy to transport in your pocket or tackle box.
The Rapala High Contrast scale is definitely a more high-tech choice for those anglers looking for a little more bang for their buck. Although it is a little more expensive than some of the more basic scales on the market, it absolutely has the features to back it up.
Users can enjoy a range of added functionalities that many scales don’t have, including a tare function, different measurement increments, and more.
5. Rapala Tube Scale 25lb
The old-school cousin to the digital Rapala scale, the Rapala Tube scale is a great pick for those of you wanting a little less frill.
This scale can weigh your catches up to 25 pounds accurately. It functions with a spring and hook design, which utilizes a sliding indicator on the front of the device where the weight is depicted. The hook and spring are both made with rust-resistant stainless steel, while the body of the scale is created with anodized aluminum.
The scale features marks in both pounds and kilograms, depending on your preference. It also has a weight marker which will tag the maximum weight of the fish, which is particularly helpful when you’re dealing with an uncooperative catch.
This scale can also be used for setting drag on fishing reels.
The Rapala Tube Scale is another great spring scale option for anglers who don’t want to deal with changing batteries. It does its job well, weighing fish accurately and precisely, all the while being simple and easy to use.
An added bonus of this tool is the weight marker, which makes it easy for anglers to see how much their catch weighs quickly, even if you’ve got a thrashing fish on your hands. This scale can only weigh catches up to 25 pounds, so keep this in mind if you’re planning to use this scale for more than just fishing.
If you’re a trophy angler or are simply curious about the weight of your catches, a fish scale is an awesome tool to have on hand. Hopefully, this article gave you a little peace of mind in terms of which scales will be right for you. No matter the scale you choose, make sure it’s accurate and durable, and you’ll be set for all future fishing trips. Happy fishing!