How many anglers regularly carry a set of scales with them to weigh their fish? Not many we’ll bet, but we all want to know how much that big fish weighs. There are many types of scales on the market, costing anything from a few pounds to well over £100. There are spring-balance types, dial scales and others with digital readouts. Many of these offer you the choice of weighing in pounds and ounces or kilos and grams and are small and light enough to tuck into your fishing bag or box.
Obviously, battery-powered digital scales have the potential problem of dead batteries, whereas dial and spring-operated scales don’t need batteries and will always work unless the workings become rusty. These scales have various weight limits. Some weigh up to 25lb/12kg, most go upto 50lb/25kg, while just a few will weigh up to 100lb/50kg.
All these kinds of scales are fine for giving you a good idea of what your specimen fish weighs, but if you think your fish may actually be a record you’ll need to get it weighed on certified scales. These could be in a butcher’s shop, fishmongers or your local angling club, providing their scales have been calibrated and that they have a certificate to confirm their accuracy.
Also useful for weighing your fish are Boga-grip scales; these grip the jaw of the fish and help you land and weigh the fish simultaneously. While they minimise the handling of fish, some anglers don’t like them because the fish hangs by its jaw and its innards are not supported. The best method is to use a weigh sling. This supports the full weight of the fish and, once you’ve recorded the weight of your specimen, it can be returned straight from the sling.