Which haqndheld digital fish scales is most accurate? Which haqndheld digital fish scales is most accurate?
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    Which haqndheld digital fish scales is most accurate?
from shimanoman2001  
7/7/2010 10:17:56 AM


 What scales do you guys use for culling fish? I am needing to get one for tournaments and seems they all state they are the best.lol


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   my 2 cents from Randy B  7/7/2010 12:27:52 PM

I have a xtools scale. Like others I tried, it seems that you can weigh the same fish three times and get three answers.

Some guy here on the BFHP gave an idea that I tried and it is far superior.

Get a mechanical scale (the one with the spring inside). The best ones are the large rapala 0-25# or 0-50#, but the small red BPS one is okay too. Remove that stiff spring and replace it with one that is limb. Home depot has some in those cabinets in the hardware area but an old-style auto/hardware store usually has more selection. Take your scale and something that weighes about 3# with you.

You want the spring limber enough to allow the entire travel for something like a 3# fish. Since the purpose is tournament fishing, you aren't trying to determine the weight of your personal best. The bigger the scale and the more spring travel, then the numbers won't be so close together.

Lastly, you need to make a new set of scale marks. I like 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. So I included a little example I made with powerpoint and then printed. Clear packing tape waterproofed it. I used a coffee can that I could put different junk into for my test weight, testing it on a postal scale I have.

This is what is working well for me.

Edited 7/7/2010 12:28:42 PM

   I've tried pretty much all of them at one time or another from TimJohnson  7/7/2010 3:13:11 PM
and found them all to be unreliable, to the point of not trusting them in a tournament. I've tried the Cull-em-rite, the Berkley scale and the Xtools. I use a balance beam; that's the best way I've found to be able to tell weight difference.

I've tried the scales, and found that the scales will show one fish heavier than another, and then use the balance beam to find that the fish that was 'lighter' according to the scale was actually heavier.

The only time I could see a scale being useful is if you are allowed to cull a dead fish in a tournament, and you needed to find out an estimate of the weight of the dead fish (minus the penalty)to determine if it is worth keeping over a lighter, live fish. You can't do that with a balance beam.

   Your lucky if you have a cheap and accurate scale from Spookchucker #10778  7/7/2010 3:47:27 PM
If it's not a calibrated scale, there is way too much variability, no matter what brand. Price does not make a difference.

   One question Randy from Fisherboy #10852  7/7/2010 4:30:25 PM

What about those of us who cull 4 and 5 pounders?

   Scales from EdgemanP #12082  7/7/2010 4:32:37 PM
I've used quite a few scales, and as stated above, most of them are not accurate enough for tournament fishing. I've been using a balance beam for about 8 years for culling in tournaments, and it's proven to be the best system that I've found. In fact, I made my own identification system, using old bobbers, mono, and metal shower curtain rings. The bobbers are all different, so I always know which bass is the lightest.

   well Fisherboy from MikeF  7/7/2010 7:16:22 PM
The answer is the same, use a balance beam; although that can be a problem to those of us who don't chase little green fish. LOL

   Handheld fish scale from sbasser #12126  7/7/2010 8:21:49 PM
The Chatillion is the standard for spring scales. I got mine from Cabela's. They do need calibrating before 1st use, however. And I replaced the crumby hook with a 6/0 stainless siwash hook with the point somewhat dulled and the barb smashed and filed off. I don't ever put this hook under the gill covers. I'd rather poke a new hole than get near the gills. You can leave it to your grandson in your will. C&R, Steve

   you can adjust the spring to be 0 - 6# from Randy B  7/7/2010 11:32:56 PM
if you like.
If you're culling 4 & 5 pounders, you aren't fishing in my club in Michigan. Ha!
Appreciate what you have.

Lastly, the mechanical scale idea can save time if you trust it - but keep your balance beam. If I have a 2.1# fish and the next one is 2.3#, I trust it. If the next one is 2.2#, they both go on the balance beam for the final decision.

I checked out that Chatillon IN4, or IN6 model scale. That's supernice @ $100.

Here are specs and photos. http://www.chatillon.com/Our%20Products/Chatillon%20Weighing%20Scales/fish%26game_product/IN_SpecSheet.pdf
iquidator on ebay with some older model (200490552667) for $33 though. There's a 5# one (110556178739) pretty cheap at <$20. Lastly, a small one (120592831319) pretty cheap.

Edited 7/8/2010 7:37:25 AM

   Another Chatillon fan from Team9nine  7/8/2010 9:39:51 AM
Another Chatillon fan here. Easily certifiable if you want to go that far. I use one of the small Bag-em black bags for individual fish (http://www.bag-em.com/). the grommet holes punched so that the Chatillon scale hook works great "as-is". Pop 'em into the bag head first and clip them on the scale - works like a charm.

This system works if you're talking an ounce or two difference (or more) between fish, but you will still need a good balance beam if you are trying to separate fractions of an ounce.


   sbasser from Ralph Manns  7/8/2010 11:44:48 AM
Consider the gills

Yes, if an angler breaks a gill arch or damages the filaments,the bass will bleed. Bleeding is a serious injury, so avoid actually damaging gills.

But, these organs called gills are tough. Bass ingest all sorts of water-trash when they eat and breath. The gills contact just about everything, so they are tougher than they look.

They resist infection and casual damage. You are less likely to harm a released bass with a dull hook under the gill than by punching a hole (obvious damage) in the jaw skin.

Jaws and mouth-flesh heal, but the repair is not instantaneous and likely any large hole will become infected. We do more than enough damage just using barbed hooks.

   That's why I like stopping by here , makes good sense Ralph. from Rattler  7/8/2010 7:35:04 PM

I've always been careful when weighing a fish
and inserting the scale hook under the gill.
I gotta bud that uses a Boga Grip scale. Dunno how accurate they are, but I don't think they do much damage.

Not that I weigh many any more......

   65 & still learning from sbasser #12126  7/8/2010 8:52:57 PM
Thanks, Ralph. You da MAN! C&R, Steve

   Rattler: concerning Boga grips from Ralph Manns  7/9/2010 2:43:26 PM
In-Fisherman recently ran a brief report of a study of the effects of Boga and similar grips on fish. Many test fish developed huge open sores in their lower lip flesh following use. Also, hanging larger fish (over about 10 pounds) vertically damages connective tissue. Gravity tears apart stomach-holding tissues, so beside the hole-making result, it is important to support any large fish that anglers hope will live after release landed with a Boga-type grip with both hands. The other hand goes under the stomach to hold the fish in the horizontal position.

Long ago I wrote of the need to hold very-large bass horizontally, rather than vertically be the jaw for pictures. It's tough to weigh them with conventional hook digital or spring scales.

   Very good stuff there Ralph , I've never, in my 30yrs from Rattler  7/12/2010 8:28:57 AM

of bass fishing caught a 10lber. However I
did boat a 8.3 largemouth. In tournament situations
those are the one's that don't need hung up on a scale.
I can't ever remember weighing anything in the boat that
was over 3.5lbs except for a 5.9lber for the north vs.
south cyber tournament.

In the past I've generally just eyeballed them and
attached a culling float and mark the card on the inside
of my glovebox door by a guess. If the situation warranted it, it was usually the smaller fish being weighed. I.E. 1 or 2 lbers. which in my opinion smaller fish aren't as
stressed by this.

My perception of scales is that if you're weighing your fish boated and you have say a total weight of 16lbs, when the fish are basket weighed you could be + or - anywhere from a couple of ounces to a pound unless your scale has been calibrated with the weigh-in scale! So to me and "me
only", I only used them to tell a few ounces difference in fish when culling between two smaller fish..

The new digital scales are great for telling the difference in a couple of ounces (or tenths of an ounce) no matter what type they may be. They help you increase
your total weight in the boat and it doesn't matter till
you get to the weigh-in scale anyway.. (JMO)




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