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A guide to fishing scales

The real pleasure in angling comes from weighing a big catch and being photographed with it. Fish scales are important in a fisherman’s life and come in various shapes and sizes. Exactitude in weighing and sizing a fish are requirements for official record keeping. A 1918 Mona’s scale rough formula of ‘a 40 inch pike weighs 20 pounds’ is outdated.

Sling scales and carp cradles

Weigh scales for fish have acquired specialist shapes according to the kind of fish caught and an example is visible in carp fishing scales. The huge size of the fish and its violent thrashing while being weighed requires a carp cradle. The fish is protected by the cradle while being sling-weighed and photographed. There is no fear of it slipping on to the ground. It can be released back into the water unharmed.

Pounds or kilograms

Modern digital hanging scales have many functions. There is a provision to weigh in pounds or kilograms. The memory of the scale allows one to record the weights of the last ten fish weighed on the scale. It also has a provision for calculating tare weight if a container is used. The advantage in digital weigh scales is that they are waterproof and the readings are easily visible.

Salter and Reuben Heaton

Before the arrival of digital weight scales spring activated, Salter scales were common. They were made by George Salter & Co. since 1770. Another famous name in fish scales is that of Reuben Heaton. This company was established in 1857 and manufactured scales for sale which were found in all corners of the British Empire. Reuben Heaton was an avid Birmingham angler and when given money to invest, he started a fishing tackle manufacturing company.

Digital scales

Reuben Heaton started manufacturing dial scales in 1930. These were handmade and similar scales are still manufactured. The dial hanging scales or the tubular vertical scales are the most common type of fish scales. They are hardy and easily stored away with other fish tackle. Digital fishing scales, on the other hand, are expensive if they have many functions. Digital scales for sale are also available as counter top models in fish shops. Digital weight scales are the best if one is going to catch a fish, and then release it back into the water. A large canvas harness hung from the digital scale allows one to place the fish comfortably without harming it. It allows a quick reading and instant release of the fish to its aquatic safety. However, diehard anglers who have been using the very British Reuben or Salter scales still swear by their accuracy. In the end, the choice of scale depends upon personal choice and favourite brand names.

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