Every angler dreams of landing a monster fish. An absolute beast. Something that’s almost from another planet.
And while measuring tapes and photographs are important, you’re not going to be really satisfied until you’ve taken an accurate weight measurement of the Goliath.
Guesstimating doesn’t cut it I’m afraid – we all like to add on a few pounds every time the story is dusted off for another retelling.
That’s why you’re currently reading an article on the best fishing scales in 2021.
No more tall tales, no more exaggerated figures, no more bullshit.
Let’s weigh things up.
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You might expect one of the best fishing brands in the world for budget-friendly accessories and gear to come up with an affordable option – and KastKing have achieved that and then some.
This fully waterproof digital fishing scale has a weight capacity of 50 lbs, with a lightweight ABS frame and non-slip handle.
A no-puncture lip gripper is included if you prefer not to damage the fish, and it comes with a large split ring to attach it to the lanyard.
The scale itself is lightweight and easy-to-use, capable of storing up to nine readings, and able to switch between pounds and kilograms at the push of a button.
With a large and durable stainless steel hook that offers 360-degree swivel, this is a well-designed, highly-rated device that is possibly the last fish scale you’ll ever need. And it floats, too.
Name to trust.
Non-slip handle and grips.
Easy-read LCD display.
Backlight for nighttime use.
More water resistant than waterproof.
KastKing continues to impress with affordable, practical fishing gear, tackle, and accessories that won’t let you down. This scale is no exception, and is easily one of the best digital fishing scales on the market.
Berkley is another quality fishing company that will require little introduction, and here they offer this highly portable digital fish scale capable of a 50 lb weight capacity.
Compact and lightweight, it has an easy-grip top handle and sides for when your hands are wet and slippery. There’s a built-in memory function to record up to ten weights, and the TARE feature allows you to add the combined weight of multiple fish.
Preferring to use a non-puncturing fish grip rather than a hook, it’s ideal for practicing catch and release where you don’t want to harm the creature.
And there’s even a built-in 1.2 meter tape measure ingeniously located right where you need it – so you can weigh and measure the beast at the same time.
Name to trust.
Outstanding price point.
Durable aluminum construction.
Compact and lightweight unit.
The tape measure might fall off.
For the price this is easily one of the best weighing scales for fishing on the market – and the location of the tape measure by the mouth grip is a great idea. Check out this article on the best kayak fishing rods to find some more top-drawer products from Berkeley – among others.
When it comes to fishing lures, Rapala are hard to beat, but they have a great selection of other useful angling gear and equipment, too.
This premium digital fishing scale is no exception, and it utilizes a touch-screen interface for push-button readouts at your fingertips.
Offering both a heavy-duty composite weight clamp and a stainless steel hook, it also comes with an eight-piece culling system for sorting out your haul in tournament conditions.
With three weight display options, eight memory bins for storing readouts, TARE function, total catch weight, and ambient temperature – this is probably the most complete digital fish scale that’s available today.
Name to trust.
Large easy-read screen.
Backlight for nighttime use.
Storage bag with sewn-in instructions.
Limited to 15 lb weight capacity.
As far as digital scales for fishing go, this effort from Rapala seems to tick all the boxes, and most anglers aren’t going to come close to its capacity with any regularity.
But in case you’re still looking for a measuring tape, Rapala produces a handy multi-tool that has one included. Head on over to that link to check it out.
This Brecknell Major League Fishing weighing scale is one for the professionals – especially considering the price point.
It’s the official scale used by MLF, a beautifully-designed device with pinpoint accuracy.
With an easy-open mouth gripper that can handle even the toughest fighting fish, and a hold feature that’s super-handy for when you’re on your own.
The large, angled LCD screen offers a super-clear display, and there’s an auto-off function to preserve your battery life when it’s not in use.
With a maximum weight capacity of 55 lbs, this unit has been designed especially for catch and release fishing, and is the perfect gift for anyone who is serious about the sport.
Official MLF weighing scale.
Tough and durable ABS construction.
Battery, fish gripper, and carry bag included.
Single or double-handed use.
Probably the best bass fishing scales on the market, this is the ideal choice if you enjoy entering competitions, or you’re just looking to use the same thing as the professionals. In the market-saturated world of fishing scales, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Taking it right back down to the budget-friendly end of the “scale” is this versatile electronic balance from Dr. Meter.
It’s been designed for a number of different uses, including luggage, post and packages, and food.
Capable of a lofty 110 lbs weight capacity, the state-of-the-art weight sensor can convert between pounds and kilograms with ease, and there’s even a handy built-in measuring tape, so you can see how large (or small) your monster catch is.
The over-sized hook has been made from premium stainless steel, and has a fixed slot in the rear of the device to be stowed away when not in use.
If you’re on a budget, and you’re looking for a weighing scale that will cover a lot of bases – this could well be the choice for you.
Large LCD display.
Backlight for nighttime use.
Not the most durable device.
Lacks a grippy handle and sides.
For an all-round weighing scale that works perfectly well for fishing, you could do a lot worse than this versatile unit right here. Just make sure to wear a pair of good-quality fishing gloves to make up for the lack of grip in those slippery situations.
Designed to be used in fresh and saltwater environments, this digital scale from Piscifun is a tough and durable device.
That’s thanks to its anti-corrosion stainless steel fish grabber, and fully sealed main unit that has been tested to withstand immersion for up to one minute.
The large LCD display is easy to read, and can be folded back for added convenience, while the handle itself can rotate through 360-degrees for the best possible view.
The memory function can record and display up to ten different weights, and it also includes an auto-off function, measurements in pounds and kilograms, and a handy battery strength indicator, so you won’t unexpectedly run out of juice.
Compact, practical design.
Durable, non-slip grip.
Adjustable wrist strap.
Choice of colors.
60 lb load capacity.
The folding screen might be a bit loose for some.
A tough fish gripper and digital scale that offers some nice, user-friendly features, with a really solid grip. Piscifun also makes an awesome tackle bag for saltwater, so follow that link to check it out – along with plenty more durable options for challenging conditions.
They might not be the most accurate fishing scales of all time, but I can bet my bottom dollar they are the cheapest. That’s why I just had to include this no-frills fish scale from Ozark.
It’s as easy-to-use as they come, with a large, clear dial and measurements in pounds and kilograms that are clear to read.
Capable of registering a maximum weight of 50 lbs, it’s ideal for heavier fish, and even comes with a 39-inch tape measure built-in.
The handle and hook can both be folded for easy storage and transportation, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with this scale at a crazy price point.
Price wise – it’s almost free.
Zero button setting.
Compact and portable.
Not the most accurate scale on the market.
If you want a simple fishing scale without paying over the odds, then you’ve come to the right place. This will do exactly what it says on the tin without the need for all the fancy extras – and it’ll barely cost you the shrapnel down the back of your couch for your trouble.
Speaking of easy-to-use fishing scales, it doesn’t get more straightforward than this, another quality option from Rapala.
It’s a spring-loaded contraption, with a durable stainless steel hook and tough but lightweight anodized aluminum body.
Featuring pound and kilogram markings and a marker slide for easy-reads, you have a no-nonsense fish scale that’s compact, portable, and surprisingly accurate.
Capable of holding up to 15 lbs in weight, this is a great little tool to pack in your saltwater tackle bag the next time you head out.
Name to trust.
Simple to use.
Soft-grip handle for comfort and control.
The scale is a sticker – which might be a problem if it gets too wet.
Another no-frills weighing scale that’s perfect for anyone who needs a simple device for taking accurate measurements. Just make sure you don’t get it too wet, and while you’re at it, you should check out this selection of the best fishing rain gear to keep yourself protected, too.
We all know that hunting Catfish is one of the most enjoyable types of fishing there is, and there’s a large community of whisker-loving anglers out there.
As such, these guys have decided to come up with a dedicated catfish weighing scale, designed by experts to meet the needs of catfishers everywhere.
It’s capable of weighing up to 110 lb monsters, with water-resistant housing, and folding arms, so you can lift those particularly heavy catches with ease.
The oversized hook also works with catfish grips, as well as most landing nets and slings, and it’s fully certifiable in case you’re looking to record some record-breaking fish. Try these awesome catfish rods and reels while you’re at it.
Tough, durable, and built to take a beating.
Blue backlit LED display.
Pounds and kilogram option.
No-slip grip that’s easy to hold.
Easy TARE function.
Inserting a battery is a bit tricky.
Anyone hunting for larger, heavier critters should take a look at this fishing scale – especially if you’re a keen catfisher. And if you are, then you’ll no doubt know the best hooks for catfish – but you can always head over to that link for a refresher.
Last but not least is this digital scale from Googan Squad. Capable of holding up to 55 lbs in weight, it’s one of the best carp fishing scales out there, and you should check out this article on carp rods and reels if that’s what you’re hunting.
The built-in lip gripper keeps things nice and secure, a heavy-duty clamp that’s not going to let the critter get away. The bright digital display is easy to read, while the unique non-slip grip helps you keep hold of even the heaviest beasts.
Change the reading from pounds to kilograms with the push of a button, and it even has a temperature read out to clarify the conditions you’re fishing in.
Tough and durable.
Attractive “Googan green” finish.
Folding handle for storage.
On the bulky side.
Another quality product from the Googan Squad, an excellent digital fish scale that is perfect for use with all kinds of slippery customers.
How to Choose the Best Fishing Scales – A Buyer’s Guide
There are a few factors to consider when you’re weighing up your options for a fish scale, so let’s take a look at what they might be in the guide below.
Do I Need a Fish Weighing Scale?
Let’s address this point first, and explore some of the reasons you might enjoy taking a fishing scale on your next excursion.
You don’t actually need a fishing scale unless you’re involved in a tournament or other sport fishing event.
If you don’t really care how heavy your catch is – or you’re just a good judge by guesstimating its weight in your own hands and/or by sight, then you can easily leave a fish scale out of your tackle box and have more room for other gear.
However, if you happen to land an absolute monster, or just as a matter of pride or personal challenge, then you’re going to want to be able to prove just how heavy the critter was.
Many anglers enjoy competing with themselves in order to achieve a personal best – and keeping track of the exact weights of catches is a good way to do this.
And you’ll never have to convince a fellow angler of the truth again.
Plus, they’re also handy for other uses, such as weighing luggage for travel, parcels and post, or even setting the drag on fishing reels.
Digital Versus Mechanical
These days, you’ll find a great many fish weighing scales are of the digital variety, with an LCD display that provides a clear readout.
For the most part, those old, mechanical or analog devices are a thing of the past. Certainly, it’s rare to find the kind of vintage weighing scale that would sit rusting in my fathers’ tackle box.
And digital has its advantages. It’s a lot more accurate for one thing, with many devices able to pinpoint the exact weight of the fish – particularly if you’re using the most accurate fishing scales on the market.
They’re not without their downsides, however, and perhaps the most obvious is that they can malfunction given the circumstances.
A common complaint is that the readout has failed for one reason or another, or that water has managed to get into the casing.
Of course, if you’re using the most waterproof fishing scales, this shouldn’t really be a problem, and most units are built with heavy-duty thermoplastics for rugged durability.
But it means that mechanical scales aren’t quite finished yet, and they do still have their place. With the odd exception, they’re usually much cheaper than their digital counterparts, too.
They are also able to work anywhere – and they don’t need any batteries to do so.
Which is another disadvantage to digital devices – as low batteries will mean inaccurate readings – or no readings at all.
If you are going digital, it’s a good idea to look out for a machine that offers a low battery warning – so you know when you need to replace them before getting caught out.
Either way, it will most likely come down to personal preference, or modern versus traditional. Weigh up the pros and cons and go with your gut.
You won’t go far wrong.
Grip or Hook?
You’ll notice that fish weighing scales come with either a spring-loaded clamp grip, a hook, or possibly both.
Clamp grips are best suited for when you’re practicing catch and release, and you don’t want to harm the fish.
They also provide a practical and handy means of holding a slippery critter for that all-important photo op.
Hooks are more traditional and are better at holding heavier fish if the truth be told. They’re also cheaper than clamp grips if budget is an issue.
Of course, the obvious downside is you will be doing damage to the fish one way or another, so they’re best used when you’re fishing for food and practicing humane kills.
Personally, I’d advocate for a good gripper system as the better choice – regardless if you’re releasing or not.
Check out the video below for some tips and advice for how best to weigh a fish – with an emphasis on catch and release.
Durability and Weatherproofing
It’s possible to fish in some seriously harsh conditions, when the elements turn against you, as well as the corrosive properties of saltwater.
As such, your gear needs to be able to handle whatever is thrown at it. This is also true for fish weighing scales – particularly of the mechanical variety.
Saltwater can play havoc with these devices if it’s not a quality unit, or if they’re not taken care of properly (read on for more about maintenance below).
Look for solid, durable fish scales that have been tried and tested in challenging conditions. Cheap and flimsy models aren’t going to last for more than a few trips.
And when it comes to digital versions, check to see how water/weatherproof they are. Most will only be water-resistant – which means they will get damaged if they get wet enough or are submerged.
If in doubt, it’s a good idea to keep it in a good dry bag until required.
Read Out Display and Options
If you’re choosing a digital device, you should pay particular attention to the LCD display.
Is it easy-to-read? Are the figures going to be clear? Does it have a backlight function for nighttime fishing or when you’re in bright sunlight?
And if you do happen to be in bright sunlight, remember you should be wearing a decent fishing hat to protect your head. Follow that link for some stylish options.
Speaking of options, you should check to see what your digital fish scale is capable of.
Functions include choosing between pounds and kilograms, a TARE button, memory slots to record up to a certain number of weights, and some might even be capable of giving you a temperature read out.
Consider what is going to be useful and practical for you before making your choice. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, you should be able to save yourself some cash.
The maximum weight a fish scale is capable of taking will vary depending on the type of scale and the fish it’s been designed to weigh.
Scales that only go up to 15 lbs are best suited for fish like bass, or where it’s all about how many you catch and not how heavy they are.
Obviously, if you’re hunting in the deep for some serious monsters, you’ll need a device capable of weighing such beasts.
Look for scales that go up to 50 lbs and beyond if that’s more suitable for your needs, with some scales capable of weighing well over 100 lbs.
Fish weighing scales generally aren’t going to break the bank, and they make a great gift for the angler in your life (and that’s okay if that’s you).
But you can still spend a fair bit of money on the premium models – especially professional or tournament-level devices.
Again, consider what features you need and how often you’re going to use it when making your decision.
At the end of the day, it’s just a set of weighing scales for checking to see how heavy fish are, so don’t sweat the small stuff.
How to Care for Your Fishing Scales
As with all your fishing gear, you should get into the habit of regular maintenance, care, and upkeep, in order to prolong a product’s life, as well as its ability to function as intended.
The same can be said for your fishing scales – which should be checked over once in a while, and every time you venture out on a fishing adventure.
Never store digital devices with the batteries inside – particularly if they’re going to be out of use for an extended period of time.
You don’t need to use a set of new batteries for each fishing trip – but it helps to keep track of their power levels just in case, and replace them if in doubt.
If the device doesn’t already have a battery-level indicator built-in, consider purchasing one if you haven’t already. You’ll be amazed how useful they are.
Be sure to wipe down your digital scales, or rinse your mechanical scales with fresh, clean water after use – especially if you’re been fishing in saltwater. Ensure they are dry before storing.
For a fee, you can send in your weighing scales, and they’ll be calibrated with certified, traceable weights. Be aware you do have to be a member, but your scales will be super-accurate and ready to weigh a potential record-breaker.
I hope this review has helped you weigh up the pros and cons of the best fishing scales available in 2021.
We should all be able to prove just how heavy that whopper really was.
Let me know which model you’ve gone for and why – or just any fish weighing experience you’d like to impart on the community.
Tight lines everyone, and may you always land monsters.