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 2022.
No more tall tales, no more exaggerated figures, no more bullshit.
Let’s weigh things up.
Table of Contents
- The Best Fishing Scales At-a-Glance
- The 11 Best Fishing Scales in 2022
- KastKing Floating Digital Fishing Scale
- Boga Grip 315 Scale
- Berkley Digital Fish Scale with Tape
- Rapala Touch Screen Scale
- Brecknell MLF Tournament Fish Scale
- Dr.Meter Backlit LCD Digital Fishing Scale
- Piscifun Fish Lip Gripper with Digital Scale
- Ozark Trail Portable Dial Fish Scale
- Rapala Tube Scale
- Whisker Seeker Catfish Scale
- Googan Squad Digital Scale
- How to Choose the Best Fishing Scales – A Buyer’s Guide
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
The Best Fishing Scales At-a-Glance
Before we properly get into the reviews, it might help to understand what you should be looking out for.
Keep the following features and factors in mind when shopping for a new set of fishing scales:
- Type of scale – digital or mechanical?
- How it holds the fish – is it a grip, a hook, or something else?
- Durability and weatherproofing – does it stand up to the elements?
- Read out display and options – make sure it has the features you need.
- Weight limit – so you don’t overload your scale with a monster.
- Cost – always weigh up your budget.
We’ll go into each of these points in more detail in the buyer’s guide towards the end of this article, but without further ado, let’s get stuck into our reviews.
The 11 Best Fishing Scales in 2022
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.
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.
And if you’re into tournament, pro, or big game fishing, it’s well worth getting your weighing scales calibrated by the International Game Fishing Association, at least once per year.
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.
What is the best fishing scale?
It depends on the type of scale you’re looking for, including its maximum weight, readout options, and durability.
What is the most accurate fishing scale?
I would say any of the fish scales in this review have a claim to the crown of the most accurate fishing scale. Unfortunately, in order to know for sure, we’d have to test every single one on the market!
And if you feel like spending a little more, the Brecknell MLF Tournament scale is definitely one of the most accurate on the market.
What fishing scale do the pros use?
Pro anglers use a variety of fishing scales, as there’s no one set device that everyone uses across the board.
That said, the Brecknell MLF Tournament scale seems to be a popular choice.
What fishing scale does MLF use?
Major League Fishing uses the Brecknell MLF Tournament fishing scale, as its “official” fishing scale.
Are digital fish scales accurate?
Yes, they are. They’re certainly more accurate than mechanical versions, although the trade-off is they’re not as impervious to the elements.
Remember that you need to make sure your fishing scales are calibrated correctly, and then they should be providing a highly accurate reading.
Does weighing a fish hurt it?
It depends on the method of weighing. A fish hook is going to hurt the first, but a gripper shouldn’t do any lasting damage if you’re practicing catch and release.
I hope this review has helped you weigh up the pros and cons of the best fishing scales available in 2022.
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.