In this guide, we compile the best fishing scales to measure the weight of your fish quickly and accurately.
Top Fish Scales
10 Best Fishing Scales for 2023 Reviewed
1. Eastaboga Tackle BogaGrip
Best Fish Scale
This is the scale I ended up going with after Steve Wozniak recommended it on the podcast last year. It’s heavy-duty and robust and will last a long time with proper care. No digital components, just good old-fashioned analog.
The stainless steel body and sturdy construction won me over.
I sent it to the IFGA to get certified, and it passed with flying colors. When you first see the price, you might tell yourself, what do I need a $100 plus dollar scale for?
It’s only when you pick it up and place it around with it that you realize it’s a serious, high-quality tool that will last you long.
When I met with the guys running the IFGA, they all mentioned that this is the scale most used for world records.
It has a high-quality spring, doesn’t require batteries, and has an excellent gripper action that allows you to hold on to the fish without worry.
When you get the fish near the boat, pull down on the slider, and the teeth open up quickly. From there, you place the grips on the lips of the fish and let go.
The weight of the fish will pull the grips tight, and your fish won’t go anywhere.
I’ve added this scale to my saltwater tackle box!
Check out our full Boga Grip review to see it for yourself!
2. Rapala Touch Screen Tourney Scale
Best Digital Fish Scale
This scale is accessible on the tournament scene and gets the job done. The screen requires a bit of force to operate, and since there are quite a few functions, there will be a learning curve.
Granted, if you’re in the business of tournament fishing, you’ll be fine.
I wouldn’t trust the temperature sensor because the sun throws it out of range.
Overall, if you need a low-cost tournament scale, this one won’t let you down. When you first look at this scale, your first thought might be that the spring clip clamp used to hold the fish might not be strong enough to keep the fish from flopping off.
However, when tested, we saw that it did a good job holding even when you catch fish the max weight of the fish.
We also had a buddy test out the accuracy of this scale, and it turns out that nine times out of ten, he found it to be spot on.
That makes us feel good about this as a scale for tournaments if you need something quick to judge if the fish is a keeper before the final weigh-ins.
If you want, you can also get this calibrated before your tournament to have double proof that your fish is how big you think it is.
For the price and LCD backlight, this scale is worth it for any tournament angler looking to have a device on the boat to weigh fish quickly and accurately. Add it to your tackle box!
3. Weston Spring & Hook Scale
When you head down to Baja or other destinations that might lead to a world record big game, you’ll need a scale that will be up to the task. We like this
Weston scale goes up to 150 pounds, and we know for sure there are some fish that big in some of these locations.
This anodized aluminum scale will stand up against saltwater harshness. This is a premium scale and can even be used around the home while not on duty for fishing.
It’s accurate and can be certified by the IGFA if you want to go for records. You should check it out!
4. Piscifun Fish Lip Gripper with Digital Scale
This is a similar scale design to our top pick but with the added benefit of having the digital scale embedded in the handle.
This is a water-resistant scale, so you won’t have to worry about it being splashed on, but don’t submerge it; otherwise, it could fry the digital components.
The LCD is big and bright, so you won’t have to worry about pulling out your glasses. This scale works up to 60 pounds, so you have a wide range of fish you can measure. You should give this one a look.
5. KastKing Water Resistant Digital Fishing Scale
When you’re hoisting up the big fish, the worst thing you can have is a poorly designed handle.
We’ve seen some scales that, although they are metal, have a handle that would work better as a knife than, say, a comfortable hand grip.
The fine folks over at KastKing decided to do something about that. They beefed up this scale’s handle to be comfortable for you as you raise the fish for your pictures.
This scale works up to 110 pounds and is accurate to 1/10th of a pound. This might be your new boat scale!
6. ReelSonar Digital Fish Scale with Measuring Tape
When it comes to records, it’s not always just about weight. Sometimes you’ll need to measure the fish to see if you can also get a length record.
You can’t do that if you forget your measuring tape in the car.
We like this scale because it comes with a digital LCD for easy reading, a measuring tape, and a pair of the best fish grip to make it easy to bring in your fish.
The battery lasts up to 500 hours, so you can rest assured you’re not going to need to worry about this scale much after you buy it.
7. Rapala Tube Scale
If you want a no-frills scale, look no further. It comes out of the box accurately, and some people verify using at-home weights that they hang from the hook.
Since this is not digital, you won’t have to worry about batteries or electronics wearing out.
Plus, this scale is handy if you have other tension-measuring activities around the house or workshop. Sometimes simple is all you need.
We had a chance to have a buddy run this scale through some calibration checks, and it passed with flying colors.
You need to do your best to keep the scale steady, so if you catch a fish and you’re in the boat, it’s better to wait for you to get to shore and weigh your fish. Overall, it looked like this scale had a 4% discrepancy from actual weights.
8. Berkley Digital Fish Scale
This scale comes from Berkley, who has been in the game for ages. I know many people with this scale, and they use it not just for weighing fish but for checking the drag settings on their reels.
This scale was found to be within 1oz when weighing between 0.5 and 15 pounds when weighted using Persuasion weights. It’ll get the job done.
The battery will need to be replaced from time to time, so you’ll need to use a quarter to twist off the back cover and access the battery. You can pick a few of these up from Amazon, but it won’t often be since this scale doesn’t drain much energy.
9. Entsport Fish Lip Gripper Fish Scale
Again, this is another copycat design to our top pick, but if you’re on a budget and don’t want to worry about shelling out over one hundred dollars, this could be your scale.
Honestly, thinking about it more, this might be the steal of the list. The quality is nearly identical to our top pick, so it might be worth buying both and seeing which one you like better.
We feel this could fit the bill for most people who are not likely to submit records to the IGFA. If you want to know what your fish weighs, grab one of these scales!
10. Dr. Meter Electronic Digital Fishing Scale
This scale is popular since it has a digital LCD, is accurate, and is cost-effective. I know someone running a calibration test on it right out of the gate and found that it had a 4% discrepancy from the real weight. Not bad at all!
This scale features an excellent locking function on it as well, which will come in handy if you want to record your weight after releasing the fish.
What Are Fish Scales?
Fishing scales are used to weigh and often measure fish caught by anglers. They ensure you abide by local keep laws, weigh fish for tournaments, or just for your life list documentation.
These scales can be essential when fishing for different species that legally require a specific size and length to keep.
Fish Scales History
Fish scales were first invented in the late 1800s to early 1900s in the form we know them today. They were rudimentary at best but got the job done.
Good Spring Fishing Scale
Early scales relied on a spring, hook, and a series of numbers outside the housing.
When you hook the fish through the mouth and you hold the scale-up, the weight of the fish pulls against the pressure of the spring. This removes the dial to the proper weight.
Springs are tested with an already-known pressure to ensure the weight of the load is correct.
Fish Scale Evolution
Many of these old scales are still around today and even in use. However, the evolution of fishing scales has seen a lot of change. This is to ensure a more accurate weight down to the ounce.
Today, most scales are digital and can be calibrated to keep them more exact. They also include a way to measure length.
Tournaments such as the BASS Masters have several methods of weighing fish. These can be single fish weighed at one time or fish weighed on a larger scale.
While these scales are much larger than you would take in a boat could put in your pocket, today’s smaller versions are just as accurate.
Types of Fish Scales
When deciding on a set of the best fishing scales, consider a few things. Accuracy is among the most important.
You will also want to decide if you need a scale that measures length. This is especially important if you are catching fish for tournaments where length is often a deciding factor.
Some scales can weigh multiple fish at one time and have a digital readout. Others are more simplistic with an analog design.
Let’s take a look at various types of fish scales.
Digital Fish Scales
The digital scale types we see today put out by brands such as Berkley or Piscifun, for example, are among some of the most popular and accurate.
Besides accuracy, durability is also a consideration. Also, these new scales offer digital technology that gives exact weights down to the ounce. They also accommodate smaller fish that were too small to be weighed by the older scales.
Lip Gripper Electronic Fish Scale
Companies such as Piscifun have also eliminated the need to hook the fish to weigh it. This has been achieved by introducing a “lip gripper” that acts like the lip gripper used to lift fish from the water but is a scale.
This can be helpful when weighing fish that are toothy or fish that have soft mouths that a regular scale hook could damage.
Digital fish scales can store several weights at once. This can allow you to keep track of your total days catch and enable you to know which fish to cull if need be.
A digital scale is excellent because they are generally easy to read due to its lit-up LCD screen. These portable digital scales take out the guesswork that other analog scales tend to give.
The weight range of a digital scale is comparable with the analog versions. You can go from tiny fish to even 50 pounds or even over 110 pounds.
The tare function on digital scales is nice if you want to zero out your scale, then hooks the fish lip and weigh it.
Some of these scales also come with an easy-to-read built-in tape measure. Not bad for a portable digital device that’s not super expensive.
Fishing Scale Grips
Fishing scales also should have an excellent grip to prevent hand strain. With the high sensitivity of most digital fish scales, the weight can fluctuate if you do not have a firm, steady hold.
Often after a day of fishing, this is due to hand and wrist strain. So, ensuring that your scales have a comfortable grip can help you maintain a “steady hand’ when weighing.
We recommend a model of fish scales that also offers a measuring tape so you can easily track the fish’s length. This can be very important if the range is a concern legally, for example.
Where to Find the Best Fish Scales
You have several options as to where to find the best fishing scales. These include sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and online.
Sporting goods departments in stores such as Walmart carry many of the best brands at prices that fit any angler’s budget. Bait and tackle shops will usually have a more focused brand type and, therefore, a smaller selection.
Online will give you a much broader selection and more information and reviews. This will help you make a more informed decision as to what will work best for you.
How to Care for Your Fish Scales
Thankfully, fish scales do not need a lot of special care to keep them performing for many years. The following are a few tips that will help:
- Make sure you have fresh batteries before going out.
- Do not store your fish scales for long periods with the batteries inside. (This can cause corrosion).
- Wipe down your fish scales and make sure they are dry before storing them.
- Occasionally test them against an item with a precisely known weight to ensure they are still calibrated correctly.
- Send them in for calibration each year. The IGFA does this for you for a specific fee, and after it comes back, you can use it for world-record fish.
When it comes to taking care of your fish scale, it helps to remember that a bit of prevention goes a long way.
If you’re going to be using it in salt water, you’ll need to take care of it more diligently than if you were caring for it in freshwater. That means doing your best to rinse or wipe it with fresh water after each use.
Many times, I was so tired after a long day of fishing that I left my scale in my bag and forgot about it. After a few days, you’ll remember that you didn’t care for it and come out and see it coated in salt.
Usually, this isn’t a big deal, and the salt crystals will come off with a little water and rubbing, but if it’s really bad, you’ll need to take it apart.
Some better scales come with tools that allow you to open them up and get all the nooks and crevices clean. Digital ones are typically sealed, and if they get damaged, you’ll likely just need to buy a new one.
Tournament Fish Weighing Scales
If you are thinking of participating in a tournament or world record fishing, you must pick a quality scale and get it calibrated. I picked up a Bogagrip and sent it to the IGFA for certification that my scale was accurate to their standards.
I like the Bogagrip because they don’t rely on any digital components that can mess you up if you’re traveling and say the battery runs out.
Some of these guys who are serious about their world records travel to remote places searching for these dream fish. The last thing you want is to rely on batteries in the middle of the Amazon River.
Another thing about the Bogagrip is that they use a gravity lip catch, so no matter how heavy your fish is, the metal grips will latch on hard, and it has a bearing that allows the fish to spin and not come off.
Other scales use a hook that needs to be placed in the gill opening, which could hurt the fish if not done correctly.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on the model you purchase. You can elect to have them with or without (we recommend with).
If calibrated correctly, yes, they are. This is especially true with today’s more advanced digital models.
There are a few reasons; this is a good idea. One, for example, would be if you wanted a total for the day’s catch.
Many of today’s models will float if dropped out of a boat, etc. It would be good to check with the manufacturer to make sure. (Tip: I keep a lanyard on mine just in case)
Picking the correct fish scale is a crucial decision for any angler. No matter your fishing goals, having a quality scale is a must.
It can be tough to decide which one is best for you with many models. Hopefully, this guide has helped steer you in the right direction.