What is the best way to weigh a trout?

What is the Best Way to Weigh a Trout?

Many trout fishermen find weighing trout to be a bit tricky, offer they do not bother and just guesstimate a weight. Other times, they resort to measuring than using a chart to estimate the weight that way. Of course, such methods are quite vague the true weight of the fish can vary widely from such estimates.

So lets discuss what is the easiest way to weigh trout while fishing and cover a few of the alternatives.

Weigh Net – A Landing Net With Integrated Scales.

This is my favorite method of weighing a trout I plan on releasing.

The best way to weigh a trout is in a weigh net. A weigh net is a landing net with a set of scales integrated into the handles. Using a weigh net could not be simpler or faster and no need to spend time attaching another set of scales.

The weighing process is easy. Land the trout in the net, then lift the net out of the water and use the integrated scales to quickly weigh the trout before returning it to the water. I am sure there are other brands out there, but I have always used a landing net made my Mcleans Angling, I have written about it here.

This is an excellent method because it minimizes handling and the amount of time the trout is held captive in the net. It is possible to weigh a trout in about 5 seconds. No need to touch it or remove it from the net.

Another advantage is that the entire weight of the trout is well supported by the net itself. It is such a simple concept and it works very well.

Tube Spring Hand Scale are an Excellent Option.

Hand scales are a lightweight, compact and fairly cost effective way to weigh trout. They are typically a cylinder design with a hook.

If you plan on releasing the trout, then weigh the trout while it is still in the net. Just hook the hand scales somewhere around the frame or on the handle. It is important to remember to calibrate the scales to automatically adjust for the weight of the net. If you forgot to calibrate the scales, then you have to weigh the net empty and manually subtract the weight.

I personally use a very old spring scale which is no longer made. Most of the modern ones I have seen seem to be cheaply made, although if I was buying today the Rapala Tube Scale will be my pick. You can check it out here on amazon.

Tube scales are a simple but effective way to weigh trout

Electronic Scales Are a Little Bulky but Work Well.

These function in a very similar way to hand scales, but give a digital readout. They also run on batteries that seem to be flat whenever I need to use them. I have owned a few electronic scales over the years and they all seem fairly accurate.

In general, when wading. I still prefer a mechanical scale because the design is more compact and fit better into a pocket.

I can not really give any recommendation for brands, because there is too many and all the ones I own are now obsolete. If you do buy one made sure it can be calibrated.

Lip Grip Scales Should Not Be Used on Trout

Lip grip scales like the name suggests are a combination of a lip holder and digital scales.

These should not be used on any trout you plan on releasing, because structurally trout, salmon and chars are not strong enough to be hanged from their lips. It can dislocate their spine and in some cases rip their jaw. If you are practising catch and release, do not use lip grips on trout.

I am personally not a big fan of the technology and find it is much faster just to scoop a fish up in a net to control it.

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