Best Scale for Bass Tournaments

By | March 8, 2016

We are going to be running a best of series over the next several months and today our topic is best scale for bass tournaments. Please join me over the next few minutes as we go over some of the highlights and features of the top fishing scales currently available. I hope you’ll appreciate our expertise and knowledge that we offer. We have been selling fishing tournament scales on this website for over a decade now. So let’s go ahead and get started.

Right off the top I have to say that there are actually a lot of digital scales that you could use for weighing fish.

So my first suggestion to you, as a prospective buyer, is to do a little homework and determine what features you need/want. Also determine what your budget is going to be. Once you do these two things, it will make the buying process much easier.

I also need to mention the types of scales that we are going to discuss today. We specialize in mid level to high level scales. In other words, we don’t deal with the $50 battery powered hanging scale that you might have seen in Bass Pro or on ebay. Our products are designed to be more of a long term solution, and therefore they cost a bit more money but they truly are designed to be the┬ábest scale for bass tournaments.

best scale for bass tournaments

Earlier I mentioned that you need to look at the scale features that are available and determine what you need versus what you want. Well some of those features include:

  • Stainless Steel Construction
  • Weight Lock & Filtering
  • lb:oz units
  • Remote Display capability
  • Platform Size
  • Weight Display Size
  • Battery Power

I’ll now explain in more detail about each of these subjects. We’ll start with the construction of the scale.

Obviously with a bass fishing tournament (or any other type of tournament), you would like to have a scale that is capable of getting a little wet. The challenge is that most “affordable” scales are really not designed to get wet. Our suggestion, based on the environment that these scales are in, is to get a scale that has stainless steel construction. The ratings you will see are typically things like IP66 or IP69K.

For a regular fishing tournament, we would like to see you use a scale that has at least an IP65 rating. That should work very well.

However, if you are putting a scale in a food processing plant, we would suggest an IP69K rated scale, to give you some comparison.

When it comes to weight lock and filtering, I have seen customers utilize this feature however the majority haven’t used it. Not sure why that is, but that is what I have seen. We do offer several scales that do offer the hold function which is handy when it comes to weighing fish. One of the challenges we have found when it comes to setting up scales for weighing live fish is that what is ideal for your club doesn’t always work well for your neighbor’s club. So generally in a lot of cases we let the customer set up their hold function to their liking. Likewise with the filtering; we have found that certain customers like what we suggest, while others do not, so we typically allow the customer to fine tune the filtering on the scale. As to what the filtering is, it is basically a way of speeding up or slowing down how the scale displays the weight on the screen. For fishing, we often like to slow down the filtering a little so the scale has time settle before locking in on the weight of the fish.

Most of our scales have standard weight units of pounds, kilograms, and maybe ounces. The majority do not have lb:oz. So, if that is an important thing for you, then you will need to do some research and determine what scales have that feature.

The majority of our scales feature a RS-232 port. This is also known as a serial port.

This is what you would connect to in order to send weight data to the computer or a remote display. We do have customers from time to time who want to find out more information about sending weight data to the computer. The honest answer to this is we don’t support that functionality because there are too many variables that we can’t control. For example, are you using a Windows PC or a Mac? If you’re on Windows, are you using Windows XP, Windows 7 etc… And most computers now days don’t have a serial port, so you end up having to purchase a USB-RS232 adapter. So that is why we don’t support the computer port communication. Now, if you’re looking to connect to a ticket printer or a remote display, we do support that and can certainly provide options for that. In most cases, it would have to be installed and setup by experienced technicians.

In a few of the scales, there are platform size choices available. The standard sizes are usually somewhere around 10″x10″ or 12″x14″ but there are certainly other choices available if you need something different. Same holds true with maximum weight capacity. Standard is usually somewhere around fifty pounds. The weight display is the screen that you look at to determine what the weight is. These numbers are usually somewhere around one inch in height. If you need something bigger than that, there are options available. Of course, there is also the remote display option as well. The remote display is usually 4″ high digits and very bright!

Finally let’s take a look at the power options.

Most of the fishing scales that we offer also have battery power. We do this because we realize that the majority of customers in this market need a scale that is portable. There are also different styles of batteries available as well. Some scales have flashlight batteries (like C or D cell batteries) and others use internal rechargeable battery.

If you really want a scale that can handle a wet environment, we recommend taking a look at the Doran 8000XL series. This is what we call a washdown scale with IP69 rated stainless steel construction. This scale would be great for many fishing weigh-in’s but it doesn’t have the weight lock function that fishing clubs like. It has Peak Hold which is a different type of hold. The scale has battery power, lb:oz units, serial port for a remote display and choices for capacity and platform size. Overall an excellent choice but certainly not cheap at all. But, if money was no concern, it would be┬ábest scale for bass tournaments in almost every case.

However, most club presidents or better yet, the treasurer, can’t justify the costs of the item above. So, what else is available that will fit most of the features listed above? The SL-3700 is a good choice for clubs that are looking for a high end solution without spending thousands of dollars. The SL3700 has a stainless steel enclosure (not IP69k rated but still good), weight lock and filtering, serial port for remote display, and battery power.

For customers looking for an affordable choice, we do offer the Sportsman. This is a scale that includes many high quality features that fishermen like such as battery power, lb:oz, hold function and portable. The downside with this scale is the enclosure. It is not washdown safe and it must be protected from water.

That brings us to the point of the article. What is the best scale for bass tournaments?

In my opinion, the best scale is the WeighMaster. This scale is a high quality, industrial scale that has stainless steel construction, hold function, battery power, and is what I would consider the best overall value for the money. The scale features a 12″x14″ weighing platform with 50 pound capacity. So there you have it, our choice for best fishing scale for a bass tournament weigh in.