I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

• XTools gripNweigh Scale

The Xtools gripNweigh fishing scale weighs fish up to 25lbs, stores weights in memory, displays total weight, and has better gripping hooks than other scales I've used. It costs around $70. The scale will store your top five weights in memory. It can record weights in both pounds and kilograms and also has a tare feature. With this scale, you can grip fish by the lip, weigh fish, and also use it to help cull in a tournament situation. The Pro Series scale is designed more for the tournament angler and offers a more advanced culling management system.

I think it's a tad expensive for regular use. That being said, having one has made life much easier thanks to the gripping mechanism. Startup time is slow, but it takes no time at all to actually weigh a fish and release it back into the water. The scale can be somewhat cumbersome to hold, especially if the fish starts to wiggle. You won't drop a bass with it if you secure the grips along the lower jaw where there is a ridge, but hang a fish from anywhere else and you'll soon discover just how slippery a fish can be. A fish of any significant size could be a problem, so don't weigh them high off the ground. The gripping socks seem to hold average bass quite well. Just turn it on, pull up on the cross bar to open the gripping jaws, get it around the lip, let go, and weigh your catch. You can't grip every fish by the lip with this scale, however. Try holding a drum or catfish with those grip socks for example. It'll slide right off. Tournament guys probably won't be using this scale on drum or cats though.

As for accuracy, the one I bought is registering the same weights as my Berkley scale. That works for me. I know I've checked my Berkley scale against a few known weights. When weighing fish, sometimes the XTools scale does get finicky. The weight will take a few moments to balance out and can bounce back and forth by an ounce before settling. A 5lb dumbbell registers at 5lbs. I also tested the accuracy against the weight of one of my baitcasters. My Pflueger Summit WLP weighs 8.2 ounces and although this scale does not weigh down to 1/10 of an ounce, it does report the weight of this reel at 9 ounces when spooled full of line. That's close enough in my opinion. Many people complain about their scales being off, regardless of brand. As you can tell from what I've just explained, the one I bought is practically dead on. If you have problems, make sure you tare the scale first. Zero it out and then weigh something. In a pinch, compare something of a known weight by using someone's certified scale. That's the only way you'll know for sure.

The digital readout is very easy to see, even on very bright days. I can zip through all of my weights much quicker than on my Berkley scale. Battery life is good. With normal use, it is advertised to last up to two years. It does have a built in timer that turns itself off when not in use. While that saves battery life, anglers will still have to wait for the unit to start up before weighing a fish. That is the one major drawback to using any digital scale. Quite often, the startup time is too long, so when you're trying to get a fish back in the water as fast as possible, a delay like that could matter. The scale is also designed to be water tight to protect the internal electronic components. It's also supposed to float. I'm not going to test that just yet. To clean the scale, the XTools site recommends rinsing with mild soap and water. Then let it dry completely.


Anonymous said...

I have been using one of these scales for about one year now and really loved it till it started comeing up light at the local tournament scales. I first noticed this when trying to cull fish and it was way off telling me to cull way bigger fish than my smaller ones, I knew then the jig was up. I tried changing batteries and still in accurat, I also weighed some small weights for jogging that were 2lbs 5oz and didn't weight them close at all. If I was to listen to what it told me to cull I would have lost weight. Also when left on the deck on a sunny day it will do weird things, like not even turn on. Its a great system but I might just have a bad one. Would like to hear more reviews. skininink@cox.net for some reply.

Anonymous said...

I lost mine yesterday. If it floats, it just BARELY does. Mine had a light aluminum carbiner attached and that may have been enough to send it drifting into the depths. I got a glimpse of it as it sank out of sight. I had a Titanic moment. I loved that scale. And they ain't cheap to replace.