It’s called the Tail Scale, and according to the Arizona-based fishing accessories company Nørre, it could revolutionize how anglers measure fish. The Fish Scale may look like a bizarre set of chopsticks, but the company says it will allow anglers to gauge the length and weigh of their fish without going through the hassle of using tape measures, and most importantly, without taking fish out of the water.

“At Nørre, we wanted a better solution, something faster and more accurate than the guess work we typically do, something simple, and better for the fish. What we found and created surpassed our hopes. It is a radical departure from traditional methods and it is better in almost every respect,” the company stated on its Kickstarter page.

The company says that scientific research has shown that fish appendages, such as the tail, dorsal, and pectoral fins, grow in proportion to body length. By studying these patterns, Nørre was able to build a tool that is capable of estimating fish length and weight just by measuring the tail fin alone. The Tail Scale currently only works with trout species, including rainbow, brown, cutthroat, brook, and hybrid trout.

“Trust us, as a totally new tool you may mess it up a time or two, but once you practice on a few fish, the Tail Scale will provide the best combination of speed, estimating and fish health in any measuring method you have used,” the company stated. “It’s actually fun to use because it takes a clumsy and high fish handling aspect of our sport and makes it a quick and smart technique.”

You can see a demonstration below:

Nørre claims that the Tail Scale is both faster and safer for the fish than other measuring methods, and only slightly less accurate than the traditional tape measure.

Some anglers who have seen the device question whether it would be useful enough to be worth the purchase price. The current prototype of the Tail Scale requires the fish to have no tail damage. There are also fish that deviate from the standard tail-size pattern and may give inaccurate estimates. In addition, the very simple design of the tool means that there is little keeping the average angler from constructing it at home.

Ryan Rasmussen, founder of Nørre, remains undaunted. He said that if the trout Tail Scale proves to be successful, the company will consider building scales for other species as well. Nørre is currently near the end of its crowdfunding campaign, which hopes to raise a modest $7,500 to refine and produce the Tail Scale. So far over 90 percent of that goal has been reached.

Image from Facebook

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