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SCALES AND CERTIFICATION



What scales can IGFA certify for a potential record catch? IGFA can examine scales up to a 100 lb capacity. Scales that weigh in excess of 100 lbs should be examined by your local state agency or a company that is licensed and accredited to certify and calibrate scales. 

How does IGFA certify a scale? Each scale is tested for accuracy by using certified, traceable weights. IGFA policy dictates that scales may not be off by more than one increment or one half pound, whichever is less. For example, a 15 lb hand scale that weighs in 4 oz increments may not be off by more than 4 oz. In addition, digital scales are also tested by placing weight in the mid range of the maximum load of the scale for a total of three placements. With each placement, the scale must read the same or the scale will not be approved due to being inconsistent.

What scales can IGFA recommend? IGFA does not recommend any particular brand of scale. Each year, IGFA records the top ten scales that have weighed the most records during the last 12 months. This information is published in IGFA’s annual World Record Game Fishes record book. Individuals who are fishing for potential world records with the intention of releasing the catch should use a quality hand held portable scale. When using this type of scale the catch can be weighed off a body of water and then released. Junior anglers can weigh their catch in the boat and then release unless they intend to apply for a line class/fly rod or all tackle record as well.

Should I buy a scale that weighs to the maximum of 100 lbs? Anglers that are fishing for record fish should understand that the increments the scales read in will have an impact on the final weight of the catch.

If you are fishing for a trout that may weigh 10 lbs and use a scale that reads in 1 lb increments, you have the potential to lose up to 11 oz of weight. Considering records weighing less than 25 lb can be broken by a total of two ounces, the best options for the angler would be to use a scale that reads in 1 or 2 ounce increments.

What is the cost of certifying a scale? IGFA will examine scales weighing up to 100 lbs for members at a cost of $40.00. This fee includes return shipment by regular parcel post. If the member would like to have the scale tracked, insured, or returned within a shorter period of time, we recommend that they send a UPS or FedEx label or an account number along with the scale. Certified guides and Captains receive a discounted rate of $30.00. Weigh Stations may have one scale (up to 100 lbs) examined for free and pay only the return shipping cost. 

Can my scale be certified after I catch a potential record? Yes, it is permissible for anglers to certify scales for accuracy after the catch is made. 

Can I bring my scale in and have it certified? We would be happy to have you visit the IGFA, stop in and say hello and visit the museum (free for members) while your scale is being tested. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes and we are available Monday through Friday from 9-4:30 pm except for holidays. 
It is important to have your scales tested each year to ensure that they are in compliance for world record applications. Once the catch has been landed and released, you will not have a chance to reweigh your catch again!

WEIGHING REQUIREMENTS

All record fish must be weighed on scales that have been checked and certified for accuracy by government agencies or other qualified and accredited organizations. Disinterested witnesses to the weight should be used whenever possible. The weight of the sling, platform, rope, net or other such device must be deducted from the total weight. Only weights indicated by the graduations on the scale will be accepted. Visual fractionalizing of the graduations is not allowed. Any weights that fall between two graduations on the scale must be rounded to the lower of the two. All scales must be regularly checked for accuracy and certified in accordance with applicable government regulations at least once every twelve months. If at the time of weighing the fish the scale has not been properly certified within twelve months, it must be checked and certified for accuracy as quickly as possible. An official report stating the findings of the inspection prior to any adjustment of the scale must be included with the record application. IGFA reserves the right to require any scale to be re-certified for accuracy if there are any indications that the scale might not have weighed correctly. Note: IGFA offers a scale testing service for members only.