About this project
Updated base design and collocated scale on top rod. See official update for more information.
If you regularly catch rainbow, brown, cutthroat, brook, and their hybrids/varieties then you will want to add this tool as a valuable asset to your gear.
Trying to measure fish has never been an easy task. More often than not it’s a slippery, clumsy and inaccurate ordeal for fishermen and usually worse for the fish. The methods most often used are guess work, typically done with rods, nets, and arms and sometimes we attempt a measuring tape. It is one of the great gaps in our fishing needs.
At Nørre, we wanted a better solution, something faster and more useful 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 Tail Scale is awesome, and it's a first of its kind, completely unprecedented. Simply put, it is a measuring tool that estimates the fish length and weight based on the width of the tail fin.
Creating The Tail Scale™:
The principle behind the Tail Scale is based on the simple fact that fish appendages, like the tail, dorsal and pectoral fins grow in remarkable proportion to the fish body size. This growth pattern has been researched and documented by various studies over the years. After confirming the research with our own testing we found a rate that would be compatible for our tool.
As the largest and easiest to handle, the tail fin was the ideal choice. Using the tail fin, also allows the fish head to remain in the water allowing it to breath while being measured. By determining the width of the tail fin, our scale can estimate the total length and weight of a fish. We filed a patent for our use and went to work on implementing the scale into a tool.
To accurately measure the tail fin it needs to be gently spread in a natural way. Easier said than done. So we went to work and found what would become an elegant solution.
The Tail Scale is a very simple, patent pending tool. It is built with two carbon fiber rods or tubes connected to a small base. For now the length and weight are collocated on the same rod. Keep in mind that the length estimate is for total fish length not tail width. Our current scale design is to have the length scale read in 1 inch estimates starting at 8 inches and going up to 20 inches. We have received some great feedback and this scale layout may change but you get the general idea. The weight estimate starts at 1/2 lb and goes in half pound increments up to 3 lbs. The rod will be marked on both sides so that it can be used either in the right or left hand and fish orientation in regard to the fisherman will not be an issue. The T20 will be about 6.75" long and weigh less than 1 ounce.
We tested a wide variety of materials and builds eventually settling on carbon fiber tubes or rods in a plastic base. Compact size, extreme low weight, float ability and durability are all key characteristics of the Tail Scale. We have found that it is an easy tool to grab and replace on the vest with very little effort.
The Tail Scale is designed to "open" the tail, not "stretch" the tail, for measuring. It works in conjunction with the natural body mechanics of the fish NOT pulling forces on the fin. It opens the fin to a natural width, not a maximum that you could get by pulling on it. You can't hurt the fish with the Tail Scale, the fin will just slip out of the tool if rotated further than needed.
Using The Tail Scale™:
This tool has never been created and, like any totally new device, the Tail Scale has a learning curve to using it properly and it takes a few fish to get it.
Check out this video for a visual demonstration of how to use the Tail Scale.
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. 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.
Why It's Better For The Fish
Fishing pressure is increasing everywhere. We can all do little things to keep the fish healthier and fishing better for us all.
Holding our breath after running a timed mile seems unimaginable, yet that is similar to what we sometimes do to a caught fish. Keeping a landed fish in the water will make a difference. The Tale Scale can help with that!
Check out the image below to see how the Tail Scale compares to other traditional measuring methods.
Some fish have tail damage of one kind or another. Generally however, tail damage severe enough to significantly affect the estimate is present in a small percentage of fish. Also, fin damage is often a temporary condition in fish because they can heal and even regenerate large portions of fin. The Tail Scale is another asset to the gear you carry and most of the time you will be able to use it on the fish you catch. When you can't, you can temporarily revert back to an old method.
Watch this video of a little 10" cutt. Despite a split in his tail he still measures pretty accurately. Also, note that the Tail Scale will not aggravate the split further, and the split on this fish was particularly susceptible because it occurs near the center of the fin. It took us 5 times longer to get his length with a tape measure and you get a glimpse of that on the right.
Deviations from Norm
Small deviations from a perfectly balanced growth rate are normal. These small deviations were not enough to cause a significant difference when using the scale. Large deviations in fin growth rates do exist, but they are far less common. Considering all deviations, the tail scale performs consistently enough to make it one of the very best estimating tools for accuracy.
The Tail Scale is a valuable option in your gear and your best all around go-to measuring method for estimating length, weight. Also, it is better for fish health than the handling and out of water stress fish get with many other methods.
The funds we hope to raise are needed for tooling and production, But as a first of its kind, the Tail Scale also needs a community. So join us by choosing a reward level and as a backer you will be among the first to own this amazing tool.
We are very committed to avoiding delays in fulfillment. We are using a large cushion into June to help avoid delays. However, we are shooting for the end of April as our stretch goal. We want you to have them when the fishing season starts to get underway. We also want the flexibility to be very attentive to quality. So here are the conservative dates with our stretch goal shown in April.
Kickstarter funding usually takes 14-20 days after the close of the campaign. Once we have the funds we will complete the order for the tooling to build the molds and procure the parts. It will take about 60 days to complete this process. We will then quality control first runs of the Tail Scale which will take about 30 days. Following the QC period the Tail Scale production and assembly will begin, taking about 45 days. After they are produced, we will receive them by freight in Arizona about 30 days later and use an additional 5-14 days for final QC, packaging and shipment to you. In total we are looking at about a 7 month process ending in the first week of June. We are hoping to shave down this fulfillment period significantly and there is a good chance you will be receiving the Tail Scale earlier. We will be sending out our signed "spared" photos in December. We will also start producing our backer Malstrøm nets in December, completing those in January but shipping with the Tail Scale in June. As you are aware, there is always a chance of disruptions, if this happens at any point during the process we will keep you informed. We will email all backers upon completion of each major milestone so that you will be up-to-date on our progress.
Risks and challenges
We have done all that we can up to this point in preparation to produce the Tail Scale. The dates we have chosen represent a conservative approach so that we can be confident in a high quality and on time product that you will be excited to own. We anticipate a 6-7 month schedule after the close of the campaign.
Over the entirety of the project we will be in touch with our backers to keep them informed. If for some reason there is a challenge along the way that affects the completion dates of the project and/or the fulfillment of any of the rewards, we will be very open and keep you informed. We are as prepared as we can be but there will always be unforeseen challenges and risks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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