Review of Reuben Heaton 9000 digital scales

Through my involvement with Reuben Heaton, I was lucky enough to be able to try out some digital fishing scales. I have to confess that so far, my experience of using digital scales for fishing, has not been a positive one. I have had two sets of digital scales from well known manufacturers, and neither of them lasted more than a month, before malfunctioning. On the bright side, these Reuben Heaton scales looked like they were in a different league in terms of robustness.

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Speaking to Andrew Race, Reuben’s UK managing director, it was clear that he had waited a long time before entering a digital fishing scale into the market… Reuben Heaton has a prestigious name in terms of quality and precision, and Andrew wanted to make sure that the technology behind the digital scales was up to scratch. With analogue (dial/tubular) scales, you can visually see the read-out. So when you are weighing something like a fish, which might be moving around, you can see the pointer on the dial of an analogue scale moving up and down, and you can mentally gauge the weight being measured. With a digital scale, this is very difficult to do. So the software in the Reuben digital scales measures the deflection in terms of deviation of weight, and determines the correct measurement. The digital read-out on the scales, displays “HOLD” when the correct weight is displayed. Very clever stuff.

Specification of RH9025 digital scales

      • Tough polycarbonate body and lens
      • Stainless hook
      • Machined aluminium alloy weigh bar
      • Large easy to read LCD display
      • LCD backlight with powersave function
      • Kgs or Lbs readout
      • Protective pouch included
      • Requires 4 x AAA battery After sales support
      • Tare function

The Reuben Heaton 9000 digital scales come in a handy nylon pouch which stops the LCD display from getting scratched. The form factor of the scales is good – they will easily fit into a pocket.

 

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The scales come with a set of instructions which are clear and concise. The scales are powered by 4 AAA batteries, which fit into a compartment on the back of the scales which can be opened by unscrewing a small phillips head screw…

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The unit has a tough machined aluminium bar attached to a clip at the top. This allows the unit to be held securely whilst weighing items…

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At the other end of the scale is a tough stainless steel weighing hook…

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Operation

The controls on the scale are simple to use. There are only 2 buttons…

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The top button switches the unit on and off, and also allows a “Tare” function to be used (more of this later).

The bottom button allows the unit to display weights in imperial (lbs/ozs) and metric (kg/g). It also allows the backlight to be switched on so that the scale can be read at night.

Scale in metric mode…

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Scale in imperial mode…

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Selecting the backlight…

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The tare function is pretty easy to use. It allows fish to be weighed in the net. It subtracts the known weight of the net in order to display the weight of the fish. In order to try this out, I first weighed two 9 ounce lead weights…

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As can be seen from the images above, the weights weighed 525g.

Next I attached an empty fishing net to the weighing hook on the bottom of the scales…

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The empty net weighed 375g.

With the net still hanging on the weighing hook, I  pressed the “Tare” button on the scales. This ‘locks in’ the weight of the net, and subtracts it when weighing objects contained in the net. If you take the net off the scales when in tare mode, the display records a negative weight.

To test the tare mode, I now added the two weights (525g) into the net, and weighed them both (total weight 900g). In Tare mode, the scales correctly displayed the weight of the lead weights (525g) rather than the combined weight of the leads and the net…

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Kayak Test

The specs are all well and good, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say. So the scales needed a proper work-out. I have been using them on the kayak for a while now – and whilst obviously, they need to be looked after (they are not waterproof, so a dunking is going to be bad news). So far, they have performed really well.

A saltwater bream trip…

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It also gave me a chance to try out the backlight – and it worked like a treat…

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I have also been using it on my freshwater trips. This is the real bread and butter of the scales, and they excelled. On the kayak, it really helps that the scales are compact (not too long), as its not easy to lift and weigh a decent sized fish when you are sat down. The scales performed faultlessly…

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Conclusion

I couldn’t be more happy with the Reuben Heaton digital scales. They did everything you would expect them to. Top of my list as a kayak fisherman is the fact that they are tough and compact. No scales are going to survive saltwater dunkings, so if you do intend to use them at sea, then look after them. In terms of the top features from my perspective, they would be…

Easy to use

Compact/lightweight form factor

Accurate

Tough

Reliable

Reasonably priced

Would I change anything – probably not, but if they ever upgrade the scales, then it would be good to have a visual indication on the LCD display to remind you that you are in “Tare” mode.

The Reuben Heaton 9000 series digital scales are priced at £39.99. For more information on the scales, please see the website below…

http://www.reubenheaton.co.uk/disprod1.asp?sect_id=116&title=Scales+-+Digital&prod_id=129