"Thou shalt not bear false witness..." The Bible, Exodus 20.16
Fabricators beware, thy days are numbered.
Certain things have long been sacred. Among these
are the ability of the angler to allow a previously
caught fish to grow as large as the memory and imagination
allows. You know how it goes: that twelve-inch trout is
thirteen inches as it swims back into the creek, fifteen
by the time the rod is cased, and a full foot and a half
long (or better) by the time your friends show up to watch
the game that night. This has always been made convenient
by the process of estimating the measure of a fish's length
by holding two hands apart from each other. In this way,
the angler can use their remarkably consistent and
unquestionably canny recall to precisely replicate the
length of the fish. (These words are used advisedly,
Now, from the folks who brought us the
Quick-Seine comes the end of the way things were. Their
newest product, the Handi-Measure is a retractable tape that
fits on the handle of a landing net, and extends over the
frame to quickly and easily determine just how long that
fish really is. This accomplishes two tasks in one: not
only is the measurement placed against a standard, but
the tape can be drawn over the bag while the fish is still
cradled in the water, reducing any potential undue stress.
As well, with a little creativity, one can actually manage
to get the Handi-Measure to attach to the net on the opposite
side of the yoke from a Quick-Seine, giving a net three uses
In case you are interested in taking a complete measurement,
the flexible material of which the tape is made will also
allow you to measure the girth. Slipping it under the belly
and guaging size is almost as easy as taking the length.
You're on your own for the math after that, though. This
only really works well if you're taking the fish out of
the net, though, so if you want to leave the fish in the net,
a guess is as good as it gets.
At 1 5/8" in diametre, and about 3/8 wide, this item takes
up a minimal amount of space. Think of two dollars worth
of 50 cent pieces stacked, but much, much lighter. In fact,
the whole thing probably weighs less than a
half-dollar's worth of...half dollars. Whether you choose
to hang this on your net frame, your wading belt, the strap
of your tackle pack, or wherever, it most likely won't
even be noticed.
Just for the sake of determining the durability of the
Handi-Measure, I began measuring every fish I caught.
Although pulling out a tape for a bunch of 13" planters in
the Lagoon seemed like a ridiculous thing to do, I found
that the tape was very reliable, pulling out straight and
retracting the same way every time. No problems on the
functional end, and after a good deal of use, it still
appears to be holding up well. There are no metal parts
to rust, either - the case and exposed parts are comprised
of plastics, and some inner parts of stainless steel.
Assuming you aren't fishing for enormous species, the 36"
worth of draw length should give plenty of extra tape.
Some Stripers, Salmon, Steelhead, and Saltwater species
might defy qualification with the Handi-Measure, but by
the time we reach the 36" mark, most of us are taking
pictures anyway. (For those more familiar with other
canons, "side B" is printed in centimetres.)
As an evidence of the thorough thought process that went
into the design, the tape has an entire inch of "blank"
space at the very tip end. (Before the 1-inch mark, that
is.) What is so ingenious about that? It seemed like a
waste of material to me until I pulled it over the first
fish and realized that it was no fluke - it is a tab so
you can pinch without losing the size of a finger width!
The big idea of this product is well and good by itself,
but as we all know, it's the little things that make or
break a product. This is a little thing, but so very
So, be forewarned. With the advent of this new tape, the
ease of prevarication has lessened considerably. You can
consider this a good thing, or you can consider it not so
good, but either way you may want to consider it. If
freeing up vest space, keeping fish wet, being accurate,
and/or simplifying the whole process appeals to you, a
Handi-Measure might be worth the look.
The Handi-Measure retails for $13.95. If you don't see it
at your local shop, you can contact the makers at:
Angling Designs, Inc.
820 South Monaco #264
Denver, Colorado 80224
Phone: (800) 896-8998
Fax: (303) 369-0495