Fishing is a hobby that dates back thousands of years to early human history, when it was little more than a means of survival. Since then, fishing has evolved from rudimentary hunting to a relaxing sport and leisure activity. It has become common practice for fishermen to measure their catches, as catching larger fish tends to be a source of pride. Caught fish are measured in two ways: their length and their weight. Getting the fish onto the scales can sometimes be problematic, though. This is the purpose of the weigh sling.
This guide will cover the basic characteristics of the mesh weigh sling, as well as the main factors to consider when buying one, in order to inform the reader about it. In addition, this guide will point out the numerous upsides to shopping online with the popular auctioning website eBay.
What is a Mesh Weigh Sling?
This section of the guide will cover in great depth the basic form, function and features of the mesh weigh sling, with the intention of providing the reader with enough information that they be able to make an educated choice of their own when shopping for one for their fishing activities.
Put simply, a weigh sling is a large carrying device, for the purpose of transporting large caught fish from the point at which they exit the water to the scales on which they are weighed. Weigh slings are useful for any fisherman, however they are particularly useful for fishermen who do not want to kill the fish they catch. Many fishermen are interested only in how big the fish they caught was; they will release the fish afterwards. A live fish is particularly slippery and difficult to carry; a problem only exacerbated as the fish get larger. A weigh sling allows a fisherman to lift the fish, to carry it to the scales in one piece, and to take it back. Alternatively, a weigh sling is also an extremely convenient means of transporting a killed catch, making it practically a must have for any fishermen expecting to catch something of size.
The Features of a Weigh Sling
This section of the guide will list the main features or components commonly found in weigh slings, as well as their purposes. These features are as follows:
- Material – as suggested by the name weigh sling, the main body of the carrying material is “slung” between to “arms”. The material needs to be light, strong, flexible, durable and needs to let water run through it. This guide suggests using a mesh weigh sling, as explained below.
- Support Arms – the support arms are two long, rigid poles, between which the main material is “slung”. These arms give the sling a clearly defined shape, making it much more unlikely that the fish will be able to escape over an unsupported area of fabric. The support arms ought to be made of a material both light and strong; fibreglass or steel are often used (amongst others).
- Carrying Handles – the carrying handles are attached to the top of the support arms. They have a very simple and obvious (but nonetheless crucially important) function; they allow the sling to be lifted and taken from one place to the next. To this end, they must be strong and comfortable on the hands, as well as very firmly attached to the sling arms.
- Fastening Devices – traditionally zips are used to enclose and open the sling at the ends, either sealing the fish into the sling or allowing it to slide out. Zips can, however, cause unnecessary damage to the fish, which has led some weigh sling manufacturers to innovate newer, less dangerous techniques (discussed in more detail below).
What is Mesh?
Mesh is a material composed of many individual threads or strands of fibre, metal, or any other material which can be manipulated into such shapes. Mesh creates a semi-permeable membrane, which essentially means that the material does not act as a barrier to liquid passing through it. This is due to the way in which mesh is woven; mesh is almost always semi-transparent, owing to the large number of small holes and gaps visible between the individual threads or strands. Whilst these qualities make mesh disadvantageous for some purposes, there are others to which it is uniquely suited.
Why use Mesh?
There is no other material which balances the many needs of weigh slings quite so finely as mesh does. Mesh is deceptively strong, meaning it will not break when subjected to heavy weight. It is a flexible fabric, easy to manipulate, allowing transition from the resting to slung positions instantly. It is cheap, keeping the manufacture costs down without reducing quality. Finally, the fact that it is a semi-permeable membrane means water can drain right through it, preventing problematic build ups, and in turn making it easier to clean and maintain.
These various reasons combine to make mesh the material of choice for weigh slings.
The Main Factors to Consider when Buying a Mesh Weigh Sling
This section of the guide will cover some of the most important factors to remember when buying a mesh weigh sling with which to carry fish. These factors are:
This first and most readily apparent factor that ought to be considered is size. The size of a weigh sling is measured by length x depth, often in centimetres. For instance, a weigh sling might be 110x50cm in size. Slings are available in many different sizes, and the size bought should be determined by the size of the kinds of fish that the fisherman expects to catch. This can be anticipated based on the fish content of the area of water being fished, and the level of experience and quality of equipment of the fisherman.
Some consideration should be given to the rigid arms of the sling. What are they made of? How heavy will they be? Will they be able to properly support the weight of the fish? Am I paying for unneeded features? These are all perfectly legitimate questions to ask of the frame element of a weigh sling.
Traditionally, zip fastenings have been used to close up the front and back of the sling to prevent the fish from escaping. However, zip fastenings have been known on occasion to mutilate the fish, if its tail or fins get caught in the zip. This is a gruesome and undesirable result, and one which is sadly difficult to avoid in some cases if a fish is struggling. New innovations to counteract this include magnet-fastened front and rear ends of the sling. These simply snap shut, causing a slight bending of the fin at the very worst, and making closing the fastening easier in the process.
Some attention should be paid to the handles; will they be comfortable to lift? Will the attachments to the main body of the sling hold, or will they break? Are the handles in the optimal position? These are just some of the questions worth asking.
The cost of any transaction should be carefully considered and weighed before an actual agreement is struck. It is a good idea to set oneself a budget before making any purchases, and then to try and maximise the quality being bought for that budget.
Fishing is a popular and relaxing pastime. When a fish is caught, it must be weighed (at least in competitive fishing), and for this purpose weigh slings were invented. Mesh is a great material from which to make a weigh sling. This guide set out to inform the reader about what to consider when buying a mesh weigh sling. The main considerations were:
This guide concludes that it is highly advisable to use eBay to shop online for mesh weigh slings, owing to its great selection and user-friendly interface.