How To Measure Your Fish (Without A Measuring Device)


What would you do if you caught your personal best fish, but didn’t have a measuring board or tape to measure it?

That would be so frustrating!

As anglers, we always want to know exactly how big a fish is.

A ballpark estimate just doesn’t cut it.

Plus, for the rest of your life, you might be wondering how big that fish actually was.

Nobody wants that, so the two tips in this video will help you get the exact measurement, even if you don’t have something to measure your fish with.

All you need is one of two tools, both of which you’re guaranteed to have on you if you go fishing.

Check out the two tips below.

2 Hacks To Measure Your Fish [VIDEO]

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Whenever you go fishing, you’ll always have these two things on you:

  1. Your rod
  2. Fishing line

Here are two ways you can measure your fish without a measuring device:

Tip #1: Measure your fish against the rod

You can lay your rod next to the fish and see how they compare.

For example, if the fish is halfway between the fifth and sixth guide, when you get home, you can measure how long it is to halfway between the fifth and sixth guide.

You can also tie a piece of line tight to the rod where the fish measured up against.

Or, you can take a picture, and then when you get home, measure the length of the rod to where the fish measured up against in the picture.

Tip #2: Use fishing line to measure your fish

The other way to get an accurate measurement of your fish is to cut off a piece of line to the exact length that your fish was.

You can ball it up and stick it in your pocket, then when you get home, you can measure how long the line is.

Just make sure to not lose it!

Bonus tip: Don’t forget your measuring device!

Instead of bringing a tape measure that can rust and corrode, or bringing a big measuring board that takes up a lot of space (but that may not even be big enough for the monsters you’ll catch), I bring tailor’s tape with me.

It’s vinyl, so it won’t corrode, and it’s flimsy, so I can fold it up small and stick it in my pocket.

I always carry it with me, whether I’m on my kayak, on a boat, wade fishing, or pier fishing, so I can always know how big the fish I catch are.

Plus, if you’re planning on keeping fish, you don’t want to wait until you get home to find out that it was too small or big to keep.


fat snook under dock

Even if you forget a measuring device, you can still figure out how big your fish was with a little creativity.

You can measure it up against your rod, or cut off a piece of line that’s the exact length of the fish and measure that when you get home.

But of course, the best way is to not forget your measuring device in the first place.

I recommend bringing tailor’s tape with you because it’s easy to roll up small, plus it won’t corrode.

Have any questions about measuring your fish?

Have any other hacks for measuring them that I didn’t cover in this video?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who always forgets their measuring device, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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edward siemer
1 year ago

Very good tips Tony..have you ever measured the length of a dollar bill, or a 5, or 20 or even a $100 dollar bill? Well. they all are 6 inches long..I’ve measured a few things that way when all other options were not available..although, I would certainly use the $1 bill if I had to measure a fish, if you know what I mean..

Bruce Hagedorn
1 year ago

I just mark my fishing rod using red nail polish at all the important slot limits. You could also mark every 5 inches or so starting at 15 inches. Keeps you from having to remember which guide your fish was closest to and keeps you from having to carry anything. Also helps with adherence to slot limits.

Jim Jacobus
Jim Jacobus
1 year ago

Good video Tony. But if you joined the CCA Star tournament and left your measuring device at home and the fish is a tagged redfish… You won’t CARE what size the fish is. ????????

Robert Peck
1 year ago

Hi A.Rollins,
Thank you ???????? for the mathematical formula. It is much appreciated considering we as average fisherman never give it a second thought.. But there is always that moment in time when••••••• THANK YOU !!

Bob Hartwein
1 year ago

Great Ideas! Simple is Perfect!

1 year ago

Hold the fish up against your body. Measure yourself ahead of time so you know how high off the ground your knees, hips, waist, shoulders, and other parts are. Then measure parts of hour had – finger segments, palm width, etc. – so you can use your hand to measure from body reference points to where the fish reaches.
Or remember where the fish reaches on your body so you can measure later.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave
1 year ago

I have built most of my own rods, and always include a series of “decorative wraps that serve as a built in ruler. I alway add similar wraps to any factory rods that didn’t come with built in rulers.

Corey Cobb
1 year ago
Reply to  Charlee

same. I marked the red and snook slot for reference.

Robert Peck
1 year ago

Hi Tony , I was close . It’s multiple the length x girth x girth

Robert Peck
1 year ago

Yo TONY .. An interesting tip .. TU .
A long time ago befor you were born someone told me how to estimate the weight of the fish . I never checked it out but possibly you could.. Multiply the length of the fish by the circumference..TU ????????

A. Rollins
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Very accurate. Great way to measure monster goliath grouper.

A. Rollins
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Peck

Length x girth x girth then divide that number by 800 = the weight of the fish. Example 38x27x27= 27702 ÷ 800 = 34.6275

Victor Gatell
1 year ago

My rods had thin pieces of tape, different color electrical tape, to mark the slots as measured from the butt.


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