Fly Fishing with Doug Macnair:
A Product Review: The Scale-A-Whale©
Every once in a while some gadget comes along that really makes the life of a fisher easier. Rarely, however, does a mere mortal like me get the opportunity to see it early-on before it is in someones catalog. This time, it is a different story .
One day last summer, the telephone rang. I answered and the voice at the other end said, Hi Doug, this is Gene Klager. How would you like to see a tool that ends the hassle and mess of scaling fish?
Sounds great doesnt it? It sure as heck did to me. Immediately, images popped into my mind such as redfish, red snapper, and sheepshead -- all known to be tough to scale and, in my mind, impossible to scale without making a mess.
To make a long story short, we set a date and time to meet. Gene showed up with a few fish and this gadget that looked like a drill bit, but different in appearance from any other Ive seen. He handed me the thing and said, Doug, this is the Scale-A-Whale, and scale-a-whale it will! Next, he handed me a rechargeable cordless drill and suggested I go to work. With the Scale-A-Whale mounted to the drill, Gene instructed me to set the drill in reverse and added, Now, get to work.
I did! With the drill turning at about 150 rpm, I started at the tail of a 7-lb. red snapper. The large tough scales yielded with very little pressure and in less than two minutes the fish was scaled and ready for whatever cooking technique came next. Incredibly, the scales remained in a somewhat small pile instead of flying all over the place making the usual mess that gets me into trouble with my wife I was then, and remain today, thoroughly impressed. Next up was a redfish. It went down in even less time no sweat, no mess! Unless you abuse the tool and bare down to show your macho strength, the Scale-A-Whale will not tear the skin of the fish.
Perhaps the obvious question is how safe is this gadget? If the skin of my forearm and hand are reliable tests, the answer is damned safe. I ran the Scale-A-Whale up and down my hand and arm several times no scrapes, no cuts, and no bruises. Of course, the Scale-A-Whale cannot be used with a corded drill driven by an electric current. With water around, thats a no-no! Speaking of water, the cup (mid-point of the tool) is designed to whisk away and deflect water that otherwise would splash on either the drill or the operator.
The Scale-A-Whale is beautifully made. Heat-treated and computer machined of 315 stainless steel, it should last a lifetime. After use, a simple soapy water wash and rinse is all the maintenance it requires.
So what do I think? I think the Scale-A-Whale is a great tool for any fisher who wants to clean up his or her act. Scaling fish was never something I looked forward to at the end of a successful day. Now, it isnt really a chore at all. The silly tool really really works. It works so well that I bought twelve for stocking-stuffers this Christmas. For $14.95, how could you go terribly wrong?
© Copyright: Douglas G. Macnair, 2002-2008
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