Truth behind carp record scales

The scales used to weigh the new British record carp were accurate, Angling Times can exclusively reveal.
When tested ‘from cold’, the digital scales used to weigh the Parrot were found to be spot on by Weights and Measures officials.
The record will be claimed based on the original 68lb 1oz reading taken on the bank at Berkshire’s Wasing Estate last month.
The results of the stringent official tests lifted a huge weight off the mind of captor Dean Fletcher, who enlisted the help of Angling Times to get the scales calibrated.
He told us: “I had trouble sleeping the night before the results were due in, but now I’m over the moon!
“Even though it’s been in the paper and I’ve been on the radio twice I still wasn’t sure it would be a record.”
The greengrocer added: “After all that it’s such a relief – if it wasn’t a record I would look a right plum!”
The scales were checked by the Weights and Measures division of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards team in a room set to 20ºC and 50 per cent humidity – as stipulated in the Weights and Measures Act of 1985.
Under BRFC rules, the Reuben Heaton Sportscales were first loaded with brass weights until the digital display read 68lb 1oz. Then the scales were loaded with enough weights to read 68lb and 68lb 2oz. Each time, the readout on the £80 unit perfectly matched the weight applied to them.
The same tests were repeated two more times, during which the scales sometimes ‘under-read’ (meaning a fish could be bigger than indicated) by up to 40g (1.41oz), though tester Paul Street told Angling Times: “When we tried the first application of weights we didn’t find any error.
“What we did first of all was convert 68lb 1oz into metric and round that to the nearest 25g (1oz), as that’s the division used by the fishing scales. That figure was 30.875kg.
“The first time we put that weight on the scales we got that exact reading, there was no error.
“Once the machine [the scales] got used to the weight hanging on it, warming up a bit, it lost its idea of weight slightly, but only by a maximum of two divisions (2oz).
“I can confirm that the minimum weight when applied to the scale that gave a reading of 30.875kg (68lb 1oz) was 30.875kg.”
Paul, whose council lab can test weights down to a millionth of a gram, added: “Electronic scales are usually quite good for accuracy unless they have been mistreated or damaged.”
Dean, who caught the Parrot just an hour after casting out at Cranwell Lake on the Wasing Estate, added: “They’re the Wasing Estate’s scales that are there for just this type of occasion.
“We weighed the fish on two sets of scales and on the dial scales (which went up in 4oz divisions) it went over 68lb, so we took the digital reading which told us exactly what it was.
“I’ll now send off all the paperwork to the British Record Fish Committee and hopefully it’ll be accepted. I suppose with carp it’s not likely to be a question of identity – it’s not like it’s going to be crossed with a gudgeon!”