When you are busy fishing, you have a hand full of rod, reel and line, and hopefully a net in the other, ready to land your latest catch. Once you remove the hook, do you have time to fumble through your vest for a ruler to measure the fish, getting it back to the water quickly? What if your rod was also your ruler?
I have 3 fly rods, an 8 weight I use for pike, a 6 weight for river fishing, and a 4 weight for trout ponds and perch. Recently I was fishing a trout pond and tied into a decent fish for the pond, about 12 inches, but not exactly sure. I laid the fish down beside my 4 weight rod and reel for a quick photo then slipped the fish back into the water.
It looks like about 12 inches. A few years ago, I had used thin strips of duct tape wrapped around the shaft of my 6 weight rod to mark off ruler lengths of 12 inches and then every 3 inches. When I took the above picture, I realized my 4 weight rod doesn’t have the ruler markings, so I used some colored electrical tape and added the measurements to my 4 weight, my 8 weight, and redid the markings on my 6 weight.
Some might say the color tape makes the rods look a little ugly, but I don’t mind, and the quick ruler is a time saver on the water. I don’t bother with longer measurements on the 4 weight, I have it marked at 12″, 15″, and 18″. I don’t expect to catch anything bigger than that with that rod. The 6 weight goes up to 27″ which would be one hell of a trout. The 8 weight is marked from 12″ all the way up to 48″, because I’m an optimist.