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Best Fish Ruler – 2021 Reviews

last updated: Mar 11, 2021

Fish rulers are used by anglers to measure the fish they catch. It is important that you choose the proper fish ruler. This is to make sure the fish that does not meet the legal length is freed.

Keeping a fish that is shorter than the standard length might result in getting a ticket and cost you a fine. Stretching and folding tape fish rulers that are made of plastics have tendencies to shrink when exposed to high temperatures. As a result, it could give you an erroneous measurement.

Like any other purchase, buying a fish ruler has many considerations. It is always important to choose the right fishing ruler for you. Nowadays, there are countless fish rulers on the market and finding the best one that will suit your style and requirement is never easy.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research

icon
Rapala Adhesive
98.8/100 our score
Durability
99
Accuracy
98
Size
99
Advanced Features
99
Rapala Adhesive
Why is it better?

Does not easily wear out

No bubbles formed when sticking

Sticks easily

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Rapala Adhesive
Test Winner: Rapala Adhesive
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
10
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
2.5k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
17
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
19
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Ana
By Ana:

We added new fish rulers that our reviewers tested and rated high on a scale from 1 to 100. The new models are all available in 2021.

Sorting Options
Durability Accuracy Size Advanced Features By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Durability
99 %
Accuracy
98 %
Size
99 %
Advanced Features
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
Amazon Link
$3.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Durability
97 %
Accuracy
96 %
Size
96 %
Advanced Features
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
Amazon Link
$9.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Durability
96 %
Accuracy
95 %
Size
95 %
Advanced Features
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Durability
94 %
Accuracy
93 %
Size
94 %
Advanced Features
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Durability
91 %
Accuracy
91 %
Size
91 %
Advanced Features
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
Amazon Link
$9.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Durability
91 %
Accuracy
90 %
Size
91 %
Advanced Features
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
Amazon Link
$9.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
Durability
88 %
Accuracy
87 %
Size
86 %
Advanced Features
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Durability
83 %
Accuracy
82 %
Size
82 %
Advanced Features
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.3
Durability
80 %
Accuracy
81 %
Size
80 %
Advanced Features
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
Amazon Link
$10.95
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Durability
85 %
Accuracy
85 %
Size
79 %
Advanced Features
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.04.21)
Amazon Link
$43.95

Top 10 Picks

1. Rapala Adhesive

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Rapala Adhesive
Amazon Link
Durability
99
Accuracy
98
Size
99
Advanced Features
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$3.99
Pros:

Does not easily wear out

No bubbles formed when sticking

Sticks easily

Cons:

Some users complain it’s a little too wide for their preferred size

This adhesive fish ruler from Rapala is one of the best fish rulers designed for outdoors. You can stick it on any surface especially on the boat for ease and convenience when measuring your catch.

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Build Quality
This ruler is made of industrial-quality vinyl. This means that it can resist moisture and humidity. It is also hard-wearing compared to stickers made of paper. It is also resistant to fading and does not easily lose its necessary stickiness.

Product Features
It has bold and legible markings for easy identification. This fish ruler can measure in both centimeters and inches. It has a strong adhesive quality that allows it to stick to any smooth surface longer. It is 36-inches in length so you will not have to worry about measuring a massive catch.

Overall Components
This type of adhesive fish ruler from Rapala easily sticks and can be placed on your boat just like any other sticker. It uses two types of measurements, you can use either inches or centimeters when measuring your catch. You will not have a hard time converting the units of measurement since both are provided. It is legibly written so even if you are reading the measurement at a certain distance, you can still see it.

In addition, because it is made of vinyl, it resists water preserving the markings. Most customers noted that they are still using their Rapala fish ruler even after three years with its color slightly faded.

Product Description
The dimensions are 11.8 inches x 3.2 inches x 0.3 inches. It has a shipping weight of 1.6 ounces.

2. Oregon Rule Co.

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Oregon Rule Co.
Oregon Rule Co. Big Fish Adhesive Backed Rules – 20 Inch Long and 56 Inch Long – Left to Right
Amazon Link
Durability
97
Accuracy
96
Size
96
Advanced Features
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$9.95
Pros:

Two rulers of varying sizes

Water resistant

Easy to stick

Cons:

Some users requests for a longer ruler possibly 60-inches in length

This set of adhesive fish rulers is especially intended for anglers who would like to measure their catch fast.

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Build Quality
This set is made from tough polyester that can withstand outdoor elements. Its top is coated with a protective classy gloss to protect the markings from the water. This set of rulers is adhesive so you can easily stick it in your boat, oar, or tackle box.

Product Features
Each set is composed of 2 pieces of rulers. One is a 1x20-inch ruler and the other is a 1 1/4 x 56-inches ruler. Both rulers offer a measurement reading from left to right. It has big markings that measure 1/8-inches.

Overall Components
The Big Fish adhesive rulers easily stick to smooth surface so fishing enthusiasts can easily place it wherever they want. It also has large measurement markings so it can be read easily and accurately. Itt comes in two lengths, which provides convenience to users. They can use the shorter ruler for measuring smaller fish and the longer one for bigger fish.

Product Specifications
This set of fish rulers comes with one 1x20-inch ruler with 1-inch width and one 56-inches ruler with 1 1/4-inch width. The shipping weight is just 4 ounces.

3. EGO

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
EGO Measuring Board
Amazon Link
Durability
96
Accuracy
95
Size
95
Advanced Features
94
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Aluminum for durability and lightweight

Will not corrode or fade

Laser etched numbering

Available in three sizes, 18, 24 and 34 inches

Accurate

Quick, easy convenient to use

Cons:

Not for those who do not like plate rulers

If your tired of using tape measures and want quick accuracy, this compact and nicely lightweight anodized aluminum plate ruler is great. A user friendly lightweight tool to quickly measure your fish and move on to your next catch.

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Build Quality
Available in multiple sizes from 18 inches, 24 inches and 34 inches. Made from aluminum plate which has been anodized.

Product Features
The number features on the ruler are laser edged to ensure they do not fade. Three options for measurement are available. This product features quick easy to use capability.

Overall Components
The ruler is aluminum based so it is light to use, will not corrode and has good durability, laser etching ensures that the number readouts are clear and will not fade due to time or water corrosion.

Product Specification
Available in three choices, 18, 24 and 34 inches.

4. SeaDek

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
SEADEK fish ruler
SEADEK fish ruler
Amazon Link
Durability
94
Accuracy
93
Size
94
Advanced Features
93
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$34.00
Pros:

Good alternative to tape measures

Laser etched numbers

Measures 36 inches

Easy to fit

Adhesive material are good.

Anti-slip surface for measuring fish

Cons:

Not used as a legal measuring device

This ruler has numbers which are etched by laser so they will not fade or get easily damaged. and a skid free surface for use while measuring slippery fish.

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Build Quality
The ruler material, color, and adhesive performance are good and reliably functional. For easy installation, this has peel to stick pressure 3MTM sensitive adhesives.

Product Features
A skid free surface for problem free measuring of slippery fish. Easy installation through sensitive adhesive power. Laser etched numbers for long lasting visual durability.

Overall Component
A very good alternative to tape measures, stickers and other fish measuring devices.

Product Specifications
Good up to 36 inches, comes at 3mm thick with a brushed texture.

5. Predator Marine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Predator Marine Florida Saltwater Fish Ruler Decal
Amazon Link
Durability
91
Accuracy
91
Size
91
Advanced Features
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$9.99
Pros:

Measures up to 36 inches

Color pictures on the ruler for identifying fish

Laminated coating to prevent UV damage

Easy to fit to most surfaces

Provides up to date information on federal and state fish size regulations

Cons:

Up to 36 inches

This ruler is high quality cast-vinyl decal at 3.2mil and protected by a laminated coating. Easy to fit a cooler, a boat, fish box, fish bag and most other surfaces.

Read more

Build Quality
This fish ruler is made of high quality aluminum. It has an attractive bright color. It is sturdy and will not accumulate rust.

Product Features
The ruler has 37 pictures on it so that you can quickly and easily identify a fish, along with the fish ruler you get information on regulations for fish sizes, so you know what to keep and what to return to the water.

Overall Components
The quality is very good with 3.2 cast-vinyl-decal and a protective laminate coating to prevent UV damage.

Product Specification
This ruler will measure up to 36 inches with color pictures for quick fish identification.

6. Fish Rule

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Fish Ruler - Fishing Measuring Tape - 36 Inch Fish Measuring Tape for Boat - by FishRule
Fish Ruler - Fishing Measuring Tape - 36 Inch Fish Measuring Tape for Boat - by FishRule
Amazon Link
Durability
91
Accuracy
90
Size
91
Advanced Features
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$9.95
Pros:

Strong adhesive property

Easy to use

Comes with a reminder about legal fishing

Cons:

Markings have the tendency to get erased through use because it is not etched on the ruler

The Fish Rule adhesive fish ruler is for those who like a ruler that can stick to almost anywhere.

Read more

Build Quality
It is made of high-quality vinyl. It is a decal that can measure up to 36-inches. Because it is made of vinyl, it resists water and easy to clean. It is also overlaminated to ensure that it is protected from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Product Features
This fish ruler boasts of its strong adhesive feature that easily and permanently sticks on your boat, cooler, or any smooth surface. It comes with a quote to remind you to return your undersized catch to the ocean. The slogan also encourages legal fishing by using accurate measurement.

Overall Components
Aside from the adhesive ruler, you will also receive a small fish rule decal when you purchase the product. The small ruler can accommodate measuring smaller catch. You will also get a free alcohol to wipe clean the surface you plan to stick the adhesive ruler.

Product Specification
It is 44.5 inches in length with a width of 2.25 inches. The small rule is 1.25 inches x 2.75 inches. It has a shipping weight of 1 ounce.

7. Release Ruler

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
Release Ruler Florida Inshore Slam Decal
Amazon Link
Durability
88
Accuracy
87
Size
86
Advanced Features
88
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Easily sticks

With slots for specific types of fish

Can withstand outdoor elements

Cons:

The details about regulations should be updated all the time

This is the perfect type of fish ruler for enthusiasts who do not like to stress their catch and would like their released fish to have a greater survival.

Read more

Build Quality
The Florida Inshore Release fish ruler is made of high-quality 3M cast vinyl decal. Because of its material component, you are assured that it can resist water and can withstand harmful outdoor elements like exposure to sun, rain, and saltwater.

Product Features
This type of fish ruler provides slots for easy and fast measurement of a particular type of fish. It also contains the most recent details on the regulations on bag limit. This will make catching, measuring, and releasing fish easier and since details are readily available.

Overall Components
This ultraviolet-resistant release ruler will last longer than other vinyl decal ruler. It is easy to clean and maintain because of its material component. It can also resist water and since it is made of vinyl it will not corrode.

Product Specification
It measures 3 inches x 37 inches. It has a shipping weight of 0.3 ounces.

8. Salty Bones

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Salty Bones
Amazon Link
Durability
83
Accuracy
82
Size
82
Advanced Features
83
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$10.90
Pros:

Very durable

Can be folded

With fishing regulations

Cons:

The details about regulations only includes seven states in the US

The Salty Bones fish ruler is perfect for those who want to have a folding and colorful fish ruler. It easily folds so you can instantly store it.

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Build Quality
The Salty Bones folding fish ruler is made of durable and high-quality plastic. Its printed areas are covered and laminated to protect it from the harmful ultraviolet rays. It is resistant to water and is not prone to shrink, unlike other plastic fish ruler.

Product Features
This fish ruler has imprints of the fishing state laws of seven states in the United States. This includes Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Georgia. It also features colorful pictures of fish.

Overall Components
This option is great for easy and fast fish measurement. Since it can be folded to a smaller size, you can easily store it in smaller box or container.

Product Specification
It measures 2 inches x 36 inches. When it is folded it measures 2 inches x 12 inches. It has a shipping weight of 2.4 ounces.

9. Tackle Box ID

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.3
Tackle Box I.D. Two Florida Super-Flex Fishing Rulers
Tackle Box I.D. Two Florida Super-Flex Fishing Rulers
Amazon Link
Durability
80
Accuracy
81
Size
80
Advanced Features
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$10.95
Pros:

Can be folded

With fishing regulations

Real-life color

Cons:

The details about regulations is only for Florida fishermen

The Tackle Box ID fish ruler is perfect if you want to have a measuring tool that offers slots for different types of fish.

Read more

Build Quality
The Tackle Box ID fish ruler is made of premium quality polyvinyl material. It is 2 millimeters thick and is waterproof. It is very durable and flexible.

Product Features
This type of fish ruler features 27 images of usual saltwater fish species with real-life colors. In addition, species like snook, sea tout, and red drum, among others are featured in their own color-emphasized brackets.

Overall Components
The Tackle Box ID offers ease of use and accuracy of measurement to anglers. It can be folded so you can easily store it. It is made of PVC so it is durable and can withstand outdoor elements.

Product Specification
It has an overall dimension of 2 inches x 11.75 inches when closed, and 2 inches x 33.75 inches when opened.

10. FlexiFabrics

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
FlexiFabrics Marine Foam Fish Ruler
FlexiFabrics Marine Foam Fish Ruler
Amazon Link
Durability
85
Accuracy
85
Size
79
Advanced Features
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$43.95
Pros:

Easy to stick to surfaces and stay in place

Will not stain and easy to wash

Will not fade-has UV protection

Measures fish up to 36 inches

Cons:

Higher price range

This machine precision foam ruler will fit anywhere, your boat, on a kayak, a dock or a cooler. The ruler is guaranteed not to peel due to 3M-VHB adhesion, the ruler has UV protection so it will stay stain free and not fade.

Read more

Build Quality
Made from 3m machine precision designed durable foam, this has UV protection and will not start to fade or get stained. Some do not stick the ruler but prefer to use it as a hand ruler. There is a lifetime guarantee for the adhesive backing it it guaranteed to not peel.

Product Features
Measures fish up to 36 inches, can fit securely and pretty much all surfaces and stay put whatever the weather.

Overall Component
Overall the ruler can be placed anywhere and stay in place, it is designed to be stain free and has UV protection to stop fading issues; the numbers are bold and clear to read.

Product Specification
Specifically for measurement of up to 36 inches; the measurements on the ruler were precision set via machining. Customer feedback for this ruler staying in place wherever it is stuck/fitted is very positive.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

In choosing the best fish ruler, the most crucial factor to pay close attention to is durability, quality and accuracy.

A good quality fish ruler will not only produce accurate measurements but also save you from getting penalized. For example, you want to ensure that the ruler along with its components is made of superior materials that will not break, peel off, or disintegrate while you are using it to stay legible.

Making sure the ruler offers a permanent and attractive alternative to even stickers is important for legibility and its lifespan. Look out for features such as laser-etched numbers that will not fade or break down to help with the durability of the fish ruler.

Accuracy

In order to avoid getting penalized, a reliable and accurate fish ruler is needed.

While fishing is a good and a rewarding hobby or recreation, there are certain rules that must be strictly followed. The fish ruler plays a vital part in one of these regulations.

It is vital that you choose the proper fish ruler to make sure that fish that does not meet the legal length should be freed. In other words, the fish ruler is crucial in making sure that you do not keep undersized fish.

Keeping a fish that is shorter than the standard length might result in getting a ticket and cost you a fine. Stretching and folding tape fish rulers that are made of plastics have tendencies to shrink when exposed to high temperatures. As a result, it could give you an erroneous measurement.

Size

There are different options when it comes to the size of your fish ruler model.

Many different rulers come in 2 options; one is regularly 1x20-inch ruler and the other is a 1 1/4 x 56-inches ruler. Depending on the size of fish you are looking to catch, you can know which ruler to bring with you. Keep in mind both ruler's measurements read from left to right so they are all similar in design.

On the ruler, the measurements have big markings that measure 1/8-inches for you to be able to read easier. So make sure you know which type of fish you are going to be fishing for to bring the proper size and measurements.

Advanced Features

Many of the fish ruler models on our list have very specific features that make them unique.

Before making a decision on which fish ruler to get, you should be asking yourself questions such as does it have good markings that can be read even at a particular distance? Is it easy to use? Is it ergonomically designed? What could you benefit from it if you use it?

There are many questions to ask yourself. Keep a lookout for fishing rulers that have specific features such as the ability to fold into half or even its ability to float on water. So you will not have to worry about finding your fish ruler the next time it slips and jumps to the water.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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expert tips icon
How to measure

There are two measurements needed when measuring freshwater fish. These are measuring the girth and getting the total length of the fish. The total length refers to the utmost length of the fish.

When getting the total length measurement, make sure that the mouth of the fish is closed while its tail is closed. It is not advised to use a flexible fish ruler and measure the fish by its curve.

The perfect way to achieve the total length of the freshwater fish is to move up its snout on a vertical surface with tail shut. The freshwater fish should be positioned along a fish ruler.

How to measure

In some cases, the rules require the angler to get the fork length of the fish. This is also called the standard length and is measured up to the last fleshy part of the fish. Some anglers prefer the standard length since it is not easily affected by slight damages to the tail.

On the other hand, to get the girth measurement, it is best to use a fabric fish ruler like the ones used by tailors. The girth measurement is the same as taking the circumference of the human waist. To do this, you can lift the fish and put a piece of the flexible fish ruler under it. Make sure that the fish is lying flat while the ruler is positioned on its deepest part.

Wrap the flexible fish ruler or measuring tape around and fold its fins if necessary. Spot the point where the line of the flexible ruler crosses. After that place the marked spot on the ruler and get the girth.

Other Factors to Consider

Style

There are many fish rulers on our list that even have pictures, names, and descriptions of the type of fish above its measurement. This helps you know the average size of the fish you have caught and is a good reference while you are out fishing to have. Those rulers have been created to help benefit even beginner fishermen to reference from.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Where do you measure a fish from?

a:

For a precise measurement of the fish, you start at the very tip of the fish jaw down to the center fork in the tail. Remember that when you start at the fish jaw, the mouth must be closed.

There are those that say it's better to measure down to the very tip of the tail while the tail is compressed and this would certainly give a longer measurement. Always remember when you are measuring your fish it must be laying flat on its side.

q: How to measure a fish without a ruler?

a:

This has been a question so many anglers have had to ask at some point in their fishing adventures. The most trusted way is surprisingly easy, lay the fish next to your fishing rod, from the rod handle up the rod pole, mark (or remember) where the fish reached to on the pole.

When you get home, use a tape measure to measure where the fish reached on your fishing rod/pole. Another way is to stretch some fish line from the tip of the fish jaw to the fork in its tail, cut the line, when you arrive home, measure the line.

q: Can you measure a fish from a photo?

a:

Yes but you need to plan this; if you have caught a fish, take a photo but include an object in the picture close to the fish and know the length of the object. For example, a six-inch fish knife next to the fish would be very easy to calculate the length of the fish.

If you have not taken the photo and you are interested in figuring out how long a fish is in a photo, you can choose an object in the picture which is the same depth as the fish. For example, if a person is holding a fish, choose one of his fingers, copy and past the finger along the length of the fish. Take the number of copy pasts and multiply this by the width of a finger.

This will give you a very close estimate of the length of the fish. If there is any object in the picture in the same depth as the fish and you know that object's size, you can use the same method.

There is no 100% method that will give the exact measurement, though there are those that claim it can be done, the reality seems to be that the end result is usually a "good estimate".

q: Can I not just use a measuring tape?

a:

When it comes to fishing, it is very important to have a license and follow all of the rules. Making sure you are able to be fishing the size of the fish accurately is very crucial. Using a measuring tape, especially when fishing alone, is hard to do when holding your fish.

Many of the fish rulers on our list offer a foot holder or have the ability to be laid straight out to see the measurement properly and easily.

q: Do I need a license in order to go fishing and is there laws on fishing?

a:

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, a fishing license is a requisite for any individual who would like to take fish and other creatures found in ocean waters or inland. In addition, there are report cards needed for particular areas and species.

In case that you are exempted to possess a sport fishing license, you are still required to present the right report card while you are fishing. You also need to make sure you, follow the laws on fishing in the state you are living in.

In many places, there are laws regarding too small of a fish or even the quantity of how many fish you are allowed to catch.

Sources

  1. Staff, HOW TO MEASURE A FISH, Nature Science & Outdoors Activities Org