I like knowing how many fish I catch. I know not every angler cares about this, but I do. I wanted an easy way to keep track of this number without having to pull out my phone or a big, bulky mechanical clicker. The Ultralight Fish Counter is what I came up with.
The Ultralight Fish Counter is based off of the ranger beads (aka pace count beads) used in the military to keep track of how many steps you've taken and how many miles you've covered when no other method is available. (You can learn more on the ranger beads Wikipedia page here.)
I show in this YouTube video how to use the Ultralight Fish Counter. It will probably make more sense than the following written description.
You'll notice that there are two groupings of beads on each fish counter: an upper one (with 4 beads) and a lower one (with 9 beads). Each bead in the lower grouping represents one fish. Each bead in the upper grouping represents 10 fish. The Ultralight Bead Counter can count up to a total of 49 fish.
When you catch your first fish, slide the lowest bead in the lower group down until it hits the knot. When you catch a second fish, slide the second bead down until it hits the first one. When you catch a third fish, slide the third bead down until it hits the second one. Do this until you've slid all 9 beads in the lower section down. This means that you've caught 9 fish. Congrats! Catching 9 fish in one session is impressive! But what if you catch more than 9 fish? That's where the upper beads come in.
When you catch the 10th fish, slide down the lowest bead of the four in the upper grouping (remember, each of those beads represents 10 fish) and slide all of the 9 beads in the lower grouping back up. When you catch the 11th fish, slide down the lowest bead in the lower group. When you catch the 12th fish, slide down the second-lowest bead in the lower group until it's up against the lowest bead. To compute the total number of fish you've caught, first take the number of "tens" of fish you've caught (as shown by the number of upper beads that have been slid down) and add to that the number of "singles" fish you've caught (as shown by the number of beads in the lower grouping that have been slid down). So basically, you add the upper slid-down beads and the lower slid-down beads together to get the total number of fish you've caught.
Here's an image showing you how it works with some sample catch numbers (click here for the larger version):
Again, the counter is able to count up to 49 fish. What happens if you catch more than 49 fish? Well, that'll be something you won't forget. Reset the counter by sliding all beads in both groups as far up as they go and start over. Whatever number of fish you end up with on your second go-around, add 49 to that number. It's not like you're going to forget that you already caught a counter's worth of fish.
In addition to knowing how many fish I catch, I like knowing how many fish I hook into and lose. That's why I have two Ultralight Bead Counters in two different colors. I use the counter with the black beads to count the number of fish I've landed. I use the counter with the tan beads to count how many fish I've hooked into and lost. If that doesn't interest you, you could use the different colors to track different species—black beads to count the rainbow trout and tan beads to count the brown trout, for example. (If you want to count more than two species and would like the fish counters in even more colors, let me know. That's something I can add to the site here in the future.)
The little carabiner makes it easy to attach each counter to a belt loop, wader or backpack zipper pull, or chest pouch strap.
The Ultralight Fish Counter is made in the USA from American (the cord) and Chinese (the beads and carabiner) parts.
Please read THE RULES before you order.
- Weight: 0.3 oz (8 g) per counter