It’s a scale. It’s a culling beam. Well actually, it’s kind of both…or really neither. Keeping in mind that back in 1973, digital handheld scales were unheard of. Heck, it had only been 6 years previous that the world’s first electronic handheld calculator was invented by Texas Instruments.
The Water-Weigh, sold by the company of the same name out of Brookfield, WI (and patent pending, of course), had all the trappings of current cull beams, being made of corrosion-proof aluminum and stainless steel. But instead, it utilized the known weight of water (by volume) to offset the weight of the fish. Using a pre-marked bag, you simply hung the fish on the beam by one clip, and your water bag on the other. Now, start adding water to the bag until the beam balances out. Then simply get the approximate weight (within ounces they claimed) from the water level reading on the bag.
You could have one of these handy devices that stored easily for just $9.85 ea., and that even included postage. One of the other options available at the time was a Zebco De-liar, but that’s another story for another time.