A time before scales
The world-famous manufacturers of scales, Reuben Heaton, delve into their archives and offer Carpworld readers a small insight into their long and rich heritage
One of the last remaining, heritage brands in the industry, Reuben Heaton has its roots firmly in the rich history of British tackle manufacturing. As we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Carpworld magazine, Reuben Heaton will be celebrating over 160 years continuous service to the angling industry since Reuben George Heaton, inventor and angler, started the business, manufacturing fishing reels back in 1857.
Over the years, Reuben Heaton has forged a reputation for quality British manufacturing. In the early 1900s, large volume production in angling was in its infancy. Reuben Heaton was at the forefront of tackle development with many patents and revolutionary designs to his name. Heaton were one of the first companies to manufacture reels in aluminium in the late 1890s and total reel manufacture was in excess of 30,000 units a year by the turn of the century with centrepin style reels making up the bulk of production.
In more recent times, Heaton have become synonymous with the manufacture of high quality angling scales and weighing accessories. Scale manufacture at the company reaches back to the mid-1800s in the form of brass tubular balances but dial scales are a relatively recent development. The first dial scales were made of aluminium and brass and were manufactured in 1928 for the match fishing market. Since that time the company has continued to develop its scales production in both analogue and more recently digital formats.
Manufacture now centres on advanced thermoplastics, laser cut components and precision engineering. Development of products for weighing in angling and other commercial markets has been a continuous process from those first match scales built in the late 1920s to the latest limited production Specimen Hunter Black Edition launched in December 2015.
By this time, Reuben Heaton had already been building high-quality match angling scales since the late 1920s and the resulting combination of angling and metrological know-how resulted in the scale we know today. And the rest, as they say, is history.
There have been quite a few incarnations of both Specimen Hunter and Standard scales since that time. Variants of the Specimen Hunter include the blue-faced Millennia, launched in 2000, which used luminescence to provide additional visibility in low evening light and the ultra-scarce, 5-1 Series/ St George Cross, limited edition which was launched in 2001 shortly after England beat Germany 5-1 during a qualifying event for the following year’s World Cup hosted by South Korea and Japan.
Limited edition Specimen Hunters like the 5-1 Series are much sought after and many are now collector’s items, especially the lower numbered scales. Later came the limited, Black Edition, of which only a few hundred examples were made.
Unlike the dual revolution Specimen Hunter which is limited to metric-only and/or imperial-only formats, the highly successful Standard Angling scale is available in dual metric, or imperial format, thereby strengthening its appeal in both the domestic and overseas markets. It too has seen many incarnations, including the highly successful, flag range and has also appeared as a production scale bearing the logo of several brands other than Reuben Heaton over the years, including Korda, Gigantica, JRC, ACE, Shimano and Rod Hutchinson – to name but a few.
Such is the interest in identification, that a list of all previous incarnations based on the 4000 series is in the process of being collated for the main web site at the moment. This will appear in the history section of the site adding to more than 160 years of tackle manufacture.
New models of the Specimen Hunter scale have always been linked with new innovation and development. The latest incarnation launched in May 2017 has an updated version of the high-spec graphics enhancement package first seen on the limited-production Black Edition Specimen Hunter scale launched at the end of 2015. Known as Enhanced Vision System or EVS for short, this feature, unique to Reuben Heaton’s flagship scale, has been specifically designed to improve the readability of the dial graphics under different light conditions. Developed through Reuben Heaton’s Total Weighing Solutions programme (TWS), the EVS coating uses a combination of light reactive inks and clear layers to greatly improve readability. Several layers of inks are applied to a specified thickness over highly accurate dial graphics using an exacting lithographic print process. To enhance the effect, both the dial graphics and some of the clear layers are infused with light reactive ingredients to boost contrast and improve readability in low light.
Overprinting with a final matt transparent layer reduces surface flash and the tendency for parallax error, focussing the eye more easily on the dial graphics. This final layer also helps to reduce glare from bright sunlight and head torches, improving readability and reducing weigh time so that fish can be returned sooner. A useful bi-product of the EVA coating is its ability to be charged using a standard light source for extra visibility if required but its primary function is that of improving visibility of dial markings.
As you might expect, the new Specimen Hunter is manufactured to the highest of standards. As part of the British-made Reuben Heaton 4000 series, all Specimen Hunter models are calibrated to tolerances, as specified in European directives, for non-automatic weighing instruments (Class IV) while each scale is calibrated to required tolerances using traceable, verified M1 class weights and all materials used in the construction of these scales conform to the relevant British Bs/european Norm (EN) Standards.
All 4000 series scales carry a warranty registration card inside the box, so that you can register your scale and receive full after sales support.
Origins of the company we know today... Their first foray into weights and measures was with the brass-bodied tubular scale
All their products come with a certificate of authenticity and a warranty card within the box
The highly collectable Specimen Hunter ‘5-1’ series from 2001... What a night that was!
One from the highly successful ‘Flag’ range – This time bearing the colours of Poland