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Fish Blank measurements,what do you think?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by mbt, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. mbt

    mbt New Member

    I have been in business for over ten years. In that time I have produced a great number of replica mounts to the measurements given by my clients or by molding and casting the clients fish. I have always thought that the true length measurement is taken on the non show side of the blank, meaning a 48"L fish is 48 inches on the wall side and may only measure 44" on the show side due to swim motion or head turn in the blank, am I wrong in this thought. How do you measure a Blank for your clients? There is more to the story but I want some input before I go futher into detail. Thank you in advance, David
  2. When I mark my length on my blanks it is the length of the live fish laying flat as if measured for minimum length requirements.

  3. fishtail

    fishtail New Member

    The way I've always done it is to measure both sides, then take the average of the two. If the show side is 48" and the wall side is 44", then the average would be 46" and that is what I charge for, is the average. However, that is also what I always tell my customers too, so there are no surprises. That's also what I do with any blanks I sell. I'm not saying your wrong in the way you do it, because it sounds like your consistent, and honest about it.
  4. mbt

    mbt New Member

    I made the question a little long. Josh I do the same on measuring a fish prior to molding. I lay it on a flat surface and use a soft tape measure to take the total length tip to tip. I also take a full girth measurement. I made a 48 1/2" L x 31" G Striped Bass for a client, it was a blank from my mold stock and has a full swim shape. The shape is very popular but the client was replacing an older mount that was 53" L on the wall side. I explained the size difference when his job ticket was written up but he did not want to pay for a 53" St. Bass because his actual caught fish was 49"L x 31"G. So he agreed that my mount would be OK. Well now that it has been hanging for a couple of days in his house he calls and says the fish is too short, he measured the front at 44 1/2"L, Swears I sold him the wrong mount. I had him measure the wall side and he said it measured 48 1/2" L. He is still not happy and we will be meeting next week to discuss some options. This is absolutely driving me crazy, I take great pride in meeting and exceeding my client's expectations and this is the first time anyone has questioned the length or girth of a replica. Just looking for some input from my fellow taxidermist. God Bless, David
  5. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Neither will be right. The only way I know of to get a somewhat accurate measurement on a blank would be to measure the top of the fish down the center.
  6. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    I fully understand the stress caused by the situation. I sell mounts and always fret over how long to advertise them. One needs to take into consideration a number of factors. 1) The curve of the pose. 2) The gape, if any, of the mouth. 3) The degree of fanning of the tail. A fish, as measured at the time of being caught, will ALWAYS be longer than the mount because the fish was flat and the mouth was closed and the tips of the tail pinched together. A bass that measures 20" alive might very well measure an inch or more less when mounted. I do my best to advertise the length of the MOUNTED fish rather than the length of the fish when caught, but determining that length is always an estimate. Most folks measure the show side, but if the pose is a standard "C" that length is the shortest one. Conversely, the length of the show side of a "reverse C" pose is the longest. Size matters (A LOT) in my market, and sometimes a fraction of an inch can result a BIG difference in the price of the fish...eh? Too bad "reverse C" posed mounts aren't very popular. :-\
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Cole measuring down the center is pretty accurate, but so is measuring the two sides and dividing by 2. The trick with both is getting accurate measurements and adjusting the flexible tape as you go.

    My two cents. MOST distributors measure their fish DNR method prior to molding. BUT, there is going to be a slight amount of shrinkage - albeit very small with anything you cast. Soooo, normally with bigger fish like musky and pike I will purchase a blank a half inch or an inch longer than my customer requested to make up for any possible shrinkage. I think it's a good habit because you'll never get a customer complaining that their fish is too big, but the other way around does and will happen occasionally. With creative tape measuring you can typically CYA on both though - lol! BTW, I only charge my customer THEIR supplied length measurement, NOT what I buy from the distributor.

    So, to answer your question David, as mentioned if you've been going by just the back-side measurement on a typical outside curve/showside blank, then you've been shorting your customers for years - lol. Divide by two or measure down the center line (tougher to do IMO on most species) will give you a pretty close actual fish size measurement)...

    GBRUCH "I am nothing without christ".....John 15:5

    True length is the center line down the back of the fish. A fish is always longer on the outside curve and shorter but thicker on the inside curve.
    I always explain this to the customer and will place a tape down the back of the fish if they ask me to.
  9. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    I just had a special tape made for fish measuring. The inches are actually only .9" so I gain an inch every ten.
    (this is meant to humorous and is not true)
  10. J. Sonner

    J. Sonner New Member

    I use one of those everytime I go fishing. LOL
  11. That's what I need.
  12. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    They work good at home too...
  13. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    But, Gary the same can be said if there's an upward or downward curve to the fish - eh? Neither is an exact science, but both can give one a general idea of what the fish measured when it was alive...
  14. GBRUCH

    GBRUCH "I am nothing without christ".....John 15:5

    upward or downward Marty? You mean like some of the fish mounts from 1970 in all their dislocated glory?

    I guess it (the true length)can change a lil if the fish is bent that way too. lol! but there isn't a great deal of upward and downward motion in the spine -- at least not in the live fish I observe.
  15. Ditto...I agree with Gary.
  16. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Just was making point Gary. Neither are an exact science...
  17. They work good at home too...

    LOL I knew that was coming from somebody. ;D
  18. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    Observe these, might change your thought on spinal articulation a wee bit.

    You got to love the corkscrewed dorsal fin too.

  19. LOL
    True but not many Taxidermist are mounting trout mid climax.
  20. GBRUCH

    GBRUCH "I am nothing without christ".....John 15:5

    Lol. You guys are too much. It didn't change my mind much Paul but please keep trying. Compared to the bend from side to side that isn't much movement.

    forget the corkscrewed dorsal ----the mouth position is too far open---lol.

    C'mon guys.