Patent law has weird impacts on when products come to market. The first Boga Grip was designed and invented some time back in the 1980s (their website says nothing about the product’s history). However, it had to be at least 17 years ago, because that is the term of a patent in the U.S., and theirs recently expired.
As soon as Eastaboga Tackle Company’s patent term ran, a host of competitors cropped up, with one knock off–the EconoScale–apparently rising to the top of the heap via its distribution contract with Bass Pro Shops.
I’ve used both. They look pretty similar right? What is not similar is their price: $21.99 for the Econoscale in 25 lb. size (it also comes in a lighter 15 lb. model and a heavier 50 lb. job), versus $124.95 for the Boga Grip in 30 lb. size (again, Boga Grips come in a 15 lb. model for $119.95 and a two-hander 60 lb. model that costs $229.95).
What are the differences? Mostly, plastic. The original Boga Grip is an all-steel device, very precisely machined. The only non-metal components are the foam grip and the very hard Delrin plastic operations trigger/buttcap. Notice the heavy cammed jaws that are visible on the exterior of the device? Those scissor open, providing plenty of big-fish grabbing power. The head also swivels so the fish can’t thrash off. All in all the Boga Grip is a genius-level solution to the problem of how to hold and weigh a thrashing fish.
The Econoscale is basically a straight copy with most of the same features rendered in plastic. Instead of stainless steel, you get pot-metal grade interior componentry. Mine rusted to some degree after exposure to salt water. But rust wasn’t the main issue with the Econoscale; rather, it simply seemed like all of the parts were weak enough that after the expected “break in” period, everything was sticky, ratchety, and cheap. I never trusted the Econoscale’s actual scale, as it seemed to change measurements on even the same fish depending on whether I shook it or not when it was under load.
Bottom line? You buy a scale in the hopes that one day you’re going to use it to weigh your fish of a lifetime. What good does a scale do you if you can’t trust it? I threw the Econoscale away after about three months of use and switched to a real Boga Grip, and I am glad I did.
Grade (Boga Grip): A- (demerit for price).
Grade (Econoscale): C- (functions well for one month, then is untrustworthy and rickety).
Purchase: Boga Grips are available everywhere, Econoscale through Bass Pro Shops.