Magnet fishing has existed for a decade or so at least, but has recently received a lot of media hype lately due to some fairly dangerous discoveries, like grenades and weapon caches. Of course these finds are in the extreme minority, but they can cause a negative effect on the perception of the hobby to the general public.
This magnet fishing guide’s aim is to cover everything you’d ever need to know about the hobby, including what equipment you need, the best places to ‘fish’, and how to stay safe.
What is magnet fishing?
Don’t let the name fool you, it has nothing to do with regular fishing. When I first read about magnet fishing I assumed it was something along the lines of the illegal activity blast fishing. Thankfully, it isn’t even closely related!
Magnet fishing is like an extreme version of metal detecting, with a bigger focus on the positive environmental impacts of removing waste metals from our waters. The magnets that are utlized are so powerful that they can easily lift items as heavy as bicycles and safes, from the bottom of rivers and lakes. The main purpose of the activity though, is to find valuable items that have been lost or discarded.
What was once originally a technique for recovering keys, and other metal items, that boaters may have dropped overboard accidentally, today’s retrieval tools are all specially designed for the task. Either single or double sided magnets can be used, both with their own pros and cons.
Magnet fishing setup
Unsurprisingly, a magnet fishing setup isn’t too dissimilar to a regular angling setup. Rather than a hook, line, and sinker, you need a magnet (which works as a hook and sinker), and a rope. Easy right? If you plan on doing this from a boat, you should also be aware of how much space you have around you for any potential finds. Once you have the equipment needed, learning how to magnet fish takes no time at all.
Magnet fishing, unlike its angling counterpart, provides you with almost instant results. As soon as your magnet starts reaching the water bed you’ll instantly know if there’s treasures awaiting you. The downside is though, that once you’ve completely trawled an area, you will need to keep looking for new spots to fish.
Best magnet for magnet fishing (neodymium magnets)
Neodymium magnets are known to be the best magnets to use for magnet fishing. They are small in size, and have an incredible pull force. Think of them as the ants of the magnet world. They are some of the strongest magnets publicly available. It’s worth noting that you should definitely take care when handling and operating these magnets, and that you should keep them far away from electronics and metals.
Best rope for magnet fishing
As we outlined earlier, you will need a sturdy rope to pull up any treasures you stumble across. What use is a 500+lbs magnet if your rope snaps instantly? We recommend that you get the longest rope possible, but if you aim for at least 50ft in length you should be golden. If plan on fishing from bridges, or that you know the water is especially deep (like a water filled quarry), then opt for a 100ft+ rope.
Nylon paracord is a great choice to use as a rope for magnet fishing due to its incredible durability and strength, it’s elasticity, and it’s ability to hold knots well. The last thing you want is your rope to get caught on some debris and your rope either snapping, or the knot coming undone. The elasticity of paracord also helps you know if you’ve discovered something too.
Like with all things in life, not all paracord ropes are equal. There are multiple grades and variances on the market, and it’s imperative that you purchase the correct type. Aim to obtain a paracord that has, at a minimum, the same strength as your magnet. That way you will always know that whatever your magnet attaches itself to, your rope will be able to handle it.
Best knot for magnet fishing
Ultimately, the best knot for magnet fishing is one that provides a secure hold, as well as tightens itself. If it didn’t, the risk of it becoming undone when lifting heavy objects would be too great. The Palomar knot is a fantastic knot for a novice, it’s fairly easy to learn, and is know to be one of the strongest available. If you’re a seasoned angler or knot tier, feel free to test out some of your favorites.
Best places to magnet fish
The best places to magnet fish are any bodies of water that you can access legally and safely. Rivers, streams, lakes, canals, and wells can provide exciting opportunities. While areas closer to urban buildups will likely yeild more finds, remote locations should provide more exciting loot options. Who knows what lies beneath a hidden lake in the countryside? Wells are fantastic places to drop your magnet down too, as people frequently throw coins down there.
Old industrial towns are a prime spot for magnet fishing. Whether it be from industrial development or times of war, you’re bound to find a plentiful supply of old metallic relics hidden in away in any nearby bodies of water. If you’re lucky enough, you may even find something worthy of being placed into a museum.
Magnet fishing dangers
When conducting magnet fishing, safety should be your primary concern. You must always be considerate of nearby people, as well as the laws of the land. If general fishing isn’t allowed, then it’s best to avoid that area too, unless you get express permission.
When fishing from a bridge, or other high platforms, make sure to keep the magnet well away from the construct. As you can imagine, bridges will be made from metal beams, and the magnet will gladly attach itself to them.
Be mindful of you surroundings, and if boats or people are approaching your location, wait from them to move on before you throw in your line. The last thing you want is to throw your magnet down and it getting connected to a high-moving boat.
Be as environmentally conscious as possible, and any unwanted finds you do recover, please don’t just throw them back. As long as people view your activities as bettering the local area, people shouldn’t object.
So be a safe and environmentally conscious magnet fisher, and you can be proud that you’ve helped in some way to make a positive impact on the environment, while still enjoying this hobby and the outdoors.
Magnet fishing is an incredibly fun and rewarding hobby. It doesn’t take too much capital to start, and it be enjoyed by all the family. It can be a great way to get people outdoors, and when you get your first find, you’ll be hooked for life. It will make you visit lots of interesting places, and may even contribute to teaching you more about the local history. As long as safety is your number one priority, you’ll have countless hours of fun fishing and exploring.
Last update on 2019-12-11 at 15:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API