How to Go Magnet Fishing: The Ultimate Guide

“Many treasures await beneath the surface of our lakes and rivers, all you need is a magnet to uncover them.” Not your typical idiom, yet magnet fishing enthusiasts would undoubtedly agree. Here we present the comprehensive guide to ‘Magnet Fishing’, the most eco-friendly treasure-hunting sport you probably didn’t know existed!

What is Magnet Fishing?

Magnet fishing combines the tranquility of regular fishing with the thrill of treasure hunting. It requires attaching a powerful magnet to a rope, casting it into a water body, and seeing what ferrous metal items you can pull up. From historical artifacts, bicycles, coins, tools, to weaponry and everyday metallic trash, diversified are the bounties this amazing hobby has to offer.

For many, magnet fishing is the perfect outdoor pastime, much like a carrier of tales from a bygone era amalgamated with the joy of discovery.

Gearing Up — What You Need for Magnet Fishing

Choosing the Perfect Magnet

Neodymium (NdFeB or Neo) magnets are the most recommended type for magnet fishing. Their high durability and powerful magnetic pull make your aquatic treasure hunt successful.

For those stepping into magnet fishing, a magnet with a pull strength between 200-500 pounds should suffice. Experienced magnet fishers or those seeking larger or heavier finds could use magnets with a pull strength of up to 1000 lbs. Ensure your magnet has a protective coating to prevent potential rust and corrosion from repeated water exposure.

Selecting the Right Rope

The rope, your tether to the treasure, can make or mar your magnet fishing experience. A high-strength, durable rope is a crucial part of your magnet fishing toolkit. We recommend a paracord or a braided nylon rope with a minimum length of 50 feet to reach a variety of depths and distances.

Magnet Fishing Accessories

Protective gloves are crucial to ensure a firm grip on your rope and protect your hands from potential wounds from sharp, rusted items. Waterproof boots are also recommended.

An optional but useful piece of equipment is a grapple hook. This can help you snag and pull larger items, especially those on which a magnet might not have a firm hold due to shape or rust coverage.

Locations for Magnet Fishing

The right location could potentially reward your search with captivating finds. Consider magnet fishing in:

  • Bridges: They serve as a link between regions. The area beneath bridges often conceal interesting items fallen or discarded over time.
  • Piers and Docks: These bustling hubs are often frequented by people for various watersport activities, making them potentially rich in accidentally dropped items.
  • Canals and Riverbanks: Serving as the veins of trade and transport since ancient times, canals, and riverbanks often hide objects lost in the passage of time.

Before setting out, ensure to check local laws and regulations regarding magnet fishing to respect private properties and protected heritage sites.

Prepping for Your Magnet Fishing Adventure

When you’re all set with your gear and location, it’s time to tie your magnet to your rope. Due to the considerable weight the knot may bear, you might use a robust knot like the Palomar Knot or Figure Eight Follow-Through Knot to secure it. Once your setup is ready:

  1. Take a comfortable stance: Balance is essential to prevent any slips or falls near the water’s edge. Staying sturdy will also help when you’re pulling up heavier finds.
  2. Cast your line: This technique is similar to traditional fishing. Throw the magnet attached to the rope into the water, ensuring you cast it far enough from the shore.
  3. Fish for magnetic items: Once the magnet has sunk, slowly reel in the rope. As you drag the magnet along the waterbody, you’ll capture metallic items.
  4. Retrieve your treasure: The moment you feel resistance, it’s likely you have a catch. Slowly bring the object towards you, ensuring not to stress the rope or magnet too much.

Repeat this process, incrementally shifting your casting area to cover different parts of the waterbody.

Staying Safe

When magnet fishing, prioritize safety. Follow these tips to prevent accidents:

  • Always wear protective gloves to guard against injury from sharp, rusty objects.
  • Never go magnet fishing alone in secluded areas. Always have a buddy or inform someone about your location.
  • Be cautious near water, especially if you aren’t a strong swimmer. Never lean too far over the edge.

Protecting Our Heritage and Environment

Magnet fishing isn’t just about discovering hidden treasures; it’s also a tool for aquatic clean-up. Make it your mission to leave every fishing spot better than how you found it. All trash collected serves the purpose of cleansing our water bodies and protecting aquatic life.

Always report any historical artifacts or dangerous finds (weapons, explosives) to your local authorities to ensure proper handling.


Magnet fishing is a blend of history, thrill, and environmental consciousness, making it the perfect outdoor activity. As with any endeavor, you’ll improve over time. So gear up, get out there, and experience the joy of discovery!

This guide aims to provide the most comprehensive information to get you started on your magnet fishing journey. Remember that the best part of any adventure is not the destination, but the journey itself. So reel in, row out and enjoy the ride!

By Metal Hunting Team

Your premier resource for all things metal detecting and treasure hunting, created by avid hobbyists for fellow enthusiasts. Dive into a trove of insights, tips, and discoveries with us!

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