Magnet fishing is precisely what it sounds like: fishing with magnets. We know this is shocking news, yet, there is not much more to it than that.
After securing a rope around a magnet, you then cast it into the sea. If you’re fortunate, it will cling to something you can pull out of the way and take with you when you leave.
Have you ever gotten out of your car and accidentally flushed your keys down the toilet or a drain? Have you ever been out fishing and dropped your beloved knife over the side of the boat? Many people have done this, which is most likely how magnet fishing started.
Since then, it has grown into a full-fledged hobby combining environmentalism and treasure-seeking aspects.
Why, therefore, do individuals continue to do it? As noted earlier, one of the selling points is its ecological friendliness.
It is possible to clear the water of a significant amount of debris, so improving the quality of a nearby river or making it more secure for swimming in a lake.
You can experience the excitement of fishing without harming the fish. However, the prospect of unearthing long-lost relics is the primary allure of this activity.
What Can I Catch?
When you go magnet fishing, you may potentially reel in an infinite number of different species and objects.
You have access to everything and everything that is made out of or contains iron, including nuts and bolts, signposts, bicycles, tools, and even an old boot.
A safe is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing items you may discover clinging to your magnet. To tell the truth, you’d be astonished at how frequently people come across ancient safes in rivers.
Most of the time, they did not contain any valuables and were most likely abandoned after a theft. On the other hand, a lucky lodestone will come across a real-life treasure trove every once in a while.
Then there are guns, which are the holy grail of magnet fishing. Several reports of firearms were discovered in waterways, particularly in Europe, which appear to be debris from World War II-era armaments.
Although you should certainly call the police if you find a modern weapon, one can sometimes find revolvers in perfect working order.
However, if you find a modern weapon, you should probably call the police instead because there may be a good reason that someone dumped it in a canal.
Magnet Fishing Gear
Do you feel like trying your hand at magnet fishing? One of the many wonderful things about it is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to get started.
Because you can purchase an introductory magnet fishing kit for as low as fifty dollars, this type of fishing is genuinely accessible to everyone interested in giving it a shot.
1. A Strong Magnet
Neodymium magnets are powerful rare-earth magnets made up of neodymium, iron, and boron. For you to successfully reel in something big, you will need Neodymium magnets.
The neodymium magnets utilized in magnet fishing usually have grades ranging from n35 to n52, with the higher number denoting a more powerful magnet.
The combined draw force, or the amount of weight a magnet can hold, can range anywhere from 500 to over 2,000 pounds depending on the magnet.
A single-sided magnet weighing 1,200 pounds has all of its pull force focused on one side, while a double-sided magnet with the same pull force has 600 on each side. “Combined” refers to the total pull force (see sidebar below).
The greater the pull force, the larger the thing you will be able to snag on the reel. Pull forces of between 500 and 1,200 pounds should be used initially by beginners (anything over that requires experience).
This will prevent the bolts from getting loose, making your new magnet detached. It is important to know that there are various types of Fishing Magnets.
These magnets attract treasures more effectively when dipped up and down from the bottom of a body of water. People also call it “dipping” magnets.
They are an excellent choice for use in water with a slow current for descending off of piers, bridges, and docks.
Because their calculated strength is only on one side, single-sided magnets maintain an angle when lifted, which encourages maximum pull force.
As a result, they are more effective than double-sided magnets at pulling up heavier objects, such as a safe.
These magnets attract things on both the top and bottom of the magnet, making them ideal for use in environments with steep slopes and swiftly moving water, such as rivers and streams.
You can determine the pull force of a magnet by adding the strengths of both the top and the bottom; therefore, a magnet that weighs 1,200 pounds and has two sides has a pull force of 600 pounds on each side.
Instead of having two thinner magnets like those on the top and bottom of a double-sided magnet, these have one thick magnet held in a frame.
This makes them perfect for pulling the bottom of a body of water that is moving quickly. The end effect is a larger magnetic field (on all sides, except for the area where the clamp is mounted), which may pick up items from a greater distance.
The 360 Magnet is the most adaptable of the four options but tends to be the most expensive. Its shape is comparable to that of single- and double-sided magnets, and its magnetic field is similar to the clamp.
A 360 magnet can attract objects from all directions, making it useful for various applications, including pulling in moving water and diving off bridges and piers.
2. Synthetic Rope
You should select a synthetic rope that is resistant to abrasion, rot, and ultraviolet light because it is likely that you will throw your magnet into moving bodies of water where rocks are hiding beneath the surface.
Find one with a breaking strength that is more than the pulling power of the magnet you employ if you can. This will be the ideal choice.
Take into account the length as well: If your preferred location is out of a high bridge, you should probably go for a rope that is 100 feet long rather than one that is only 65 feet long.
The weight of the rope, particularly when wet, will increase proportionately with the length of the rope and the strength of its breaking point.
Most high-quality ropes used for magnet fishing come with at least one stitched end, making it much simpler to connect a carabiner (see below on how to tie a Palomar knot).
When looking for a rope, you should opt for one that is made expressly for magnet fishing, and you should never choose a rope that is thinner than 6 millimeters.
The internet is the ideal location to look for a rope explicitly designed for magnet fishing. The price of climbing ropes bought in sports goods stores is higher than it should be.
3. Locking Carabiner
It is preferable to use the carabiner to connect the rope to the magnet rather than connecting it directly to the magnet, even though magnet fishing purists consider using a carabiner to secure the rope to the magnet as a weak point in the setup.
A carabiner provides adaptability since it enables you to swap out different magnets or add a grappling hook to retrieve awkwardly shaped items such as a bicycle, a shopping cart, or even anything that isn’t magnetic.
This allows you to retrieve a wide variety of objects. Choose a carabiner with a breaking strength equal to or more than your rope, and look for one with a locking mechanism.
Doing this will prevent debris from the water from pressing against the gate and causing it to open, resulting in losing your magnet.
Carabiners made of stainless steel are suitable for use with the majority of magnets; however, when using a 360 magnet, which is magnetic on all sides, it is advisable to use a carabiner made of aluminum, such as the Sturme locking aluminum climbing carabiner.
Because aluminum is not magnetic, the carabiner will not adhere to the magnetic surface at the top of the magnet.
4. Cut-Resistant Gloves
You’ll think twice about fishing without gloves after you examine the rusted fishing lures, fish hooks, and other jagged pieces of metal that your magnet brings back.
Many starter kits include gloves that are resistant to cuts; however, we recommend purchasing a pair of gloves that also has insulating features, such as the Showa Atlas 660l-09.
The cast members of Discovery’s Deadliest Catch put on gloves much like these whenever they pull rope, cut bait, or handle crab traps. These gloves are triple-dipped in PVC and include a cotton liner inside.
5. Proper Storage
Keep your magnet in its original packing and place it in a bucket with your rope, gloves, and any other equipment you may need to store it safely.
This is the easiest way to ensure the magnet’s safety throughout storage and transportation. A small cooler or ammo box packed with foam will do the trick if you want to carry a kit in your vehicle for impromptu fishing.
This will prevent your magnet from attaching to objects in the box. Use a plastic scraper and duct to remove magnetic particles from your magnet.
After that, clean and dry your magnet to prevent it from rusting. This will help your magnet stay longer. To keep its luster, you should wipe it down with WD-40 before putting it away.
If you need somewhere to store all of your treasures, you can purchase a second bucket that is five gallons in capacity at any hardware shop.
6. Grappling Hook
Not essential, but beneficial. Once you have brought larger objects to the surface, it is much easier to draw them up using a grappling hook or a pole hook.
You can secure your catch with the knotted end of your rope to prevent it from moving while you bring it in with the hook. You can even find Non-metallic objects with this technique.
Magnet Fishing Tips for Beginners
You’ve prepared your “dream catch” list and purchased the necessary equipment; it’s time to put those plans into action and go fishing!
Magnet fishing is not particularly complicated, but there are a few helpful pointers that can get your iron-finding excursions off to a good start.
1. Where to Cast Your Line
Metals are in almost any body of water, such as a river, sea, or pond, which people frequently occupy. It’s common for people to congregate at places like bridges, canals, and piers.
They receive a high volume of foot and boat traffic, so there is a considerable probability that someone has misplaced their keys, lost their bait knife, or even crashed their bike into the water.
The best places to look for vintage fishing lures are piers, jetties, and piers with jetties. You’ll need to put some effort into research if you want to come up with really interesting discoveries.
Even if previous explorers have thoroughly explored well-known historical locations in search of treasure, it is still possible to find something of value there.
You can also find gold in historic harbors and old roadways that run along riverbanks. In conclusion, the river mouths and spillways will contain debris carried downstream by the water.
2. A Note on Knots
The use of a knot is by far the most frequent method for securing your rope to your magnet. Even though some individuals utilize carabiner clips as the link, there must still be a knot somewhere.
The good news is that you do not require anything remotely as complicated as some of the fishing knots available.
The Palomar knot is the most effective knot for magnet fishing. After some practice, you won’t have any trouble tying either one of them. The most crucial thing to note is that pulling on either of these knots will not loosen them.
How to Tie a Palomar Knot
Use a Palomar knot to secure your rope to your carabiner or straight to the eyebolt on your magnet. This is the same secure and dependable knot that anglers use to fasten their line to a hook.
- Step 1: Double up your rope, and then use a carabiner or the eyebolt on the magnet to thread it through.
- Step 2: Using the double line, tie a loose overhand knot without twisting the rope, and then leave a large loop at the end of the rope.
- Step 3: Thread your magnet or carabiner through the large loop in the middle.
- Step 4: involves pulling from both ends of the knot to tighten it. Many anglers that fish with magnets wrap their primary line and any excess rope with duct tape. While dragging your magnet, this helps prevent your rope from becoming trapped or stuck on anything along the way.
3. Getting Unstuck
When starting out, one of the most typical issues you may encounter is getting your magnet trapped on something.
It might be the railing on a bridge, a support column on a pier, or any other piece of metal permanently installed in its location.
Regardless of the situation, removing an object stuck to your magnet is simple if you know how.
The first thing you need to do is experiment with sliding the magnet off to the side in order to remove it. In doing so, you will not be working against the entirety of its drawing power.
If that doesn’t work, you can also attempt to pull it from the side by giving it quick and forceful tugs. If everything else fails, enlist the help of a couple of random people walking by and have a good old-fashioned tug of war with them.
Risks Associated with Magnet Fishing
To pull rusted pieces of metal out of a river presents a number of risks, as you may probably understand on your own.
Cutting yourself is the most prominent risk, so make sure to use gloves while handling larger findings. If it has been a while since your last tetanus shot, you might consider getting a booster shot to be on the safe side.
Unexploded bombs present a second, much more serious threat that you must consider. This problem occurs far more frequently in Europe, where anglers still discover explosives from World War II regularly.
Even in the United States, finding a decommissioned grenade buried deep inside the sediment of a river is not unheard of.
If you locate one, put it back into the water as gently as possible, secure your rope, and contact the authorities.
Laws Regarding Magnet Fishing
“I’m okay for having fun, but I wondered if magnet fishing was against the law.” Of course, if it weren’t, we wouldn’t be writing about it, but that doesn’t mean you may engage in this activity in every location.
It is against the law to use magnets to catch fish in any of the waters maintained by the Canal & River Trust in the United Kingdom, which is the vast majority of them.
Therefore, you should probably try magnet fishing on private property if you want the best results.
In the United States, magnet fishing is legal everywhere, except in the state of South Carolina, which has regulations that ban using any form of lifting device other than your hands when retrieving submerged objects.
Make sure you check with the authorities in your area before heading out on the water, regardless of where you are.
There is a possibility that there are technical regulations for the particular river or pier you are fishing. The very last thing you want to do is draw the attention of a law enforcement officer!