Welcome to the ultimate magnet fishing guide! Here, we’ll give you everything you need to know about this fun and exciting hobby. We’ll talk about what it is, the different types of magnets, how to get started, the best gear, how to tie a magnet fishing knot, and much more. By the end, you’ll be able to go out and confidently magnet fish in your local water. Let’s dive in.
Understanding What Magnet Fishing Is
Magnet fishing is very similar to metal detecting. In metal detecting, you use a tool on land to find hidden metal objects below the ground. Magnet fishing is just like metal detecting, but it’s in the water. You use strong magnets to find metal objects at the bottom of bodies of water.
Dozens of people have taken up this hobby, and they’ve found dozens of fascinating things. As a bonus, it’s a relatively inexpensive hobby, and you get to get outside and enjoy the weather at the same time. Anyone can go magnet fishing, and it requires very little in the way of skills except a willingness to try and patience.
Just imagine being able to step outside and uncover hidden metal treasure right in your own backyard or favorite swimming hole. This is the lure of magnet fishing. In certain states, you can even find dedicated areas reserved for magnet fishing.
However, you have to be very careful when it comes to fishing just anywhere because it may not be legal in your area. If it’s not and someone catches you, you can get a fine. While this isn’t the end of the world, it can really put a damper on an otherwise fun day.
Are you intrigued? If so, read on to find out the types of magnets you can buy, the laws, dangers, gear, and exciting finds.
Different Types of Fishing Magnets
When it comes to magnet fishing, the first thing you have to do is decide which type of magnet you want to use. There are several available, and we’ve picked out the most popular choices below.
Magnet Fishing Kit 550
A magnet fishing kit usually comes with 100 feet of paracord with 550 pounds of tensile strength. The Neodymium Magnet has around 325 pounds of pulling force, and this is usually enough to haul in larger finds. It’s ready to go straight out of the box as well, and the paracord comes in several color options.
The magnet comes with a countersunk thread locked eyebolt, and this secures the magnet to your paracord for a secure fit. The nickel and black epoxy materials add durability to this setup, and it ensures that it’ll last for years.
A double-sided magnet is exactly what it sounds like. You can attach to things from both sides of the magnet, and it has a metal loop for your line to go through at the top of the magnet, so the line doesn’t get in the way of your catch.
This particular magnet is 3.7 inches in diameter, and it has a huge 1,700 pounds of pulling force. Eyebolt screws go directly into the steel base for a quick assembly, and it has a triple layer coating to protect the magnet against scratches, wear, tear, and corrosion from being in the water.
Top Mount Magnet
The top mount magnet has a flat setup, and it lays horizontally with the magnet on the bottom and the hook on the top. This type of magnet is good for standing above the water in a boat or on a bridge and fishing into deeper water.
You can find top mount magnets with pull forces up to 660 pounds, and they’re popular because you’re able to use it for multiple uses. The magnet attaches to paracord with a steel locking carabiner for maximum durability and pulling power. You should think carefully about the size you want when you shop because they come in small and larger designs.
The cone fishing magnet is usually larger than your typical magnet fishing tool. It has a tapered design with a peak where your paracord attaches. From this peak, the magnet broadens into a round base where the magnet is. This is a popular design because it minimizes the chances of snagging when you fish.
Cone magnets can come in nickel-plated solid steel construction, and this makes them extremely durable. The paracord attaches through an eyebolt that screws into the top, and you loop your paracord through this eyebolt. They usually weigh around five pounds, but these magnets give you up to 375 pounds of pulling power.
Plastic Cone Cover
This isn’t really a magnet, but it’s a quick, cost-effective, and easy way to make it harder to snag any magnet you choose to fish with. The plastic cone cover slips over the magnet, and the magnet forms the base of the cone.
You run the paracord from the magnet up through the cone to secure the two pieces together. When you cast the magnet out, the cone provides a buffer between the magnet’s edge and anything it could catch as you pull it back in. They come in bright colors, and this also makes your magnet easier to see in deeper water.
Magnet Fishing Set Up
If you’re ready to get set up for your first magnet fishing expedition, you’ll need a few pieces of high-quality equipment. It pays to invest a little more because these pieces will last much longer, and you’ll be able to use them for years in your favorite fishing spots.
In traditional fishing, you need a sinker, line, and a hook. With magnet fishing, you need a strong magnet that will act like your sinker and hook. Your line will be strong paracord, and you tie it to the magnet’s eyebolt to secure it.
You also have to find a good spot to try magnet fishing. The goal is to find an area where you’re almost guaranteed to find metal objects. You’ll need patience and a hefty dose of curiosity. Unlike traditional fishing, magnet fishing usually gives you faster results in reeling anything in. With one or two tries, you’ll have a good idea of whether or not there is any metal lurking underneath the surface of the water.
You may want to bring a few magnets with you when you go out. A double-sided magnet gives you more opportunities to grab something, but a cone magnet has fewer chances of snagging and getting caught. If you have a few with, you can experiment until you feel the magnet latch onto something.
The Best Fishing Magnet and Why
No matter which style magnet you choose to use, the magnet should be a Neodymium magnet. If you have this type of magnet on hand, you own one of the strongest magnets available in a commercial sense. They’re extremely hard and durable, and they have a massive pull force.
These magnets were originally designed by General Motors in 1982, and they offset the more expensive Samarium-Cobalt magnets that were popular at the time. These magnets are vital for magnet fishing because they’re extremely durable and resistant to corrosion. Their resistance, performance, and super-strength make them a fan favorite for both beginner and veteran magnet fishers.
Image source: amazon.ca
Magnet Fishing 2020 Price List
When you start looking at different magnets, you’ll find very quickly that they have a large price range attached to them. The stronger and larger the magnet is, the more you can expect to pay for it. However, the good new is that they’re still relatively inexpensive. This is part of the appeal of this sport because the cost makes it extremely easy for anyone to participate. The average price list for 2020 is as follows:
- Magnet Fishing Kits – $40 to $180 (CAD)
- Double-Sided Magnets – $20 to $70 (CAD)
- Top Mount Magnets – $20 to $50 (CAD)
- Cone Magnets – $55 to $100 (CAD)
- Plastic Cone Covers – $15 to $50 (CAD)
- Paracord – $10 to $25 (CAD)
Magnet Fishing Laws – Is it Legal in Canada?
Currently, there are no laws that prohibit magnet fishing in Canada. This means that it’s entirely legal to go and throw your magnets into streams or lakes. However, you do have to be very careful if you intent to fish on private or government property. Just like traditional fishing, you have to have express permission from the landholder to legally fish there.
Most government-protected land or parks most likely have rules and regulations regarding fishing. If you’re in doubt, it’s a good idea to check with your local government body or Natural Resources Canada. They’ll be able to outline whether or not you can magnet fish in particular lakes or streams.
Magnet Fishing Laws – Is it Legal in the United States?
Currently, magnet fishing is legal in every state in the United States but South Carolina. The reasoning behind this is the fact that there are a lot of artifacts and fossils in South Carolina’s waterways. To remove anything, you have to be in possession of a Hobby License, document everything you find, and adhere to the 10 item day limit.
People were pulling war relics out of the water that could potentially be dangerous, so the state made it illegal. Just like with Canada, you do want to get explicit permission of any landowners if you want to magnet fish on private property. Government property and national parks are usually out of bounds for any type of fishing as well. If you’re not sure, contact the local game warden or the Department of Natural Resources. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Is Magnet Fishing Dangerous?
The short answer is yes and no. The dangerous element comes in depending on what you pull up and outside factors. We’re going to pick out and outline the biggest dangers that come with magnet fishing. Knowing them can help you avoid them when you go out and fish for yourself.
Magnet fishing puts you in very close proximity to different bodies of water, and this increases your risks of drowning. You don’t have to get into the water to fish, but you could slip and end up in the water anyway. The danger level rises if you’re already weighed down by earlier finds. For example, you could have a large number of metal items in your pocket, and this can make it difficult to get back out of the water.
If you plan to fish alone, this raises the danger element. But you can do things to keep yourself safe. Stay away from unstable edges, and avoid areas that would be difficult to get out of if you fell.
2. Ropes Tangling
When you magnet fish, you’ll have at least one rope with to pull your magnet back to you. You could also end up with a second rope if the water is rough, and you want to use it to guide your first rope to secure your magnet. These ropes can easily tangle, and this creates a dangerous situation. If you find yourself tangled in the rope, you could end up drug into the water with the magnet.
You can avoid this by using high-quality paracord when you magnet fish. This rope won’t tangle as quickly as other ropes, even if you have two going at the same time. Also, take the time to work any kinks out of your rope to avoid knots.
3. Dangerous Finds
Last but not least, there is always the possibility you could find a dangerous item like a gun. Some magnetic fishers have pulled out live grenades from past wars. The risk of finding an explosive is much lower than finding another type of weapons like a knife or gun, but the risk is there. You could accidentally hurt yourself on the things you find, or an explosive could go off due to damage.
If you should pull something dangerous out of the water, it’s important that you contact your local authorities straight away. They’ll come and take care of the item in a safe and efficient manner, and you can go on fishing.
Magnet Fishing Knots – How to Tie
The most popular way to tie your cord to your magnet is using the Palomar Knot. It’s relatively simple, and we’ll give you step-by-step instructions below.
- Make a look at one end of your paracode.
- Insert your loop through your eyebolt.
- Loop it over and onto itself.
- Insert the loop back through.
- Gradually tighten the loop.
- Wrap the loop over your eyebolt, and continue until it knots over the rope.
- Pull the paracord to tighten the knot.
- Adjust the knot until it’s tight, and shorten any excess paracord.
- Attach your eyebolt to your magnet.
If you’re not sure if you tied it correctly, this video will outline exactly how to tie this strong knot.
Magnet Fishing Gear – What to Bring
When you go out to magnet fish, you want to have everything you need on-hand and ready to go. This is especially true if you plan to go and fish in remote areas in your state or around your home. We’re going to give you a comprehensive checklist that ensures you don’t forget anything when you go out on your next adventure below.
Bucket or Bag
To start, make sure you pack a bucket or bag. This doesn’t have to be a large carrying receptacle. You’ll use these things to store and carry all of your finds. Make sure it has carrying handles and no holes. You don’t want to lose your finds when you make your way back to your vehicle.
When you pull your finds out of the water, they’ll most likely have debris, dirt, and mud-caked on and around it. A brush will help clear these things away so you can know exactly what you find. The brush should have stiff bristles on it to cut through the debris.
For magnet fishing, you’ll haul the magnet and whatever it attaches to in with your hands. These gloves will protect your hands from rope burns, shards of metal, or nasty water. They should be waterproof as well because the water can be cold in certain areas. Ice fishing gloves are a nice pair of gloves to have.
If you happen to catch a large item, a grappling hook will help you haul it in without straining your back or body. It also removes the stress from your hands, and you won’t have to worry about slipping in the rope when you pull it back in toward you.
Magnets and Paracord
Ideally, you should bring a few different types of magnets with you when you go out. This way, you can experiment and see which one you like best. Additionally, you’ll have a backup if you happen to lose one of your magnets. Pick out a few different spools of paracord in varying lengths and pack them as well.
Personal Care Items
Along with your fishing gear, you can protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunglasses, hat, and sunblock. Insect repellent is helpful because insects gather around bodies of water. Waterproof waders are helpful if you plan to fish in swaps, wetlands, or get in the water yourself.
The Best Rope for Magnet Fishing
Some of the best and most popular rope for magnet fishing is paracord. Paracord has a slick outer layer with a reinforced core to make it very durable and tough. The slick outer rope can glide past items in the water to prevent snagging, and this is important for fishing.
Additionally, paracord comes rated in pull weight. It can easily withstand up to 550 pounds of pressure without breaking or fraying. This is why it’s popular for rock climbing. If the outer layer frays, the inner layer has dozens of durable cords that keep the line intact.
Image by Reddit User Breatheasy14
What People Found While Out Magnet Fishing
Now for the fun part. What have people found out while they’re out fishing? Since this sport caught on, there have been thousands of interesting finds around the world. Some of the best finds include but are not limited to:
A lot of people report finding coins. These can be older coins or newer coins in varying currencies. Magnet fishing around old war zones tends to bring up a lot of different coinage and currencies that are valuable collector items. Gold, silver, and other metals are common.
Bullets and Gun Parts
People have pulled in whole guns and a variety of different gun parts. Bullets are also extremely common, and one family pulled in over 3,000 bullets from a part of a canal in the United Kingdom. The guns include everything from Civil War-era revolvers, machine guns, and M16s.
Live and defunct grenades are another find that is slightly more uncommon, and it’s one of the reasons magnet fishing is illegal in South Carolina. Because these grenades have sat in the water for years or decades, there’s a very good chance they sustained damage. Handling them carefully could easily set the grenade off, and this is dangerous for anyone who pulls them in.
You’ll pull in a lot of scraps when you magnet fish. This could include large pieces of old scrap or smaller things like nails. Most of these things are useless, but they’re fun to reel in. The anticipation is one of the biggest reasons people like to magnet fish, and pulling in scrap is good practice.
Everyone dreams of hauling in a safe or cash box. For some lucky magnet fishers, this dream has turned into a reality. They’ve pulled out sealed cash boxes, wallets, safes, and more.
Along with the grenades and guns, knives are another popular find when it comes to magnet fishing. People hauled out everything from small pocket knives up to large hunting knives. A lot of these knives weren’t it terrible condition either, and they cleaned up nice.
World War II Era Items
If you magnet fish around military bases or old war sites, you’ll most likely find items from this era. Bullets, guns, buttons, belt buckles, dog tags, rings, and other small items are very common. Most of these items are very durable, and they look wonderful when you brush them off.
Magnet fishing can be a very fun time for everyone involved, and it’s a very inexpensive sport to get into. Now that you have all the information you need to make a decision, you can decide whether or not this is a sport you want to try.