The Ultimate Magnet Fishing Guide: Everything You Need to Know

The Ultimate Magnet Fishing Guide

Did you know 5% of the world’s population practices magnet fishing? 

You may have heard of magnet fishing but not fully understood it? Well, here’s your chance to find out the mystery behind this “hobby” that’s catching up at an incredible pace.  Magnet fishing is an exciting hobby that people from all walks of life can enjoy, without much of an investment. Whether you’re a young child or an adult, there are rewards for everyone who partakes! Just with some time and patience (and maybe even luck!), You’ll be able to uncover incredible artefacts like   old coins and buttons – heck, anything metallic has potential when exploring beneath the water…

Without further adieu, let’s jump in…

What Is Magnet Fishing

Where did the idea come from? The use of magnet fishing is not a new one. In the 15th century, sailors used bar magnets to help them find their way through foggy waters. Static electricity was also believed to be able to move iron objects.

No one knows exactly who invented magnet fishing, but it’s believed that they were developed as a form of entertainment in the Middle Ages. Wealthy people would pay large sums of money to have mounds of dirt dug up and searched for treasure with their own personal lodestone attached to a rod or stick. Informal magnet fishing competitions were often held where skilled operators competed against each other trying to see who could pull in the most interesting items from various ponds, swamps and lakes around Europe during this time period — some of these items are even held in local museums.

Magnet fishing has been used by treasure seekers all over the world — especially those who choose to do some recreational treasure hunting on their own. Magnet fishermen have an innate hunch and do research on where metal things are likely to be buried, from beaches to construction sites and everywhere in between.

Some people say that magnet fishing became quite popular during the late 1970s when many areas of Europe were being prepared for more development. Radar studies have revealed a great deal about what may lie beneath various neighbourhoods and cities around the world, but radar is unable to detect everything. Companies responsible for planning new roads and tunnels use powerful magnet operators or electromagnetic devices known as gradiometers to help them locate any large masses of ferrous metals

What Are The Benefits Of Magnet Fishing?

What Are The Benefits Of Magnet Fishing
  • Magnet fishing is a great way to spend some time outside. The tranquillity and peace of mind that comes with it can be soothing. It’s also very educational for children and teenagers because they get to have fun while at the same time learning about history and science.
  • Magnet fishing is often considered an environmentally friendly activity, especially when compared to other more intrusive activities like deep-sea trawling or seismic surveying. With magnet fishing, all you need is some basic equipment and a little bit of elbow grease in order to find your treasure.
  • Some believe that magnet fishing is a form of art. While it’s not difficult to do, the fact that you need patience along with a keen eye to find treasure using this hobby certainly makes it something quite unique and interesting.

How Do You Magnet Fish Safely?

How Do Safely Magnet Fish
  • The first thing you will want to do is assemble your gear but before we get started, let’s make sure your basic safety rules are covered: Wear shoes or boots when searching for buried metal objects — gravel, sand or mud can be extremely coarse and sharp! 
  • Be careful where you dig because if there is any stray electrical wiring in the ground near your search site, the loose dirt could easily fall on top of it making it live! It’s advisable to have a partner around when you are magnet fishing if possible — this way, someone can be on hand to call for help (in the event of an emergency or injury) or perhaps lend a helping hand. If you do not have a partner, make sure you have your cell phone handy at all times and that it is fully charged so that you can use it to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
  • Magnet fishing equipment is easy to come by — almost anyone with common sense will tell you the same thing: “Buy cheap, buy twice.” Expect that your first few purchases of magnetic equipment may break as soon as they arrive — this is because many ill-made pieces of equipment are mass-produced overseas and designed to only last until they’ve been used

Equipment That You Will Need To Magnet Fish

Equipment That You Will Need To Magnet Fish

The best tools to bring along on a magnet fishing adventure are some sort of pole or stick (you can even use a long-handled net) and magnet fishing magnets which you’ll want to attach at the very end so they do not get stuck in debris. Always make sure whatever is attached to your retrieval device is made from metal if you plan on attaching a magnet because anything else may disrupt your equipment’s functionality.

When you’re done, be careful when handling rusty objects as they may break apart in just one touch thanks to the acidity level of your skin! To counter this problem, wash off the rust quickly using freshwater but don’t get it in your eyes… You will need some gloves for that part.

Magnet fishers use the neodymium magnet – the strongest type of magnet you can find – but there are a number of accessories available such as waterproof boxes, floats and straps. Make sure to avoid using rope because it will decrease your sensitivity and make your search slower and more painful.

As the craze catches on, There is a plethora of magnet fishing gear in the market today- ones with double sided magnets to the models that come with multiple magnets to increase pull but most high quality magnetic fishing kits use neodymium magnets of some composition

How Much Does A Good Set Of Magnets Cost?

How Much Does A Good Set Of Magnets Cost

The price for a pair or even just one magnet can vary depending on the material they’re made from. Usually, hardened steel will be the cheapest option while neodymium is going to cost you quite a bit due to its special composition. For example, some companies sell their top-of-the-line product at $100+ (which may be too expensive for most) while others have opted for only selling cheaper models which generally do not last as long.

How To Use The Magnet Correctly?

How To Use The Magnet Correctly

To make sure your search goes smoothly, there are a few things you should keep in mind every time you’re on an adventure: 

  • Make sure the magnet is securely attached to your retrieval device, always cast from left to right for best results and be patient. 
  • A normal piece of metal will feel heavy when it’s buried underground – unlike most scrap items – so if something feels unusually light then leave it because it probably isn’t a good find. 
  • Also, if you’re going after coins (which are typically mostly copper) then get ready for some really bad smells! 

Copper corrodes easily which releases hydrogen sulfide gas. So remember… It’s all about patience and persistence while magnet fishing, even if you don’t find anything in the end. It could just be another day of scrap metal or abandoned metallic items or a game-changer with A Hidden Cash Box Worth Some Dough. Who Knows!

How To Magnet Fish?

How To Magnet Fish

Now that we’ve covered virtually everything related to this fantastic hobby, it’s time to move onto the most crucial part: how do you actually go about it? Don’t worry because I’m going to break down everything step-by-step! 

  • First of all, you need to know how to find places where there are strong magnetic fields. Sometimes they can be pretty hard to detect – if not impossible – so many anglers simply go for areas near power plants or even quarries and mines that have been closed since the 1940s because these sites might still have rusty metal objects buried deep underground due to old mining operations.
  • Next up, you’ll want to get started with your preparations by covering every metal object that is usually exposed, such as your cellphone, any coins you’re carrying in your pocket etc… Just remember that it’s always better safe than sorry! 
  • Lastly, inspect your retrieval device for any obstruction and then cast out using one arm extended at an approximately 45-degree angle.
  • Use fishing hooks that are strong. If you are lucky, you might find yourself retrieving heavy items. I prefer a grappling hook, personally, but anything strong would do
  • Don’t skint on the quality of your magnet; with their pulling force, the strongest magnets can uncover metal finds that can make it an enjoyable hobby than just a pastime. 
  • Learn to knot: A Palomar knot is the best you can use because it’s straightforward to tie. Tie your hook to 3 meters of nylon rope, and then put a slip knot at the end. That way, the hook will always be at your fingertips for you to cast out.

Which Neodymium Fishing Magnet Should You Choose?

Neodymium Fishing Magnet

Neodymiums are one of the strongest magnets currently on the market. Neodymium magnets are composed of neodymium, iron, boron, and a few other trace elements. A neodymium magnet is made of neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) alloy.

Neodymium fishing magnets can be used on anything made from steel with magnetic properties. Magnets for fishing are usually in the shape of cubes or rectangular blocks. The most powerful magnets in the world are found in neodymium fishing magnets. They retrieve metal objects buried in the ground more quickly than other material types such as ceramic and rubber materials. These magnets have a pull force of around 1,500 to 3,700 lbs.

The maximum pull force is approximately equal to the weight of a car! These magnets are made from an alloy mix of neodymium iron and boron so that they can be incredibly strong. These are perfect for lifting various objects such as engine blocks, large appliances, bulky and heavy items. A good example would be if you were magnet fishing in your local lake or sea and found a sunken ship; this strong magnet would find it for you without any problems at all! 

If I’m out there on my own with my trusty slop net, then I’ll always go for these extra-strong discs because they’re way more powerful than other types of semi-rare earth magnets available on the market today.

I’d also recommend keeping a slop net in your car, in case you find an old rusty drain cover or even an old iron gate while driving around town. You never know when they’ll come in handy! 

Neodymium Magnet Pull Force 

Don’t underestimate just how powerful different magnets are. The higher a magnet’s pull force is, the more difficult it is to escape from its magnetic field. Also, keep in mind that most neodymium magnets have RMS max which means that the highest recorded value as opposed to an average pull force.

A quick note about safety: If you’re planning on heading out with this hobby and find yourself somewhere around some loud machinery then I’d highly suggest wearing some protective headphones at all times! Also, remember to bring along a first aid kit – just in case something goes wrong of course!

Best Places For Magnet Fishing

Best Places For Magnet Fishing

There’s no doubt that some places can be a goldmine when magnet fishing; here are my picks for the top four best places:

  • Lake Michigan: With more than 10,000 shipwrecks to its name, it’s safe to say that Lake Michigan is a magnet for treasure hunters who are looking for sunken ships! Some of the most commonly found objects include coins, belt Buckles, and cannons. There’s no doubt about it; this lake should definitely be on your radar if you plan on doing some magnet fishing in 2014.
  • Lake Huron: The largest lake in the Great Lakes system has a history that goes back many centuries, and there’s plenty of treasure for you to find. You’ll be able to magnet fish for coins, belt buckles and rings on this lakeside, which is one of the best ways to spend your day!
  • Great Salt Lake: One of the most unique bodies of water on our planet – between all the salt, you can quickly harvest some great finds, from bottles to razor blades! Unfortunately, though, it’s much too salty here for any truly viable freshwater fishing. 
  • Willamette River: This is my number one magnet fishing spot. I’ve found all manner of objects here, from coins to an ancient-looking sword that’s rumoured to be worth thousands of dollars! It’s definitely something you won’t want to miss out on if you’re nearby; some of the best and most exciting finds can happen at this river! 

Where To Magnet Fish?

Where To Magnet Fish

The simple answer is Anywhere with water!

  • Ditches: Whether they’re filled with water or not, all ditches have the same hidden treasures as potholes, but in my experience, potholes usually contain some valuable items, while ditches don’t really have anything worthwhile except air bubbles and weeds. I’ve been magnet fishing here since I was ten years old without ever seeing anything worth anything. You should only use a slop net when fishing in ditches because it’s unlikely to catch much else, except for weeds and underwater plants.
  • The beach: This is one of my favourite places to go magnet fishing, and I’d highly recommend going out with some other people – especially if you’re planning on hunting for treasure at night. Make sure that you bring along a few flashlights and some protective goggles to keep the sand out of your eyes!
  • Canals: When I go out magnet fishing in canals, my eyes are always peeled for anything that looks like it could be a treasure. There may not be many items that’ll float up to the surface, but they may have been tossed down into the channel by accident, so it’s worth checking!
  • Rivers: Rivers are a great magnet fishing spot because they tend to be much deeper than canals and lakes; this means that some of the more valuable items will wash up onto the shore. I’ve found all sorts of things in my time, including rings, watches, keys and even a few thousand-dollar bills! Unfortunately, when you’re hunting for coins, it’s unlikely that you’ll find other valuables like gold and silver.
  • Lakes and ponds: I’d consider ponds and shallow lakes to be the least ideal magnet fishing spot because, most of the time, they’re tiny and shallow. Some people may prefer hunting in bodies of water like this, though! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for large piers and jetties, as these are often prime magnet fishing spots depending on where you live.
  • Old water wells: If you’re thinking about dipping your toes into this hobby but don’t want to spend a ton of money on metal detectors; I’d highly suggest going for an old water well and using some magnets instead. This way you can keep the price tag down to next to nothing while still having fun!
  • Outhouses: While it may be illegal to fish around outhouses, you can usually use some string or fishing line to drop magnets into the pit. Make sure that you wrap your magnet in a bit of cloth first so you don’t damage it!
  • Historic buildings: Not only are historic buildings amazing to visit but if they’re located near water then they could be a magnet for treasure! If you have the chance to fish around one of these buildings, I’d highly recommend it. There’s no doubt that you could find something hidden inside!

Is Magnet Fishing Legal In The Uk?

Is Magnet Fishing Legal In The Uk

In the United Kingdom, it is currently legal for anyone over 16 years old to go magnet fishing without a license or permit, as long as they have permission from the owner if they are on private property. However, there are some places in England where you need permission before going magnet fishing for any reason because these areas contain protected wildlife habitats that should not be disturbed by humans

Is Magnet Fishing Legal In The Us?

Is Magnet Fishing Legal In The Us

In the United States, it is possible to have an unpredictable experience with the law 

For instance, in some states, such as Texas and New Jersey, magnet fishing is permitted without a license or permit so long as the fisherman follows all of the State’s rules and regulations. In other states, such as California and Colorado, fishermen need to obtain a fishing license before they can go out magnet fishing 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a statement advising that ‘magnet fishing can disturb or destroy habitat on the river bottom where fish spawn and young fish live,’ so keep this in mind if you plan on going out magnet fishing in any US state.

In conclusion….No matter how you do it, magnet fishing is a great activity to enjoy with friends and family

The popularity of this hobby has been growing rapidly over the years especially in America where a couple of popular TV shows have just started showcasing the fascinating world of magnet fishing. This form of disused metal detecting was made popular by Youtube influencers such as Austin, Bree & Alex who uploaded a number of magnet fishing videos on the popular website. They have over 35 million subscribers between them and continue to inspire thousands of people across the world.

Single Side Magnet Or Double Sided Magnet?

Single Side Magnet Or Double Sided Magnet?

Fishing magnets can sometimes be misleading. On the face of it, you will be tempted to think the single sided magnet is inferior to magnet fishing kits with more than one magnet (also called double sided magnet – no guess there!), but, it all comes down to high quality magnets and the power of their pulling force. A single Strongest fishing magnet on a metal detector combined with a strong knot can give any double sided models a run for their money.

Magnet Fishing Gear - What To Wear & Take?

Magnet Fishing Gear - What To Wear & Take
  • Sun Block – an absolute must!
  • Waterproof waders
  • Life Jacket
  • Insect Repellent
  • A storage box to store all metal items or pieces of jewellery
  • A handheld wire brush


Magnet Fishing Guide Conclusion

Just like traditional fishing, Magnet fishing is a great activity to enjoy with friends and family. It’s also cheaper than traditional metal detecting, which means that it could be an excellent hobby for people on a tight budget! 

It doesn’t matter if you live near coastlines or lakes because any body of water big enough will do as long as it yields metal objects which typically reside at depths below 10 feet.

The best time to magnet fishing is any time you feel like it if the water is colder – better! Colder temperatures mean coins and other objects are encased in a thin layer of ice, making it easier to pick them out without having to touch the metal (which will make your hands freeze). However, when the water is warmer, give it more than 3 minutes for rust or mud to break off before attempting to pull your prize from the water.

Lighting can be critical when magnet fishing because anything metallic under 10 feet becomes harder to detect by sight alone, especially if there is any sediment present. So bring along some lights so you can see what lies beneath after you’ve done a preliminary check using binoculars or scope. Once you find your target, note its depth and place a marker to keep track of it for retrieval later.

Keeping a journal is a good idea, too, just in case you are magnet fishing with other people. Otherwise, how would they know which section of the lake or pond you were working on? Note their depths and anything else that may be relevant such as weather conditions and any obstacles.

Bottom Line

With so many benefits of this new pastime, there are plenty of reasons why magnet fishing should become your next favourite outdoor activity. If you’re looking for the best way to get started in magnetic fishing then drop us a comment below! We’ll help you find all the gear you need as well as provide some tips on where to start searching with your magnets nearby. The popularity of this new hobby has been growing rapidly over in America so we know it will soon take off.

Happy magnet fishing!

Sharing is caring!

Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Posts

Subscribe To Our NewsLetter!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x