What is Magnet Fishing?

rope and hook for magnet fishing

Magnet fishing is a fairly new hobby in the United States, so you may be wondering “What is magnet fishing?” The idea is similar to going out and looking for hidden treasures with a metal detector, except this is done underwater rather than searching for metal that is underground. If you’ve ever wondered what kinds of things have been lost at the bottom of the lake or river near you, you should try your hand at magnet fishing.

Magnet fishing is an inexpensive outdoor hobby that can be enjoyed by anyone. All you need is a heavy-duty rope and a neodymium magnet and you’ll be on your way to finding all sorts of interesting objects in nearby bodies of water. Combining treasure hunting with the desire to clean up the planet, this is a past time that can be fin for the whole family.

Hidden Treasures

A popular hobby in many European countries, magnet fishing is a great way to combine the desire to find cool stuff with environmentalism. This is an inexpensive hobby that is rewarding in many ways. Utilizing a very strong magnet and a sturdy rope, you simply toss the magnet into the water and pull up anything that is attracted to it. Depending on where you are, you can find tools, bikes, and firearms. Many magnet fishers in England often find World War Two debris, such as bombs and grenades. No matter where you are, you’re sure to find something interesting.

woman magnet fishing


The main things you need to go magnet fishing are a sturdy rope and a heavy-duty magnet. With traditional fishing, you use a hook and line, with magnet fishing you use a magnet and a rope. Aside from that, it’s a good idea to have a pair of protective gloves and a bag or box to place your treasures in.


The best type of magnet to use is a neodymium magnet since they are fairly compact and very strong. They are rare-earth magnets. They are also one of the strongest magnets in existence. Due to how strong they are, they can damage electronics and even cause injuries. They are strong enough that trying to put two of them together can cause them to shatter due to the force.

There are many different magnets available with varying levels of strength. You can find magnets that weigh less than 2 pounds but have the strength to pull an object weighing up to 500lbs. A magnet of this strength would allow you to pull out many different items.


While the magnet is very important, you won’t be able to pull anything out of the water if you do not have a strong rope. Longer ropes are a good call so that you can fish in shallow and deep water. A 50ft rope is great for fishing from shore, but if you will be fishing from a bridge, damn, or ledge of some sort, a rope of 100ft or longer would be a wise choice.

As far as material goes, a sturdy nylon paracord is the best choice. These ropes are ideal because they are durable, very strong, have a good amount of elasticity, and they are water-resistant. A high-quality rope is crucial because you don’t want your rope to snap as you’re trying to pull something up out of the water. When shopping for a rope to go with your magnet, be sure you choose one that has a strength that can handle the pull of your magnet.

Additional Equipment

As mentioned before, a pair of gloves is an important accessory to have when magnet fishing. You want something that is heavy-duty both because you could encounter sharp pieces of metal and because you want to avoid rope burn. You can also bring a nylon or wire brush to clean off rust and mud from your finds. Be sure to also bring something with that you can store your treasures in. A crate or bucket would work out well. Whatever you choose, make sure it is water-resistant and strong enough to handle the weight of the items you pull up. Clothing that protects you from UV rays would be a good idea, also.

How To Magnet Fish

The first thing you should do when you are preparing to head out for a day of treasure hunting is to make sure your rope is securely tied to your magnet. There are a ton of fishing knots you can utilize to ensure the rope is tied in a way that the knot will tighten itself when force is applied. It should also be able to handle heavier weight. One of the most popular knots that many people utilize is the Palomar knot since it is very strong and it is easy to do.

Beyond attaching the magnet to the rope, you need a good location to fish from. Your best bet is to go to a river or lake that is either in or near a large city, as people often drop things into bodies of water. You can even do it from a boat. Many magnet fishers in Europe go to waterways in cities that were involved in World War II and other wars. The more history a city has, the more likely you are to find something interesting. You can find all types of interesting things, from weapons to safes to bikes, the possibilities are endless.

After you pick your location, the fishing itself is easy! Simply find your spot and toss your magnet into the water. You’ll feel the magnet attract something. Once you have an item on your line, pull in your rope and check out your finds!


Overall, magnet fishing is a fun and affordable hobby that people of all ages can enjoy. Whether you want to head out and spend the day as a family or you want some alone time, taking your magnet and rope out to the lake, river, or swamp is a great way to spend the day. You never know what you will find.