Magnet fishing is the exciting hobby of using strong magnets to find hidden metal treasures in waterways. Also called “magnetic salvaging,” it involves lowering a specialized magnet on a rope into a river, canal, lake, or other body of water to see what sticks! But how do the magnets actually work to find all this loot? Through the invisible power of magnetic fields! All magnets have a north and south pole that generate magnetic force to attract certain metals like iron, nickel, and cobalt. The strong neodymium magnets used for magnet fishing can lift over 600 pounds! So read on to learn all about the science behind this magnetic magic and how you can become a master treasure hunter.

The Best Magnets for Magnet Fishing

When getting into magnet fishing, the most important gear is, of course, the magnet! But with so many types and grades out there, how do you choose one strong enough to haul up hidden treasures from riverbeds, canal floors, and lake bottoms? The best magnet fishing magnets have these key features:

First, very high strength is rated in gauge or Tesla units. Neodymium magnets are the strongest permanent options, able to lift 500 pounds or more. The second is corrosion resistance. Since they get wet, a coating like nickel helps them avoid damage. And third, a good connecting point for attaching ropes or other accessories is vital.


Neodymium, made from rare earth metals, is the mightiest. Their incredible power makes them perfect for magnet fishing, but they are more brittle.

Ceramic and ferrite magnets resist chipping better but are pale in strength. An option is stacking multiple weaker ones.

Electromagnets boost magnetic pull with electric current but require batteries and waterproofing.

When shopping for magnets, larger sizes, higher metal purity, and precise manufacturing all increase strength. So while expensive, a quality neodymium magnet is a worthy investment for hauling up maximum loot!

Where to Go Magnet Fishing

So you’ve got your heavy-duty magnet ready to haul; an ideal location is next! While pretty much any waterway is possible, some of the best betting places to consider are:

Rivers: Lots of human activity means higher odds of finding cool relics. Go for gentle currents and ensure good footing.

Lakes: Scan along public lake shorelines in parks or campgrounds, both from land with a throwing rope or by kayak. Get permits if needed.

Canals: low-barge traffic areas near locks are prime real estate to find dumped tools. Be wary of strong currents though in guard lock overflow zones.

Ponds: Search ponds on private land with permission or community ponds in public spaces. Wherever people frequent, treasure hides!

When picking your magnetic fishing hole, keep these things in mind:

Permission: Always check local laws; some areas prohibit removing objects from waterways. If on private land, get owner consent.

Safety: Scope out the terrain first and beware of hazards like dams, boats, and challenging depths and currents. Wear a PFD life vest and avoid magnet-snag risks.

Environmental Impact: Practicing “green” magnet fishing helps preserve ecosystems. Properly dispose of trash and avoid stirring up excessive sediment, which harms water quality. Leave the vegetation intact.

With responsible magnet fishing habits and the right public place permissions, you’ll be on your way to an awesome haul in no time! Just take precautions, gear up, and get permission first before reeling in sweet swag from any hot spot.

Finding and Identifying Treasures

The exciting part of magnet fishing is discovering surprises stuck to your magnet with each cast! What cool relics await at the bottom? Here are some prize finds:

Coins: Old coins are common, spanning centuries to modern days when people toss pocket change off bridges. Can be silver, copper, or alloy.

Jewelry: lost rings, necklaces, and watches get snagged on underwater objects, now found with magnet power! Precious metals intact.

Tools and Knives: Farmers, builders, and mill workers through history drowned equipment, which now emerges rusted.

Guns: Magnets uncover all kinds of weaponry illegally dumped or lost, from knives and swords to firearms. Handle carefully!

Other valuables: chains, padlocks, harmonicas, gold teeth caps, rare artifacts—you never know what will appear!

To prep items for display, soak them in white vinegar and scrub gently with steel wool to remove rust and mud. Oil helps preserve metallic surfaces further.

The fun then comes in researching your haul to identify origins and potential value for selling to collectors. Consult museum experts, historical groups, or appraisers. Magnet fishing makes you an amateur archaeologist, revealing “new” ancient treasures!

Tips and Tricks for Successful Magnet Fishing

Ready to head out magnet fishing? Here are some pro tips for making the most of your magnetic fishing adventures:

Rigs and Ropes: Tie knots securely connecting your rope to the magnet, allowing enough length to scan all around plus depth. Use strong braided rope that resists fraying when pulled across sharp objects.

Sweep and Feel: Once lowered, don’t just dangle! Move slowly in lines across and around the area. Gently bumping along the bottom, when you feel something solid, engage, and gently tug from multiple angles.

Work in Teams: Having a partner makes maneuvering easier. One guides the rope while the other wears gloves, feeling for bites. Team lift to dislodge bigger finds.

Personal Flotation Devices: Always wear a secured life vest. Getting pulled in while handling a shifting, heavy load is dangerous!

Protective Gear: Gloves defend hands from rope burns, sharp debris, and bacteria. Water shoes add traction. Safety goggles keep visibility clear.

Multiple Magnets: For searching larger areas, use several rigs at once. Or tie multiple stacking magnets to one line to boost pulling capacity even more!

With smart preparation, gear, and practiced technique, your magnet fishing proficiency will quickly improve for even more epic artifact treasure hauls! Soon, you’ll even give advice to newcomers on savvy magnetic fishing. Stay safe and keep an eye out for unforeseen currents, obstacles, and pinch points during your quest. The iron treasures hiding below await!

The Fun and Rewards of the Hobby

Sure, you could buy metals and artifacts at a store. But the thrill and lessons gained from magnetic fishing make this hobby uniquely worthwhile and just plain fun! Here’s why:

Enjoying the Outdoors: Unlike sitting at a screen, this gets you active amid nature’s beauty by watching lakes, rivers, or oceans being energized by fresh air and sights.

Finding Hidden Treasures Like a prospector, that childlike glow of discovering surprise valuable items no one has seen for perhaps centuries is incredibly rewarding!

Challenge and Thrill of the Hunt: It takes skill, patience, and technique to carefully sweep areas and then properly retrieve sticking finds, giving a huge rush when a prize catch emerges.

Meeting Other Enthusiasts: Joining magnet fishing social media groups introduces you to an inspiring worldwide community all enjoying the hobby together.

Learning Some History: Faded artifacts send your research skills into overdrive, figuring out origins, manufacturers, previous owners, and eras…like a detective!

Getting Exercise: All that casting, pulling, and bagging works your arms, back, and cardio!

Surrounded by natural splendor, potentially making new friends, re-discovering lost treasure, and getting a workout—magnet fishing rocks! The magnetic attraction is real. Just don’t get pulled in too deep!

Magnet fishing is a fun and affordable outdoor hobby for all ages that also powers the discovery of the past. Between the immersive nature of searching for metallic mysteries hidden below and the thrill of every tug revealing a valuable relic, the pull of magnetic fishing is irresistible!

Categorized in: