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Magnet Fishing For Underwater Treasure Guide 2021.

A photo of a Neodymium fishing magnet with find attached

Andy Baines

Chief Magnet Fisher And Writer Around Here.

I have been a keen magnet fishing enthusiast for the best part of 6 years now and have picked up a lot of cool tips and ideas along the way. I share them here on Hobby Magnet Fishing to hopefully help and inspire you to take part in the hobby.

You can read more about my journey on the About Page.

Welcome to the Hobby Magnet Fishing guide to magnet fishing for underwater treasures.

I am sure that if you are reading this you will already have heard about magnet fishing and are looking for a little more information on this cool, new hobby.

Well if that is the case then you really are in the right place. In this guide I will help you through every step to get started on your own treasure hunting adventures.

I have personally taken part in magnet fishing for around 7 years now and have plenty of knowledge, tips and tricks to share with you.

With that in mind let’s get started!

What is magnet fishing?

This seems like the perfect starting point, when I get asked about this hobby This is usually the first question.

So what is magnet fishing? Put simply, magnet fishing is a hobby that has been around for roughly 10 years. The aim is to tie powerful neodymium magnets to a length of rope and then throw it into rivers and lakes. The magnet is then retrieved by pulling the rope and if you are lucky there will be a ferrous metal “find” attached to the magnet.

The idea seems pretty simple right? Well there is a bit more to learn about first. From selecting the correct equipment to working out the best areas to try to magnet fish.

What equipment do you need to magnet fish?

A photo showing the type of neodymium magnets you will need
To magnet fish you are going to need a powerful neodymium fishing magnet.

Just like with nearly all hobbies you will need some basic equipment to be able to go magnet fishing. However unlike a lot of hobbies magnet fishing is fairly cheap to get started.

Here is some of the basic equipment that you will want to get before your first trip.

Neodymium Magnet

In normal fishing you need a hook to catch a fish and magnet fishing follows the same principle. Your magnet is your hook and is what you will use to “catch” Your find.

There are many different types of magnets to choose from, each with varying pulling forces and sizes.

Strong rope or paracord

To be able to retrieve your magnet you are going to need a length of strong rope or paracord. This is tied to the eye bolt on your magnet using a strong knot such as the polamar knot like in my magnet fishing knot guide.

Remember that some of these magnets have huge pulling forces so it is important to use a rope that is thick enough to be able to handle the magnet, 8-10mm paracord is perfect for the job.


Gloves are just as important as your rope and magnet. Quite often the water that we magnet fish in can carry dirt and diseases and it is easy to cut yourself on rusty metal finds.

Wear a decent pair of cut resistant waterproof gloves to avoid any nasty accidents and infections.

Other equipment you may want to take.

Essentially all you need to take to be able to magnet fish is a magnet, rope and gloves however there are some items which will really help you in the hobby. These are as follows:

  • Penknife: If your rope and magnet gets snagged you will be able to cut it free.
  • A container: A plastic container, sack or barrow would be the perfect place to store your magnet fishing finds.
  • Mobile phone: Always keep a charged phone with you when magnet fishing just incase you injure yourself or get in trouble.
  • Hand sanitizer: As I mentioned earlier the water can be a bit dirty, use some hand sanitizer to clean yourself up before eating or drinking.
  • Life jacket: This is especially important if you take a child with you, the water is often deep and cold and slips are quite common.

What type of magnet do you need for magnet fishing?

You may have already had a little look at some of the magnet available and it can often be a little confusing. There are so many manufacturers trying to sell their products and unfortunately some of the magnets are not great quality.

The best magnet for magnet fishing.

There is only one type of magnet that you should use for magnet fishing and this is a Neodymium magnet. Other magnets such as ferrite are too brittle and will crack after a few uses. Neodymium magnets are also much more powerful for their size compared to ferrite.

Neodymium is much stronger and more powerful for its size. If it is your first magnet look for one with a pulling force of around 500lb. This will be more than enough power for most objects that you will find.

I recommend this full magnet fishing kit (opens in new window) from Amazon. It contains everything that you will need to partake in the hobby and also comes in a handy safety box. This will keep both you and your magnet safe!

For more information about the products I recommend for your magnet fishing kit check out my recommended magnet fishing gear page.

Where is the best place to magnet fish.

As I mentioned earlier, you can magnet fish anywhere that there is water and you think someone may of disposed or lost something in it.

Below is a list of some of the best places to try magnet fishing:

  • Lakes- For me personally and from my own experience lakes offer one of the best opportunities to magnet fish. Over the years many people will have disposed or lost items in a lake and this gives us the opportunity to find them.
  • Canals- If you live in an area with a canal you have a goldmine in terms of magnet fishing finds. Canals seem to be the go to place for criminals disposing evidence of their crimes. A perfect magnet fishing hotspot.
  • Rivers- Over the years I have found some cool items when magnet fishing in rivers especially when it is close to an area that the public uses such as a picnic area or rest stop. It is always worth a try if you have a river near by.
  • The beach- I have only magnet fished on the beach once and all I found were some rusty old fishing hooks. However if you can find an area near a marina or docks area you may find some things that have list overboard.

How to magnet fish.

Ok so you now have your magnet fishing kit and you have selected an area where you would like to wet your magnet.

Now you need to know the correct technique for casting out your magnet safely and also retrieving your find without it coming off your magnet on the way in.

How to magnet fish:

  1. Cast your neodymium fishing magnet out using an underarm loop style throw using the magnet like a pendulum. This is the safest way to cast the magnet.
  2. Once the magnet has been thrown to the required location you can start to pull the magnet back to land.
  3. Take it slow and steady until you feel a clunk or any extra resistance.
  4. When you feel a clunk this means a metal object has attached to your magnet.
  5. At this point it is now critical to go very slow so that the find does not dislodge from the magnet.
  6. Now that you have the magnet and find back on land with you it is time to get the magnet off the ferrous metal find.
  7. Use sideways pressure to release the magnet from the metals surface, it should just slide of due to rust and contaminants on the metals surface.
  8. Congratulate yourself on finding your first magnet fishing find!

What can you find magnet fishing?

You may be wondering what you could actually find on your magnet fishing adventure?

It is not uncommon for people to find scrap metal such as bolts, pipes and metal bars when magnet fishing. However there are many cases of magnet fishers finding cash boxes, safes, guns and even motorcycles in the water. You will be surprised of what people dispose of in our waterways.

Some of the items you find may seem pretty mundane but I always love it when I randomly pull out an exciting find with my magnet.

A photo of a revolver that was found when magnet fishing
There are so many finds in the water waiting to be found with your magnet.

Is magnet fishing legal?

One of the biggest concerns when starting magnet fishing is wondering if it is actually legal where you live.

When I first started I wondered the exact same thing so I did some research before buying my first magnet.

Is magnet fishing legal in the US?

Magnet fishing is legal in all but one of the of the 50 States, this is South Carolina who have a very old law which restricts retrieving objects in waterways.

For more information on this please check out the detailed guide I wrote concerning the US magnet fishing laws for every State.

Is magnet fishing legal in the UK?

Currently there is no law in the UK which prohibits the use of magnet to retrieve items from waterways. However there are some restrictions as to where you can magnet fish.

Please read my guide to the UK magnet fishing laws for more information on this.

Is magnet fishing legal where you are?

Magnet fishing safety.

There was a news article not so long ago that called magnet fishing one of the most dangerous hobbies in the world.

Personally I think that was a little extreme but the hobby does come with its dangers.

So here are a few of the things to look out for when magnet fishing to keep you safe!

  • Powerful neodymium magnets can trap your fingers against metal objects so be careful when handling them.
  • Always check your surroundings when throwing your magnet, they are heavy and will hurt if someone gets hit by it.
  • Drowning is an obvious danger so watch your footing and provide life vests for children.
  • Don’t touch anything that that suspect may be explosive ordinance, ring the authorities immediately.
  • Always carry a cell phone just in case you injure yourself and need to call for help.
  • Try to let someone know before your magnet fishing trip where you are planning to go.

Can you find precious metals like gold?

Unfortunately not, all finds will have to be made or ferrous metals such as iron. That doesn’t mean that there are not lots of cool things waiting to be found though.

If you would like to read more about why you cannot find gold when magnet fishing have a look at my guide.

Be patient when magnet fishing…

You see this is where magnet fishing is just like conventional fishing. I have spoken to many people who have tried magnet fishing but did not find anything interesting on their first trip, so they gave the hobby up.

Have a little patience and the good finds will eventually come.

For a little reference I found that I got 1 interesting find for roughly every 15 or so chappy finds, see if you can heat that!

In conclusion.

Magnet fishing is a peculiar hobby but once you have tried it I’m sure you will be hooked (no pun intended)

It is an enjoyable hobby that allows you to find cool things in places that you would not expect. Whilst also providing exercise and fresh air for you and your family.

I hope that you have learnt a thing or two from this magnet fishing guide, thanks for taking the time out of your day to read it.

As a side note, did you know that you can make money from magnet fishing? Click on the link and read my guide if you are interested.

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