Magnet fishing is a very similar hobby to metal detecting! It is basically metal detecting in bodies of water using a magnet attached to a rope in order to reel in treasure…
… However, the gear you will need to start with for Magnet Fishing is (fortunately) much cheaper than detection activities. In other words with a little budget, you can get started as for today.
This article will cover essential tools and accessories you’ll need to get started with magnet fishing, in addition to some useful gear you should be considering as well.
Obviously, the most important tool is the magnet itself.
Not all of them are equal! The best magnet to use is a neodymium magnet because of its compact size but powerful pull force.
They are made up of rare-earth and are one of the strongest magnets available.
There are mainly 2 different types of magnets you should be considering:
1. Single Sided Magnet
The most common magnet you’ll come across is the single sided magnet (Check it Here on Amazon). For example, a single sided 3” diameter N52 neodymium magnet weighing around 2lbs can lift up to 500lbs.
Which is quite impressive considering how compact this type of magnet is, yet contains this much magnetic force. It is the most relatively inexpensive magnet and best for beginners to start with
As you can tell, the major perks of beginning with a magnet like this is how compact and strong it is.
However, 500lbs is on the lower end of the spectrum. Next, you would want to upgrade to an 800lb+ magnet (Check it Here on Amazon)…
…This much force will help guarantee you’ll be able to remove the treasure you come across.
But, for the much larger items, a 1000lb+ (Check it Here on Amazon) will be the ideal magnet for assuring you’ll land what you are after.
2. Double Sided Magnet
Double the magnets, but half the strength? That’s correct. In the case of double sided magnets (Check it Here on Amazon), you’ll get two magnets that are weaker than most single sided magnets.
What looks like a major disadvantage is instead a positive, if you know how to use one.
The advantage of using this type of magnet is its ability to “scope” out the land underwater. The best analogy would be to consider minesweeping. Or, like how metal detectors give a hint as to what’s buried.
Maneuvering a double sided magnet underwater will give hints to larger items, while picking up the smaller items in the area.
Once you have located something, and moved most of the debris out the way, you can throw your stronger magnet in the area to pull out your find.
These types of magnets can be used solo, though. It’s recommended to have both single and double sided magnets, but for sure to have a single sided.
3. Grappling Hook
That’s right, a grappling hook (Check it Here on Amazon). No you won’t be using it to traverse bridges in order to gain an advantage for your magnet…
…Instead, a grappling hook is ideal for reeling in your large underwater treasure finds. Having a 1000lb strength magnet will get just about anything you find underwater out. There will be times when not even that will be enough.
A grappling hook is perfect for getting grip on an item from another angle to help get it unstuck from wherever it may be.
4. Strong rope
You can’t have a magnet or grappling hook without strong rope (That’s an important element of your magnet fishing gear). And you’ll need the strongest rope you can get your hands on.
That’s why for this hobby, nylon paracord (Check it Here on Amazon) is an excellent choice for the type of rope you’ll need.
Nylon paracord is perfect because of its durability, elasticity, high abrasion resistance, ability to hold a knot, and most importantly its strength.
Magnet fishing will usually take you to less ideal areas which will involve murky, littered waters. If you get caught in a snag, which is highly likely, a strong rope that can withstand a hard tug is ideal.
On the other hand, a little slack in the line helps out as well. The pulling feedback you get from feeling the rope as you pull it back in is more sensitive since the rope is light and thin. That pullback you feel will let you know if you have caught something.
As with everything else on this list, not all paracord is created equal. Different strengths, lengths, compositions.
A 50 ft 4mm, type 3, 7 braided core yarns and has a minimum strength of 550lbs, which will match a 500lb magnet.
The paracord you need will depend on the strength of your magnet. The one mentioned is a good rope to start with. If you have lots of land to cover, or are planning to fish from a bridge, choose a 100ft rope minimum.
5. Waterproof/Cut Resistant Gloves
Gloves (Check Them Here on Amazon) are one of the most essential pieces of equipment you should have in your magnet fishing gear.
Above all, they do the most important job beside the magnet, they protect your hands. When you are pulling anything from the ground or underwater off your magnet you want to protect your hands. Typically, these items are rusted and sharp from deterioration.
Or, in some cases, items such as nails can scratch or puncture your skin. It’s a safe bet that whatever you dig up has the potential to harm you. Be on the safer side and invest in gloves that are waterproof and cut resistant.
Additionally, having gloves on will give you protection and better grip when pulling your rope back in. You’ll immediately appreciate both of these perks once you get your magnet stuck for the first time.
So far, the barebone essentials have been named. From here, these are suggested additional items that will help you get started with magnet fishing. Although they are not necessary, they will be useful out in the field.
A carabiner is one of those tools that you don’t necessarily need, but you’ll be glad you have one if the occasion arises when you do.
You might see these metal clips on Molle type bags or used to attach gym attachments to weight machines. It is a metal clip that has a screw or push down latch for easy removal.
The main advantage of having this tied to your magnet fishing rig is for easy magnet swap out. You tie one end of your rope to the carabiner and attach the carabiner to the eyebolt of the magnet.
When you need to swap out magnets, you open the carabiner and swap out the magnet. Easy.
One caveat however is that includes another point of failure in your rig. It becomes a liability because it’s another knot you have to be certain is tied correctly.
You’ll need something to carry your tools and treasure in. The common 5-gallon buckets (Check it Here on Amazon) you find at big box home repair stores are perfect for this. They are cheap, lightweight, and will hold all your stuff easily. Plus, you can flip them over and you have a chair.
It’s best to have more than one bucket – at least two. Once you start pulling in your catches, you’ll want to separate trash from treasure.
And yes, you will pull in more trash than treasure. This is especially true for areas that have not been fished before.
Knives can serve many purposes while out on the water. For example, you might come across a fishing line getting tangled around your magnet. A knife will make it exponentially simpler to remove it from your rig.
You can also pick off or scrape debris from your magnet using a quality knife (Check it Here on Amazon). A serrated blade could shred through a knot so you can tie a new. There are many practical uses for a knife out on the water.
It’s arguable that a knife is an essential tool needed for magnet fishing. You will have to be the judge on that.
9. Flathead Screwdriver
Speaking of scraping, a flathead screwdriver will help clean off your magnet easier than any other tool. The cleaner the magnet, the better it performs. Also, when you are dealing with high strength magnets, you’ll need something to pry off anything stuck. A flathead screwdriver works as a wedge and a pry bar.
You’ll want one with some backbone. A 5-7” flathead screwdriver should be more than enough to get most of what you find off your magnet.
Again, like the knife, it is up to the magnetic fisherman whether or not this type of tool is essential.
10. Few more Accessories …
And there you have it. A few tools that are essential and some that can definitely help out the next time you are out magnet fishing. It was intentional to leave off items such as bug spray, sunscreen, or a hat. You will be outside, and it is common knowledge to prepare for what the world throws at you.
Obviously, I am not saying that the tools I’ve just mentioned are all there is! You might find out that there are others you might need over time …
… These sorts of things come with practice!
Yet, keep in mind that the magnet fishing tools and accessories I’ve listed above are 99% of what you will end up using in most cases.
Finally, you really should have a look at this Fishing Magnet Guide! I include everything you need to know there!