Best magnets for magnet fishing are for you if you are into finding relics from lakes and rivers. In this detailed and comprehensive overview, we’ll look at some of the highest quality products, discuss how to choose the magnets, and how to search. Also, we will talk about laws applicable to that activity.
What is Magnet Fishing?
Magnet fishing is an unusual, yet simple, fun, and also environmentally useful activity. This is pulling metal objects from rivers and lakes with the help of a powerful magnet. The magnets for fishing work as usual loadstones and therefore won’t bring you gold or silver. But it is actually possible to find unusual things, relics, old stuff, and even things that are valuable due to their historical or cultural importance.
Many magnet fishers are passionate about their hobby not only because they can find cool things, but also because they contribute into cleaning rivers and lakes from metal trash. Others are interested in finding stuff connected to crime, for example, guns or knives.
In other words, you can put any sense and meaning into your magnet fishing, hunt for relics or for scrap iron, but what magnet fishing is all about is mystery on the other end of the rope.
Magnet fishing is a hobby that can easily be enjoyed with the family and kids (but you have to be careful, of course, letting kids pulling stuff from the river or lake). While you may think that potential finds are not that enticing than those brought by, say, hobby metal detecting, in fact, magnet fishing has a bunch of advantages.
Advantages of Magnet Fishing
Firstly, the technologies and equipment are not that complicated, and are actually rather budget-friendly. Magnet fishing is an inexpensive outdoor hobby.
Secondly, if you spot stuff, you can almost immediately take it out. Of course, you will take advantage of additional helpful equipment, and certain tactics are necessary to use the magnet properly, but the bottom line is you don’t need to dive, or even get wet.
Thirdly, magnet fishing is extremely environmentally beneficial. Even if you fail to find anything valuable during the search, the awareness that you have made the body of water cleaner and safer is good enough to continue to pursue the hobby.
Fourthly, magnet fishing is fun. You do not need to comb the location, your nose in the screen of the device, your ears plugged with headphones. You can enjoy this activity together with other people.
What is the Best Size of Neodymium Magnet for Fishing
Most magnets for metal fishing are neodymium, so you will most probably pick one for yourself, as well. Many beginner magnet fishers are wondering which is the best size for the magnet. However, in this activity, exact size does not matter much.
The main rule when picking loadstones is it should not be very small. Average size of 2 – 2.5 inches is too small. The point is, loadstones catch things better when these things are attracted to the flat side of the magnet. So, the bigger the flat surface of the magnet, the better it will attract stuff. Of course, you will take out smaller objects, but let’s be honest – in magnet fishing, small objects are not enticing.
So, what is the optimal size? Optimal size starts from 3 inches and above. These will have enough flat surface to catch bigger objects like a safe or a bicycle, and also you will get enough pulling force in order not to leave your find in the water. For example, Brute Magnetics 880 lb Fishing Magnet combines best pulling force and size, and due to that it is considered a good one-size-fits-all option.
If you’re wondering about pulling force and also shape, these are discussed in the next section.
How to Choose Best Fishing Magnet – Buyer’s Guide
In order to be able to tell one magnet from another, remember three the most important characteristics to pay attention to when choosing a magnet – material, size & shape, power.
The majority of loadstones for fishing are neodymium. If you spot a different one, consider it well.
Loadstones differ not only in size, but also in power. You need a very strong magnet for productive and successful fishing, otherwise, it just makes no sense.
Next, loadstones are either one-sided (cheaper option) or double-sided. You definitely want a double-sided one, because you will have chances that something will also be attracted by the other side of your loadstone.
To spot the maximum amount of cool targets, you have to find a magnet that would meet the following description: better double sided fishing magnet, neodymium, wider than 3 inches, with a flat surface, and a powerful one.
The point is that the metal objects will stick to the flat surface, but this is not all. Keep in mind that your metal objects on the bottom of the lake or river are not brand new; they have been sitting there for years, so they are covered with dirt, trash, and vegetation. Plus, the object itself may not be flat, so the cohesion with the magnet will be weaker.
Because of these nuances, you are recommended to get the strongest magnet you can find and carry. Only a strong magnet of a decent pulling force, proper size, and shape, will allow you not only catch an object, but actually pull it out of the water.
The best loadstones for these purposes are neodymium, because they combine adequate size with impressive pulling force.
Yet, pulling force is also something to consider very seriously. Obviously, most people want the most powerful magnet available for their money. But if you purchase one with pulling force over 600 lbs, you are unlikely to be actually able to pull the object from the water, even with the help of a friend. Most likely, you will have to eventually cut the rope and leave the magnet in the river. If this is not what you want, we recommend to start from pulling force of 200 lbs – 300 lbs. You will be able to move an object like this in the water, and drag it to the shore. If not, you will be able to unplug the magnet manually from the object.
As for the shape, most loadstones available are round. Do round ones perform better than angular ones? Probably not, but round ones are safer and more convenient to handle.
Magnet Fishing Laws in United States
Talking about magnet fishing laws, keep in mind that, like with everything else, the laws depend on the country. If you have doubts is magnet fishing legal, better get a consultation from your local authorities.
The general law is you can do whatever you want on your private property. Next, in case you want to fish on somebody else’s private property, you always need a permission, regardless of the country – even if magnet fishing on public land is legal.
The main question is whether magnet fishing on public land is legal in your country/state, or not.
In case you are asking for permission, either from the local authority, or from a person who owns private property with the body of water you are interested at, there is a point you can always use for persuasion. When they ask you what is the purpose of your hobby, tell them it is cleaning the rivers and lakes.
Also, you should keep in mind that the owner of private property may allow you to literally clean their lake, but they might be interested in stuff you want. In case it is something curious or valuable, you may have troubles getting it for yourself. So, not only magnet fishing laws are important, but also treasure hunting laws in your location.
Generally, it is always better to magnet fish on public lands.
Is magnet fishing legal in US? There are no specific magnet fishing laws US that prohibits, or allows magnet fishing – there is no law on this, at all. Therefore, we can safely assume that it is okay. Yet, you may still want to research a bit, and seek advice from local authority.
Another general law that applies to all cases is that finders have to report any guns or explosives are found. You must contact the local agency and give the se finds away, because keeping them is usually illegal, let alone dangerous.
You are never allowed to throw your finds back into the body of water. You should always ensure that the rubbish you find is disposed properly.
South Carolina Magnet Fishing Laws
Only one state among all United States – South Carolina – has laws about magnet fishing, and these laws prohibit this activity. Magnet fishing is illegal in SC.
If you look for a specific law prohibiting it in South Carolina, well, there is no such law. But there is a law about retrieving artifacts and fossils from the bodies of water. This law includes waterways and also water area three miles away from the coast.
In order to magnet fish in South Carolina, you need a Hobby License. According to this license, you are allowed to pull up to 10 items per day. You get sole ownership of the items, but you have to provide quarterly report about all your finds. The relevant agency will review your reports in 60 days, and may request to add photos of the finds. They do not have to right to take the finds from you, but they can request that one of the divers reviews the area of your search.
Magnet Fishing Finds: Is Fishing Magnet Worth Spending Money?
If you’re wondering whether magnet fishing is worth your money and time, check out what you can actually find if you’re lucky:guns
- car frames
- road signs
- some coins
- and a bunch of other unique and unexpected objects.
Moreover, there is good news for those wanting to find something valuable. While 24k gold is not magnetic, 14k and 18k gold jewelry can actually be caught with a magnet, because here, gold was mixed with other metals.
Magnet Fishing Setup
Magnet fishing gear is an easy and inexpensive thing. First and foremost, you need a nice magnet – which one, we have described in detail above. You also need a rope that’s proper for the pulling force of the magnet.
For further comfort, you will want a case for your stuff, and a pair of high quality gloves. You also definitely want a threadlocker if you have your equipment threaded.
Please remember that with magnet fishing supplies, more than with anything else, equipment is only one-third of success. The other two ingredients are location and patience.
Top 5 Magnet Fishing Tips
If you are new to magnet fishing, you would probably want to benefit from our top five magnet fishing tips. Here they are:
- choose a promising location. You can find something outstanding in any body of water – lake, river, pond, swamp, creek, canal, dam, and even sewer. On the one hand, you will definitely find some metal in city area; on the other hand, a small countryside creek can bring you a unique ancient relic. You may also want to pay attention to old wells in historically important villages. Generally, places with history are your priority locations for magnet fishing. Think battle locations, old village market locations, etc.
- be patient and careful. Many beginner magnet fishers tend to rush around the area from one pond to another in hopes of finding a great treasure. You may in fact find this treasure, but be aware that it can be sitting deep on the bottom, buried under a layer of more recent metal trash. There is no guarantee, of course, that after you pull out all the trash out of the pond, you will find a pot of gold underneath. Most probably, you won’t. However, imagine your disappointment if you find out that someone more patient than you has actually got one in the pond you once dumped after a try or two.
- put safety first. It means both your own safety, and safety of the people around you. In case you get up any guns, bullets, bombs, or any other weapons, handle them with care. Make sure that people around you are on a considerable distance. Contact the local authorities immediately. Another aspect of safety is handling old metals. If you scratch yourself with an old weapon, the wound can be really nasty.
- always ask for permission to fish on private property, or consult the local authority to fish on public land.
- be environmentally responsible. If you pull out any trash, never throw it back into the water. Funny, but it is you who will be persecuted for such action if someone finds out, even if this trash was dumped into the body of water ages ago and remained there for years and years. Also, remove all the trash and dump it properly after your fishing.
These five simple tips will make you safe, trouble-free, and successful as a magnet fisher.
Besides having a magnet and a rope, get a pair of gloves to avoid injury. You may want to have a bucket or a plastic box for the finds. It also makes sense to bring a bag for the finds you’d like to keep, and also a pair of garbage bags. If you plan to get up some heavy objects, you may also want a grappling hook. Wear clothes that is easy to wash, and which protects you. Consider a hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and insect repellent. It is also a good idea to wear gumboots, especially in wet areas, or after a rainy day.
You would want something not shorter than 50-100 feet. The best material for magnet fishing ropes is paracord. Besides being durable, strong, and elastic, paracord holds knots well. However, we recommend a paracord cope with a threaded spring hook. Threaded spring hook is the best alternative for any knot. Make sure that the strength of your rope matches the pulling force of the magnet. For this, it is better to purchase both in a kit. You may also want to consider wire fishing magnet.
Besides the dangers of a potentially live bombs and weapons, and the dangers of getting a nasty scratch with rusty metal, there is also a danger of falling into the water. Always be super careful about it, especially if there are minors with you. If you are fishing from a bridge, make sure the magnet does not attach itself to a metal beam or pole. You also do not want the magnet to attach itself to any moving object like watercraft or a propeller. Remember that loadstones of such power can damage electronics, so keep them away from electronic devices. Moreover, handle loadstones with caution, and never put them close to each other, because they can shatter from their pulling force. Never put your fingers or limbs between the loadstones for fishing.
Strictly speaking, the best magnet for fishing is a neodymium one, double-sided, round, bigger than 3 inches, with a pulling force 100-200 lbs. However, there are variations, which you may want to consider when choosing a kit for yourself.
One of the best knots for magnet fishing is a Palomar knot. It is easy to tie, it can bear heavy weight, and it tightens on itself. However, we recommend purchasing a rope with a threaded spring hook, because it is the safest option for pulling out finds, not losing your magnet, and not racking your brains over the knots.