Magnet Fishing Setup: Carabiner vs Rope Knot

With magnet fishing becoming more and more popular, many people from all over the world are taking up this exciting hobby with each passing day. With this sudden influx of new people, there is also an increased thirst for knowledge regarding magnet fishing as a whole.

As the gear requirement is pretty simple, it’s easy to find out what to look for when buying them. All you need is a strong magnet, good quality rope, a pair of gloves, and a storage box (if your magnet is big and very powerful). However, when you explore a bit deeper, a lot more questions emerge.

One very popular question is regarding the best way to secure the magnet. Some people use a carabiner to connect the magnet to a rope while others tie knots in the rope to do the same. But which is the best method?

When it comes to carabiner vs rope knot there is no best way to secure the magnet to the rope. Both ways have their pros and cons and ultimately the choice will depend on the individual. Carabiners offer convenience while rope knots offer security.

So how can you know which method might be the right option for you?

It’s not as simple as saying one is better than the other as there's a wide variety of factors that might make one of these options less ideal for you. To understand how to judge the better method (for you), it is important to understand them in more detail.

Carabiner vs rope knot for magnet fishing
Carabiner vs rope knot for magnet fishing

A carabiner is a metal loop that comes with a locking mechanism and is used in situations where safety is very critical. They are used for several purposes such as rock climbing, sailing, hot air ballooning, construction, acrobatics, high rise window cleaning, and more. A lot of people who enjoy magnet fishing also use a carabiner to secure their magnets to their ropes.

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What is a Carabiner and How Does it Help?

A carabiner usually has one of three locking mechanisms of which include auto-locking, manual locking, and non-locking. It is mostly useful when you have multiple magnets and ropes. Using a carabiner in this situation makes it more convenient for you to simply unhook the rope and connect it to the other magnet.

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What Are the Different Types of Carabiner?

In terms of design, a carabiner comes in the following types:


The design is symmetrical and is generally gentle on the equipment. However, the load is shared equally across the strong part and its weaker part. So this type is not used a lot for magnet fishing except in situations when you might try to fish out small objects like coins.

D Shape

This one features an asymmetrical design and shifts the load to the strongest part which is its spine. A D-shaped carabiner is a usual go-to option for magnet fishing purposes.


This is similar to a D-shaped carabiner but is more asymmetrical and allows for a wider opening. You don’t need this for magnet fishing as the only object you attach to the carabiner is a rope and a wider range of opening doesn’t benefit it at all.


It features a wider and round shape and is usually larger than the other options. This one is used for rappelling and other heavy-duty purposes. It’s not commonly used for magnet fishing purposes as most people won’t be requiring such a heavy-duty carabiner. The pear type carabiner is also heavier than the other three options which is another reason why it is not so commonly used.

Which Locking Mechanism is Best When Using a Carabiner for Magnet Fishing?

A carabiner uses either a locking or a non-locking mechanism.

Non-Locking Carabiner

The non-locking carabiner comes with two types of gates and they are the solid gate and the wire gate.

The solid gate carabiner features a key-lock shape for its nose and gate which prevents it from getting snagged.

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The wire gate carabiner, on the other hand, consists of a gate that features a spring steel wire. Both these types are very easy to clip onto a rope and you can do it with one hand too.

Locking Carabiner

They feature either a screw-lock, twist-lock- magnetic lock, or a double gate lock. The screw lock carabiner uses a manual locking mechanism and therefore requires more time and effort to use.

The twist-lock or push lock ones are difficult to use with only one hand and can be hard to undo after tightening them which makes it less ideal for magnet fishing.

The magnetic locking carabiner is very easy to use and comes with very few parts that can potentially fail. The double gate one is easy to use and features a strong locking mechanism.

To summarize, any carabiner that either comes with a complex locking mechanism or multiple parts that could potentially fail is not used for magnet fishing.

If time and effort are not a factor for you, feel free to use them. The main thing to keep in mind is the quality of the carabiner. Always go for sturdy stainless steel or reinforced ones.

You can also read our review of top 10 carabiner for magnet fishing.

Why are Knots Used for Magnet Fishing?

A lot of people, especially experienced fishermen, prefer tying knots to attach the rope to their magnets instead of using a carabiner. One of the biggest reasons why fishing, in general, is so beloved by millions of people all over the world is the feeling of accomplishment it provides when you catch something.

It requires you to have a hands-on approach and not using a lot of mechanical parts makes it feel more visceral and organic. Tying certain types of knots is an art in itself and requires a certain amount of practice.

What Are Some of the Common Types of Knots Used?

In magnet fishing, there are a few knots you should use and some that you shouldn’t.

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Figure 8 Loop

One of the best type of knot to use is the figure 8 loop. It is considered to be one of the best because when you pull a heavy object using a rope tied with a figure 8 loop, the knot tightens up more. While it is easy to tie and very strong, untying it can be a difficult and time-consuming task.

Uni Knot

Another popular type of knot used for magnet fishing is the uni knot. Also known as the hangman’s knot, this one is very easy to tie and is ideal when fishing out large objects or using large magnets. It can retain a lot of the rope’s actual strength and can maintain its strength even with sudden jerks.

Palomar Knot

The other very popular magnet fishing knot is the Palomar. This knot, when tied, becomes as strong as the rope’s length. It is extremely reliable and almost always passes pull tests with a 100 percent success rate. On the downside, it is a complex knot and requires a good amount of effort to tie it properly.

If you would like to know how to tie effective knots for magnet fishing, you can check out our handy little guide here: Top 5 Best Knots for Magnet Fishing

You should also read our reviews of top 10 ropes for magnet fishing.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Carabiner vs Rope Knot?

Both methods have certain advantages and disadvantages based on a variety of factors. Let's take a look at some of them.


Good to use when you have multiple magnets and don’t want to waste time untying knots when you switch between them.Getting a good quality carabiner will cost you between $8 and $20.
It takes less time and effort as long as you buy a carabiner with a simple locking mechanism.As it is a mechanical object, there is always a certain amount of potential for failure.
It can be used by anyone and doesn’t require any skill on your part.Sometimes, pulling a heavy object can cause the gates to open which may lead to you losing your catch.
It's very useful when you work with additional accessories such as grappling hooks.


There are many different types of knots you can use which allows you to use the one that feels easier for you.It's not ideal if you quickly want to switch magnets as it takes time to untie knots.
As long as the quality of the rope is good (which should always be the case), certain knots will always be more secure than a carabiner.Some knots are extremely difficult to untie and requires a lot of effort.
Learning how to tie different knots can be a valuable skill and can help you out in various situations.Learning how to tie knots properly requires time, patience and effort.

Buy carabiner from Amazon.


There is no single best method when it comes to securing your rope to your magnet when you go magnet fishing. Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Whatever works best for you or enhances the experience without causing frustration is the one you should go for.

It might take some time for you to figure it out but you don’t have to worry. There will still be plenty of potential treasure waiting for you.

Enjoy your magnet fishing adventure! If you find anything cool please send us a picture! Tell us your story so we can share it with the other readers!

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Magnet Fishing Adventure

Anthony is passionate about magnet fishing. He likes to go out magnet fishing with his friends. On this site he shares his knowledge, experience, and details about magnet fishing gear and research with you.

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