Complete Magnet Fishing Beginners Guide: What is it and How to Start

Magnet fishing has been around for a while, but is continuing to grow in popularity. With more and more people looking to start magnet fishing, it's nice to have a guide for them to follow and get started.

What's great about magnet fishing is it's a very simple hobby to get into. You don't need a whole lot of gear. With a neodymium magnet and a rope you can begin magnet fishing right away.

Of course, there's still more to learn. There are different tricks and techniques you can use. Also, there are other useful items such as grapple hooks, magnet cones, etc.

The following is a complete magnet fishing beginners guide that will answer all your questions, and more!

Here is another beginners guide specific to magnet fishing with neodymium magnets.

Complete Magnet Fishing Beginners Guide What is it and How to Start

What is Magnet Fishing?

Magnet fishing is just as it sounds. No, it's not fishing for magnets, rather, it's fishing with magnets.

It's simple really. You tie a magnet to the end of a rope and toss it in the water. Pull the magnet up and see what you found.

Interestingly, Magnet fishing is similar to metal detecting. Both use a magnet to find treasure but in different ways. The fun in both of these hobbies is in the hunt and not knowing what you might find.

Is magnet Fishing Legal?

In a previous article, I went over whether or not you can magnet fish anywhere based on the laws and regulations.

From what I found, there's really only one state that has restrictions on magnet fishing. That state is South Carolina. I believe it is due to their laws around buried treasure and shipwrecks.

Though it's legal to magnet fish, some things your magnet pulls out of the water are not legal to possess. This, of course, depends on your area but could include things such as guns, knives, or other weapons.

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What do I need to Start Magnet Fishing?

The great thing about magnet fishing is you can get started with a very small investment.

The two main things you need are a magnet and a rope. There are other things you can get too, which will help but are not necessary.

Let's take a look at some items you will need to start magnet fishing.


Of course, a magnet. The right size magnet will be about 350 lb or more. Any less and you really won't pick up many interesting finds.


Threadlock is very important. You wouldn't believe how many stories I've heard of people losing their magnets because the eye bolt unscrewed. Always use thread lock and glue your magnet in place.


A high quality 50-100 ft paracord should work just fine. In a recent article, I went over the best ropes for magnet fishing. If you want the best of the best, check it out. If not, just get something from Walmart for like 10 bucks.

If you are beginner and looking to buy a new kit refer to our Top 10 Best Magnet Fishing Kits Review.

What other Items are Helpful?

There are a few other items you could use while magnet fishing. While they aren't required, they are useful. Let's take a look at a few of these specialty items.

Grapple hook

Using a grappling hook while magnet fishing is one of the best decisions I've ever made. They come in handy when the item has little surface area such as a shopping cart, etc.

Grapple hooks are also useful if the item is too heavy for the strength of your magnet. Simply latch the hook to the item and pull with that instead. It works wonders!

Magnet Cones

What the heck is a magnet cone? Brute magnetics makes these special cones for their magnets. They are supposed to help prevent your magnet from getting snagged.

If you don't want to buy one there is a DIY method. Basically, it involves melting a water bottle around your magnet. I talked about making your own magnet cone in this article.


It is very important to always wear gloves while magnet fishing. There are lots of sharp objects that you will find and the water is usually pretty gross. It's best to keep your hands covered and protected from all of that.

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Of course, you want a bucket where else will you put all that scrap metal? Just make sure it's heavy-duty and puncture-proof. Those cheap buckets from home Depot will work but aren't reliable.

First Aid Kit

This isn't 100% necessary but it could be a lifesaver. At least have one stored in your vehicle somewhere just to be safe.

I think that should be common practice even if you aren't magnet fishing, but especially if you're going to be around sharp objects.

If you are beginner you could refer our

Magnet Fishing Techniques

There are really only two main techniques for magnet fishing and it heavily relies on the type of magnet you're using.

There are two types of magnets, double-sided and single-sided. There's also a magnet called a two-in-one that can change functions depending on your needs.

Related article: Single-Sided vs Double-Sided vs 2-in-1 Magnet

If you're using a one-sided magnet the technique you will want to use is called the “drop-and-pull” method. Just as it sounds, drop the magnet directly down and pull it back up. This is best done on a high spot such as a bridge.

If you're using a double-sided magnet the technique you will want to use is called the “toss-and-drag” method. Just as it sounds, toss the magnet as far as you can and drag it back to you. This is best done level with the water such as on a dock or shoreline.

Things to Consider While Magnet Fishing

  • Make sure you are on public ground, if not, get permission before magnet fishing.
  • Respect other people and their space.
  • If you pull something out of the water, do not throw it back in.
  • Take everything with you, and dispose of your magnet fishing finds properly.
  • If you find anything of historical significance make a note of your location.
  • If the find falls under the treasure act or treasure laws of your area make sure to report it
  • If you find anything dangerous, including bombs and guns, report it to the police immediately.
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A Few Safety Tips to Keep in Mind

Being safe should be your number one priority when magnet fishing. If you're unaware, there have actually been people who have unfortunately drowned while magnet fishing.

Here are a few ideas to make sure you are safe as possible:

  • Always watch your surroundings, if the surface is wet be cautious.
  • Don't sit or hang on the edge of a high surface such as a bridge.
  • If an object is too heavy to pull up, it's better to let it go than to risk falling in.
  • Always wear safety protection such as gloves, safety glasses, etc.
  • If you can't swim, have a life jacket on hand.
  • Use common sense at all times. I know it seems obvious but clearly not to everyone.

What Can I find Magnet Fishing?

You can find so many things while magnet fishing. It would take me forever to list them all. Though, some common items I hear a lot include things such as ancient artifacts, old coins, guns, knives, phones, and even gold inside jewelry boxes.

Can I Make Money Selling my Finds?

Fixing up, and selling your finds is only one way to make money. In a recent article, I went over 6 different ways to make money magnet fishing. If this interests you, please take a look!

I went over ideas such as selling the scrap, selling your finds, creating a YouTube channel, and more. There's probably even more ideas than what I wrote about it's just up to you and how creative you are.

Any Other Magnet Fishing Tips?

There are plenty of different tips and tricks for magnet fishing. In a recent article, I went over 23 different tricks for magnet fishing. Give that article a read if you want to learn some interesting information!


If you're a beginner just getting started magnet fishing, hopefully, you now have a clear idea of what to expect.

It's really easy and affordable to get started with this hobby. If you're just in the stage of curiosity and looking into it, I highly recommend you give it a try!

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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