7 Dangers of Magnet Fishing & How to be Safe

When you think of magnet fishing your mind doesn't naturally think of danger. It's true, it is a relatively safe hobby. As long as you're using common sense and taking precautions you should be okay.

That's not to say there's no danger involved with magnet fishing. Mistakes can be made, and things can go wrong. It's important to understand what to look out for to hopefully avoid any sorts of problems.

The dangers of magnet fishing include things like getting tangled up in the ropes, getting pulled by the weight of the magnet, drowning, fighting with other magnet fishers, and even finding weapons such as knives, guns, and even active bombs.

Don't let this scare you, most of these circumstances are rare. They do happen, but cases are few and far between. Let's take a look at this in a little more detail.

The Dangers of Magnet Fishing Am I Safe
The Dangers of Magnet Fishing

What makes Magnet Fishing so Dangerous?

Magnet fishing itself is not inherently dangerous, it's the people who are magnet fishing that put themselves in danger. There are a few ways that they do this.

The first way is through carelessness. People show up, throw their magnets in the water, and don't think too much about it. Most of the time these people will be okay, but it only takes one mistake to ruin your day.

Another problem is failing to take the necessary precautions. You should never magnet fish without gloves on. You should also be careful to keep ropes managed, understand the strength of your magnet, and have a plan in place if you happen to find any sorts of weapons such as knives, guns, or even bombs.

Another thing, if you're going to be around deep water, for instance, magnet fishing over a bridge or off a boat, wear a life jacket. People have drowned while magnet fishing, always be prepared in case you fall in.

What Sorts of Dangers are Involved with Magnet Fishing?

Mismanaged Ropes

One minor danger with magnet fishing is the risk of tangled ropes. It might seem harmless, and in most cases, you'll be fine, however, if you're not careful things could go wrong pretty quickly.

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If your ropes are not managed properly you may end up tripping over them. If your magnet fishing over a bridge and you trip over a rope, you could end up falling off of it.

Not all water is safe to swim. If you fall into the water with alligators, water moccasins, or amoebas, you will be putting yourself in harm's way.

Always pick up your ropes when you're not using them, keep them organized, and keep them untangled.

Related article: 10 Best Ropes for Magnet Fishing

Strength of the Magnet

Another slight danger with magnet fishing happens when you aren't fully aware of the strength of your magnet. This includes both physical weight and how much they can pull.

If you're not careful, the weight of your magnet can push you off balance when you throw it in the water. Just like with tripping over ropes, this danger might also be a one-way ticket to an unpleasant bath.

Another thing that happens when throwing a heavy magnet in the water is your grip might loosen. If the rope slips, this will cause a very painful rug burn on your hand.

You also want to be careful about the pulling force of the magnet. A good size magnet for a beginner is about 350 lb. More than that and there's a good chance your magnet will get stuck.

The problem is when the magnet gets stuck, people might hurt themselves trying to get it out. Either by pulling a muscle, slipping, and falling, or if they decide to jump in after the magnet. Again, not all waters are safe to jump in but people don't realize this.

The best thing to do is to tie off your rope to another object, not your belt loop like I've seen some people suggest. When you throw the magnet in don't hold the rope. You should also always wear gloves to protect your hands from sharp objects, bacteria, and rug burns.

If your magnet gets stuck, feel free to try a few methods to free a stuck magnet. However, if it can't be freed, just let it go. A $20-$50 magnet is not worth potentially hurting yourself.

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Risk of Drowning

It's very sad but there has been a case of a father and son drowning while magnet fishing. It's not clear exactly how they fell in the water but they did.

As stated previously, it's important to be cautious with your magnets and ropes. The magnet is heavy enough that it could pull you in the water if you're not careful. Also, it's very easy to trip over mismanaged ropes.

If you can't swim, always wear a life jacket when magnet fishing over deep waters. This includes when fishing from a boat or even from a bridge. It might seem silly but it could literally save your life.

Fighting with Other Magnet Fishers

If there are other magnet fishers in your area you should try your best to avoid them. It might sound fun to chat them up and ask what they have found that day, and maybe it will be, but leave it at that. Don't toss your magnet in the same vicinity as them.

The Dangers of Magnet Fishing avoid other people
Images by: u/ElwoodJake

Not everyone is extroverted and loves to talk. Some people like to just do their own thing. If you go up next to them and start causing problems, for instance, your magnet gets stuck to theirs, or you both grab on the same item, this could cause arguments.

You never know how people will react. Most people will just get mad and tell you to go away. Though, If you argue with them, that's when things could escalate.

It's best to just avoid others altogether. Mind your business and magnet fish in your own space.

Finding Weapons, Knives, and Bombs

There have been a few stories of people finding weapons while magnet fishing. You can find anything like knives, guns, and even bombs.

boy find live grenade magnet fishing
boy find live grenade magnet fishing

It's pretty obvious how these things could be dangerous, and some of them might even be illegal to possess in your area. Definitely don't take anything home with you without knowing what you're getting into.

If you find a bomb, I would cut the rope immediately. Don't pull it onto the shore and try to remove it from the magnet. Doing so might cause it to go off. Instead, call the cops so they can get the bomb squad to the area.

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If you find any guns, again, check the laws of your area. Most likely you will need to turn it in as owning unregistered firearms is usually illegal. It could also be evidence of a crime so it's important to get it to the authorities.

Finding a knife is less dangerous than the other two but still dangerous. handle it with care, and again, make sure it's legal for you to take it home with you before you do.

How to Avoid any Danger While Magnet Fishing?

There are some things that happen that you can't predict, however most dangers with magnet fishing can be easily avoided. Most of it just comes down to common sense.

First things first, understand and respect your equipment. Know the strength of your magnet, and keep your ropes managed properly. Never go magnet fishing without safety equipment such as gloves.

If you can't swim, wear a life jacket. It seems silly, but people have drowned while magnet fishing so it's better to be safe than sorry.

If you have a small temper avoid other magnet fishers. People are competitive by nature, and arguments over magnet fishing finds could escalate. Plus, magnet fishing is more fun on your own in my opinion.

Last but not least, have a plan for all your magnet fishing finds. Know where you will toss the junk, or recycle it. Also know what you must do if you happen to find dangerous weapons such as knives, guns, and bombs. The laws for magnet fishing finds will be different depending on your area.


You can see how magnet fishing could be dangerous. However, you can also clearly see how to avoid any danger all together.

Most dangers involved with magnet fishing can easily be avoided. Always use common sense and always use safety equipment while out in the field.

Magnet fishing isn't dangerous, but rather, people put themselves in dangerous situations. Don't let the news scare you from participating in this amazing hobby. It's fun, rewarding, and totally worth it.

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!

Email us at – magnetfishingadventure@gmail.com

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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