Magnet fishing is one of the simplest hobbies to get into. With a magnet and paracord, you can get started right away. Even though it's that simple, there are still some tips and tricks you can learn along the way.
If you want to be better at magnet fishing you will find the following tips helpful. Learn to find the right spot, have backup magnets and ropes, and always be prepared with buckets, gloves, and knives. These are a few important magnet fishing tips to familarize yourself with before even leaving the house.
In this article, we will go over all of that and more. The following are 23 ways to improve your magnet fishing adventure.
Beginner Tips for Magnet Fishing
Use the Right Size Magnet
Make sure you're using the right size magnet for magnet fishing. As a beginner, you don't want one that's too strong but you also don't want one that's too weak either.
If the magnet is too strong there's a greater chance it will get stuck. It can be hard to free a stuck magnet.
On the other hand, if the magnet is too weak you may have a hard time pulling anything out of the water.
Starting out, I would say a 350lb magnet is a good starting point. If it's double-sided it will probably be listed as a 700lb because it goes by total force.
Bring a Backup magnet
No matter how cautious you are there's still a chance you could lose your magnet. There's nothing worse than going out for a hunt just for it to end 10 or 20 minutes later because of this.
A great idea that I highly recommend is to bring a backup magnet. The best part is, if you're really lucky you may even be able to retrieve a lost magnet with the backup.
Choose the Correct Rope
Having the right rope is just as important as having the right magnet. The rope should be stronger then the magnets pull force. So with a 350lb magnet you would want a 400+ rope.
The best rope for magnet fishing is a nylon paracord. It's very strong and has a bit more stretch than polyester paracord. This is a great feature to have when throwing a heavy magnet into the water.
Refer to the post where I reviewed the top 10 best ropes for magnet fishing.
Have a Secondary Rope Attached
Just like you should have a backup magnet, you should also have a secondary rope. This is helpful for a couple of reasons.
First off, if your first rope gets cut then having a second rope would make sure you didn't lose your magnet. It can be a lifesaver.
If your magnet gets snagged, having a second rope attached allows you to pull from different angles. It also makes it possible to have multiple people pulling at once to make the process easier.
Learn the Best Knot and Use it
A good rope is useless without a great knot. You want to use the best knot for magnet fishing at all times. There are a few you could choose from, such as the hangman knot or the figure-eight knot.
However, the most popular knot for magnet fishing is the Palomar knot. It's easy to learn, simple to tie, and very effective. I recommend learning this knot before going on your adventure.
Carabiner vs Rope Knot: Choose Wisely
Carabiners are a nice accessory as they make clipping to the magnet very easy. Some people have multiple magnets and like to switch between different weights depending on the situation. It would be a hassle to have to untie and tie a new knot every time.
However, there is a drawback to using a carabiner. While they are strong and shouldn't break, there is still the chance that they do. Using a carabiner increases the risk of losing a magnet while magnet fishing.
Ultimately the choice is yours to make. There are pros and cons to using a carabiner vs using a rope knot to attach to a magnet. It all comes down to risk vs convenience.
Always Wear Gloves
Magnet fishing is fun but can be dangerous. There are lots of sharp metal objects that you could cut yourself on. This is especially dangerous since most things you find will be covered in rust.
Always bring a pair of gloves that are both thick and waterproof. It's also a good idea to bring extra pairs of gloves as undoubtedly they will get wet. Even a waterproof pair of gloves won't stay dry all day long.
Be Careful When Buying a Magnet Fishing Kit
Magnet fishing kits are convenient because they have everything you need with one purchase. However, I've seen some good ones and some bad ones.
The magnet fishing kit in this photo worked great until the Rope snapped. Unfortunately, I lost the magnet and couldn't find it. Thankfully, this kit came with a backup magnet. I will make sure to get a better rope before my next trip.
Think About What you Will do With all the Metal
Before loading up the car to go magnet fishing, take a second to think about what you will do with all the stuff you find. If you're in a car rather than a truck you will want a nice heavy-duty bucket that won't break with all the sharp objects inside. Make sure it has a lid to in case it topples over.
There's a chance you find big items too, such as bikes, and shopping carts. If you have to, you could probably leave them there, however, it would be better to keep the lake clean. Using a truck or having a trailer (if possible) is not a bad idea.
Most items you get will probably be trash, or perhaps recyclable. You might find some cool stuff to keep as a souvenir or restore and sell for a profit. You could also start a scrap metal pile and load it to the scrap yard once you've stockpiled a lot over time.
Bring a Knife With You
Definitely have a knife with you while magnet fishing. This is useful for a couple of reasons.
Sometimes a fishing line or other junk might tangle up on the magnet. Having a sharp knife makes it easy to remove.
Other times your magnet might get stuck to a point where no amount of tugging will break it loose. Unfortunately, this means you will need to cut the rope and put a new magnet on. (Good thing you brought a backup… Right?)
Bring Some Cleaning Supplies with You
Just like with gloves, cleaning supplies is another thing you should have at your disposal. Nothing is more important than proper hygiene while playing in the murky water with rusted metal.
You could also bring some soap and clean water to throw your smaller more valuable objects into. This way you can clean them off and get a better look. They will be ready to be thrown into some vinegar when you get home to remove any rust.
Pick the Right Spot
One of the most important things to be successful is to find a great place to magnet fish. Just like with regular fishing, not all spots will be equally rewarding.
The best spots are the ones that are usually very populated. Or a body of water downstream from another area that's usually populated.
If you do research you might also find somewhere where war or similar history event took place.
Related article: Magnet fishing in the ocean is more rewarding than you think
Avoid other People
Magnet fishing with other people can be fun, however, you want to be courteous when others are around. Not everyone will be happy with you magnet fishing right next to them.
This is especially true if the people around you are enjoying other activities such as regular fishing. Throwing your magnet in the water would scare the fish away and easily anger someone.
Take your time
Don't get discouraged if you don't find anything interesting right away. continue to throw your magnet from different angles and different locations and eventually you will find something.
Magnet fishing is all about taking your time. It isn't a race and everyone wins at the end of the day. Even if you don't find anything awesome today, the fun is in the hunt. There's always tomorrow to try again.
Avoid Dragging the Magnet
There's nothing worse than getting your magnet stuck. You can avoid a lot of unnecessary snags by keeping your magnet slightly off the ground.
people think their magnet needs to drag in order to pick things up, however, with the proper size magnet it should have no problem picking things up while being 3-6 inches above the ground.
Keep Reasonable Expectations
Don't go into this hobby thinking you're going to get rich. You should have reasonable expectations when it comes to magnet fishing. Don't get me wrong, every now and then you may find something really cool, but most of the time it's just going to be scrap metal.
That's not to say magnet fishing isn't always rewarding, because it is. The experience itself is fun, and you help clean the environment at the same time.
Join the Magnet Fishing Community
One of the best things I ever did was joined the magnet fishing community over at Reddit. I love hearing their stories and seeing pictures of the things they found. It's really been a big motivator for me to go out and keep trying to find my next big catch.
The community is also very friendly and love offering advice. I'm very active in the community and always answering questions if I can, and posting links to helpful articles. Many people have reached out to me saying they appreciate what I'm doing.
Pro Tips for Magnet Fishing
Learn Other Techniques like Trolling
The most basic technique for magnet fishing is simply to lower the magnet over the edge and pick it back up. This is great for those magnets that are one-sided.
If you have a double-sided magnet, throwing your magnet as far as you can and reeling in will bring the most success. pulling it back in a zigzag motion rather than straight back will allow you to cover more ground.
If you're on a boat, having your magnet in the water about 6 inches off the ground while you travel slowly is a smart technique. If you don't have a boat, just walk along the bridge/bank to cover lots of ground.
Use a Grapple Hook, it's a Game Changer
You might not have thought about using a grappling hook for magnet fishing but you really should. Sometimes there's just not enough surface area for your magnet to cling to. Other times your magnet is just not strong enough.
If your magnet is unable to pull the object out of the water, having a grappling hook would make it possible. Just throw it in the direction of where the object was and hope you can latch onto something.
Learn to Prevent a Stuck Magnet, Use a Cone
It's good to know how to prevent a stuck magnet before you go out of magnet fishing. There are a few techniques such as using a cone-shaped magnet or getting one of those cones to put on your existing magnet.
Brutemagnetics.com has a few selections of high-quality products to choose from.
Learn to Free a Stuck Magnet use Ratchet Straps
No matter how well you prepare, your magnet may still get stuck while magnet fishing. In a recent article, I went over 7 ways to free a stuck magnet you should really give it a look before your next trip.
Most people's favorite trick to free a stuck magnet is using ratchet straps. If your magnet gets stuck tie the ratchet straps to the rope and crank on the ratchet until it comes loose.
Restore Items for Profit
Many people have turned old rusted objects they pulled from the water into almost brand new looking treasures. My favorite one was someone restoring an old crossbow, the results were amazing.
If you get pretty good at restoring old items, you could even turn a profit doing it. There are lots of valuable things to find in the water. If you find any historic items you may even be able to sell it to a collector for a good amount of money.
Creat a YouTube Channel
So many people have done this already, but it's still a great idea. Putting on a GoPro or setting up a tripod to record yourself magnet fishing would make the hobby even more fun. People love to watch, and who knows, maybe your channel will blow up and earn you a decent income.
Those are my top 23 beginner and pro tips for magnet fishing. There's a lot to unpack here but if you take it all in it should make a big difference in your overall skills.
I think the main thing to listen to here is to always be prepared. Strategize where you will magnet fish, have backup magnets and backup ropes, and have a plan if your magnet gets stuck.
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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