Magnet Fishing with a Grappling Hook: Time for an Upgrade!

It’s rewarding to find something cool on the end of your magnet when you go out magnet fishing. But there are more often, times when you’ll lose a catch because objects were snagged on something under the water.

As frustrating as it might be to lose a potentially awesome find, all you can do is either try again or give up. However, if you went magnet fishing with a grappling hook you might have an easier time retrieving objects with less surface area or that are just too heavy for a neodymium magnet.

This accessory wasn't specifically made for magnet fishing but it does do the job. Though, You will want to make sure that using a hook is right for you before you go buying one, as there are some drawbacks and things to be cautious about.

Magnet Fishing with a Grappling Hook Time for an Upgrade!
Magnet Fishing with a Grappling Hook

What is a Grappling Hook Used For?

A grappling hook is mainly used for various activities these days. It was originally invented by the Romans way back in 260BC for the purpose of soldiers at sea to snare enemy boat rigging. So easy to say, the grappling hook was intended for another type of fishing.

These hooks were later used to throw over stone or wooden walls so it would make climbing them easier. You can see this as a popular accessory for superheroes like Batman and even Ironman. In sports fishing, world grappling hooks are used to snag big fish.

With so many applications for what a grappling hook is used for, magnet fishing fans are now using it. It helps to assist them in pulling out heavy objects from the water. Be with every new accessory that’s used for this sport, there’s going to be pros and cons in using one.

Pros and Cons of the Grappling Hook

All thanks to the shape of a grappling hook, retrieving items that a magnet couldn't is now possible. Though, that might be the least of your worries since it might get snagged all too well!

This makes it hard to bring back your grappling hook altogether and is pretty stressful having to worry about that the whole time.

This isn’t always the case as you will read further. Here are many examples of common pros and cons:

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Pick up stuff too heavy for a magnetCan get snagged
Retrieve items with less surface areaHeavy
Collect non metal itemsDangerous


Hauling up large items such as motorcycles and mechanical equipment is easier with a grappling hook. The same can be mentioned about metal boxes, bicycles, and various odd-shaped metal trinkets.


While you won’t have to worry about dredging up a sunken telephone cable, various objects can get caught. This includes tree branches and various canal junk, along with items that are simply too heavy to lift by hand.

Unless you have a couple of friends pulling the rope, it’s not going to come up so easy. If it’s a simple pond, it might get snagged under the roots of a tree that fell into the water.

Examples of How it can be Used Best

While searching for an item, if there's something that your magnet cannot pull-out from the mud totally, use a hook. It needs to be thrown separately in the same direction as your magnet line. If it catches the object, start to pull both lines so there's an equal force to pull it out easier.

You might decide to drag your grapple hook along the bottom without using a magnet. If there are items that have edges that can be caught it can be dragged ashore. Use a grid pattern that's one meter squared to cover a reasonable catch.

Being patient and slow will ensure that an item doesn’t slip-off when something does get snagged. Especially for items that have recycling value, like lost bikes or other metal treasures. Use a small hook that is relatively cheap rather than an expensive hook that might get lost.

Always use a stronger tow line on your grappling hook just in case of possible rope breakage. Switch angles of how you intend to pull in an item, so it comes-out with less energy used by you. But always keep a firm hold on your item as you change to a different location.

How it Causes Issues?

The main issue is that a grappling hook is designed to grab anything. This means rocks, logs, wire, rope, and odd-shaped objects will all be caught by a hook. It's simply what the hook shape is intended to do. There's no way to get around this problem unless you change your position.

Not every canal, or bodies of water where magnet fishing is allowed, is going to have these kinds of elements. But the problem can happen when you only use the grappling hook for dragging items off the bottom. This is why safety and wearing gloves will be the number one concern.

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There are too many videos on the internet now from young teens that have taken-up magnet fishing. Grappling hooks are one of the fastest-growing accessories for this hobby. And a majority of them are not wearing safety gloves or being too careful about how they pull up found items.

Falling into the water is one thing, but falling onto a grappling hook is a serious safety concern! These hooks all have sharp edges, unlike the round magnets. And with this sport becoming more popular as new videos are popping up, accidents will happen eventually.

Is it Worth the Price?

A standard grappling hook is not that expensive. You can buy a simple hook that’s used for dragging for 10-20 dollars depending on how basic the hook design is.

Available at Amazon

This is a very simple design that has three prongs that stick out and are made to snag something. What it won’t do is lock onto an object for very long, since the prongs are shaped in a softened ‘L' looking hook. Other types are sold which are meant for rock or tree climbing and can easily get snagged onto your object.

Available at Amazon

These kinds of grappling hooks are commonly being advertised for magnet fishing. Though, not everyone will agree that it's worth the time and money to buy something like this.

These types of hooks are also expensive since the hooks fold inward for storage. One wrong move and you can cut or pinch your finger. If this was dragging in dirty water, you could be looking at a nasty infection if you weren’t wearing gloves.

So once again, safety is the biggest issue here with handling sharp objects taken out of the water. Always wear gloves while magnet fishing, especially if using a grappling hook.

Related article: Top 10 Best Grappling Hooks for Magnet Fishing

Are There Safety Grappling Hooks to Prevent Snags?

In a word, there are no types of grappling hooks that prevent snags. But there is one hook that is used for canoes. Actually, it is called a grapnel anchor’ and unfolds when you throw it into the water.

It can be extremely useful for magnet fishing, although some modification to this anchor needs to be done. First of all, here is what this anchor looks like:

Available at Amazon

There is a round ring at the top of the anchor that holds the hooks upward. The ring can fit over locking pins at the bottom as well.

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DIY Anchor “Grapple Hook” Modification to Prevent Snags

  • So, the first thing that would need to be done is to file or ground down the bottom pins. Not the top pins, just the bottom ones, so it can never lock into the open position.
  • There is also some drilling that needs to be done. You need to drill four holes right through the outer knuckle of each hook.
  • After this is done you can tie a thin paracord line through each hole of each hook. The hook cord needs to be tied-off in a knot so it can be pulled backward and pulling the hooks inward.
  • You then take a 2-inch stainless steel keychain ring and attach it through the loop at the top of the anchor. The rest of your paracord is looped through that keychain ring and tied-off, so each cord becomes a single pull cord.

Now you will have the main loop at the top to pull with, and the keychain ring to pull the pull-cord to close the hooks. This is so they don't get snagged or stuck on an object. You may need to give the anchor a bit of slack so the hooks can close inward. This way, the anchor claw can be returned back to you unharmed.

You can then give another try dragging back something after that. Not only do you save some money doing this, but you also have a reliable dragging grapple that won't get stuck on an object for too long. There will be some skill when using this method, so patience is required to get the hooks to retract inward.

Since there is no alternative to buying a hook that’s premade already, you’ll need to do your own DIY to make this work. But until then, this will be an accessory that’s associated with magnet fishing as a result. Perhaps later there will be online shops who offer this item premade, but until then you’ll have to assemble most of this grappling hook for yourself. And now because of this DIY project, you can safely go magnet fishing with a grappling hook.


There a few things to consider when looking at magnet fishing with a grappling hook. While it makes it possible to retrieve heavy items that a magnet wouldn't be able to, it's also pretty easy to get snagged on all kinds of objects under the water.

Some people love using a grappling hook while others can't stand it. I have heard many stories of people having to cut the rope and say goodbye to their precious hooks.

If you want to give it a try, that's at your own risk. Just stay safe and have fun.

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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