You may have heard people talking about magnet fishing, and maybe it got you curious. Perhaps you wanted to try it out without spending too much money. If this is the case you’re not alone. Many people have tried various different methods of obtaining free magnets for magnet fishing. You could go magnet fishing with old speaker or magnets from discarded computer hard drives.
One trick to get free magnets for magnet fishing is to retrieve them from old hard drives and speakers. Both of these magnets are pretty weak and brittle. You would need multiple of them to be effective. However, even then, they are mediocre at best for retrieving metal items out of the water.
People have also tried magnet fishing with microwave magnets which I went over in a recent article. That has a lot of similar problems, though retrieving those magnets is a lot more dangerous and I don’t recommend doing it.
Why use These Alternatives Instead of a Neodymium Magnet?
I think the main reason people seek alternatives is that they aren’t ready to commit. Maybe they aren’t sure if magnet fishing is for them. They’d like to try it, but they don’t want to spend money just in case it doesn’t work out.
That’s understandable, and using these magnets might be a good way to get a feel for the sport without paying for it. You might not get the full experience because you will be pretty limited, but you at least get a small taste.
Magnet Fishing with Speaker Magnets
First, let’s go over magnet fishing with speaker magnets. In my experience, these are slightly weaker than hard drive magnets, however, they have a hole for you to tie a rope to.
That being said, tying a rope through the hole might not be the best idea because the rope would be covering a lot of the magnet. Though, I’m not really sure what other option you have besides coming up with some DIY craft to make it more efficient.
The main benefits of using a speaker magnet are it saves money and you get to make use of an old item. Can’t go wrong with repurposing old junk rather than tossing it.
It’s also fairly easy to get the magnets out, especially with the trick outlined in this article. Most people probably have old speakers lying around, however, if you don’t, you could get some fairly cheap at a junkyard.
Magnets from speakers are better than hard drives if you don’t want the hassle of finding a way to tie the magnet to a rope. It’s not super efficient but it works.
There are obviously some drawbacks to using speaker magnets for magnet fishing. For starters, these magnets are pretty brittle and probably only have about a 50 lb pull. That’s not much, as a commonly recommended size magnet for magnet fishing is about 350 lb.
Also, if you had to buy the speakers you might not actually be saving any money. You would need to figure out how much a magnet costs and compare it. Though, most people have old speakers or can find some from somewhere either cheap or free.
Speaker Magnet vs Harbor Freight 150lb Pull
Some people try to compare a speaker magnet to a harbor freight 150 lb pull magnet. If those are your two choices honestly using a speaker magnet would probably be the wiser decision.
Both magnets are subpar for magnet fishing, however, the speaker magnet is free. So for the purpose of just getting a feel for the sport to determine whether you like it or not, speaker magnets are the way to go.
Of course, once you learn that you love this new hobby, you will want a decent size neodymium magnet to really enjoy the experience.
How to Retrieve the Manget
- Remove the speaker head containing the magnet
- Put a pry tool between the magnet and the magnet head
- With just enough force, pry off the magnet
- Put a few nuts around the bottom metal ring creating a “stand”
- Put a bolt on the top standing up
- Hit the bolt with a hammer (this will break the glue seal)
- Now you can pry off the first metal piece from the magnet
- Flip the magnet over, and put nuts around the bottom again
- Place the bolt inside the ring, on the lip of the metal piece.
- Hit the bolt to remove the second metal piece from the magnet
Magnet Fishing with Hard Drive Magnets
Magnet fishing with hard drive magnets is another interesting choice. Retrieving the magnets is a lot easier than speaker magnets, it doesn’t take as much force.
You will probably need to come up with a good DIY project to make them functional. The magnets are pretty small and there’s really no safe way to tie a rope to them. Also, you will need multiple magnets if you want any hope at pulling stuff out of the water.
The benefits are similar to the speaker. You get to reuse an otherwise garbage item and you get to save money in the process. The magnets are also a lot easier to retrieve then speaker magnets. However, both are a pretty simple process.
As stated earlier, the drawbacks of this one are pretty annoying. You can’t just take the magnet out, tie it to a rope, and throw it in the water. Unfortunately, it’s a little bit more involved than that.
The magnet from an old hard drive is very small and it’s a semicircle, there’s nothing to tie onto. You will need multiple magnets glued or bolted down to another surface with an eye hole or some other method to tie a rope or latch carabiner to it.
How to Retrieve the Magnet
- Unscrew the 6 screws to get inside the hard drive
- If the screws are stripped, use an angle grinder
- Pry up on the metal semi-circle piece
- Put a screwdriver on the magnet and hit it with a hammer to break the glue seal
Video Explaining how to Remove Magnets from Speakers, Magnetrons, and Hard Drives
- Speaker – 1:06
- Magnetron – 4:52
- Hard Drive – 5:43
Is it Worth the Effort?
Honestly, I don’t really think it’s worth the time and effort to retrieve magnets from old speakers and hard drives to go magnet fishing with them. Though I’ve been magnet fishing and I know I like it so I’m okay with spending some money on a decent magnet.
For others, they may be unsure and not willing to spend money. If getting a free magnet is the only way you will try it then I think it’s worth it. It won’t be the best experience, but it will be an experience.
I hope one of these methods works for you and I hope you get the chance to get out there and pull some junk out of the water! If by some miracle you actually get something valuable with one of these free magnet methods, I’d love to hear about it.
Good luck with your DIY projects, hopefully, you come up with something unique that works well. That is the hardest part about using old speaker and hard drive magnets for magnet fishing. You need to find a way that can make them as efficient as possible.
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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