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Magnet Fishing For Underwater Treasure, Ultimate Guide 2020

A photo of a strong neodymium fishing magnet and magnet fishing finds


I would hazard a guess that if you have found your way to this website you will have a interest or at least some curiosity about magnet fishing.

Well this magnet fishing guide is the perfect place to get started. After years of practising and perfecting this hobby I have decided to share what I have learnt.

I am going to teach you everything I know from start to finish along with some really cool hints and tips. By the end of it you will be perfectly placed for finding your first treasures with a neodymium magnet.

Lets get started with the basics.

What is magnet fishing?

Magnet fishing is a fairly new hobby that is becoming very popular in the US, Canada, Uk and many other European countries. The idea is to use strong neodymium magnets attached to a length of rope, this is then cast into the water and dragged in. Once retrieved you will hopefully have some ferrous metal attached from the riverbed.

So that is the basic idea behind the hobby.

We are basically trying to treasure hunt using strong neodymium magnets in places that we cannot usually get to.

Granted we will only ever find ferrous metals such as iron as other metals are not magnetic. This does not stop the hobby from being great fun for young and old alike.

Just try to imagine how much metallic objects have been thrown into some of the bodies of water around you over the years. It is incredible to just think about what treasure there could be below the surface waiting for you and your magnet!

This is what you need to start magnet fishing.

The hobby of magnet fishing is relatively inexpensive to get started with. This is especially so when compared to other hobbies such as fishing and golf which can cost a lot of initial investment.

Below I will list some of the basics that you will need to get (don’t worry I will link you later on in the guide to my recommendations) in order to start magnet fishing.

All in all you should easily be able to get into the hobby for between $40-100 depending upon how powerful you want your magnet to be.

So the basic equipment for magnet fishing is as follows:

  1. A powerful neodymium magnet.
  2. A length of strong rope or paracord 20-40 foot is just fine.
  3. An eyebolt so that you can attach your rope to the magnet.
  4. A good pair of cut resistant and preferably waterproof pair of gloves.
  5. A bag or container to keep all of your finds in.

That is it, that is the basic list of equipment you will need to start magnet fishing!

I would like to show you some of my recommendations now for magnet fishing magnets and kits.

Magnets for magnet fishing.

I just want to share with you a tip that I learnt early on in my journey.

When I first started I had no idea what I was doing when it came to purchasing my first magnets. I hopped straight into Amazon and bought what I thought looked like the magnet I needed. I was wrong!

You see, there are so many options now. Also there are some unscrupulous sellers out there selling magnet that are not for magnet fishing. These magnets are not neodymium, they are actually ferrite.

Ferrite magnets are very cheap, they lack power and worse of all they are very brittle. This causes them to crack and break up when used for magnet fishing, not good.

Always go for a strong and powerful neodymium magnet. They take a lot of stick and will last you for a long time. It took me a few attempts before I found the right one and realised where I was going wrong.

As I mentioned earlier there are so many sellers of magnet fishing magnets now, it’s quite a minefield. So below I will give you some of my recommendations.

Best magnets for magnet fishing.

Each of these magnets are specifically made for magnet fishing and are by companies that make a great product.

Whats more they are full kits which means that you do not have to go searching round for individual bits. It comes with everything that you need. I find that this route saves time and money and you know you are getting what you want at an affordable price which is important as we are trying to get into the hobby as cheap as we can.

All the magnets below are made of neodymium N52 grade. My only extra advice is to make sure that you get a tube of locktite to put in the eyebolt thread. This will stop it from undoing and losing your precious magnet.

Click on whichever you like the look of the most. Each of these kits are good so it comes down to personal preference. They also come in a variety of prices dependant on the magnets power so there is something for all budgets.

Now that you have the right magnet fishing kit we are ready to move onto the next part.

Other non essential magnet fishing bits of kit.

Above we talked about all of the essential magnet fishing kit. There are some things that you can take along that are not essential but will make everything a little easier and safer. They are as follows:

  • Antibacterial wipes for cleaning your hands.
  • An old rag or towel for drying things.
  • A mobile phone just in case you come into any difficulties.
  • Wire brush or any other hand brush for cleaning your finds.
  • A grappling hook and length of rope for pulling up awkward large finds.
  • A small penknife for cutting and rope or fishing line that you may get knotted with.

That is about it really, non are completely essential but they will help you to magnet fish and also keep you safe. If you would like to see some of the equipment that I recommend have a look at the magnet fishing kit page.

Tying a strong magnet fishing knot.

Although our fishing magnets are not that expensive it really is a bummer to lose one in the middle of a trip. So with that in mind we need to tie a really strong knot.

I have found the Palomar knot to be the best knot for magnet fishing. It is one of the mode knots that tightens on itself under pressure which is exactly what we need it to do.

The knot itself is really easy to tie with a little practice and you can see exactly how to tie it by reading this guide that I wrote.

You will never lose a magnet again with this one!

How to magnet fish.

The whole idea of magnet fishing is pretty straight forward, swing the magnet out into the water and slowly pull it back in.

However there are a couple of techniques that you can use that may be quite helpful in increasing your chances of getting finds.

How to magnet fish techniques.

Technique #1: Throw out and pull in.

This technique is the original and is just a case of throwing the magnet as far as you can and then slowly pulling it in. Make sure that when you feel something clink onto the magnet that you take it very, very slow and careful. The find can come off it not. You can then methodically chuck the magnet to different locations in front of you until the whole area has been combed.

Technique #2: dredging the bottom.

Much like the first technique you need to throw the magnet out into the water. Then instead of pulling it in you can walk along the riverbank dragging the magnet. This technique is great for checking along the edges and for using under bridges where you cannot get enough height for a cast.

The best places to magnet fish.

So now you have your magnet fishing kit and you have tied a really strong knot.

I bet you are now wondering where to try magnet fishing?

Well truth be told it is worth trying magnet fishing anywhere that has water. This could be in a river, canal, lakes or even a pond.

Try to think of areas where there is lots of activity and people walking around. These are the areas where you are far more likely to find some underwater treasures.

Ask older people if they know of any areas with water that were used in the past and try to research local history. I did these things and I found that my finds rate exploded!

One of my biggest tips would be to try around bridges. For some reason just like in the films everyone tends to throw things off of a bridge. They really are a goldmine for underwater treasure and one of my favourite places to magnet fish.

In reality though you stand a good chance of finding something no matter where you try magnet fishing so get out there and cast in.

Is magnet fishing legal?

Ok, so we do not want to get in trouble with the law for having fun with this hobby. So we need to know if magnet fishing is legal.

Currently as it stands magnet fishing is legal in 49 of the US states with the only exception being South Carolina.

In South Carolina magnet fishing is illegal due to old laws that hopefully in the future will get relaxed. If you would like to read more about magnet fishing laws you can read this guide that I wrote.

Permission to magnet fish.

Even though magnet fishing is legal in all but one of the US States it is really important to get permission to do it.

Nearly all land is owned by someone so if we do not ask for permission first we could be trespassing.

Always ask for permission to magnet fish from the land owner, they are almost always happy to let you try although they will probably think you are crazy!

What can you find magnet fishing?

There is so much you could potentially find when magnet fishing, years worth of metals thrown into the water.

Finds can range from scrap metal such as nuts, bolts and angle iron to safes, deposit boxes, weapons and motorcycles. Pretty crazy eh?

If you do not believe me check out some of the magnet fishing finds below that other people have made.

Father and son find guns horde magnet fishing.

A father and son went on a magnet fishing trip in a Somerset river in the UK. Amongst many of the scrap finds were parts of machine guns and full guns!

After notifying the police, divers were called in and a total of 12 guns and many other parts were found. They included revolvers, M16’s and AK47’s. You can read more about this amazing story here.

A photo of the magnet fishing finds that a father and son found
The father and son found 12 full guns on a magnet fishing trip.

Crazy magnet fishing finds on YouTube.

One of the best places to see why finds can be made when magnet fishing is YouTube.

There are so many cool videos of people finding some crazy finds. I have watched people finding guns, motorcycles and even a car!

The one below is from DrasticG a U.K. magnet fisher who seems to always get good finds judging by his exciting videos!

The list of what you can find is endless as long as it is made from a magnetic metal.

Magnet fishing safety.

Generally magnet fishing is a pretty safe hobby and most trips will go without any problems.

Unfortunately though there have been a few news stories of people getting hurt or even worse when going magnet fishing.

It is really important to think about yours and the safety of others around you when you take part. Make sure no one is stood near you when you are swinging your magnet around, they are heavy and can cause damage.

If you are with young children have a think about buying them a small life jacket. The waters were we magnet fish can be very deep and it is easy to get into trouble if you fall in.

Also know what to do if you find something that could be an explosive. Immediately report it to the authorities and do not try to carry or transport it. There have been many instances of grenades being found in the rivers and canals such as the one below.

A Florida man found a hand grenade in a river and instead of immediately ringing the relevant authorities he decided to take it to the local Taco Bell! You can read more about this crazy story here.

A Florida man too a grenade he found magnet fishing to taco bell
Do not be the guy who finds a grenade magnet fishing and then takes it to Taco Bell.

Please do not be that guy.

Magnet fishing benefits.

Not only is magnet fishing a fun hobby it also has plenty of benefits for you and the environment. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. You will be helping the environment by removing scrap metals that are polluting the waterways.
  2. Magnet fishing is a outdoor hobby and as such you will be outdoors in the fresh air.
  3. It is great exercise throwing the magnet into the water and then pulling it back in.
  4. The whole family will love it and it makes for great bonding time.
  5. You will more than likely develop a great passion for history as you search for new spots and research old find.

Have a little patience.

Just like with regular fishing you will not catch the find of a lifetime every time you go magnet fishing.

Some trips you will only find scrap metal but that is all part of the fun, because when you do find that deposit box or weapon it is one hell of a buzz!

Have patience and enjoy being outdoors enjoying a happy and healthy hobby and the finds will start rolling in.


If you are yet to start magnet fishing I really do urge you to give it a try.

I have been doing this now for quite a long time and have not bored of it yet. There is just so much that you can find and the hours spent outside on a warm summers day next to a beautiful river are just priceless.

Magnet fishing is such a cheap hobby to get started in so it really is a great choice for people in all situations. Starting out is inexpensive and as you get more into it you can then buy more powerful magnets as necessary.

I really hope that this magnet fishing guide has helped you in some way and that you have found some great tips to help you on your journey.