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Magnet Fishing: All You Need to Know

Neodymium magnet fishing is fast becoming an unusual hobby across many cities within and outside Europe. On the surface, this water-based pastime holds no alarms. However, neodymium magnet fishing is a curious subject deserving much understanding with the buzz surrounding neodymium magnet fishers and eclectic discoveries ranging from undetonated grenades to an old rust miter saw. Here’s all you need to know about neodymium magnet fishing.

Neodymium Magnet Fishing: How it Works

Neodymium magnet fishing is the aquatic version of metal detecting, where individuals poke around with metal detectors, looking for misplaced objects. Many neodymium magnet fishers reach into water bodies – lakes and rivers – with a neodymium magnet attached to a rope and pull out various objects, including firearms, bullets, metal knives, and artifacts from the Civil War.

The thrill of interacting with the environment, the excitement accompanying a ‘catch,’ and the opportunity to stumble on a long-lost item or a missing item from a local crime incident make neodymium magnet fishing an enjoyable activity. Though neodymium magnet fishing has been around for years, the hobby became popular over the last two years as more participants uploaded videos of their catches on YouTube with increasing views.

Neodymium magnet fishing requires little technical expertise. Five-year-olds have joined in the act, watching their parents make finds from the bottom of the river. A participant needs the curiosity to tie a rope to a neodymium magnet and locate the closest water canal. Asides from the reward of pulling up a valuable item, enthusiasts claim that neodymium magnet fishing keeps water bodies clean. Relevant authorities in many European cities prohibit neodymium magnet fishing, asserting that participants often leave the trash removed from water canals by the road, worsening environmental conditions.

Magnets For Magnet Fishing

A complete magnet fishing gear includes a strong magnet, just as traditional fishing requires a hook and bait. Most fishing magnets are made from Neodymium, a rare earth metal mixed with boron and iron, imparting additional strength to the neodymium magnet. A Neodymium magnet weighing 2 lbs has a pull force of 500 lbs and will easily retrieve any metal stuck at the bottom of a river.

Neodymium fishing magnets come in a variety of sizes. A junior neodymium magnet pulls up to 370 lbs of material, and some of the strongest neodymium magnets can pull up to 2000 pounds. This ensures that participants with different pulling capabilities can join in the act.

Four neodymium fishing magnet designs are single-sided, double-sided, clamps, and 360 neodymium magnets. Each neodymium magnet offers its unique benefit; the clamp neodymium magnet is suitable for pulling objects far from it as it creates a large magnetic field due to the magnetic core secured in a magnetic frame. Three hundred sixty neodymium magnets can attract objects from all sides and are fitting for fishing in fast-moving water bodies and can be dropped off a bridge into a river miles away.

When handling Neodymium magnets, avoid combining two Neodymium magnets as the sheer pull force of both neodymium magnets can cause them to break. Neodymium fishing magnets are designed to avoid getting caught in below-water muck.

To connect a fishing rope to a Neodymium magnet:

  1. Attach one end of a Loctite to the screw sunk into the neodymium magnet.
  2. Knot a loop and fix it into the other end of the Loctite.
  3. Be careful not to hit the neodymium magnet against a surface, or your body, as it can cause injury.

Other Tools for Neodymium Magnet Fishing

Alongside a strong neodymium magnet, you need a good rope that is rot- and abrasion-resistant. On average, your choice of rope should be equally strong, capable of countering the pull force of your neodymium magnet. The rope’s length is another factor to consider. If you’re fishing from a bridge, you want to choose a rope that leaves enough portion for dangling and wading through the bottom of the water.

When wet, ropes get heavier, so opt for ropes that won’t weigh down your hands when pulling a find. A paracord rope has high elasticity, durability, tensile strength, and abrasion resistance, making it the right fit for neodymium magnet fishing. Paracord ropes come in different grades depending on your budget and fishing needs.

You also need a Loctite or carabiner for connecting the neodymium magnet to the rope (as described above). Choose a carabiner with a locking mechanism; this prevents underwater murk from pushing the carabiner open and loosening the neodymium magnet from the rope. We recommend using aluminum neodymium magnets. They do not rust easily and are non-magnetic, so they won’t stick to the neodymium-magnet or alter the magnet’s performance when pulling a metallic object.

Fishing with bare hands makes your palms prone to cuts, punctures, and injuries. Prevent this by purchasing quality gloves, resistant to cut and wear. Sprinkle some fancy to your appearance with a hat and sunglasses. You want to keep a bucket or container to store your finds while fishing. You can also wear insect repellants as water bodies are known to breed mosquitoes.

Places for Neodymium Magnet Fishing

Most cities and towns have bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, seas, streams, swamps, or canals. Try fishing at a location with minimized traffic to increase your chances of making valuable finds. The less accessible a water body, the greater the possibility of happening upon a metal treasure.

Likewise, geographical places with history are suitable for neodymium magnet fishing. The Basingstoke Canal in the UK, for instance, yielded over 6000 bullets to a woman and her daughter. This canal is located near Pirbright Army Training Center. Hence little surprise at the discoveries made by the woman-daughter pair.

Though less frequented locations suggest more catches, populated spots are also a good place for neodymium magnet fishing. The more an area is visited, the more items people discard in water bodies around it.

Is Neodymium Magnet Fishing Legal?

Neodymium magnet fishing is not illegal in most countries. However, there are different regulations prohibiting fishers from littering government property when fishing (another reason you should get a storage container when preparing fish).

Consult with local laws when scoping out a neodymium magnet fishing spot, as the laws vary. Officials in the UK and Berlin continue to warn participants to reduce unnecessary littering. All trash removed from the river should be properly disposed of before leaving a fishing spot.

Can you fish on private property? Certainly not. In rare cases, private properties are a no-go zone for discovering treasures abandoned at the bottom of the sea.

Pros and Cons of Neodymium Magnet Fishing

Neodymium magnet fishing is an accessible hobby. An average set of fishing gear, complete with Neodymium magnets and strong fishing ropes, costs one hundred dollars, encouraging participation from individuals regardless of financial buoyancy. Besides, the promise of an awesome catch easily entices engagement from many individuals.

However, neodymium magnet fishing should be done within safe limits. It is advisable, for instance, to involve your local authorities if you make a questionable find. Neodymium magnet fishers in Hampshire found the body of a local offender still handcuffed. A group of fishermen in Lancashire pulled up a grenade from World War I, yet to be detonated; thankfully, local law enforcement bodies intervened and diffused the grenade.

Fishers who discover an item with some legal implication should contact local authorities before taking any other action. Such items can be declared relevant – or otherwise – to unsolved crime cases.

The thrill of neodymium magnet fishing is a superior force to the possible dangers of engaging in it. Several neodymium magnet fishers take to YouTube to share details of their adventures, with some hauling home valuables like jewelry, watches, and bicycles. You can never know what your rope will pull out when tossed into the river.

Neodymium magnet Fishing Safety

When fishing, be mindful of your immediate environment. Don’t trespass, even if a fishing site holds alluring offers. Be careful when tossing your rope and neodymium magnet; you don’t want your gear attaching itself to a moving water boat.

Should you fish from a canoe? Avoid it if you can. You’ll be leaning over to one side to pull up your rope, and canoes are known to tip over easily. If you would fish while on the sea, use a vessel with greater stability to bear your side-to-side tilting.

If you’re fishing from a bridge, distance your neodymium magnet from the edge of nearby poles, as neodymium magnets will attach to these objects.


Neodymium magnet fishing is a fun, non-competitive hobby with diverse returns. You can engage with your environment, make good finds, and bond with family and friends.

Admittedly, magnet fishing requires patience. The excitement of ‘catching’ a metal treasure may not be quickly satisfied on the first few attempts. However, knowing that all you need to do is loop your rope into a neodymium magnet and let it go is sufficient to keep you going. You can’t run out of places to magnet fish or treasures awaiting your neodymium magnet at the bottom of a water body.

Anyone can enjoy neodymium magnet fishing. Be safety conscious, and consider fishing with a friend or family or joining a group fishing hunt. The more, the merrier and safer.


Article by

ROBO Magnetic Product Team

We are the manufacturer with 16 years of experience in custom neodymium magnets.

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