The Essential Magnet Fishing Tips for Beginners

You’ve bought your first magnet fishing kit and made your dream catch list, it’s actually time to get out there and fish! Although magnet fishing seems straightforward, there are a few handy tips that can help you on your adventures.

Take a look below at our tips for magnet fishing beginners from where to fish, advice on knots to getting your magnet unstuck, all the advice you need is right here.

Where to Fish

You can find metal in almost every river, lake or pond where there are people. Bridges, canals and piers are very popular spots for magnet fishing due to the high foot and boat traffic meaning many items have been lost over the years.

For more interesting finds, you can even do research to find historical sites which may be covered in historical items. Old riverside roads and historic harbours can also be goldmines.

Lastly, river mouths and spillways will be littered with things that have washed downstream.

A Note on Knots

The best and most common way to attach your magnet to your rope is using a good old-fashioned knot. Alongside this, some people use carabiner clips for the actual link but having a knot in there is still key.

When tying your rope to the magnet, ensure the knot is strong and secure. Your magnet will attract ferrous materials beneath the water and a secure line is pivotal for retrieving the magnet and your find.

Here are some knots we recommend:

Double Davy 

A secure knot that can be tied quickly and easily. Works great with a thin rope.

Taut-Line Hitch 

A strong knot that gets tighter as you retract the rope from the water.

Perfection Knot

Often referred to as the Angler’s Loop, this knot creates a ring for your eyebolt.

Getting Unstuck

Getting your magnet stuck is a common problem faced by all beginners. No matter if it’s the railing of a bridge or a piece of metal underwater, unsticking your magnet is easy if you know-how.

The first thing you should do is always try to slide the magnet off sideways, this way you aren’t going against the magnet’s entire pulling power. If this doesn’t work try pulling it from the side with quick and sharp tugs.

Dangers of Magnet Fishing

Finding and dragging old pieces of rusty metal out of water does come with some dangers, the most obvious danger would be cutting yourself which is why our magnet fishing kit includes gloves.

The much greater danger is the possibility of finding old weapons, including unexploded grenades or bombs, although it is very unlikely these items have been discovered before, if you do find one, lower it carefully back into the water, tie off your rope, and call the police.

Magnet Fishing Laws

Here in the UK, it’s illegal to magnet fish in waters managed by the Canal & River Trust, which is most waterways, meaning you’ll most likely want to try magnet fishing on private property.

However, The Official Magnet Fishing Scotland body has been granted permission for its members to ‘fish’ in Edinburgh’s canals.

Wherever you are, make sure you check with your local authorities before you hit the water. As specific rivers or piers, you’re fishing from.

The last thing you want to do is attract a pair of handcuffs!

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