A popular new hobby that has emerged in the past couple of years is known as ‘magnet fishing.’ You may have heard the term as celebrities have started participating in the hobby and it has also been mentioned in national newspapers for all the wrong reasons. But what exactly is it? Is it legal? Is it dangerous? And how do you do it? Luckily for you, we have all the answers.

What is magnet fishing?

Magnet fishing, also known as magnetic fishing is similar to ‘treasure hunting’ and involves searching in outdoor waters for ferromagnetic objects available to pull with a strong neodymium magnet. Many people who have tried magnet fishing have successfully recovered discarded bicycles, guns, safes, bombs, coins, treasure, and even motorcycles and many participate in the activity in the hope of finding rare and valuable items as well.

Initially started by boaters who used to use magnets to recover fallen keys from the water, magnetic fishing is also good for the environment as it is a way of cleaning out the rivers, streams, and lakes. Canals are also a popular place to magnet fish as many people use them to dump their large unwanted items in. So popular is the sport now that tools are designed specifically for the magnet fishing, like this fishing magnet on Amazon which has 1222 lbs of pulling force and can fish up some amazing findings.

Who magnet fishes?

People who magnet fish are often referred to as “magnetfishers,” “magneteers,” “MF’ers” or “neodemons,” (a play on neodymium) and there are two main types of magnets for magnet fishing – double sided and single sided magnets.

If you’re interested in becoming a ‘magnetfisher’ and taking up this hobby, you will just need a strong rope, a pair of gloves and something to put your metal findings in. Other than that, it is a fairly inexpensive activity which requires almost no technical knowledge to get started.

How do you magnet fish?

There is no ‘right’ way to magnet fish, and the more you practice, the more you will learn what is right for you and what technique is most comfortable. A simple method is to just throw in the magnet and let it sink, then to pull it back slowly. You could also try throwing in and then walking parallel with the magnet to cover more area.

What do you do with your findings?

When you have ‘caught’ something, it will probably be covered in rust and perhaps unidentifiable so cleaning your find with lemon juice and salt is an excellent way to clean some of the rust away without doing any irreversible damage. You will need to rub salt all over the areas of rust and then leave it to soak in lemon juice for a couple of hours, then scrub it off.

You can also use baking soda and water by making it into a paste and leaving it to soak and then scrub it off or soak in a bowl of vinegar overnight.

Is magnet fishing legal?

While it can be considered controversial in the UK, magnet fishing is legal  however like any fishing or metal detecting; it’s always a good idea to be safe and to get permission from whoever’s land you’ll be fishing on as rivers and canals and streams all have owners.

Is magnet fishing dangerous?

Magnet fishing can be dangerous because neodymium magnets are some of the strongest magnets in the world and attract steel as a powerful force. If not used carefully then they can cause injury. Even smaller magnets pose a potential risk as they can slam together and shatter. Be careful where you are magnet fishing as well as steep river banks and canal banks and strong currents can also be dangerous. Ancient guns have been found in the past as have unexploded World War II bombs, shells and grenades which can also pose a risk.

But don’t let that put you off, magnet fishing is a lot of fun, and there is a chance you could retrieve a collectible or something valuable.

Magnet fishing is an awful lot of fun, it’s free to do, and you might come across something amazing. It’s fun for the family and something which can be done together, and you can even do it on holiday at the beach. If you’re looking for a new hobby then this could be the perfect one for you, so what are you waiting for, start your magnet fishing adventures today!

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