While magnet fishing only really requires you to bring a magnet and a rope, there are a few tools and accessories that will make your magnet fishing experience much easier and more enjoyable. Items you would normally bring when you go outdoors like sunscreen or insect repellent are not included.
You will probably already have a lot of these around the house, or in your garage/shed, but it is unlikely you will have all of them. So here goes, starting with the most important, the top 5 magnet fishing accessories you should be using!
Aside from a magnet and a rope, gloves are the most important accessory you need when you go magnet fishing. There are a few reasons why you need gloves when you go magnet fishing. Often depending on where you fish, the water will be polluted and dirty. It is unhygienic to be constantly touching this polluted water, and the finds that were submerged in it with your bare hands. Gloves act as a barrier between your hands and the bacteria in the water.
Another big reason why you need gloves is to protect yourself from the potentially sharp metal objects that you remove from the water. If your rusted finds pierce your skin, you could get tetanus, a life threatening disease. While I accept this is unlikely, it is a risk you do not want to take. Thick gloves prevent you getting cuts or gashes from your magnet fishing finds.
Gloves also protect you from your rope. Think about it, you are going to be pulling your rope in and out of the water all day long. This will take a toll on your hands eventually. It can lead to rawness, callouses and rope burn, hindering your ability to be able to magnet fish. You probably already have a few pairs of gloves at your house. I recommend water resistant gardening gloves, as they are usually thick enough and have rubber on your fingers for extra grip.
2. Something to hold your finds
When you go magnet fishing you should always bring something to hold your finds. This can be an old bag, a bucket, a tub or a combination of different containers. I recommend a bag or bucket for larger finds and a container that isn’t as big for your smaller finds. It is important that you don’t bring any containers or bags that you really care about, as they will likely get dirty and smelly.
You might want to buy a new bucket and container and only use them for magnet fishing. That way you can store all of your magnet fishing gear together – keep it in the bucket then whenever you go magnet fishing you can just grab it and go. If you don’t bring anything with you to hold your magnet fishing finds, it will be awkward to get back to your car or house and you might have to leave some of your finds behind.
3. A Knife
The worst thing about magnet fishing is when you get your magnet completely stuck underwater. You have tried everything, and you just can’t move it. With a knife, while you might lose the magnet, at least you won’t lose the rope as well. If you are absolutely certain that you won’t be able to remove the magnet, you can cut the rope as close as you can to the magnet end, meaning you will still be able to keep most of the rope. While losing your magnet is awful, it isn’t as bad as losing your magnet and your rope.
A knife can also come in handy when you are removing finds from the water. Often, they will come out wrapped in rope or fishing line. What could take hours by hand can be done in seconds if you have a knife on hand. I would recommend a pocketknife with a single blade rather than a pen knife like a swiss army knife. Pocket knives are typically easier to use, more durable and sharper.
4. Grappling Hook
While it may seem like your magnet is incredibly strong, it might not be as strong as you think. The pulling force of a magnet is determined by the amount of force it takes to remove it from a piece of ½ inch steel in ideal conditions. Under the water, against rusty metal, it is a very different story.
Trust me when I say that the pulling force of your magnet in real world conditions is a fraction of the claimed pulling force. Because of this, for large finds, you might need something else to help get your finds out of the water. That something is a grappling hook. Once you catch something, and you realise it could be too big to pull out with just your magnet, you can hook onto it with your grappling hook as a second contact point and pull it out. If you have friends with you, they can pull the grappling hook, while you pull the magnet, meaning you both share the weight of the find. Having a grappling hook will mean there is not as much of a need for a magnet with an extremely high pulling power, saving you money.
If your magnet gets stuck on a find you can throw your grappling hook in and try reel it out, saving your magnet and the find. To hook a find with your grappling hook, one of the ways is to throw it beyond the find and then slowly pull it back along the riverbed until it hooks onto the find. This is probably the only magnet fishing accessory on this list that you don’t already own. If you go magnet fishing with friends or if you go magnet fishing a often, I would highly recommend you buy this magnet fishing accessory.
5. Hand sanitizer
When you go magnet fishing, no matter what gloves you wear, chances are your hands are still going to get wet and dirty from the water and your finds. I recommend using hand sanitizer after you finish magnet finish magnet fishing to avoid spreading bacteria. This is probably something you already have at your house so you may as well bring it with you when you go magnet fishing.
If you don’t use hand sanitizer, there is a higher chance you could get sick from the dirty water or finds. This is particularly important if you already have a weak immune system as you are more susceptible to illness anyway. If the body of water you are fishing in is particularly dirty, washing your hands after you go magnet fishing is especially important. Even if you do bring hand sanitizer, I would still recommend washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you get back home.
While none of these magnet fishing accessories are essential, I would highly recommend you bring some, if not all of them. If you want to find out more about magnet fishing, I have a definitive guide here.