If you’re just casually magnet fishing, you likely won’t need a winch, unless your magnet gets stuck. But if you mean serious business and fancy new addition to your high-end magnet fishing gear, a winch may be the ideal tool to take your treasure hunting game to the next level.
Why would I need a winch for magnet fishing?
There are two main reasons why you would need a winch as a magnet fisher:
- They are a great way to get your magnet unstuck.
- They allow you to pull out extremely heavy treasures that way multiple tons and may be worth a small fortune in scrap metals alone.
How to use a winch for magnet fishing?
Using a winch is quite simple:
- Attach one end to your magnet fishing rope
- Find a sturdy and stationary object
- Attach the other end of the winch to that object
As you work the winch, watch out for cracks or cranking noises. Also, beware that your magnet fishing rope may stretch out, so once your magnet is freed, it may suddenly jump out of the water.
The best winch for most magnet fishers
There are a variety of winches available on the market today, each designed for a specific purpose. When looking for a winch, as a magnet fisher, beware that the price range and the maximum load rating vary wildly. The ideal winch strength for most magnet fishers is likely 2 tons (4000 lbs). This may sound like a lot, but it in terms of winches, it really isn’t.
This 2-ton ratcheting cable winch puller aka the “Come Along”
This winch ratcheting cable winch puller is very cheap, and there are 1-ton, 2-ton, and 4-ton versions available. The 2-ton version is ideal for all the magnets, we mentioned here. Magnet fishing aside, a winch like this is an essential toolbox item that may prove useful in future situations around the house.
- Lightweight and portable
- Waterproof and can be used in all types of weather
- Easier to operate than electric or hydraulic winches
- Literally tons of pulling force for little money. Only around $30
The 2-ton ratchet winch in action
This video shows just how much manpower a ratcheting winch like this can replace in case your magnet gets stuck to a seemingly heavy metal object.
Other types of winches for magnet fishing
Besides the manual ratcheting winch, there are other winches that may be of interest to you as a magnet fisher. Here is a quick rundown of other popular types of winches that could be used for magnet fishing:
An electric winch is powered by electricity, making it much easier to use than a manual or hydraulic winch. Electric winches are great for those who don’t have a lot of upper body strength. With regard to magnet fishing, electric winches have major disadvantages:
- They are more expensive than manual winches.
- Most have a limited pulling capacity of 1000 lbs.
- Many are not waterproof and can’t be used in all types of weather
A hydraulic winch is powered by hydraulic fluid, making it extremely powerful. However, your rope will certainly snap before the winch can apply 15,000 lb of pulling force. However, it can be difficult to use if you don’t have experience with hydraulics.
An air winch is powered by compressed air, making it very powerful and easy to use. Air winches are often used in industrial applications.
There are many more winches, such as remote-controlled ones, but they are meant to recover heavy off-road vehicles and are total overkill for magnet fishing.