Using Picks and Magnets for River Metal Detecting

Metal detecting can be a really cool way to spend your time. If you’re like me you love researching and then locating old Civil War sites and then asking land owners if you can hunt the area for what may lay beneath the ground. One really fun thing to do is to metal detect in water! If you use a waterproof metal detector like I do you’ll spend a lot of time doing this because a ton of old metal relics make their way into streams and rivers over the years. This article will point you toward great detection equipment, a great example of an ideal pick ax and the perfect magnet for pulling relics out of the water. See the video at the end for a detailed explanation.

First you need a waterproof metal detector. This image belongs to Garrett’s add on Amazon because, in my opinion and as an Amazon affiliate, that’s the perfect place to pick up great metal detection gear like the Garrett AT Gold and other cool items like a nice pinpointer detector to find small items you can’t see.

Once you’ve got the detection set-up you want and you get into the water, it can be tough to dig some of the things you detect. One of the easiest ways to grab a metal object off the bottom of a stream or river is with a nice strong magnet attached to the back of your pick.

I recommend a magnet rated with at least 300 pounds of pulling force like the magnet I use. Keep in mind that this isn’t as strong as would be needed to lift 300 pounds off the ground, but a 300 pound rating is very strong, so a magnet of at least this rating is preferred. It’ll pull a Civil War era rifle or cannon ball off the bottom of the stream without a problem.

Next comes the ideal pick ax. This needs to be pretty light, not too long or short and I’ve found that 24-26 inches is pretty perfect. I’ve linked to the exact pick ax I use in the water these days. At 26 inches long, it weighs only 2 pounds and that’s a great weight when detecting in the water. It’s perfect for just about anything, including grabbing your dog’s collar as the silly boy gets into the fast moving water (that happens to me a lot).

The brand of magnet doesn’t matter much, but you want it to be strong and you want it to have a hole in the middle of it so you can screw it to your pick handle as I’ve done in the image above. This is a concept I learned while watching a video online from a great metal detecting personality known online as Aquachigger. See his video below that will detail and explain exactly what I present here.

I hope you enjoyed the video from Aquachigger and my outline of what type of pick ax and magnet to use when metal detecting in the water. They’ll work nicely for you every time. Best to you and I wish you well on the hunt!