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How to Get a Disc Out of Water

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

You've just thrown your beloved disc into a body of water and you don't know what to do!

If you're lucky, the water was either shallow like a creek or stream, or it is on the very edge of a lake or deeper river. But if not, you could have a real problem on your hands and will be asking yourself,

How do I get my disc out of the water?

A basket on the edge of the water like this one at Lake Marshall

can be a real mental challenge for any player!

Luckily, we're hear to give you our best suggestions on if a disc retrieval is even possible and the best ways to get it out if it is.

We're going to start with the easiest and most practical methods, and slowly work our way down to the most difficult ways to retrieve a disc or the ones that will take the most planning.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how much your disc is worth to you and how willing you are to get it back that will decide how much effort you're going to put forth in trying to retrieve it.

Every disc has a dollar value assigned to it when sitting on a shelf. But like any object, some discs simply carry more value to some players and for a variety of reasons.

It could be your first aced disc, a disc you throw well and regularly, or a signature disc of your favorite player.

The reason why its sentimental to you doesn't matter, all that does matter is you want it back and we're here to help you get it back,

So lets get started!

1. Give up hope

This suggestion could be first, last, or both on our list.

Simply put, if you throw your disc into a depth of just 5-6+ feet of water, your odds of retrieving it are going to be very minimal unless some special circumstances exist.

For starters, the water needs to be extremely clear.

4, 5, or 6 feet of water may not seem like much if you're in a swimming pool, but add in some muddy and mossy lake bottoms, and you may not even be able to see to the bottom, much less find a submerged disc.

If the water is exceptionally clear it does make things easier, but you will still have a very tough time and probably need to swim down to it.

Another element you'll have to contend with is the water temperature. In these depths and with swimming being your only option, you don't want to risk your well being for a disc that you can likely replace.

If you throw your disc into 10 feet or more of water, you may as well give up hope temporarily, and skip to number 6 on our list.

Lastly, you have to consider how far off the water's edge the disc went, which takes us to number 2 on our list.

2. Wade in

If your disc is on the water's edge, or the water does not get very deep as you go further from shore, then rolling up your pant legs and getting a little wet may be the simplest solution to retrieving a submerged disc.

In my early days of disc golfing, I spent my fair share of time in knee deep water fetching discs that I tossed in,

even when I was trying to avoid the water altogether (not my proudest disc golf moments but it happens to all of us right?).

This tactic will apply to most rivers, streams, and creeks, but gets a little trickier with lakes.

Lakes generally slope downward and get significantly steeper as you go out from the shore, so be careful of your footing, know your limitations, and don't go too deep when in after a disc.

As a tip, and it may seem like common sense, but take off your shoes and socks if possible and when the bottom is not too rocky.

Many times I would do so and upon drying my feet off, would put my shoes and socks back on to continue my round and wouldn't even notice the slight dampness, which makes a world of difference for comfort.

Play one partial round with soggy shoes or socks and you'll understand how miserable it can be!

3. Use a stick

It may sound simple, but sometimes in the process of attempting Tip #2, you may find you don't quite need a true retriever, but you could use a little bit of assistance to grab a disc that's jusssttt out of arm's reach.

If this is the case, simply find yourself a random stick that is the length you need, and gently nudge the disc closer to you so that you can then reach down and grab it.

Sometimes, you don't even need to get into the water at all and can simply use a stick to pull the disc to water's edge, which would be preferred by most players if possible.

In lieu of a stick, then be sure to use #4 on this list to help you retrieve such discs!

4. Use a retriever

Next we move into the meat of our article, and quite possibly the easiest way to get a disc out of water,

Why is this the best method?

Well, for starters it's because these tools are specifically designed to grab discs and make retrieval a breeze.

Unlike like a stick whose primary job is to hold leaves and collect sunlight for it's host tree.

With a dedicated, quality disc retriever, you could probably skip right over numbers 1-3 on our list and go right for your bag when a disc lands into the water.

Unless of course you know its un-retrievable, at which point, move on to number 5.

When talking about disc retrievers, there are essentially 2 types that you will see

  • pole/telescoping retrievers, and

  • thrown/string retrievers

Both types will work well and each ultimately have their own sets of pros and cons.

Pole style retrievers, such as the InZone Kwik Stik XL, are probably more user friendly for most players as they require less "strategy" and practice than retrievers that you throw.

They are also going to typically be the fastest option for retrieving a disc as the heads make it extremely easy to snag a disc.

The 2 primary downsides to these types of retrievers however is that they can seem somewhat bulky, and you're often limited by how far the pole telescopes out to.

Those who use back pack style bags or a cart of some kind will not notice the bulk of the poles as much as the players who utilize an over the shoulder style bag, but it is definitely still there and requires a dedicated space to store it, which is the first down side.

As for the second down side, if the pole only telescopes out 14 feet, then you're out of luck if your disc is stuck at 20 feet unless you can wade 6 feet into the water before using.

Pole style options include but are not limited to the:

Highlights: Overall length of 14 feet allows you to reach to about 18 feet while collapsing down to just 17'' for storage and carry. Also has a built in hook on newer models.

Highlights: Extends out to an impressive 16 feet with a sturdy, stain less steel hook affixed to the end.

Shop on Infinite Discs HERE or by clicking on the photo above

Highlights: Very lightweight at less than a pound while being able to reach out to 10 feet at full length.

Highlights: Features a two prong hook design and is able to extend to an impressive reach distance of 16 feet!

Shop on Infinite Discs HERE or by clicking on the photo above

Retrievers that you physically toss and then retrieve with an attached rope are a second option and they too have their own upsides and downsides to consider when making a decision to buy.

Perhaps the biggest Pro to these style of retrievers is their packability. Compared to the pole style alternative, the thrown retrievers pack down extremely well and take up very little space, regardless of what bag style you use.

The other Pro is that while a pole style can reach up to 16 feet, a thrown retriever is only limited in distance by how long the rope is and how far you can accurately toss it.

So if you see your disc 20-30 feet off the bank, and you have enough rope attached, you should be able to retrieve it where you wouldn't be able to with a telescoping retriever.

Lastly, these style of retrievers are also generally cheaper than pole options and will certainly be easier on the wallet.

That being said, there is a bit of a learning curve with these types of retrievers and they will take some practice to become proficient at retrieval, which could be considered a Con to using.

If you can't throw the retriever very far or accurately, then you may be better off shopping for a pole/telescoping style retriever instead.

The designs for thrown retrievers do vary some, but for the most part, they look and function the same way, so you can't go wrong with any of them if this is the route you're looking to go.

Thrown style options include but are not limited to the:

Read our full review of this retriever HERE

Click on the picture to see the current price on Amazon

or click HERE to shop on

Very similar to the Disc Claw with the major difference being a solid bar across the top rather than an open bar design.

Click on the picture to see the current price on Amazon

or click HERE to shop on

If you would rather browse all disc golf retrievers,

you can CLICK HERE to view everything currently available at

5. Swim

If anything we've mentioned so far is not going to work, things now are going to get interesting, and it's time to put your swimming suit on and do the dirty work yourself!

While I'm somewhat joking, as I wouldn't expect anyone to swim underwater to grab a disc, if the temperature allows it and you're feeling adventurous enough, it may be the only option you have left before giving up and moving on to number 6.

For full disclosure, this would only be an option if you were able to do so safely!

6. Send in a diver

The final option you have at your disposal is to call in someone local to your area who has the equipment and certifications to do some underwater diving for you.

You may think I'm joking, but this is actually a very common practice for disc golf courses who have several water carries and you'll be AMAZED at how many discs a well trained diver can pull out of the lake bottom that otherwise would have been left there forever.

The owner of the disc(s) should kindly pay the diver a small finder's fee for every disc that they return, but some divers will simply hold on to the unmarked and unclaimed discs and do as they please with them as part of the monetary incentive to search the water's bottom for you.

So if all else fails, call in a diver and go retrieve those discs!

Now that you know how to get a disc out of water, check out our article:

to try and prevent your disc going into the water in the first place!

Shop for your new disc retriever at by clicking on the banner below!

*Some links are affiliate links meaning that we may earn a small commission when you make a qualifying purchase with the links that we provide. You can read our full affiliate disclosures on our home page*

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