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Best Crab Traps

last updated Feb 08, 2019

Whether you have been informed by a friend that you would like crab fishing or simply want to know more detailed information on the process it takes to buy the apparatus used for the activity (or any other reason you have been led to this guide today), it is irrelevant as your curiosity has clearly peaked. What you will find by coming to this website today is that buying a crab trap may not be as easy as you think it is. Yes, in case the cat was not let out of the bag already, this is the apparatus that is used for crab fishing. If you really want to become an excellent fisherman of these crustaceans, then you will definitely want to pay close attention to this guide.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 3.25 hrs of research

icon
Promar TR-555
90/100 our score
Durability
93
Style
91
Portability
92
Size
90
Accessories
84
Promar TR-555
Why is it better?

Made with commercial blue vinyl

Will fold for easier transport

Ideal for both recreational and professional use

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Promar TR-555
Test Winner: Promar TR-555
Researched Sources
4
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
18
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
3.25
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Durability Style Portability Size Accessories By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Durability
93%
Style
91%
Portability
92%
Size
90%
Accessories
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$23.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Durability
92%
Style
90%
Portability
91%
Size
91%
Accessories
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$18.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Durability
85%
Style
86%
Portability
94%
Size
85%
Accessories
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$37.31
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Durability
87%
Style
90%
Portability
95%
Size
83%
Accessories
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$18.23
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.6
Durability
90%
Style
90%
Portability
76%
Size
88%
Accessories
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$49.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Durability
91%
Style
90%
Portability
80%
Size
90%
Accessories
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$154.60
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Durability
89%
Style
88%
Portability
76%
Size
87%
Accessories
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$49.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Durability
84%
Style
90%
Portability
94%
Size
86%
Accessories
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$14.29
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Durability
80%
Style
88%
Portability
92%
Size
78%
Accessories
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$30.29
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Durability
80%
Style
79%
Portability
87%
Size
87%
Accessories
76%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$10.57
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Promar TR-555
  • Danielson Pacific FTC
  • Protoco Economy
  • KUFA Casting
  • Willapa Marine
  • Promar Mesh
  • Rob Smith Maryland
  • RUNACC Portable
  • Foxy-Mate 120-T
  • Hurricane Two Ring
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST CRAB TRAPS

1. Promar TR-555

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Promar TR-555
Durability
93
Style
91
Portability
92
Size
90
Accessories
84
best offer for today
$23.99
Pros:

Made with commercial blue vinyl

Will fold for easier transport

Ideal for both recreational and professional use

Cons:

Not ideal for blue crabs

When it comes to building quality and overall craftsmanship, it just will not get much better than this. Of course, the TR-555 is not ideal for blue crabs due to the larger lattice openings.

Read more

Build Quality
The TR-555 is designed to last that much is for sure. It is designed of vinyl-coated steel wire that is both commercial-grade and also corrosion-resistant.

Design Style
This is essentially a giant cage and it sports four entrance doors, two escape rings and a tending door. However, due to the size of the lattice openings, it is not ideal for smaller crustaceans.

Portability
One of the benefits of this design is the fact that Promar engineered it to fold flat for easier storage and transportation.

Size
At 24 inches by 24 inches by 9 inches, this is a very suitable size. Remember, it is a cage and is rectangular in shape.

Accessories
Be aware that a bait box is not included with your purchase. There is, however, an angler access trap that is engineered with the harvest door on the top.

Overall
It is really simple; the TR-555 is a suitable design for those of you who are serious about crab fishing. Of course, that is only if you do not want to fish for blue claws.

2. Danielson Pacific FTC

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Danielson Pacific FTC
Durability
92
Style
90
Portability
91
Size
91
Accessories
85
best offer for today
$18.00
Pros:

It will fold flat for storage

Features four different entrance doors

Designed with a fall-away rot-cord system

Cons:

Will need modifications for smaller crustaceans

Can take a while to actually catch crabs

Do not be frightened by the cheaper price here as the quality is very high. However, be aware that due to the engineering of the design, it can take time for the little critters to figure out how to get in.

Read more

Build Quality
Much like the last model, this is constructed of vinyl-coated steel wire. Overall, it is a very sturdy design that is not going to corrode very easily.

Design Style
Really, this is almost a carbon-copy of the previous model. It also sports four entrance doors and two escape rings. Additionally, the fall-away-rot-cord system can disable it if it is not retrievable.

Portability
Danielson engineered their cage to be folded. This makes it so much easier to both store their cage and to transport it to the water.

Size
This is also 24 inches by 24 inches but it is slightly taller than the last one at 13 inches. While the grid is too large to catch smaller crustaceans, this can catch a ton of larger species.

Accessories
With your purchase, a rot cord is included and it comes as four separate pieces of cord. However, a bait cage is not included.

Overall
What is really surprising here is the price tag as the quality is incredibly high. It just goes to show that very rarely, you can buy an extremely high-quality product at an extremely low price.

3. Protoco Economy

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Protoco Economy
Durability
85
Style
86
Portability
94
Size
85
Accessories
92
best offer for today
$37.31
Pros:

The mesh is tarred

Comes with a harness and a rope

The bait cage is vinyl coated

Cons:

The bottom of the ring is uncoated

The design is somewhat flawed

Protoco has designed a model that is almost perfect for beginners or casual users. This is not an overly complicated design and will collapse to make transport much, much easier.

Read more

Build Quality
If not for the uncoated bottom ring, this would have been an exceptional build. Because, you see, it is made with a steel frame and is coated with blue polyethylene to protect against corrosion.

Design Style
This design is definitely suitable for beginners. It is merely a net and you simply toss it into the ocean. Now, the crabs can get caught in the netting, which is a bit of an annoyance.

Portability
Because this is merely a mesh net, it can be collapsed when you want to store it and when you need to transport it to the ocean.

Size
When space is limited, you will love yourself for choosing this model. But, when stretched, it actually measures 24 inches in diameter and 17 inches in height.

Accessories
Protoco includes a few key accessories that will come in handy on your adventures. First off, they actually include a bait box that has been coated with polyethylene. Also, they include the harness.

Overall
Look, not all of you will be enthralled by this design. With that said, there are many reasons to admire it including the compact size and also the simplicity.

4. KUFA Casting

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
KUFA Casting
Durability
87
Style
90
Portability
95
Size
83
Accessories
85
best offer for today
$18.23
Pros:

One of the more compact models out there

Includes 100 feet of rope

It is an adequate size

Cons:

The strapping needs to be tighter

Crabs tend to get caught in the netting

In a bit of irony, this model almost works too well at its designed purpose. While that will be explained in a minute, it is worth noting that this is pretty good for the price.

Read more

Build Quality
The netting itself is designed with quality in mind. The main issue here, though, is that crabs can get caught in the netting and then you need to resort to cutting the net to get them out.

Design Style
No matter if you are on a boat or even on a dock, this can easily be cast by hand or by a fishing rod. It is also spring loaded to ensure it stays open in the water.

Portability
At only one-pound in total weight and with the ability to be stored compactly, it is easy to say that the CR55 is one of the most portable crab traps on the market.

Size
Though the CR55 is not enormous in size, it does measure 22 inches by 12 inches by 2 inches. For the right type of fishing, this can be quite suitable, in fact.

Accessories
The main accessory that is included with your purchase is 100 feet of smooth casting braided rope.

Overall
More experienced users may scoff at this model, to be quite honest. Let’s just be frank and say this is ideal for beginners and is as simple as it will ever get.

5. Willapa Marine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.6
Willapa Marine
Durability
90
Style
90
Portability
76
Size
88
Accessories
94
best offer for today
$49.99
Pros:

Comes with everything you need

Made with black vinyl coated wire

Features four entrance tunnels

Cons:

Not for east coast blue crabs

The line is not pre-secured to the harness

As all crab fishermen know, owning a specific trap is just one step to the equation. You will also need a number of other accessories and with this kit that is exactly what is provided to you.

Read more

Build Quality
The designer here understands that you can’t skimp on quality and that is why they designed their cage with black vinyl coated wire.

Design Style
The cage itself is going to open from the top for easy catch access. Also, it is engineered with four entrance tunnels and an attached bridle rope.

Portability
You will need some room to transport this as it is designed with non-removable brackets. Unfortunately, it will not fold down for storage purposes.

Size
This is another round cage and it sports a diameter of 24 inches. As for the height, it measures nine inches.

Accessories
Per the product description, this comes with everything you need to go crabbing. Of course, it would have been nice if the line came pre-secured to the harness.

Overall
The crab trap itself is great here but what is truly phenomenal is the entire kit you receive. About the only item, you will need alongside this is the bait itself.

6. Promar Mesh

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Promar Mesh
Durability
91
Style
90
Portability
80
Size
90
Accessories
86
best offer for today
$154.60
Pros:

Made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel

Designed much like commercial-style models

Heavy enough to be very stable

Cons:

It is not the best for blue claws

Promar is right back on this list and this design is very similar to their other one on this list. The main difference is this bad boy is circular while their other one is rectangular.

Read more

Build Quality
Being designed in similar fashion to commercial units, you know this is well built. It sports heavy-duty stainless steel wire mesh and is ready to handle repetitive use. Also, it is very heavy and will not get moved by a current very easily.

Design Style
As opposed to the previous two models, this is circular and not rectangular. However, it does sport two tunnel entrances and two escape rings. The mesh is much too wide for smaller crustaceans, though.

Portability
The heavy-duty nature of this model makes it a bit more difficult to transport. It is not light, let’s just say that.

Size
As this is circular, it is measured in diameter and is 30 inches. It is also 10 inches tall and this makes it a fairly large apparatus.

Accessories
You will need to account for the bait box yourself but not the rot rope. Indeed, this rope is included with your purchase and even if you need replacement cord, it is available at most outdoor equipment stores.

Overall
When it comes to Promar, you know that you will rarely ever need to question the quality. This right here is a prime example and is built to endure the roughest of waters.

7. Rob Smith Maryland

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Rob Smith Maryland
Durability
89
Style
88
Portability
76
Size
87
Accessories
90
best offer for today
$49.00
Pros:

Comes with additional accessories

Designed with a vinyl coating for protection

The overall construction is fabulous

Cons:

It is not foldable

A few questioned its effectiveness

This right here is universally recognized as one of the best traps in the world. You are not going to find too many people that have any legitimate issues with this design.

Read more

Build Quality
When this says commercial quality, it is not exaggerating. It is protected with a vinyl coating and is engineered with high-quality welds.

Design Style
While there have been a few users who have felt this was ineffective at catching crabs, it is a giant cage that sports multiple openings and escape rings.

Portability
It sure would have been nice if this would have been collapsible. Because it is not, this can be a bit tougher to transport to the seas.

Size
Honestly, this looks larger than it actually is. The actual dimensions 24 inches by 13 inches by 13 inches. It is still a suitable size, however.

Accessories
Every single accessory that you see in the photos, including the rope, is included with your purchase. As such, this is a pretty good package deal.

Overall
This has raved the world over but there are those naysayers out there who are not fans of this model. It is not a flawless design but it is one that is built to last.

8. RUNACC Portable

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
RUNACC Portable
Durability
84
Style
90
Portability
94
Size
86
Accessories
75
best offer for today
$14.29
Pros:

It is foldable

Made of high-quality mesh material

There are two no-return entrances

Cons:

The rings tend to rust

The zipper is a bit weak

As opposed to the previous models, this one right here is a bit different. It is actually a fishing net that is made of thick mesh material that will collapse when you need to transport it.

Read more

Build Quality
There is some good and some bad here. The mesh itself is high in quality and made of thick gauge wire. However, the rings tend to rust and the zipper’s quality has been criticized.

Design Style
Unlike the others, this is not a cage and is merely a large spherical net. It comes equipped with two no-return entrances and a zipper design. If you are after smaller crabs, this will be the design you are looking for.

Portability
If you are not interested in models that are difficult to transport then you need to take a closer look at this. It is one of the most compact traps out there and is foldable and stretchable.

Size
When stretched, this has a height of 20.1 inches and a diameter of 12.6 inches. It is not quite as large as the photos suggest but it suffices either way.

Accessories
If there is one knock on this design it is the lack of any additional accessories. For the price, though, you will have plenty of money left over to buy some.

Overall
A lot of traps out there will not be optimized to catch blue claw crabs but this is one that is. In addition, it is extremely compact which will come in handy if you use it often.

9. Foxy-Mate 120-T

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Foxy-Mate 120-T
Durability
80
Style
88
Portability
92
Size
78
Accessories
82
best offer for today
$30.29
Pros:

No assembly is required

Does exactly what it is supposed to do

Is fully collapsible

Cons:

It is a bit on the cheap side, in regard to build quality

Let’s just get this out of the way right away, there is nothing immaculate about the 120-T. In fact, it could come across as a bit cheap. But, at the end of the day, it gets the job done and does so efficiently.

Read more

Build Quality
Now, the 120-T is made of welded black epoxy wire that will resist corrosion. Problem is, this is a bit cheaply made and will not stand up too much abuse.

Design Style
No assembly is required on your part and this does not have a top. But, it does open at the top and also sports tapered sides that allow for easy stacking.

Portability
When the time comes when you need to either store the 120-T or you need to transport it, you can collapse the entire unit to make things significantly easier.

Size
At 12 inches by 12 inches by 8 inches, this is actually one of the smaller models on this list. It will not catch a boatload of crustaceans, let’s just say that.

Accessories
All that is really included is a string that attaches to each panel to lift the mechanism up. However, an additional rope is not included with your purchase.

Overall
The 120-T is not of commercial quality and no one will tell you different. It is more suitable for casual crab fishermen that may only go out a few times a year.

10. Hurricane Two Ring

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Hurricane Two Ring
Durability
80
Style
79
Portability
87
Size
87
Accessories
76
best offer for today
$10.57
Pros:

Good value for what you get

The net itself is very impressive

It is a good size

Cons:

The wire lines are awful

Modifications will need to be done

As so many others have noted, the net of this model is actually really good. However, you will want to replace the wire lines that hold the net (as they have been heavily criticized for being cheap).

Read more

Build Quality
Now, the net itself is long-lasting and the rings are made of corrosion-resistant aluminum. The real problem here is the lines that hold the net as they probably will need to be replaced.

Design Style
You could almost consider this a wire net basket. It is a very simple design; although, the metal mesh can sometimes get caught up in itself and not expand all the way.

Portability
There is no mention of it being collapsible but due to the mesh construction, it probably is. Either way, it is still pretty easy to transport.

Size
There are two rings and the bottom is smaller in diameter by 11 inches. The top ring is 18 inches in diameter and the entire net is around nine inches in depth.

Accessories
You will need to rig your own bait holder as one is not included. Overall, not too many accessories are included.

Overall
If you do not mind replacing the lines with something more substantial then you can enjoy a pretty neat device. For the price of admission, though, that is to be expected a bit.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

The build quality is always going to matter but, in this case, it is amplified.

No matter how you slice it, the crab trap that you ultimately end up buying needs to be high in quality. It sounds painfully obvious and it should be. But, not all of them will be elite in all the same areas. That said, one of the most important attributes that any trap needs is strong build quality. It really comes down how well the model is protected, to be perfectly honest. Most of the time, no matter the design style, crab traps will be made with metal. Well, as most of you know, some metal will rust (granted it has iron in it) and when it is exposed to water, the corroding process can accelerate. And, this is amplified in saltwater.
Even if you do not plan to crab fish in saltwater, you should ensure that the model you pick comes with a coating to protect the metal from rusting. One of the more popular ones is a vinyl coating, for example. Leaving the metal exposed in saltwater (or even freshwater) can lead to rusting pretty quickly.

Style

There are actually quite a few different design styles out there and choosing the one you prefer is ideal.

Whether you knew this coming in or not, there are actually different types of crab traps that you can invest in. While it is debatable on which style is the “best”, each style is sufficient in its own right. All in all, there are three main types that you can select from. First up, let’s talk about the box style. This is arguably the most popular due to its design. Per the name, this model does have a rectangular shape and it actually requires the least amount of work from the user. You see, you can leave the cage underwater overnight as the crabs have a difficult time of escaping. Plus, with most of these cages, they will have three to four entrance doors and multiple escape rings.
However, you also have what is known as a ring trap. Ring traps are very simple and consist of two rings attached together with a mesh net (made of metal wire). The top ring is typically larger than the bottom ring and the crustaceans will end up getting caught inside. And, the last type is very similar to this and is known as a pyramid trap. The main difference is the shape (as this is a pyramid instead of a ring). Due to this shape, it tends to be a bit more stable.

Portability

You will need to transport your crab trap to the seas so it is optimal if it is portable.

One of the toughest obstacles for some designers to eclipse is to find an optimal balance of weight and strength. It comes into play with a wide range of products and crap traps are no different. Now, you really need to buy a model that is heavy enough to remain stable in the water. If it flips over then it is no good to you. At the same time, it does not need to be excessive in weight.
Of course, the main area of assessment here is if the model collapses. This is not so much an issue with ring traps as they only feature two rings and mesh netting (and can usually be collapsed anyway). Yet, when you talk about box traps it becomes a much bigger deal. Not all models will be foldable and the ones that are will be much easier to transport. Be aware because if you invest in a style that does not collapse, you will need extra room to both store it and to transport it to the body of water you want to crab fish at.

Size

This is not the most important criterion out there but it does possess value.

Whenever you are in the market for a specific type of product, not all attributes of that specific product will be equal (in terms of importance). In this case, the size of a crab trap is probably not going to hold as much weight as the other criterions that were just documented. However, it made an appearance on this guide and that means that it is somewhat important. It really comes down to how many crabs you want to catch. If you are doing so commercially then there is no way to get around the fact that you will need a larger model. The fewer times you need to reload the trap, the better.
Now, for recreational use, pretty much any size is going to do just fine. Just ensure that it will catch the number of crustaceans that you desire and you should be just fine.

Accessories

Crab fishing requires more than just a crab trap and some sellers will include some additional accessories for you.

Along the line of other sports and activities, there is more to crab fishing than just buying a crab trap. There will be some other accessories that you will need. And, if you really do not want to purchase them yourself then you can look for sellers that include some. To give you an example of the types of accessories you will need, here are two.
First off, you will need a bait box to actually lure the crabs into your trap. Along with that, you will need bait (which you will need to supply). Another common accessory is a rot cord. Most traps should come with this rope but even if they do not, they are easily obtainable online.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
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#2
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#3
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#4
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#5
Accessories
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Durability

For the most part, when metal becomes exposed to water then you will need to worry about rust. When you go to assess the build quality of any particular model, you need to ensure that the metal is coated for protection. At least slowing down the process of rusting will be ideal. Of course, the metal itself should also be sturdy enough to not tip over or float away in the water.

Style

There are a few different types of styles out there for you to look into. What you need to remember is each style is sufficient in its own right and none of them will require too much work on your part. With that said each style is different and has its uniqueness. We take a closer look at each of the types and break them down for you a little bit. This should give you a better understanding if there is any confusion.

Portability

Whatever you do, do not forget about this section. It is really easy to do because you may not think about it right away. But, unless you plan to crab fish in the pond in your backyard, you will most likely have to travel with your trap. And, even if you do not, you will eventually need to store it away. So, ensuring the model you invest in is portable will be incredibly important to most of you.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What do you use as bait?
a:

This is probably the question that pops up the most when the topic of crab fishing comes up. Now, it has nothing to do with the buying process but it is a practical question that will help you out. So, to the actual question, what should you use as bait? Here is the good news; these crustaceans are not picky eaters and depending on who you ask, you may get a different answer. This is probably because several different baits work extremely well. Some of the most popular ones, though, are chicken necks, razor clams, fish heads, road kill deer, cat food, and turkey backs. Basically, they prefer fresh foods.

q: How can you catch crabs on the beach?
a:

To be honest, if you have an interest in catching these creatures on the beach then you probably do not need a trap. Actually, all you are going to need is some line and some bait. You can use any of the bait that was just documented in the previous question (or any other bait that you have heard is effective) and tie it to the end of the line. Given will be handling the bait, though, do not go for something that makes you uncomfortable. From there, place the bait and the line in any area that is highly populated with crabs and wait for a bite.

q: How deep do you set a trap?
a:

To be honest, this is really up to you. You see, crab fishing can be achieved in both shallow and deeper waters. Yet, with that said, each model may not be optimized to handle both depths. If you require a trap that can handle deeper waters then you will probably want to opt for commercial-quality models. On the flipside, for shallower waters, you can practically get away with any style of crab trap out there.

q: Is a fishing license required?
a:

As many of you are fully aware, states mandate that certain people need to buy a fishing license in order to legally fish. The question is, though, does the same regulation apply for crab fishing? Actually, this question has two answers as it depends solely on the type of trap you are using. You see, if you merely go crab fishing with a crab line or a dip net, you will not need a fishing license. However, if you use an actual crab trap that utilizes metal then you will need a basic fishing license. Of course, if you do so in a wildlife management area, then you will need one regardless.

q: How do you humanely kill crabs?
a:

Look, most people are not out to participate in this activity to viciously slaughter these crustaceans. No matter your reasoning, if you want to keep them then there is a humane way of killing them. The best way is to lower their body temperature before you spike it. A good way to do this is to store them in your refrigerator (assuming it is operating less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit) for a few hours. If you put them in the freezer the sudden temperature decrease can shock them. After this, you will need to insert a pointed object through their brain.

q: How fast will metal rust?
a:

While this seems like a question that is misplaced, it actually is an interesting one to address as it can come into play here. Most models you purchase will contain metal and as long as it contains iron, it can rust. And, given you will be submerging them in water, the issue with rusting becomes amplified. When metals that contain rust become exposed to moisture and air they immediately will begin rusting. But, this process can be accelerated if there are no protective coatings present. Of course, you may not actually visually see the rust right away.