Friendly Metal Detecting Forums   Big boys Hobbies
List all sponsors

Go Back   Friendly Metal Detecting Forums > Detectors and Gear > Advice on Detector Purchase

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-10-2017, 10:24 PM
KirkS's Avatar
KirkS KirkS is offline
Full Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: St Pete FL
Posts: 242
Default I think I've decided...

**Heads up! I can be long-winded! **

I've decided to get into this hobby (obsession?), and have become blurry-eyed trying to figure out which machine to start off with.

I live in St Petersburg, FL, about 2 miles from Gulf beaches. I plan/expect to be hunting primarily beaches, and maybe some parks and schools. As for the beaches, I'll be hunting the dry sand, as I've learned the limitations of wet salt sand, and the required detectors to be truly successful.

Based on a recommendation from someone whose opinion I respect, I'm 99.99% decided on a Fisher F-22. I originally was going to go with a Tesoro Compadre, but the added benefit of a weatherproof machine should come in handy here, as pop-up storms are the norm. Also, a probable upgrade would be a high-end machine (ie., CTX3030, e-trac, etc.), and starting with a digital machine I would expect to be a smoother transition.

While the budget is essentially unlimited, I'm frugal. I could start off with a top of the line machine, but to be honest, I don't even know if I'm going to like metal detecting, so I'd rather start small, and I feel an initial approximate investment of <$300 is realistic and reasonable.


So now I need advice on secondaries.

Which coil; the 9" elliptical, or the 11" DD elliptical? I'm still learning coils, so I really haven't a clue here.

Which do I need more - a pinpointer (a good one) and digger, or a good sand scoop? I expect to hit the beaches first while it's cooler out, and the parks during the hotter months (hate the FL beaches during the summer), so I'm thinking of a scoop first.

Headphones. Necessary, or a nicety? Do 'normal' music headphones work as well on a MD? I can't see why they wouldn't.

If you have a better suggestion on a MD, my ears are open.

Thanks for the help!
Reply With Quote

Old 01-11-2017, 12:07 AM
Surf Master's Avatar
Surf Master Surf Master is offline
Elite Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mid Atlantic Beach
Posts: 11,643
Default to be honest

Your looking at a minimum of 800 than you need a scoop. Save your money , water proof machines cost more, Earl. Myers Detectors can point you in the wright direction, take a trip, he is close to you Florida Ave Tampa, happy hunting .
Reply With Quote

1 members found this post helpful.
Old 01-11-2017, 12:17 AM
KirkS's Avatar
KirkS KirkS is offline
Full Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: St Pete FL
Posts: 242

The $300 refers to the machine only. I figure a good scoop or pinpointer will be an additional $150+/-, plus other accessories I'll need.

I have little desire to go into the water, so I don't think a waterproof machine is really something I need or would really benefit from. Although, if I do enjoy the hobby, it would be on my list.
Reply With Quote

Old 01-11-2017, 06:21 AM
Mud-puppy's Avatar
Mud-puppy Mud-puppy is online now
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: West Michigan area
Posts: 10,865

Well...I dry sand a lot and use the 11"dd on the end of a F70...I also use a small bucket light dry sand scoop with about a 3' handle...Dry sanding is a specialty...You will get in shape if you are not already, you will find its a lot cooler to go early in the morning before Sun-up when theres no crowds and you wont get so overheated...

The only other item you will need is a finds pouch, even a cheap little nail apron from the Home depot is fine, thats all I use to this day...You have to be comfortable, loose shirt, shorts, barefoot is how I like to go about on the dry sand...Havnt stepped on any glass yet thankfully...easy 1000 miles of barefoot hunting on the doubt 400 per year when I add it all up on my standard beaches season...June/July/Aug

Then you work the towel lines and travel zones and the little private areas off to the prevailing downwind side from the beach entrance...You can fling a 12'arc with a fast recovery light weight F rig if you sort of stoop over and wide leg it and swing with your body...this is for the towel line, down and back, covering 24' of productive area fast....dig will be finding wallets and cash and cellphones...dope pipes, all sorts of things..

Its a lot of walking and swinging coil so you have to settle into a steady easy effortless ergonomic pattern or the dry sand will flat wear you out! I cant imagine attempting it with a heavier unbalanced rig or large heavy scoop of any sort...Good Luck and report back!


Detecting is the study of Mankinds interaction with topography, the untrustworthiness of pockets, and metals desire to return to the Earth from whence it came.

Reply With Quote

Old 01-11-2017, 08:43 AM
DIGGER27's Avatar
DIGGER27 DIGGER27 is online now
Elite Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Alabama, by way of Detroit, Tampa Bay, Alabama and Kansas
Posts: 14,278

Digging in dry sand is easy, wet sand is heavier so a cheap scoop might not last as long if you hit areas like that after high tide.

Since you are hitting land sites too a good hand digger and pinpointer makes much more sense.
A decent pinpointer will be invaluable on both land and at the beach, a digging tool with a scoop design like the Predator Raptor would work well in your sandy soil and scoop the sand out very well at the beach.

Before you spend money on a really good scoop see how things shake out first.
If you don't mind bending over you can get a very decent strong hand scoop for about $30 to start with if you spend a lot of time at the beach.

Name:  5503_1_.jpg
Views: 296
Size:  21.1 KB

Coils...bigger usually gets a bit deeper.
The 9" is a strangely shaped concentric coil, the 11" is a DD coil.
Strengths and weaknesses for both.

The concentric has a bit sharper discriminating on abilities, problem pop tops that like to come in high and mimic coins are no issues with this one, I find hunting with concentrics for jewelry seems a bit more efficient but I find that stuff with both kinds.

The bigger DD coil should get a little deeper but the advantage is the scanning field is much wider at the deeper areas near the edge of the scanning field.
Easier to notice the deep ones with a coil like this with a little less overlapping.
The thinner scanning field running up the center of this coil makes it a bit easier to snake through trash.
A little more of a problem regarding pop tops on this one but there is a technique that makes most of them pretty easy to identify using this coil.

If you do hunt in the wetter sand some it could be way more mineralized in some spots than the dry stuff.
Salt is a mineral, so is the black stuff you see in some of the sand.
Not that this would really work great at all in the water or wet problem sand but you have a better shot at finding a few more good targets in that environment with a DD coil.

"The road to success is always under construction."

Currently hunting with an F70, a Mojave and a borrowed Red Racer.
Plus a Nox 800.

Reply With Quote

Old 01-11-2017, 12:31 PM
H Desert Digger's Avatar
H Desert Digger H Desert Digger is offline
Elite Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Huntington Indiana
Posts: 1,773

I give you 9 months tops before your butt is in the surf...smiles.

I mean that in a friendly way. I envy you for your location, you don't have a spare room over the garage do you?

I've never owned a F 22, but I have had an F2, very good and reliable machine.

Best of luck my friend...


Detectors: In order of ownership: BHT2, Tesoro Silver Sabre, AT Pro, Teknetics G2, XP Deus

Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.