**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!