Trying to decide.
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  • 1 Post By jmoller99
  • 2 Post By Steve Herschbach
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Thread: Trying to decide.

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  1. #1
    Seeking prospecting friends in CO.

    Jun 2012
    Back in Coeur d'Alene, ID
    MineLab X Terra 705
    10 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Trying to decide.

    Currently I have a Minelab 705 with the stock 9" concentric coil. A buddy and I are going to start doing some nugget hunting and hopefully more prospecting. With that in mind, I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade my coil on the 705 to a 6" 18.5khz DD or go for a gold bug 2, Tesoro Sand Shark, Whites TDI/GMT or Garrett infinium? I know some of them are not waterproff at all.

    There are obviously vast differences between those options and my 705. But my main delima is to go with a waterproof detector or simply a detector with a waterproof coil? Our plan is to search the rivers here in Idaho and their tributaries for nuggets (not sure how viable that is but were gonna give it a go). I would also like to be able to use this machine for searching the deserts as well in the colder months of the year. Since I have no experience nuggett shooting I figure I would ask people with experience.

    Here is what I "think" I want to be able to do....

    - Search the rivers and deserts for gold (I assume these would be fairly small rivers and creeks.)
    - Be able to find gram size nuggetts.
    - I assume there will be trash in the rivers so discrimination would be helpful which I know the PI's dont have that option.

    Knowing there is not one detector for all jobs is there a reasnable gold detector that is a good option for searching water and land? Or would you recommend getting the coil for my 705 and trying it out in shallow water and then decide if I want a detector for the job?

    How often do you take your detector completly underwater when nuggett shooting?

    Is there other questions I should be asking myself when considering a detecotr for nuggett shooting?

    My budget is 1K.

  2. #2
    Jan 2010
    Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
    Whites GMT, Goldmaster Vsat, 5900, Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 and Falcon MD-20.
    109 times
    Prospecting - Gold and Silver
    I woulds consider the smaller DD coil as a first option. You are already familiar with your detector. I tend to use my smaller coil most often in areas like you describe (in Colorado / GMT or VSat). DD coils are much better in highly mineralized soils.
    Jim Hemmingway likes this.
    Whites GMT, Whites GM Vsat, Whites 5900, Gold Mountain King Cobra, Bounty Hunter 3300

  3. #3

    Apr 2005
    1005 times
    Metal Detecting
    First question is are you mainly just looking to buy stuff? Or are you looking for gold with the idea it might be worth a couple bucks?

    Spending a bunch more money to do something that the detector you have is capable of doing is not a road to success, except for the dealers you are helping. You have a good detector, and I would recommend the 6" DD 18.75 kHz coil to enhance your ability to find smaller gold with the X-Terra. As a rule, learn to use it in the prospecting mode and basically dig all targets. You can employ discrimination if you want, but you are trading digging less junk with also possibly missing gold.

    I am going to repeat that - You can employ discrimination if you want, but you are trading digging less junk with also possibly missing gold.

    Be aware that hunting in the water takes effort and is not a very efficient way to use a detector. It is best done with a buddy in a mask and snorkel with sniping tools who can recover targets as you find them. It takes far more time to recover a target underwater than to find a target. Since targets are usually trash part if the game is quick, efficient target recovery. And that is usually better done above water. But the X-Terra with 6" coil can be submerged up to the control box if you want to give it a go.

    Bottom line is you pretty much have the tools you need, the thing to find out is whether you can do the research needed to put yourself into locations likely to produce, and whether you have the patience to succeed in the one type of detecting that requires more perseverance than all others - nugget detecting. My advice is if you can go out and prove yourself to be the kind of person that enjoys nugget detecting then, and only then, invest more money in detecting gear.

    Because honestly, most people do it a time or two and decide it is not for them. That is just reality.
    Last edited by Steve Herschbach; Feb 27, 2013 at 12:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Mar 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    Gold Bug 2
    183 times
    Get the small HF 6" Coil. It's a great little coil.

  5. #5
    Honorary Member of the Central Alabama Artifact Society (C.A.A.S)

    Jan 2008
    F-75, Infinium LS, MXT, GoldBug2, TDI Pro, 1280X Aquanaut, Garrett ProPointer
    1577 times
    Banner Finds (1)
    Sensible good advice above, but keep in mind that stream bottoms can be slippery places… one little mishap and your 705 gets soaked. But regardless, if you plan to use it for nugget hunting anywhere… it’d be a good idea to get a suitable nugget coil.

    Try it for awhile and see if the streamwork suits you. If so, think about a waterproof VLF unit for now, and worry about a suitable PI sometime down the road… after you’ve gained some experience. Keep the 705 as a back-up for streamwork and use it as a primary unit in the desert if you prefer.

    The waterproof Garrett AT Gold is a good VLF choice for what you plan to do. Good information about this unit is available at the Garrett website link below.

    Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector | Manufacturer

    There are several very well done videos highlighting the AT Gold’s capabilities that you’ll want to see. The link below takes you to a video that summarizes the AT Gold’s features.

    Garrett AT Gold Introducing Video

    Sure you can do it the other way and continue to use the 705 in the water… but be constantly tied to a partner’s timetable. Forget all that… I don’t believe in half-measures for any task once you’ve made up your mind to do a thing… and that especially applies to prospecting. Treat yourself to a nice new unit if cost isn’t an issue. Then you can head out whenever you want, and be able to set the AT Gold down into the water without worry when digging or scraping.

    If you eventually find that stream nuggetshooting is not for you… you can recover a good portion of your expense. Or trade for something else and maybe get even better value for it.

    Here’s a video from the Garrett website showing Gerry McMullen using the AT Gold and finding both a #9 birdshot and a small picker. Good luck with your decision.

    Garrett: "Prospecting with the new AT Gold" video

    Time, oh good, good time...where did you go?

  6. #6

    Apr 2003
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5712 times
    The little DD--you've got a great machine there. Hardly ever will you need a waterproof housing--the coil will do the trick most of the time unless you're getting into specialty sniping underwater.

    All the best,

    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold!

  7. #7
    Seeking prospecting friends in CO.

    Jun 2012
    Back in Coeur d'Alene, ID
    MineLab X Terra 705
    10 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thank you everyone for the advice. I purchased the 10X5 18.75khz coil for it and will be getting the 6"DD as well.

    After thinking about this more I decided that I would be spending most of my time out of the water. If I was to go into the river it would not be deep areas and mainly the edges of the river.

    Once again, thank you for the links and advice!

  8. #8

    Apr 2005
    1005 times
    Metal Detecting
    From personal experience dropping detectors in fresh water - do not freak out! Take the batteries out, shake it out, and put in warm place until dry. Little chance of serious damage.

  9. #9
    Seeking prospecting friends in CO.

    Jun 2012
    Back in Coeur d'Alene, ID
    MineLab X Terra 705
    10 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I agree Steve.

    I've had numerous phones fall into the water and did just that. All have been fine after.

    I now just have to be patient and wait for spring...



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