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Hi all,

I am looking for a simple and effective beach detector. If it wasn't too expensive that would be nice too. I used to use a Garrett Master Hunter so you know how long it's been since I hunted on a beach.

I own two top of the line PI's but all the trappings required make it hard to just jump out of the car and detect. 

Any recommendations and why are appreciated. Feel free to move me if this is in the wrong forum Steve.

Thank you

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The discontinued Sovereign line rates right at the top for saltwater beach detecting.

About as simple as they come too.

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Waterproof or not? PI or VLF?

Salt water usually calls for a multi frequency or PI detector. PI is an easy choice for me - White's Surfmaster PI. Simple, inexpensive, powerful, and waterproof, can also be hip mounted. For the price it is good in or out of water on the beach.

Dry beach VLF you have all the various Minelab multi frequency models to choose from. The Sov is great for sure but has been long since discontinued and no longer supported by Minelab. A new Safari or E-TRAC would be a good choice instead. Excellent alternative Fisher CZ-3D

I do favor waterproof myself, even on the beach. Salt spray, sand, etc. are best dealt with by hosing off a detector with fresh water or a good soak. The big names there are Minelab Excalibur or CTX 3030 and Fisher CZ-21

If dirt simple is important there is the White BeachHunter ID which can be found still at some dealers, but White's no longer lists it themselves. Not a bad machine but a buoyant coil and funky door latch system hindered it. I really hope the fact they no longer list it means it is getting crammed into an MX Sport housing. I would buy one.

Right now out of all the above, were it me personally, I would get either the Surf PI or the Excalibur or CZ-21. The Excalibur and CZ-21 are neck and neck for performance but dramatically different designs. The CZ-21 has the benefit of being hip mount out of the box; the Excalibur has a kit for that but is still awkward. Fisher did also just drop the price of the CZ-21 quite a bit, so that is a plus.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Others may have other ideas.

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Thank you both. I forgot to mention I used to have a Surf PI as well and for some reason, didn't use it much. Hmmm wonder where I put it…

 

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I had the old Fisher CZ-20 and really liked it as it was perfectly balanced in the water so the upgraded CZ-21 would be a great way to go.I also like my Tesoro Sand Shark and use it the most because it's simple and sensitive to small jewelry in my salt water environment.My Whites Dual Field really never gets used and am probably going to sell it because the entire unit floats like a cork and doesn't suit my style of water hunting.The Whites MX Sport I purchased as soon as it came out so I had to send it in for a "firmware" adjustment and now it is perfect for the dry sand here in Florida and would be a perfect choice for wading or snorkeling freshwater lakes.It's turned out to be a good all around detector but a little on the heavy side.Good luck.

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Steve,

The old Surfmaster PI or a dual field?

What is the difference?

Mitchel

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Hi Flakmagnet

One thing with the sovereigns is a lack of sensitivity to gold.My favourite from the PI's was the 2100 on the beach with an older 16DD white fiberglass nugget finder that was quite light with great depth.The standard 11DD also found me quite a bit of gold.

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I just got a excalibur with 8" coil for trashy beaches with black sand. I think it does better then my CTX in this environment. If I were picking one just for the beach I think I'd go Excalibur since you required simple

strick

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11 hours ago, mn90403 said:

Steve,

The old Surfmaster PI or a dual field?

What is the difference?

Mitchel

First came the Surfmaster PI, pretty basic machine. Then there was the Surf PI Plus followed by the Surf PI Pro. I did very well with the Surf PI Pro. The PI Pro could be had with a relatively light coil 9.5" coil for on beach work, or a weighted coil that was neutral in the water, but heavier out of water. The one you will see in my pictures had the weighted coil. It was not really all that heavy out of water and should have been standard.

Surf Pi Pro Hawaii 2004

Surf PI Pro Hawaii 2005

The Surf PI Dual Field went to a larger 12" coil with an inner coil somewhere around 6", the "Dual Field Coil". This coil was thicker and in earlier incarnations they had to much air in the faom filling, causing the buoyancy problem many people mention on the internet. They did go to a denser mix at a later date which I used in Hawaii and I did not think it was a problem. Still a bit buoyant but they do not want it to be too heavy when out of water on the beach so a compromise. A little Googling will show a lot of people do well with the machine. The only one you can get new is the Dual Field. I did rather like the old 950 weighted coil version but the 12" does get more depth.

The Tesoro Sand Shark is a very competitive alternative. One big plus with the Sand Shark was that it used to have interchangeable coils, a rarity in these types of machines. They unfortunately discontinued that version and new units are sold with hardwired coils.

A note on stricks mention of the Excalibur above. It used to be sold in either 8" or 10" versions but Minelab did discontinue the 8" version. I did like it for dense trash and above water use in parks, but most people want more depth and the large coil version was always the more popular. You might still find some 8" versions on shelves available new but be sure and double check with the vendor to make sure that is what it really is before buying. The Excalibur II 1000 was the 10" version and Excalibur II 800 was the 8" version. The Minelab website now just lists it as the Excalibur II in 10" only.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Steve,

Have you ever used any of the TDI non-waterproof models on the wet sand?  The surfmaster appeals to me, but i can more readily justify purchasing a TDI as it would see more use inland in highly mineralized soil, but a couple trips to the wet beach during the summer.  I go to NJ beaches a few times a year.  somewhat black sand.  Would the TDI's be as deep as the surfmasters on the beach?

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