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Should I Get Started With This Hobby?


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As often happens I was researching something else and stumbled upon metal detecting.

I have a lot of hobbies and spend many hours researching before buying any gear. I have already done the detector research but the bigger question is is it worth getting involved at all??

I live in San Diego and have easy daily access to the various beaches which would be my hunting grounds. I am an open water swimmer and surf salt water fly fisherman and have seen folks detecting from time to time but not very often. I have watched many videos and read a huge numbers of posts on various forums and understand that most of the time one finds junk and coins but now and again a nice piece of jewelry shows up.

How over done is the hobby? Is it worth getting involved in 2024 as opposed to many years ago when the pickings were probably much richer?

Is there a lot of stuff missed by folks using older detectors that may get picked up if I got say a Deus II with it's great beach performance?

Go on, talk me in or out of getting involved!!

Thanks in advance!

 

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If your planning on hunting beaches, I wouldn't worry about all the treasures being gone. The beaches replenish every day that people visit them. I'm pretty sure your the only one who can answer your own question. If it excites you, and has your curiosity, you should go for it. 

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Metal detecting is addicting once you start.

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Metal detecting isn't for everyone. Before you go out and spend a bunch of money, why don't you rent or borrow one from a friend and give it a try for a few days? I've known people who give up after just a few weeks because they hadn't hit the mother lode, while others have been at it for years and are happy pulling a few bucks out of the ground. It takes, patience, persistence, a strong back and a little bit of luck. Whatever you decide, good luck!

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I got into metal detecting after a roof replacement on my house, kind of by accident. I bought a fairly cheap detector to find nails that were dropped in the lawn.

Then I decided to search my yard, and because of where I live my yard was loaded with relics, some dating back to the 1600s. Got permission to search a farm that surrounds my house, found old Spanish silver and lots of really old stuff from the 1600s to the 1800s, apparently my area was really active.

The detector I had wasn't all that great, so I went to a metal detector store and with good advice bought a mid-range machine, the Equinox 600. I got a lot of local permissions and found a lot of old relics, so I was hooked. I learned to laugh when digging pull tabs and iron, and really do now. Humility and lack of envy is a requirement in detecting.

It's been nearly 4 years, and the finds get better and better. I now own a Deus 2, I wanted to have the lightest detector out there because I'm retired. For relic hunting it's the top tier, and from what I've experienced and seen it does well on the beach. Over the last few years I've found gold both on the beach and in the fields. Not a lot, but enough to keep me happy. My entire detecting history is on this site.

If you're expecting instant gratification it's possible, but not probable especially if you go to places where others frequent, or at the wrong time. I do beaches and campgrounds from May to October, and relic hunting from November to April. It was a year before I found my first gold ring, but since then I get 3 to 4 a year. Experience and learning your machine produces the best results. There is a lot to learn.

If you're looking to be an Internet star, probably best not to get too involved in it unless you have time for countless hours of editing and have some sort of charisma, character or a damn good gimmick. The Internet is loaded with personalities from the sublime to the ridiculous.

This forum has seen me grow, it literally raised me. Great members here, many of which I consider friends now.

GL, HH 🍀

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Been detecting for almost 40 years.  Glad I started in this hobby. Now that I’m retired, detecting provides exercise and a connection to the outdoors.  I don’t live near any ocean or lake so I relic and coin hunt.  
 

Detectors have never been better and more featured than now.  Pinpointers, small shovels, hand diggers, sand scoops, finds pouches, etc., are plentiful and easy to source.  Wireless audio, wireless pin pointers, heck even wireless coils to control box are all available and make the detector so much more enjoyable to use. 
 

Detecting takes practice to learn your machine, patience in digging targets and willingness to dig junk,  time to research your area if you want to look for older things. Good luck with whatever you decide.  

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Thanks all for great input. I am not looking for social media media fame or instant gratification. 

I guess all I was trying to find out is if the whole beach prospecting scene is over done or of there is still room for a newbie like me. I have lots of patience, after all I am a fly fisherman and walk the beaches for miles reading the water looking for places that could hold fish. All that would happen now is that I would be holding a different instrument (or should I say tool!) while walking the beaches. I am tech junkie and enjoy all types of technology so look forward to learning the different settings.

I also live on the edge of a canyon with trails where I run and hike. Who knows what they may hold?

As mentioned I also need to budget for the various accessories like scoops, pin pointers etc. or look for a package deal including the Deus II or other detector. 

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19 hours ago, streak said:

spend many hours researching before buying any gear

Yes.

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i split my time between local beaches and parks. If beach detecting is your gig. I'd lean towards a SMF (simultaneous multi-frequency) metal detector. You mentioned the Deus II, but there's also the Minelab machines (Equinox, Vanquish & Manticore) and the Nokta Makro line. Minelab, Deus and Nokta Makro dominate the market for SMF machines, but are not the only ones. Single frequency detectors can be noisy and inconsistent on the wet sand, but some (like my Tarsacci) will work. Do your homework. The next most important tool would be your scoop. Don't skimp here. Get a strong (but lightweight) scoop. Xtreme, and T-Rex are some of the most mentioned names, but there are more. Carbon fiber shafts lighten the load-if you can afford it. As far as pin pointers are concerned, I don't use 'em at the beach (I just move the sand around with my foot until I isolate the target), but I know some that do. Finally, you should buy a finds pouch. I use a waist belt pouch that is big enough for trash and treasure. Good luck!

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8 hours ago, streak said:

Thanks all for great input. I am not looking for social media media fame or instant gratification. 

You came to the right place then, the people that frequent this forum are probably some of the best there are out there, most here have decades of experience. Ask questions but read the manual first, and don't be afraid to take a hit on a "duh" moment. I've had quite a few 🤪

Like others have written it is an addiction if you end up with good results, always keep family in mind, earn those Detecting Points™ with them, and you'll find it to be a blast.

If I find gold or silver I take my wife out to dinner, and she gets right of first refusal on any jewelry I find. 🙂 She has not yet asked me why I needed another gadget, and even gets them for me on special occasions.

Relic hunting is pretty much luck and persistence, I dug a ~300 year old gold ring about a month ago in a field.

Beach hunting is pretty much the same, but there are places on a beach where you have a high probability of finding the valuable stuff, you'll have to read up on it. Tides, weather, seasons all play a part, and as others wrote beaches are constantly replenished either by new visitors or from serious erosion.

The most important thing is to get out there. 🍀

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