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The lower beach close to the water is a good proving ground for metal detectors and search coils.
If you are serious about being a beach or water hunter, your equipment has to be up to the challenge.
Metal detector or search coil, if it does not pass my three basic tests on the lower beach it is not going to become part of my beach or shallow water hunting arsenal.
I say shallow water hunting because you can get away with a non waterproof metal detector if you are very careful, and I mean very careful!
I often try new metal detecting equipment, it’s just another way of staying ahead of the competition.
It makes good treasure hunting sense not to get left behind using outdated treasure hunting equipment or techniques.
Sometimes I discover something that gives me an edge over the competition, other times it goes pear shaped.
The main thing is I saw for myself, and if a metal detector or search coil did not live up to expectations it is usually because it failed to perform well on the lower beach proving ground.
Wet to dry sand transition
Going from the dry sand to the wet sand is the first real test of a metal detector or search coil you hope to use for beach hunting.
You can use the most expensive metal detector or search coil, but if you cannot make out good signals from false signals in the wet sand, what is the point of using it.
Noisy chattery metal detectors cause you to miss valuable targets on the lower beach. Putting you at a disadvantage over other beach hunters using equipment that can handle searching over wet freshwater or saltwater sand.
If your metal detector or new search coil emits a false signal every time you sweep over wet seaweed, you run the risk of missing valuable targets.
High tide lines are often littered with seaweed, high tide lines are great places to find jewelry and coins washed up along with the seaweed.
I have a little more wiggle room for using equipment that gives the occasional false signal over soaking seaweed, but within reason.
Seaweed holds saltwater and takes longer to dry than the surrounding high tide sand, causing havoc with many metal detectors or search coils.
Rushing water over the search coil
If your metal detector or search coil goes nuts every time water rushes over your search coil on the lower beach, you again run the risk of not detecting valuable targets. False signals are caused by either the water bumping your coil or the extra amount of salt rushing over the top of your coil at saltwater beaches.
Either way it can be very frustrating using a chattery metal detector in the surf zone.
If your metal detector or search coil is effected by more than one of these three lower beach situations, you may be in for some frustrating times on the lower beach.
Experienced beach hunters may be able to diffuse difficult lower beach hunting situations by tweaking your metal detector controls and using different search techniques.
Although experience has taught me, it is always better to use the right tools for the job.
I use equipment that helps me to detect fine gold jewelry, like this emerald wrapped in 22k gold wire.
The emerald pendant was found in choppy surf back in 2013, obviously not much of a metal target to detect, but not having to deal with a chattery detector or false signals means you do not miss jewelry like this.