Large search coils and site selection
I have used several large search coils for beach and water hunting, on both quiet and trashy beaches. When you decide to use a large search coil at the beach, it is always best to know why you are using it. That means knowing what you are hoping to find and picking a search area the big search coil will shine in. If I install a large search coil on my metal detector, I always hope to find Spanish shipwreck artifacts and big mama jammer pieces of gold or platinum jewelry.
My two favorite areas to use large search coils, are shipwreck beaches and out in deeper water away from shore at tourist beaches. A big search coil can detect the type of targets I hope to find in less trashy areas, a quick look at my finds page on my website at www.garydrayton.com will confirm that last statement. The majority of the competition for finds at many beaches use 10 or 11 inch search coils, a 17 inch search coil on my CTX 3030 metal detector opens up a whole new level of sand.
Using a large search coil and no discrimination only increases that advantage in depth, assuming you use a large search coil in the correct area. Don’t get me wrong, I love small search coils too, but just like using a large search coil a small search coil is best used in areas that allow the small coil to shine. Last year I had a really good run of finding big gold and platinum bands, many were recovered at heavily hunted beaches in areas that allowed me to get the maximum depth advantage from using an extra large search coil.
I search over many beaches with large rocks, my big 17 inch search coil is still able to detect targets at decent depths when swept over the top of rocks. A metal detecting harness will help balance out the weight of a big search coil, especially when you are using a large search coil to cover ground.
The use of a large search coil is not all about depth, you can cover a large amount of ground using a big search coil. I prefer to cover more ground on quiet beaches and less ground on trashy beaches, again it comes back to search coil size and site selection.
This rocky beach close to the Oak Island swamp was the perfect place to use a large search coil. I recovered several english copper coins from the 1600s & 1700s on the lower beach, along with several Canadian early silver coins from the early 1800s on the upper beach.
Going around these type of rocks with a small search coil was not possible, going over the top of them with the big 17 inch CTX 3030 coil was the best option.