So you think you are a good detectorist

We see a lot of nice metal detecting finds on social media, very often the finders are branded as a “GOOD” detectorist “Guru’s” if you like.
Don’t get me wrong it’s great to see genuine people sharing their find(s) with others, especially if there is a nice story attached. But would that class them as a good detectorist ?

The Good detectorist

When you think about it, the term Good Detectorist is really open for debate.
Why have regular social media posters been branded “GOOD” detectorists, who has given them this title – I guess you could say the drooling public have done so based on the array of nice finds they see on a weekly bases. Personally I’m not even sure there is such a thing as a “GOOD” detectorist, perhaps they should be referred to as a “COMPETENT” detectorist at best.

The need to be important

Many of you have read the book called How to make friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie, it’s a very old book but it still sells in the thousands, if not millions,  it is now available as an audio book download from the Audible App.

The book plays out many scenario’s but the point being constantly made is the human desire to be important, as human beings we all have this desire within us, whether it to be good at Golf, the best salesman, president of the USA, the list is endless. Some people use this knowledge in a positive way to make others feel important and in return reap the benefits of being a good person others want to hang out with.

However since the introduction of Facebook and the like, anyone with an internet connection can be important with just the click of a mouse, ego’s can be inflated and it’s free !…..Once again the human urge to be important surfaces once again, I guess a perfect example is me writing this article, I need to tell someone, so I guess I am trying to be important.
If you take these thoughts on board and spend the next few days looking around at people at work or on social media, you will see this need to be important everywhere, why not download Dales Book, it will probably be the best fiver you will spend.

Going back to our original question, is there such thing as a good detectorist ?
As mentioned earlier, when you weigh up the options, I don’t think there is such a thing, perhaps a competent detectorist is all we should aim for.


Sweep technique

This has to be step 1, learn the correct way to sweep and the rest will follow.

Learn your machine

If required simplify things by using factory programs depending on your ability, but spend as much time in the field as you can, this is the only way you will begin to recognise the different sounds, including the signature for small or deep targets. Remember the more hours you spend metal detecting = The better odds you have of finding something good.

Once steps 1 and 2 are completed you are now pretty much a competent detectorist and equally as good as the ones showing the amazing finds on social media.

I believe I am now a competent detectorist but I am not finding good items like the Guru’s. what am I doing wrong ?

There is a very high chance you are doing nothing wrong, perhaps you need to throw another couple of things into the detecting recipe.

Good productive land or beaches

This has to be one of the most important pieces of the jigsaw, if your land is baron, then you will find very little, try to locate a productive area by investigating as many different area’s as your permissions will allow, also detecting on rough plough or fresh stubble will generally produce less finds compared to flat ground, as the coil will be closer to the soil improving performance.

Is your metal detector good enough

This is something we all ask ourselves from time to time, but it is a foolish trap to fall in to if you buy the same machine as the Guru’s based on what finds they are showing, remember many Guru’s will sell their sole for a free machine and fake finds will be plentiful, chances are they will be using another machine in a few months and the story will start all over again, so try to read between the lines.

Choose a machine based on what you feel will suit you, weight, features, customer service etc, not because Billy Bullshit says his machine is deeper than your machine and you will find more treasure if you buy one.

There is a saying used by salesman all over the world “Any manufacturer who has to undermine their competition in order to make sales, clearly has no confidence in their product”
Try to remember that when you are watching head to head comparison video’s there will always be a winner, because the user wants it to win.

Sure there are lots of people doing a great job out there, and are true ambassadors for our wonderful hobby, but as social media gets stronger so does the increase of hidden agendas and trolls, talk to other detectorists in the field, they will be your best source of honest advice.
If you are detecting on productive land a cheap machine will find you some great items, a high end machine will give you more options and possibly have better build quality inside and out.
Beware of cheap machines advertised as High end machines.

Introducing the Bringer

In every club there is a club metal detecting champion, the person who always manages to pull something out of the hat when others have found nothing, it’s normally before lunchtime so they can talk about it and show everyone while they are eating their sandwiches.
We recently saw this on episode 3 of the detectorists where the rival detectorists were buying finds from E Bay in order to impress the other rally goers.

I will let you judge that one but I think we all know what I am saying here….Please don’t let these people spoil your day, they can’t help it, remember the human urge to be important !

The key points to being a competent detectorist

The key points are:
A good sweep technique.
Understanding your machine.
Good land.
A machine you are comfortable with.
The more hours you detect in the field the more chance you have of honing your skills and finding something really good.
Luck is a vital part of metal detecting, if it’s not happening just enjoy the countryside.
Don’t be swayed by the Gurus with amazing finds.
Try to think out of the box, is the competent detectorist the person who can find a tiny air rifle pellet amongst iron, or the person showing a handful of Gold coins and artefacts every week.


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