Playing around with the Fisher Goldbug Pro

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Hello All,

This weekend while conducting field instructions with new GPX customers, I was able to play around with the Fisher Goldbug Pro for a bit. I dug and kicked a number of volcanics and hot rocks, but was able to get this tiny nugget before I stopped detecting. The nugget is 1 grain in weight (480 grains to an ounce). The small piece sounded off pretty good and was maybe an inch deep.

Well, looks like I need a bunch more of these one grainers to make any weight! :blush:

gbpro01 (800x600).jpg

Happy Goldbug Hunting.

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Hey Rob:

Yup, the GB pro is a pretty good machine. Dad uses it all the time.

He can find some pretty small stuff with it.

A lot of times I call him over to pinpoint or tell me what its reading. Its usually spot on for iron stones and garbage.

Hes getting good with it. got a ton more them me today! I got der skunk.

Tom H.

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Hey Rob, I got this one at about one and half inches. Try using the new ten inch eliptical coil. The twelve o'clock nose is very sensitive. I think it is a bit more sensitive than the five inch. You can also get down in those crevices better. TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

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Hey Guys,

Ya, it picked up more ironstones and such, but the "GG - Ground Grab" balancing really seemed to work well. The unit stayed ground balanced in auto much better than other units I have used. I've used the unit before, but decided to play around with it again and scored this little nugget within no time. It's hard to break away from the Minelab GPX 5000, but sometimes it's nice to play around with something else.

Ray - I will look into the 10-inch elliptical coil for the Goldbug Pro. Thanks for the advice.

Talk with you guys later,

Rob Allison

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Always nice to hear from the "pros" to keep us amateurs motivated!

I have the GB Pro stock setup with 5" coil. Been using it in S. AZ for a few months now, but no nuggets yet. Looking for some advice - seem to be a lot of hot rocks out there. In All Metal (Gain about 11:00 and nice smooth threshold) a typical hot rock will show between 3 and full iron bars, and I will hear the threshold die as I get over the rock and increase as I move away from it. There are no signals at all if I go to DISC mode. I can GG directly over it and usually it will balance out.

I do have a .3gram test nugget that I found with my recirculator. It gives a nice zip sound up to a few inches. In DISC mode it gives 43-45 with almost full iron.

How do you guys handle hot rocks? How to identify them easily with the GB PRO. Best way to distinguish a nugget with this machine.

Many thanks, good luck and stay safe.


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The Gold Bug Pro is probably the best value in a nugget detector on the market right now. Lots of bang for the price. Relic hunters are really liking them also. I have found the lightning fast target response useful for coin detecting trashy locations, though it only gets moderate depth on most coins. It is tuned more for gold range targets (which also meand lead, aluminum, and US nickels). Great jewelry machine.

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Hey.... I agree with Ray and Steve. But many who have been using Pulses do not understand it.

Or what "mineralzation" is as the VLF-types tended to ignore alkali and "black sand."

Just read the manual very carefully again and again. Also bench test it...

As my hip replacement and balance get better I plan on getting back out to the Randsburg quadrangle

and hunt the relatively still unknown epthermal placers that were first prospected and mined during

the early days by those who were using primitive drywashers.

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Hey Pinkmouse,

I'm not an expert by any means on the new Fisher Goldbug Pro, but have used it for a while now playing around in different places. Overall it works well and has great sensitivity to small gold, much more than I orginally expected.

I would contact Ray Mills - Trinityau on this forum for more advice on this unit. He is truely the expert on this unit.

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Hello all, I appreciate the nice comments Rob, hello Jim and Steve. I am no expert on the GB Pro as there are many technical questions that I probably just cannot answer. As far as using the GB Pro I have no secrets as I share what I can with all. I am located in Redding, Ca and can only speak about the areas where I have used my GB Pro.

As far as hotrocks, I have found over the years that the composition of a hot rock varies at locations but is pretty much the same in any one general location. Hot rocks here in the Redding area seem to hit about 68 to 78 on the meter. When I go to some of my locations in Northern Nevada the hot rocks seem to hit a bit lower 58 to 68. Over in the Sierra I have found the numbers on a hot rock to go the other direction as they show up about 78 to 85. Like I said earlier I don't know the technical answer to this but I do know that this happens.

I received a message about coils for the GB Pro. I use the stock five inch coil, it is a double d coil. This coil is very sensitive to sub-grain gold and I find lots of small gold with it. The eleven inch coil is more of a relic hunting coil as far as I am concerned. It will find a bigger piece of gold but is no where near as sensitive as the five inch round. The ten by five eliptical coil is fast becoming my favorite coil for the GB Pro at this time. Any and most coils have a sweet spot somewhere along the edge, some do not. I am told that this is a manufacturing thing that just happens. I do not know. I don't know for sure but I think the ten inch eliptical for the GB Pro is made that way specifically as the nose, 12 o'clock, is way more sensitive that the five inch round. The very bottom, or center of the coil is not as sensitive to the sub-grainers but allows for much more depth on a half a gram or better. I love this feature as it gives me the best of both worlds and allows me to detect certain zones in a different manner. The drawback to this is that many people new to this coil for the GB Pro expect the coil to hit on sub-grain anywhere under the coil. Don't get fooled. Use the tip as you are moving forward if you are after those tiny pieces.

I get questions about using the GB Pro in other areas, Colorado being one of them and all I can say is each area is a bit different and it may take a few trips out to get through the learning curve, which by the way is almost non-existant with this unit. The GB Pro is very easy to learn and is the best VLF for gold as far as I am concerned. I have used all the others and there are only a few that are right up there with it. I will say that the GBII may find a smaller piece at some geologic locations.I will also say that there are many geologic locations that I cannot use the GBII. In Trinity County and in the Sierra I have a terrible time with the GBII, especially on serpentine bedrock. The GB Pro balances and works very well in the same areas. Under some powerlines I have had trouble with the GBII but run with ease with the GB Pro. Depending on your location any number of other VLF's may be your ticket but for me the GB Pro has so many overwhelming qualites that I will continue using it for a while.

I would also emphasize that while the GB Pro works well on sub-grain pieces and will pick up a grammer at twelve inches this unit is for shallow ground and should be used for such. I use my detectors as a team, shallow ground = GB Pro, anything deeper I will pull out my modded 3000. Between the two I do not normally miss much. These are my opinions, TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

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Thank you for sharing this information in the Gold Bug Pro, is there anything beyond stock box accessories you would suggest?

It sounds as if the stock coil is a near perfect match for it, have you used any other coils beyond the "relic coil" for deeper penetration?

For a VLF, this does appear difficult to beat.

I like your approach to covering ground, and am looking for suggestions on a PI detector. I have tried finding used Minelabs, but so far no luck. They actually sound less complicated and although may be missing some features of the newer models, the do not appear to lack on performance.

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Gosh I do not wish to be a "butinski" so all I will say location is everything in a choice

of a detector. It is important to be within a major mining metalliferous district that is

within the heart of the Cordlliera. Thus one thing that has not been stressed; the GBPro

is also a pretty good coin, jewelry and relic machine. Best to All in your prospecting

and mining adventures... jim

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Hey Jim, I made that post before going to work this morning and I was going to say hello to you also, just skipped my mind. You are exactly right as location does have a lot to do with a detector. The GB Pro is a good choice for relic hunting and coinshooting while you are also using it to recover gold.I don't know much about the coin detectors so I cannot compare. I use the GB Pro at the parking areas and usually make a few runs back and forth which nets me some change.That is about it for me when it comes to coins.

johnmac "I received a message about coils for the GB Pro. I use the stock five inch coil, it is a double d coil. This coil is very sensitive to sub-grain gold and I find lots of small gold with it. The eleven inch coil is more of a relic hunting coil as far as I am concerned. It will find a bigger piece of gold but is no where near as sensitive as the five inch round."

"The ten by five eliptical coil is fast becoming my favorite coil for the GB Pro at this time."

As far as looking for a Minelab that is a good choice. Remember that there is a distinct difference in the use of both a VLF and a PI. Read up on the forums as there are lots of articles that cover the difference between the two. I think most would agree that having both is where you want to be. As Jim Straight mentioned location makes a huge difference. If you have relatively small gold, grainers and such and that gold is not much over six inches deep you may just need a VLF. If the gold is grainers and better and in deeper ground then a PI may suit you better. I know the newer PI's are better units than the older 3000 that I have but if you get an older PI and learn the machine you will do ok with small gold. I dont care what anyone says I have been finding smaller gold (one to two grains) at very shallow depth with my 3000 and Joey coil for years. The newer units may make it easier with new timings but I am ok.

I don't know how many guys will back me up on this one but here it goes. When the first GP's came out they were a real automatic ground balancing unit. You did not have a lot to do much in the way of settings to begin detecting. From the 3000, 3500,4000 on up to the 5000 they are still an automatic ground balancing unit but it seems that with each newer unit another couple of pages are added to the instructions to where the learning curve is pretty dramatic to some people. Maybe it is just me but I like simple. KISS I use certain detectors because they work for me and when something newer comes out if it works better then I am off and running again. These are my opinions, TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

Again Jim, hello. I hope this finds you doing ok. You may have seen in the classifieds that I am selling some books that I have doubles of. You will notice none are yours. I will never get rid of my autographed books from you. I still treasure them from day one and always will. RAY

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Thank you so very much, I appreciate your perspective and your experience with the GB Pro as well the ML 3K. I am settled on a choice between two VLF's - the Eureka & Gold Bug Pro, my only concern with the Gold Bug Pro is a rechargeable battery pack and whether or not I should add an additional coil for deeper penetration.

I do understand the difference between the two technologies and believe it will be useful to have both as I begin prospecting for nuggets, may even consider doing some dredging at some point in the future, but that is another story. So a Minelab appears to be the best choice in PI detectors, although I am learning about the 4800 vs. 5000.

Keeping it simple is almost always best Ray, at least in my humble opinion… could not agree more and do not want to get out over my skis on the learning curve without gaining as much knowledge as possible in advance, so your knowledge and the fact you share it freely is greatly appreciated, I will pay it forward one day when I have some experience under my belt and someone else needs information.

I plan in exploring many sites out West and expect them to offer their own unique challenges, so as Jim Straight mentioned it is best to be setup for such.

Ray, thank you again, very much appreciate your contributions and answering my questions.

Kind Regards,


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I sure am enjoying the quality discussion of the merits of the GB Pro...I did not know they made an elyptical coil for it...

One can buy all types of bulk batteries including 9v...if that is what the gb Pro uses...

My GB 2 probably got @ 40 on two 9v...I would not mess with recharables for a goldbug opinion


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Hi Guys,

Sorry to butt in off topic, but I want to reassure you Fred that rechargeables are absolutely great with the GB Pro.

We have been using the Imedion 9.6 Volt batteries for about a year now, and all I can say is, they blow all other batteries away.

Mainly because they maintain a voltage above 9 Volts through most of their discharge curve, dropping off rapidly near

the end, whereas standard 9V rechargeables are actually 8.4 Volts so they start off way too low to be effective, and alkalines

have a consistent voltage drop over their lifetime.

The best thing is, they have a very low self discharge level, so will remain charged and ready to go for many months at a time.

My wife and I only get to the goldfields occasionally but with these batteries I no longer need to recharge our spares every time

we set off.

But the real clincher is that my wife believes these batteries keep the Bug running much hotter for longer, and she hates it when

she has to use a standard NiMH or alkaline. I plan to replace all our 9V rechargeables with these. By the way you need a special

charger as well, one that will recognize a 9V6 battery.

Here's the type we use and swear by



P.S. just another point I thought of to emphasize the importance of a good battery.

VLF detectors transmit a sine wave as opposed to a pulse in a PI. The sine wave is twice the battery level, peak to peak, which

means that an 8.4V battery will give a peak output of 2 x 8.4 = 16.8 Volts AC.

A 9.6 volt battery will give a peak TX waveform of 2 x 9.6 = 19.2 Volts AC.

That's almost 20% more power circulating in the coil, by using a different type of battery, no wonder my good lady feels those

Imedions make the Bug run hotter!

PLEASE NOTE - I recommend these batteries for the GOLDBUG PRO ONLY!

They maybe to much for the GOLDBUG 2 if its batteries are used in series. If you really need to know, perhaps hunt down

Dave Johnson over on the Finds Fisher Forum and ask him, since he is the Chief design Engineer of the Bugs.

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