F75 Special Edition and Gold
I looked forward to the introduction of the Fisher
F75 with great anticipation since the lead engineer
behind it was Dave Johnson. Dave has had a hand in
many of the best VLF gold detectors ever designed.
admit to being put off when I got my first F75. The
stupid thing seemed to false constantly when I used
it in Anchorage. And on top of that there were numerous
reports of problems with product quality issues from
users far and wide. I sold my first unit in fairly
then my friend George reported how much he liked his
F75. Then buddy John got one and reported how great
it was. Then detector pal Gary told me how much he
liked his. Obviously I was missing something.
I got an F75 Special Edition, an all-black limited
edition model with gold trim, which comes with two
coils and which has a special Boost Mode for extra
depth where it can be used.
took that detector to Moore Creek in 2010 and found
gold nuggets with it in trash infested areas others
avoided. I went to Ganes Creek next with it and did
ok but no special love on that trip. I took it to
England last fall and did exceptionally well for a
first visit. Then off to California for a High Sierra
visit and my first gold outside Alaska. Then back
to Ganes Creek this spring, and gold nuggets every
like a few things. First, the weight and balance is
superb. I can swing the F75 all day and then some.
Add to that exceptional battery life. This detector
just keeps on going. It comes with a meter cover and
control box cover that are perfect for rainy conditions.
The small coil is great on small gold. It is a very
hot 13 kHz detector.
learned a lot at Ganes Creek. I ran in all-metal mode.
What makes the F75 rather unique is that the meter
is always in discriminate mode even when the unit
is operating in all metal. All metal gets you max
depth and sensitivity. So I would hunt and listen
with all settings jacked to the max. Boost all metal
sensitivity set to 99. Any audio response is a reason
to stop, slow down and examine the signal. If the
meter is blank, dig on down until the meter kicks
in. If you get solid 15 or lower meter readings repeatedly
take a pass and move on. If the target does anything
else on the meter (bouncing from high to low) dig
that puppy. Most gold reads about 22 but the larger
the nugget the higher it can read. I wish I could
get my first week at Ganes back this spring as it
was not until week two that I really zeroed in on
how the machine works. I consistently was getting
small nuggets that most of the other people were leaving
three ounces of gold my F75 found at Ganes Creek:
hunt all metal, hunt by ear, study each target with
the meter, and dig anything not 100% bad. This ability
to hunt in all metal to get 100% performance allows
targets to be found that would be missed in a discriminate
mode. The signals that give an audio but no meter
reading would not be found if the detector is run
in discriminate mode.
there is a lot of trash or hot rocks running in all
metal and examining every target can be overwhelming.
At Moore Creek there are so many hot rocks I was better
off running in disc and setting the discrimination
to knock out the hot rocks.
machine does it all, but the F75 Special Edition is
a detector that I will be using a lot in 2012 because
for what it does well it does exceptionally well.
What it still does not do well is run quietly in urban
areas. The machine is rock solid out in the middle
of nowhere but is a chatterbox in town. Still, I like
how it feels on my arm and I am convinced I have an
edge on the next guy. I can't ask for more than that.
And it shows how a detector that I once disliked can
end up being one of my favorites.
By Steve Herschbach
had been trying to convince me for several years
to go on a metal detecting trip to the UK in search
of Celtic gold coins and hammered silver. Finally,
in 2009 I committed to making the trip in the fall
of 2010, as you need to book these trips a year
The spring of 2010 arrived, and I had my summer
gold nugget hunting trips laid out. I had decided
that the Fisher F75 was high on my list of units
to take to the UK due to its high sensitivity to
small targets and incredibly fast response time.
I tend to concentrate more on covering area than
in seeking extreme depth, and so I favor a machine
that can tolerate a very fast sweep speed. The F75
excels in this regard, and is no slouch in the depth
department either. It is imperative one practice
with a unit prior to an important trip, and so I
packed my F75 for my nugget trips. The F75 is not
usually thought of as a prospecting detector, but
it has all the features required for the task. I
figured I would kill two birds with one stone -
see how the F75 does nugget hunting and get practice
for the UK trip.
My first trip in June was to Moore Creek, Alaska.
Moore Creek normally favors pulse induction detectors,
but I was pleased to find the F75 handled the tough
hot rock environment as well as any VLF detector
I have used there, if not better. I got some time
to do a little nugget detecting myself, and so looked
for an opportunity to use the F75. The airstrip
at Moore Creek is made of old tailings, and so has
the potential for nuggets. But it also is loaded
with trash, so people tend to avoid it. Another
person in camp was using a VLF, so I suggested he
give the airstrip a go in discrimination mode to
sort through the trash and maybe find a nugget.
He declined, so I figured what the heck, I'll do
it myself. Usually one nugget hunts in all metal
mode. But I do use discrimination modes a lot, when
in trashy areas, or to help with severe hot rocks.
I set the F75 up in JE mode and cranked the sensitivity
as high as conditions would allow. I used notch
1, discrimination 6, single tone. The unit ran hot
and a bit chirpy. I soon discerned that hot rocks
were hitting about 16, and concentrated on hits
over 16. I dug lots of .22 shell casings, which
I was amused to find hit at 22. Plus bullets and
aluminum trash. I was right in the middle of the
runway when I got a strong signal, and was surprised
when a 1/2 ounce nugget popped out of the ground!
It also hit right at 22. The next day I hunted with
the F75 again, and pulled up two more gold nuggets,
each a couple pennyweight each. Needless to say
I was very happy with the F75 at this point.
My time at Moore Creek was over and I flew directly
over to Ganes Creek, Alaska. Ganes Creek is only
30 miles from Moore Creek, but conditions are far
different. It is low mineral ground loaded with
ferrous junk, and large gold nuggets. Good ferrous
discriminating VLF units are favored there, and
so once again I gave the F75 a spin. This time I
experimented with the all metal mode. I found I
could run with the settings maxed in all metal and
yet the unit ran smoother than in disc mode. Better
yet the machine is getting maximum audio depth,
while the meter continues to operate in discrimination
mode. This is a rare trait in a detector, offering
the best of the all metal and discrimination modes
at one time. You hunt by ear, and in cases where
the target is shallow enough, you will get a target
id. But what got my interest were the targets I
heard, but for which there was no target id. These
are very deep targets, deeper than units operating
in a pure discrimination mode will hear. I waited
until an opportunity arose where the other people
in the group pounded a particular tailing pile that
had just been bulldozed. This tailing pile always
produces gold, so people were all over it, giving
it their best shot. Finally, nothing was coming
out of the ground, so they all wandered off.
I set the F75 up in all metal, and really put my
effort into covering every inch to the best of my
ability, listening for the faintest whispers. Up
came various non-ferrous targets the others has
passed over, all beyond discrimination depth. What
I did was get a signal, but no target id, then dig
off some soil until the target id kicked in. This
usually revealed a ferrous target, and I would quit.
Or a non-ferrous target, in which case I dug it
up. They proved to be various aluminum targets,
which anyone looking for gold has to dig. I persevered,
and finally got a nice, sweet audio, within no id.
I dug down, and still no id. And dug some more,
and it kicked in as non-ferrous. And then, at over
a foot, another 1/2 nugget appeared, but a much
nicer piece than the once I had found at Moore Creek.
This one was solid gold and a very attractive nugget.
I was pleased to no end. It really makes me feel
good when I can go in behind a bunch of good detectorists
and still pull up an excellent find. I is impossible
not to like a detector that lets me make such a
A month later and I found myself in northern California,
on my first nugget hunting trip outside Alaska.
We were hunting an old hydraulic pit, and I was
leaning on the Gold Bug 2 since the gold was very
small. But I did give the F75 a spin, to see how
small a nugget I could find with it. Unfortunately
I did not have my small coil along, so I can't offer
an absolute answer to that question. The smaller
coils are hotter than the stock coil on small gold.
Since all I had was the stock coil, I gave it a
try. A little experimentation showed me that the
all metal mode hit small gold well, but the audio
response is very soft. I found the same test nugget
would bang out hard in JE mode cranked up to sensitivity
99, single tone, discrimination at 6. So I went
with that. I hit an area right next to camp and
due to the low mineralization the unit ran smooth
even though the settings were maxed out. Not something
you will see often. I dug shell casing fragments
for some time and bits of lead, but that made me
happy. If an area is cleaned out, there should not
be non-ferrous targets of any sort left in the ground.
Then I got a small nugget, my first gold ever from
outside Alaska! I have found many pounds of larger
gold, but this little nugget was my favorite of
the summer just for being from California. It only
weighed a few grains. A bit more hunting in the
same area turned up its cousin, also only a few
grains in weight.
I have to note that a few grains is small indeed.
If the F75 is that hot with the stock coil, it should
do better yet with a small coil. So there you have
it. Large nuggets and small, gold from mineralized
ground and in the middle of trashy ground. For versatility
the F75 is hard to beat, and it is definitely a
very capable prospecting detector. I managed to
pay for the detector in just a few days nugget hunting.
And better yet. I am typing this report out at 5:30
AM in the UK, the morning of my third day of hunting
here. My first day I scored two hammered silver
coins with the F75, and another yesterday! My efforts
with the F75 earlier in the summer are paying off
as I hit the ground running. But that will be a
story for another day!
One pictures is the 1/2 oz nugget found at Moore
Creek, the other is a 1/2 oz nugget found at Ganes
Creek, first California nugget and F75 in the field