Field Test: Minelab CTX-3030 Metal Detector For Beach Hunting Review

Gary Drayton with CTX 3030I was really excited when I heard the news that Minelab had made a new waterproof metal detector and even more excited that I would have the chance to test the new machine. As a long time hardcore beach and shallow water hunter adding a new Minelab machine to my beach treasure hunting arsenal was certainly welcome.

After assembling the new Minelab CTX-3030 metal detector, the first thing that impressed me was the design and balance of the new machine. I got the feeling that the guys at Minelab had listened to beach and water hunters and taken all the things that we would want in a perfect beach machine and rolled them all into a single package called the Minelab CTX-3030.

Our time spent dreaming of a waterproof screened Minelab metal detector is finally over. As with all innovative Minelab products everything you need to know about your new metal detector before heading out to the beach is contained in the informative manual. With five preset programs to choose from and the automatic ground compensation in this technology the Minelab CTX-3030 metal detector truly is designed to be a turn on and go beach hunting machine.

CTX 3030 screenshot: Beach ModeThe same mapping flexibility applies to conductive audio tones in that I can map the conductive “break points” to any conductive value(s) I desire. The following picture is a screen shot of 4 tone conductive. Notice that I set the third “bin” to represent targets with conductive values of 24 – 38. And, it will provide an audio response of 660 Hz, a medium-high tone.

After first turning on your Minelab CTX-3030, the simple start up procedure for beach hunting is to press the main menu button to view the main menu screen, which will give you the choice of five preset programs. Press the down button to scroll down to the Beach preset program which is Mode 2 and press the main menu button to select the Beach mode. Now you are in the Minelab CTX-3030 beach hunting mode and as simple as that you are now ready to search the beach using your new metal detector.

The factory preset Beach mode is an excellent mode to start out using the Minelab CTX-3030 on the beach. Using auto sensitivity with the pre-selected factory settings allows you to get familiar with the everyday aspects of your new metal detector on the beach without having to deal with manually adjusting your control settings just yet.

With the help of the target cursors and awesome audio target tones, it will not take you very long before you learn where the most common targets found on a beach appear on the detect screen and what the targets sound like. All good targets on the Beach preset program will be represented in the white non shaded areas on the detect screen with the black Accept Target Cursor, all rejected targets will appear in the shaded out discriminated areas with the red Reject Target Cursor. The targets conductive (Co) and ferrous (Fe) properties will also appear on the detect screen giving you even more information to help with target identification. Becoming skilled at identifying common beach finds on the detect screen by the location of the cursors on the display and the audio tone will help you when it comes to making custom discrimination patterns and using the Accept/Reject feature on the Minelab CTX-3030.

One of the things that really impressed me beach hunting with the Minelab CTX-3030 was the smooth transition from the wet sand to the dry sand and vice versa, no false signals or chattering even with waves washing over the search coil. I am really looking forward to sharing my experiences and finds made with the Minelab CTX-3030 in future blog posts to help you get up to speed with this exciting new treasure hunting machine. Use the Beach mode as a foundation to build upon as you learn the many wonderful things that this extraordinary metal detector is capable of doing on the beach and in the shallow water.


Minelab CTX-3030

This is Minelab’s highest performing all-around metal detector. It can find objects in every type of soil, including mineralized ground where gold is found. This machine has five preset search modes and is also fully customizable for more advanced detectorists. This detector works in any terrain, including the ocean and wet beach sand.

Our customers say that this detector is heavy but well-balanced. If you plan on using this for an extended period of time, a harness is available to help relieve some of the strain.

  • Weight: 5.20 pounds
  • Frequency: 1.5 kHz – 100 kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Three-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Programmable to fit your needs
  • Most accurate target identification on the market
  • GPS to track your finds
Cons
  • It is heavy — over 5 pounds
  • Higher price point
  • Slower processor than newer detectors on the market
What Our Customers Say
  • “I had the pleasure of calling and talking to Kellyco … looking to upgrade... I was looking for the best land and best water machine. Your rep explained all of the differences and highly recommended the CTX-3030. One machine for both. Why buy two different machines when one detector does both? It has been the best buy I have ever made. It took a little bit to get used to the sounds but I have absolutely no regrets. Great for the days that I want to hunt both land and water. Thank you very much for the recommendation.” - Paul
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About The Author
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Jenna is new to the metal detecting community. Although new to the hobby, her passion for exploring and outdoor adventure has been a lifelong interest.