Metal Detecting in Water


Metal detectors can be used in many different locations to detect metal beneath the ground. One location where you might not expect to be able to detect metals is beneath shallow bodies of water. Believe it or not, using a waterproof metal detector to start searching for metals in water can be a great way to find unexpected treasures.

There are many reasons that you should consider searching for metal treasures in locations that have shallow waters. People can drop valuable items into the water and sometimes metal detectors can take advantage of finding these items. It’s not uncommon to find valuable collectibles underwater when using a high-quality metal detector.

It might seem like a super-challenging task to search for metal beneath the surface of the water, but it really isn’t all that more challenging than searching for these types of items on solid ground. There are a few tips and tricks that you can take advantage of when you start metal detecting in water.

Are There Waterproof Metal Detectors?

There are several high-quality waterproof metal detectors that you can use when beginning to search for metal underwater. These types of metal detectors commonly use ‘pulse induction technology to find items. Some metal detectors are also designed with ‘VLF’ technology, which stands for ‘very low frequency’.

Both technologies are extremely effective at finding items, such as coins and jewelry, under the surface of the water. Shallow bodies of water are excellent search locations to start your metal detecting treasure hunt.

How Do You Metal Detect in the Ocean

To metal detect in the ocean, you need a few pieces of equipment. You will want to use a fully submergible, waterproof metal detector. Some detectors are only waterproof from the coil and a foot up. Some are only weatherproof, and not waterproof. Study the different types of detectors to understand the differences.

You will also need some experience with snorkeling. This one kind of combines the two hobbies, metal detecting and snorkeling. You can metal detect on the beach of the ocean, or even a little way into the water, but to search deeper into the ocean floor, you need to be able to do some snorkeling. Or be able to hold your breath for a long time!

You will need the right equipment for metal detecting in the ocean.

  • Waterproof metal detector
  • Snorkel gear
  • Sand scoop
  • Waterproof pinpointer

The equipment listed will also help you to metal detect in shallow waters. If you are planning on doing a lot of ocean hunting, then investing in a good sand scoop is a must. Be as safe as possible out there in the ocean! You should always scan the area before you enter the water, for anything dangerous. You should never go alone, use the buddy system. Source.

What Types of Objects Can Metal Detectors Find In Water?

You are probably wondering what types of objects are commonly found when using a waterproof metal detector. The most common objects that treasure hunters find include rings, coins, and other forms of jewelry. Metal detectors are also known for finding other types of metal objects, although many of these items fall under the ‘trash’ category. These items can include metal cans, containers, and other similar objects.

There have been stories from treasure hunters that have found very expensive jewelry when metal detecting in water. Some hunters found ultra-rare gold coins that have been worth thousands of dollars.

The truth is that you never know what you might find in the water when you start your hunt with a high-quality waterproof metal detector. There are no limits to the possibilities and you could be the next person to hit the jackpot when searching for valuable metal items in the water.

Is It Challenging To Use A Metal Detector In The Water?

If you are inexperienced at the concept of metal detecting, there might be a minor learning curve when you start using your brand new waterproof metal detector. The most important step is to make sure that your metal detector is calibrated to find the right types of metal that you are looking for. The manufacturer guide that comes with most waterproof metal detector brands will offer you all of the information that you need to accurately calibrate your metal detector.

After you successfully calibrate your metal detector, you should start your search in an appropriate area. Configuring your metal detector’s sensitivity can be extremely important for finding the types of objects that you are looking for, especially in the water.

Many hunters that start searching for metals in the water move too quickly for their metal detector to effectively search. It is important to not move too rapidly or you might risk passing up a treasure hidden beneath the water. It’s also important to make sure that you sweep your metal detector as close to the ground as possible to ensure that it has the opportunity to detect objects. This can take some practice but it will totally be worth it when you start finding valuable items with your waterproof metal detector.

Are Waterproof Metal Detectors Expensive?

There are several different tiers of pricing for waterproof metal detectors. Higher-quality brands generally have a higher price and they are designed for experienced hunters that take their metal detecting very seriously.

The good news is that there are several cost-effective metal detectors available for newcomers that want to get started with hunting. Just like products in any industry, you get what you pay for. If you decide to spend a significant amount of money on a top-tier branded metal detector to start searching for objects in the water, then you’ll likely be impressed with the features that you are getting with your purchase.

At the same time, you might not get the same features in cost-effective brands but anyone can start metal detecting with a sufficient metal detector that is designed to search in water. However many low-end metal detectors are just as good as expensive ones and in some cases the coil is waterproof, allowing you to submerge the coil but not the controller and the rest of the machine.

Where Are The Best Locations To Start Your Hunt?

There are several great locations where you can start your treasure hunt. If you live near the coast, you could travel to the beach and start using your metal detector at that location. Just make sure that there are no rules that prohibit metal detecting at your local beach.

See our article for Can You Metal Detect on Beaches

Ponds, rivers, and lakes are all great additional locations that might be ideal for starting your treasure hunt. Many individuals travel to ponds and lakes to go camping and occasionally they drop valuable metal objects like jewelry without realizing it. This type of scenario provides an excellent opportunity for hunters to find these objects by using an effective metal detector.

I have found many valuable rings in lakes, using a metal detector and a sand scoop in the water. People love to swim at lakes, making it more likely that they will lose jewelry and rings. Some rings are just junk, but I’ve also found silver rings and even gold rings at the lake.


You can find all kinds of cool things in bodies of water. Here is our list of the best places to metal detect in water.

  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Beaches
  • Streams
  • Ponds

Some rivers and streams are home to old civil war battles, settlers from the frontier, and Native Americans who left behind relics and precious metals. A water source is usually a sign that people will have gathered nearby as well.

Final Thoughts

Starting your journey into the world of metal detecting can be a great experience. Searching for metal objects beneath the water might seem like an impossible task, but it’s really not as challenging as you might think.

Once you gain enough experience and learn how to use your waterproof metal detector, you could start finding objects within hours of searching.

It is certainly possible that you could hit the jackpot and find an ultra-rare item in the water. It’s important to stay motivated as a treasure hunter because you never know when you might have that breakthrough moment and find something of incredible value with your waterproof metal detector.

Chad Fox

Chad Fox is an expert treasure hunter who is experienced in metal detecting, magnet fishing, and geocaching. He enjoys the outdoors, making new discoveries, and helping people get started.

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