GREAT to be back here on-line!
Awesome topic. As "you all" have noted....picking a "favorite" or best sluice is a big bunch of "it all depends"...
Personally, I really avoid like the plague all the silly pocket sized, micro sluices, backpacker models, and anything that's no more functional than a good 14 inch or 16 inch sampling pan. I can swirl 16 inch pans pretty darn fast, and with almost no water required, soooooo as to sluicing I am looking for 2 main things:
1). Ease of setup, use, cleanup, operation
2). Production to the max, given the water flow/volume and my material
I surmise that IF I can get the finest fine/flour/flood gold I surely will get the pickers & nuggets. Here in now pot smokin' "High" Kolorado (The People's Republik of) we have decent fine flour/flood gold in many streams. IF I can get the flood gold well, I am totally happy.
So, my 2 best and favorite sluices are:
1). The Wolf Trap line
2). The green plastic Le Trap
First, I have several Wolf Traps....the experimental 20 incher, the 24 incher and the big 30 incher. Love them all. With that 1 inch "dead well" and reversible riffle bars set I can really hog in the material, no classifying, wash a LOT of dirt until the box is full, cleanup, repeat. These Wolf Traps do get a lot of fine gold, BUT you end up with a LOT of heavy black sand cons at the end of a day, week to process. Needs a VERY high, deep, fast and smooth water flow for best results. Go with the biggest Wold Trap....the 30 incher....if water flow allows....more volume, less cleanups. Luckily, I have an awesome Gold Cube to reduce my buckets of black sand cons into a cup of super cons to then pan out.
Second, I have the drop riffle molded green plastic Le Traps. LOVE them. Very light weight, 20 seconds to clean up. They do exceedingly well in medium to even low flow/slow water speed scenarios. I shovel in the material fast if I have good flow, or hand wash material in slowly if under really low flow scenarios. The Le Trap is 4 feet long with 3 1/2 feet of drop riffles. REALLY gets the fine gold. My fav by far.
So, in summary....I go for max fine/flour/flood gold. I use my Wolf Traps for high/fast water....shovel the material in... I use my Le Traps most the time otherwise, and still shovel my material in, or hand feed if the flow/speed is slow.
Randy Witham "C-17A" www.goldadventures.biz