Sorry, I don't understand the problem. Are you worried about losing him?
I'll go along with that. Since the subject came up, I'll say that training a strong recall before introducing the collar is not just "ideal", it is mandatory. I have no problems with e-collars (I use one with my dog) but most dogs don't require them. However, before introducing the e-collar, I had his recall very tight in all the locales, and with all the distractions that we commonly encounter. At the beach, other dogs, people flying kites, people para-surfing, and toddlers running around all get ignored when I blow the whistle. All that can easily be accomplished without remote electronics.It is possible to teach a reliable recall without use of aversives. If it isn't happening it's usually a trainer mistake that ruins it.
That's where a whistle and a long line comes in handy. You still have control, and the whistle can get his attention. The dog has probably factored in that, if he runs off to greet a "new best friend" (part of the deal when you get a Lab or Golden), you will go traipsing after him and collect him. Try getting his attention by blowing the whistle in hysterical short bursts (3-short is the standard recall, but you can use any pattern you like) and running the other way. This has the effect of: a) making you much more interesting than you were a second ago; b) giving him something to chase, and; c) creating a puzzle that he has to solve. Your new and unexplainable behavior stimulates his curiosity, and very few things motivate a Lab like satisfying his curiosity. They also get a bit anxious about losing you. This works for you too, as the cessation of anxiety upon returning to you is self reinforcing.I was hoping that there was a way to teach him that bolting in the first place is not allowed. I have a feeling that once he starts bolting, he's already in such a high level of excitement that any form of recall would not work.