For the last decade I’ve been on the search for good fishing sunglasses. They needed to be polarized, help me see fish in shallow or clear water better and not be fatiguing to wear for more than a few hours.
I bought most of the brands that you know and some you might not. In total I tried 12 brands in 10 years. I started fairly cheap ($40) and worked my way up as brand after brand disappointed.
Most polarized glasses reduce glare. Some are comfortable. Only two high end lenses from two different companies ever gave me the “water vision” I wanted.
The Costa 580 lens and the Smith ChromaPop lens are those two. Three years ago I got my first pair of Costa 580G lenses. They gave me the vision I wanted but a problem remained. Of the three frame styles I had, I got fatigue after an hour. The glass lenses were heavy and the frames weren’t kind to my head. The aching above my ears and below my temples was awful.
I met a guy in Austin, Jesse, who talked about and taught about sunglasses for a living. He gave me the run down on several different things to look at. What he explained was exactly why high end glasses were worth the money.
Any $10 pair of sunglasses can be polarized but only the really high end ones have color filters.
In the spectrum of color that the human eye sees, all of those colors are made up from reds, greens and blues. The problem is the colors are blended.
The colors blend into each other making many other colors. When you filter the mixed in colors, so you really only see the blues, reds and greens, it is much easier to pick out those colors, contrasts and thus, fish. Costa and Smith are the only two I tried that had the color filtering technology.
Additionally, the really good filtering (at higher wavelengths) are the more expensive lenses.
Not all Costas and Smiths are the same.
So back to my dilemma. Costas hurt. I needed something designed for all day use, color filtering at high wavelengths, and really made those fish standout. Enter Smith Optics.
Smith was one of the two brands Jesse had recommended. I had tried the other. Not sure of my investment dollars, I tried to be a penny pincher and went for a style of lens that wasn’t the ChromaPop.
They were lightweight, durable, did some filtering and I was happy. That is until I tried on a pair of ChromaPops.
Holy cats! You just really don’t know what you are missing until you spot a big fish that swims by that no one else can see because their glasses aren’t up to snuff. It happens all the time. It’s happened to me more than once this month!
I've been buying Smiths for different applications for a little over a year. I have different colors for different situations and demo them with fishermen frequently. Seriously think about what you might not be seeing. If you are just fun fishing, sure the $10 Cheapies will work. If you are tournament fishing, this is an investment you need to make. Not only that, most of the Smith Optics are $200 or less.
My two favorites are the Bronze Mirror ChromaPop lenses paired with the Tenet frame and the Blue Mirror ChromaPop lenses in the Dockside frame. These cover 95% of my fishing and go with me as standard equipment.
For the best fit and to see the difference for yourself, find a local retailer or just find me. These glasses will sell themselves once you put them on.