OUR EYES ARE THE most valuable tools we have.
As fishermen, take away our ability to see and we couldn’t drive ourselves to the lake. We couldn’t tie a snell knot, much less spot a bass on a bed, a red fish cruising a grass flat or a mountain trout hiding in the shadows of a still-water eddy.
It seems silly not to provide such a valuable piece of equipment with the best protection we can afford. That’s where good polarized sunglasses come in.
Not only will sunglasses help protect your eyes from stray bullet weights, bugs and other projectiles, they filter out damaging ultraviolet radiation and eliminate glare off the water. They help you to better detect fish and other underwater targets such as stumps, isolated glass clumps/edges and lay downs.
Texas bass pro Russell Cecil of Willis is a consummate angler who is just as particular about his sunglasses as the fluorocarbon he spools on his baitcasters. No eight dollar convenience store shades for Cecil. He’s a Costa Del Mar guy.
Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, Costa builds some of the very best sunglasses you can put on your face. They are high-quality and comfortable to wear. Costas also feature advanced lens technologies intended to enhance colors and manage light while providing superior clarity, comfort, durability and scratch resistance.
Costas sunglasses come in assorted frame styles designed for everyday wear to high performance events.
For sight fishing, Cecil prefers a lens color that maximizes light transmission and heightens contrast. His personal favorite is Costa’s 580G (G stands for glass) in a Sunrise Silver Mirror color, which was introduced in 2018.
“The light transmission is more than double as compared to copper, which was my favorite for years,” Cecil said. “Copper is still a great lens for sight fishing, but The Sunrise Silver Mirror is noticeably brighter. It doesn’t matter that much if the water is really clear with good sunlight. However, in deeper water with more color, the brighter lens helps you see a little bit better.”
Another benefit of the lens is color definition, Cecil said. “I feel like they help me see shadows, grass, dark spots and light spots better in varying light conditions, or when the water has some color to it. A contrasting base color really makes colors such as red, green and blue pop,” he said. “The green on a bass and the orange on a red fish stand out much better with a contrasting lens as compared to a gray-based lens.”
As frame style goes, Cecil says the best ones for sight fishing are wrap-around styles that closely follow the contour lines of the face. This allows limited peripheral light to enter while blocking out wind and dust.
“There is no one best frame style for everyone,” he said. “Sunglasses are like a shirt or pair of shoes. What works best for one person may not be the best for others. Generally, frames with a wider temple block out the most light from the sides, but they should also fit fairly close to your cheeks to block out reflection from underneath.”
When choosing fishing glasses, look for something lightweight that fits comfortably around the nose, temples and ears with limited slippage. Try them on before you buy. Glasses that feel awkward the moment you slip them on, are almost certain to become increasingly uncomfortable over the course of the day.
—story by MATT WILLIAMS