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Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

Thread: Flats sunglasses? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-07-2007 08:44 AM
kenney Hi everyone,
Although I have read the posts on this forum for a couple of years now, this is the first time I've posted here. I have met many of you on other forums, and it will be nice to be back in touch with you and meet others as well. I agree with most of you about your comments on sunglasses, but I'd like to also throw out looking at Steve Haber's new sunglass company, he's the former owner of Bolle. I've tried them for almost a year now and love them, they certainly beat out my Costas, and for the price...it's really tough to beat. Anyway, just my $0.02. I look forward to corresponding with everyone, this seems to be another great forum!
Kenney
01-05-2007 07:59 AM
juro I've spent the last several years moonlighting as a flats guide and have developed some opinions, for what they are worth, on this topic as well.

First of all, we have a serious crew on this site and the insights (pun intended) above are of a high caliber and worth listening to.

I agree that the new high contrast copper-tone (I forget the marketing names) are pretty close to ideal for all-around use because they work better in lower light as well as bright light and can help you detect shadow, profile and movement.

However we have all experienced those days when the sun angle hides the shadow, the light angle obfuscates the contrasts of it's already subtle profile.

One of the things I admire most about bones, stripers and the like are the way they can glide over a flat as if they are an apparition - a spooky ghost-like float giving only a tiny scrap of visual feedback to all but the most experienced eye.

At these times I find color to be the primary trigger in detecting fish on the flats and that's when premium quality gray lenses come into their own. I prefer the Maui Jim titanium gray lenses but I am sure there are others.

Mine are several years old and because I take good care of them are virtually scratch-free still. Maui will replace the lenses for a very good price BTW.

My everyday glasses are the new high contrast Maui coppers (again I forget the fancy name) in the 'sport' model which is half the price. These are in need of new lenses after three years of HARD service in 4 seasons of use as driving, fishing and all-purpose glasses.

One tip - put your shades on a neck loop, they will last forever unless you have them off the eyes and you lean onto a gunwhale to land a fish (crunch).
01-05-2007 12:43 AM
bonehead
Sketchy, man, sketchy...

First off, good responses all round. Main thing I'd say is forget grey or greenish lenses for flats fishing. Period. I've proved time and again that they simply don't work as well as other lens colors. Clients that have the grey lense try their buddy's amber or copper lenses and can't believe the difference.

Personally, I've never owned a pair of real fishing glass, like Costas, Smith, or Ocean Waves. Certainly no Maui Jims (who can afford them?). I fished a pair of "vermillion" tinted Oakley 5's for a few years (until a small, leaky vial of 99% deet ate them alive). Most recently I use a pair of surfers sunglasses by the name of Arnette I picked up in Hawaii. The lens color is probably best decribed as copper or bronze and is a little browner than you'd expect. I fish lots of turtle grass flats and find they work great for highlighting fish. The design is wrap-around and they're unbelievably lightweight. Of course, all the drawbacks of polycarbonate lenses apply: easily scratched, deteriorate/fade in sunlight, etc.

Now, let me say, I've tried on several nice sunglasses over the years, including a pair of pinkish lensed Smiths that were sooo amazingly clear. The difference in clarity that glass lenses offer is certainly worth it.
Quote:
You'll always get spray on your glasses & when the saltwater dries, you'll have microscopic salt crystals on the lenses & invariably you will clean them with a cloth or tissue while fishing and thus putting micro scratches on the lens. Eventually, your glasses will appear "hazy" and your visual acuity will suffer.
I make it a habit never to arbitrarily wipe my shades, for any reason, without first washing them off. I completely agree about the salt spray/crystals. However, washing the lenses first usually takes care of that. I've had mine now for over 2 years and fish hard. (One leg is actually broke about halfway up but a little work with a candle, a metal pin - cut from a stainless hook - and some crazy glue fixed that.) Even with daily use they only have a few tiny scratches, none of which are visable when you put the glasses on.

So, here are some tips for cleaning glasses on the water. First, get one of those micro-fiber clothes. (Wal-Mart for a couple bucks). Second, buy some of that spray cleaner stuff. If you don't have any dump some water over your lenses or dip them in the water settling in the cooler.

If worse comes to worse - you're far from the skiff, just drank the last swallow of water and bones are still tailing, dammit, but that last fish splashed your glasses and now you can't see - lick your lenses. Yes, I said lick. That will remove the salt and wet them enough to wipe clean. If you're good enough (I learned this from an old fisherman here) you can lick 'em clean and hold the lenses into the wind and they'll actually dry almost perfectly clear. Nice trick in a pinch... say you're wading way the hell down the beach with nothing but a flyrod, pair of shorts, and a hat with a few flies stuck in the sides.

Lastly, whether you use plastic or glass, always wash and clean your glasses at the end of every day. Salt eats almost everything, so the less time you let it sit on your glasses, the better.
01-04-2007 08:47 AM
DaisyChain
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geordie Shanks
I used to manage a fly fishing shop in the late 1990's-early 2000's and actually won an Action Optics vendor trip to Turneffe Flats in Belize from Action Optics in 2000. The manager of AO took me there and he had a duffel bag loaded with glasses, and we spent a good part of the trip (unfortunately) trying on different types of glasses with differing lens colors under all situations. Would have rather have fished, but it was on AO dime, so what was I to do. THe unanimous choice for all of us (me, the AO guy and Pops, our guide) for best all around color was the amber color. They call it amber, but it is the yellow color and I absolutely love it on the flats. When I went to Exuma last year, I "loaned" my AO otis amber glasses to my guide for the week and damn near had to fight him to get them back at the end of the trip-yeah, should have tipped him the glasses, but I love them. Particularly for light colored flats, the amber/yellow is phenomenal for silhouetting the fish and seeing shadows a little better. They do tend to "blue out" just a little bit in bright light, where the direct reflection off the waves of the water will flash blue, but you get used to it and it is still a fantastic color. Remember what its all about.
I can't seem to find the "Otis" frames on the Smith AO site. Does anyone know which frame they currently sell now best resemble this one? It appears the "Guides Choice" is very close. Also, the lense tints seem to be either yellow or copper, and not amber. Which one would best resemble your amber/yellow preference?

Thanks!

DC
12-29-2006 03:49 PM
Adrian
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDave
Obviously: spotting fish has a lot more to do with the person wearing the shades than the lenses themselves. We had a guide in S. Andros who didn't wear shades at all and saw fish just fine (even over grass).
Ah, Tim

12-29-2006 08:35 AM
rogcon I will add one more thing. Fishing in fresh water you can use the CR39 & other polycrbonate lense sunglasses. The lenses are light & generally very comfortable. However, in fishing the salt I would use shades w/ glass lenses. You'll always get spray on your glasses & when the saltwater dries, you'll have microscopic salt crystals on the lenses & invariably you will clean them with a cloth or tissue while fishing and thus putting micro scratches on the lens. Eventually, your glasses will appear "hazy" and your visual acuity will suffer. This is going to happen even with the newer scratch resistent coatings. JMO
12-28-2006 06:25 PM
BigDave I am in favor of the amber/copper/bronze spectrum of lenses for sight fishing. As others have noted a good wrap design cuts out glare from the back and will also protect you from the wind. The AO copper tint is a good one but you might also want to check out the Maui Jim HCL Bronze.

Obviously: spotting fish has a lot more to do with the person wearing the shades than the lenses themselves. We had a guide in S. Andros who didn't wear shades at all and saw fish just fine (even over grass).
12-28-2006 02:44 PM
Geordie Shanks
AO is the way to go

I used to manage a fly fishing shop in the late 1990's-early 2000's and actually won an Action Optics vendor trip to Turneffe Flats in Belize from Action Optics in 2000. The manager of AO took me there and he had a duffel bag loaded with glasses, and we spent a good part of the trip (unfortunately) trying on different types of glasses with differing lens colors under all situations. Would have rather have fished, but it was on AO dime, so what was I to do. THe unanimous choice for all of us (me, the AO guy and Pops, our guide) for best all around color was the amber color. They call it amber, but it is the yellow color and I absolutely love it on the flats. When I went to Exuma last year, I "loaned" my AO otis amber glasses to my guide for the week and damn near had to fight him to get them back at the end of the trip-yeah, should have tipped him the glasses, but I love them. Particularly for light colored flats, the amber/yellow is phenomenal for silhouetting the fish and seeing shadows a little better. They do tend to "blue out" just a little bit in bright light, where the direct reflection off the waves of the water will flash blue, but you get used to it and it is still a fantastic color. Remember what its all about.
12-28-2006 05:19 AM
chesterlh I am using Serengetti Stratas, new version with polycarbonate (or similar material)lenses. They are amazing. Light, clear, polarizing, photochromatic etc. Also, the new design fits close to you face, actually hugs your eye orbit so side glare is not an issue and they are great in the wind. I use them salmon fishing here in Nova Scotia and they are fantastic. I can see Bahamas bones from here
12-27-2006 10:10 PM
teflon_jones Like Juro said, everybody's eyes are different, but in general, here's some good info I borrowed from another website:

� Gray or green-tinted: Offer the least amount of color distortion; good for all-purpose use and clear days.
� Amber and orange: Block blue light, offering a brighter view on cloudy, hazy, or foggy days.
� Gold and yellow: Add contrast; best in flat and dim-light situations.
� Brown: Best for enhancing depth perception.
� Rose: Has the highest contrast and best low-light image resolution.
� Mirrored: Reduces the amount of light that reaches the eyes; good at high altitudes.
� Gradient: Shaded from top to bottom. (A double-gradient lens is dark at the top and bottom, and lighter in the middle.) Driving glasses are often gradated so that you can see the dashboard clearly.
� Photochromic: Automatically darkens and lightens as light conditions change. Photochromic (transitional) lenses won't get very dark, and take some time to adjust to changes in light. Heat also hinders the photochromic (transitional) lenses from getting dark.

Tip: Darker doesn't necessarily mean better. The darker the lenses, the more visible light they block. Brighter conditions demand darker lenses. It's important to keep in mind where you'll be wearing them most. Sunglasses designed for mountain climbing, for example, generally have lenses too dark for everyday wear.
12-27-2006 05:45 PM
arubaman as I originate my watersports in the wavesurfing and bodyboarding scene I got to know a brand called "black fly", a very nice name, also for the flyfisherman.
They work perfect, are not to expensive and look a little modern.
Itīs "my way or the fly way", and itīs "me, myself and fly"....
12-27-2006 04:43 PM
juro Everyone's eyes are different but for my retinas high quality grey lenses provide the best color fidelity while the ambers are known to enhance contrast.

I can't see taillights when I wear amber so to keep my insurance down I wear grey or copper lenses most of the time.

I found that the grey gives me color differentiation which sometimes is the only thing that clues me in (other than motion) where the copper are better during low light and when contrast are key.

Successful sight fishing is much more than just eyes. Seeing is just the tip of the iceberg so don't leave out the mountain of logic, luck and spidey sense that brings you to stake out a spot with conviction.
12-27-2006 03:59 PM
DaisyChain I really appreciate all of the responses! Quick question, I've got a pair of Orvis HVO wraps amber lens that I wear while fishing freshwater streams and rivers in the Northeast. It seems to me that amber/copper is the recommended lens color, so would these work well enough?
12-27-2006 12:28 PM
rogcon Ocean Waves ; Boston w/ Backwater Green lenses. MSRP = $170; can find on net for ~ $130.
12-27-2006 07:09 AM
hmaadd Fishbones are a wraparound design. They have lenses cut into the side of the frames. Very good at keeping out wind and glare.
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