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Being able to place the fly in the perfect relation to the fish, demands that the angler be able to see the fish while the presentation is being made. Polarized glasses help eliminate surface glare so the angler can see into the depths. The best all around lens color for fishing is amber especially on bright days. Yellow is good for dark days.

To understand polarization you first need to understand glare. Normally, light waves move more randomly. However, when light reflects off a surface, it is concentrated - polarized - at a specific plane or direction, which intensifies the light into reflective glare. Light reflected from a smooth shiny surface, such as water, a wet road, or snow causes glare. Wherever there are horizontal surfaces producing glare, the use of polarizing lenses is recommended. Non-Polarized sunglasses reduce visible light, however they have little or no effect on reflected glare. Only polarized lenses eliminate glare.

Polarized lenses utilize energized iodine crystals that are positioned in vertical rows on a thin piece of film. This film is sandwiched between two layers of the lens material. The filter within the lens allows selected light rays to reach the eye, while absorbing reflected glare or polarized light. When a polarizing film or filter is properly positioned in front of such reflected light rays, the glare is blocked. This is how polarized sunglasses are able to eliminate glare.

The amount of polarization a lens achieves is proportional to the density of the film. The lighter the PVA film the less polarization a lens can offer. Lenses that utilize a dark film will, in turn, have more effective polarization than a lens that possesses a light film. Tinting a light polarized lens does not increase polarity. It simply darkens the lens and reduces brightness.

Polarized lenses are constructed of a sheet of polyvinyl alcohol film (PVA), sandwiched between, or cast into, two pieces of lens material, either glass, plastic (CR-39), polycarbonate or toriacetate. The PVA film molecule alignment is such that it allows only vertical light waves to pass through the lens (somewhat like a venetian blind), thus eliminating glare.

Being able to watch your quarry and see its reaction to your presentation is a great advantage. Being able watch your steelhead or striper is even more important if the angler is fishing subsurface with a slow moving fly. Both species can suck in a fly and eject it so softly that it can be virtually impossible to feel the strike. If you see them take the fly, then you will know when to set the hook.

POLARIZED SUNGLASSES: I like an amber lens for sunny days and yellow lenses for overcast, dark days. Side shields are a necessity when sight fishing. They can be picked up at Fishing the Cape. I like the Orvis Marquesas Aviator in Nylon-Amber. These are not only needed to sight fish, but more importantly for your safety.

Randy jones
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