I can see clearly now...
Rob Hardy reviews the latest crop of sunglasses
Fishing sunglasses are a crucial piece of angling equipment. Rob Hardy reviews the latest models
APAIR OF GOOD POLARISED sunglasses that cut out surface glare and allow you to see into the water to spot fish will not only make you a more effective angler, but also make your fishing more fun. Watching a feeding fish, judging your cast and hopefully seeing that fish intercept your fly is the pinnacle of game-fishing. Your safety is also important. No angler should cast a fly without eye protection. A gust of wind or mistimed cast is all it takes – your sight can be damaged for life in a split second. Impact-resistant lenses are the first feature to look for when choosing sunglasses. A good fit is part comfort, part performance. If the frame is too narrow the arms will pinch your temples and behind your ears and can cause headaches. If the frame doesn’t fit your face, light will enter behind the lenses, reducing their ability to block glare into the eye. If the fit is too tight or lacks ventilation, the lenses may fog. You don’t want to crawl into a casting position, only to find you can’t see through a sweaty mist. Try a few pairs, different makes and styles, until you find a comfortable, snug fit, with no large gaps. If you’ve a large face, look at styles with bigger lenses and thicker frames. We judged fit across a number of members of the T&S team to cover all shapes and sizes. The lenses’ clarity and quality will dictate their sharpness and the detail you will see. They must be polarised to properly remove surface glare and reflections. Many makers will add their own technology to filter or enhance certain colours and improve contrast and sharpness. The overall lens colour will make a difference. Yellow and rose enhance vision in dull or low light. Blue and green work well in bright, sunny conditions, such as that found on saltwater flats. The best colours for all-round freshwater work are grey, amber, brown or copper. Lenses are made of glass or polycarbonate: glass has the edge in clarity and scratch-resistance; polycarbonate is thinner, lighter, more shock-resistant and generally cheaper. Finally, check the build quality. Are the arms flexible and strong enough to withstand the stresses of being hung around your neck or stashed above the peak of a cap? Are the hinges and frame up to twisting when dragging bags or wading staff lanyards over your head? Remember the impact-resistant lenses, capable of stopping a fast-moving fly: quality components are not cheap, but a small price to pay to protect your sight.
“Are the hinges and frame up to twisting when dragging bags or wading staff lanyards over your head?”