By Mark Fike
Years ago when I started covering charter captains and guides in my writing I was introduced to quality eyewear that was being used for fishing. It all started with a charter trip on the Chesapeake Bay when my captain was pointing out various fish below the surface and commenting on them.
I had a cheap pair of polarized glasses on and was not seeing what he was seeing, but chalked it up to his experience. Then the captain handed me his sunglasses to take a look. What a difference the glasses made! I could see detail and actually pick out pieces of the chum floating down in the current!
I immediately took the glasses off, traded them for my glasses and shook my head disgustedly. I had a long conversation with my captain that day about his choice of glasses, their price and what benefits he gets from them.
What I learned is that he viewed getting quality eyewear as an investment in the health of his eyes blocking harmful UV rays. He pointed out that as anglers we are on the water where we not only are not shaded from the sun, but we also get the reflected glare of rays from the sun as well.
Second, he pointed out that because he can see clearer with quality sunglasses, he can put clients on fish more effectively and his days on the water go much better and his clients are much happier.
What brand of sunglasses did he use? Costa del Mar. These glasses and their lenses cut 100% of the UV and HEV light waves which are said to cause some serious eyesight issues down the road such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Costa’s patented technology also blocks harsh yellow lights and higher energy blue light while enhancing normal red, greens and blue wavelengths.
After that encounter I was determined to be equally protected on the water, prepared to see fish better and even drive to my fishing spots with better vision. I purchased a pair of these sunglasses not long after that fishing trip too.
I am hard on glasses though and after several years I needed a pair of fishing glasses again. I tried various other well-known brands of glasses only to be disappointed. Some of the other glasses I tried were not cheap either. I also found the customer service with some of the other companies lacking while my experience with Costa has been quite good.
When my eyes finally realized they were nearly 40 years old and my time sitting on a computer finally caught up with me, I had to get some prescription glasses. Normal sunglasses were no longer an option. However, Costa del Mar was right there to provide me with continued great eye care and sight.
My choice was a pair of North Turn frames with my prescription built into them. Life was good again. As a testimony to how good these glasses are, I often found myself wearing my sunglasses in stores to read the small print on the back of products. They were better than the eyeglasses the eye doctor had prescribed!
Clarity is a selling point for me and Costa delivers.
Again, as time went along, I tried to get some other glasses that were a bit less expensive only to be disappointed. I gave my father a pair of Costas for his birthday when we went fishing several years ago and he loves them. When I recently tried to give him a barely used pair of sunglasses that I had tried but had not been up to snuff for me for him to use while doing yard work he was very appreciative.
I saw him a few days later with his old scratched up years old Costas on doing his grass cutting.
I asked about the glasses I had just given him. He replied that they were not clear enough for him and he wanted a pair of Costas.
Having learned my lesson trying to purchase less expensive glasses, when it came time for my new prescription I went ahead and tried a plastic frame—Cat Cay—that Costa makes with my new prescription in them.
I got a few really good chances to try them in the past few months. One such time involved untangling a massive birds nest of three fishing lines that had planers on them that twisted and tangled behind the boat. I tried taking care of this mess with my regular eyeglasses on. It was a cloudy day, so I did not need sunglasses. In no time I threw my eye glasses on the console of the boat and put my Costas back on.
Problem solved. I also had to work on my truck while it was parked outside. I could clearly see what I was doing the entire time. I have driven hours with them on and I have run my boat for hours without an issue.
If I had some advice to give anglers it would be to invest in your eyes. Save your money if you have to to purchase a pair of Costas and get the right gear. Costa fits the bill.
Second, if you wear prescription lenses, go to a Costa dealer and get checked out there to be sure you get the right prescription.
Third, try on various frames and get something that fits well. You will like them so much you will be wearing them everywhere. You might as well be comfortable!