Bright sunlight reflecting off water prevents us from seeing into it. Polarization is a film with tiny, horizontal, transparent gray (imperceptible) lines alternating with clear lines to create the same effect as window blinds by reducing or eliminating these intense reflections (glare).
For high-quality polarized sunglasses, most companies ‘build’ a multi-layer lens by ‘sandwiching’ the polarized film between two lens and bonding them together as one, so the film is completely protected and performs better. The quality of these initial lenses, used by various companies, differentiates one product from another. In addition, companies also add their own unique blend of optical coatings and other technologies to enhance the polarized lenses to their company’s standards and specifications.
Inexpensive polarized sunglasses are typically made using a single lens with a polarized film ‘sticker’ adhered to it. Cheap polarized sunglasses might serve well as a back-up or a spare to lend to a less-prepared fishing buddy. But the clearest vision will result from investing in the highest quality (optically clear) polarized sunglasses in which you can afford.
Other choices to consider when investing in eyewear include comfort, fit, appearance, style, durability, size and ‘value-added’ features. It is also a combination of these personal preferences that differentiate one pair of sunglasses over another.
Here are eight good sunglass selections, and a brief summary of features––learn more about each product by clicking on their Web links. Some choices are new additions to the market and others are oldies-but-goodies:
Wiley X Zak combines great looks to maximum eye protection, clarity and contrast. They also have a rubber nose-bridge and temple gloves to provide a secure and snug fit. A variety of frame and lens options are available, including polarized, blue-mirror lenses: www.Wiley-X.com.
Costa Del Mar Cheeca features durable nylon frames with an advanced spring hinge to provide an even more comfortable fit, increased durability. The sunglasses tout “Costa Clear 580” lenses to block yellow light, cut glare, and enhance vision. The Cheeca frame can also be ordered in a number of Costa's popular lenses. www.CostaDelMar.com.
Cocoons Wide Line ML fits over your regular prescription eyewear. The lenses are scratch-resistant with ‘Flex2Fit Temples’ to ensure a good fit, and provide maximum protection provided by their ‘Polarized UV400’ lenses: www.CocoonsEyewear.com.
FishGillz Santa Cruz has sleek, fashionable frames that float in water. These lightweight, polarized glasses also have uniquely-shaped side lenses for better peripheral vision. And, they also come with a floating, padded case: www.FishGillz.com.
HaberVision Belize features fixed +2.50 bi-focal positioned on the top of the lenses. This design gives anglers clear, unobstructed sight when looking down. Simply re-position the sunglasses to the tip of your nose to utilize the magnification power where you need it: www.HaberVision.com.
Maui Jim Longboard features “Maui Evolution” optical lenses that are scratch and impact resistant. They also offer wider temples for additional wrap-around protection and comfort, and a “modified rectangle” shape compliments many face shapes: www.MauiJim.com.
Oakley Split Jacket offers interchangeable lenses that makes changing lenses, from polarized to another Oakley lens, fast and easy. These technologically-advanced lenses are optimized for maximum clarity at all angles of vision: www.Oakley.com.
Rudy Project Rydon features carbonium frames with aluminum alloy temples that enhance durability while reducing weight. The frames are fully adjustable and feature flexible ImpactX photo-polarized lenses that are guaranteed not to break: www.RudyProjectUSA.com.