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moosedoggie
distinguished member (166)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/25/2018 04:27PM  
After years of using the $20 specials, I'm in the market for a "good" pair of sunglasses.

This should start a good debate. What are the best polarized glasses for fishing?

Let the argument begin...
 
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BuckFlicks
distinguished member(670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/25/2018 05:01PM  
Sunglasses are a very personal thing. I definitely have a sunglasses fetish and I buy a new (expensive) pair every year at least. For me, it has to start with quality optics. Unless it's at least Ray-Ban or Oakely quality, I'm out. Next is comfort - I want to feel like I'm not wearing any shades, but more importantly in the outdoors is that the shades block with wind.

To that end, I love Oakley Flak Jackets with the XLJ lens. Polarized lenses for canoe tripping or fishing. The lens wraps around the side of the face to cover the eyes on the side and keeps the wind out nicely. You can also personalize them with frame and accent colors, and there are a variety of lens colors and darkness levels to suit your personal preference. Currently, my favorite all-around non-activity shades are Maui Jims wire frames. They make my eyes more relaxed than any other of my current sunglasses. For driving in dusk/dawn or rain during the day, I have a pair of Serengeti with light brown lenses that aren't polarized.

Hardcore fishermen my have other answers
 
Rs130754
distinguished member (172)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/25/2018 05:11PM  
I am not sure about being the best but I upgraded my eye protection several years ago. I like the Maui Jim's mentioned as they have great clarity but I found Wiley X P17 in polarized to fit me well and are the ones I grab 90% of the time for everything. The Brick from Wiley are also nice but a bit more spendy. Just to note I had my P-17's on a few years ago and was struck in the eye with a treed crank bait. It scratched up the lenses pretty bad but my eyeball was safe. I didn't even know my fishing partner had a lure stuck, it happened in an instant.
 
BuckFlicks
distinguished member(670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/25/2018 05:12PM  
But if I was buying a new pair, I'd be looking at the Radar line for even better side-eye wind protection.
 
ozarkpaddler
distinguished member(5366)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/25/2018 06:23PM  
Heheheh, I'll watch, but won't be buying any. Just today we pulled away from Bollinger Mill, an old covered bridge and had to turn around. I remembered I left them on the porch rail for the restroom (LOL)! I'm notorious for leaving them on tractor tires, hoods, logs, rocks, you name it. So I do like ZZ Top, I go get me some CHEAP sunglasses (LOL)!
Cheap Sunglasses
 
andym
distinguished member(4956)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/25/2018 06:46PM  
I have some prescription Oakleys that wrap very tight to the head and so give great peripheral protection. The frames are 14 years old and I’m on my second set of lenses. The old lenses were excellent. The new ones are the sharpest lenses that I’ve ever had in any pair of glasses. I use them a lot on the water for paddling and sailing plus for hiking and driving. They’re great. Because they are 14 years old, the models have all changed.

I’m sure there other good choices. I’m just sold on getting great sunglasses.
 
doubledown
senior member (80)senior membersenior member
 
06/25/2018 08:11PM  
These have survived my wild 2.5 year old boy, several bwca trips, and life in general and look like day one. You would need to put a hammer to them to break them. Style wise, they’re no ray bans, but this is the bwca forum so this is my best answer.
 
flytyer
distinguished member (191)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/25/2018 08:25PM  
I have Smith Chromapop's. Best sunglasses, for me, to see in the water. I wade for fishing so need to be able to see below the surface. I also have Maui Jim's. Very good sunglasses. Look at different lenses colors for different light conditions. As others have said, sunglasses are a very personal item. Try several pair and be sure to take them outside to see what works best for you.
 
mastertangler
distinguished member(4638)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/26/2018 07:16AM  
I find quality optics a "quality of life" type thing. My eyes are sensitive to glare and it is unusual for me to be outside without some type of sunglasses.

For tripping I like bronze tint and Maui Jims are the best as far as optics go. The pair I have for tripping I picked up at REi and they lack some of the "style" that mauis are noted for. But they are meant for outdoor enthusiasts and are more or less bullet proof.

I much prefer the bronze tint as it is an "all conditions" type of choice. Still superior polarized protection in bright light they also excel in low light.

Oft overlooked is the ability for sunglasses to perform well on a portage trail. The bronze tints work well. Why sunglasses on portage trails? During certain conditions gnats and other insects seem particularly attracted to your eyes and can become a nuisance especially gnats.
 
06/26/2018 08:18AM  
I agree with the Maui Jim's and Ray Ban's, have both and enjoy both. The style and temps more or less dictate when I wear which glasses. If it's hot/sunny I don't like thick frames or large lenses, just makes me hotter and I don't want a tan like on on face either.

In truth I don't like wearing glasses at all. Had to as a kid before I moved to contact and never looked back. I also have hazel eyes so it's not as much of an issue with brightness.

What I'd like to do is get some tinted contacts, I just forget every time I'm at the optometrist
 
melnik
member (5)member
 
06/26/2018 08:44AM  
Ray Ban makes a version of their Wayfarer (sp?) that folds up really small. Available polarized as well. I use these so whenever I take them off I just fold them up and slip them in my pocket. No more "left behind" sunglasses. No more "leave them on the bumper and back over them with the rental car...." etc...
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3109)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/26/2018 11:20AM  
I have Bolle Pirajas which have lasted me for,....over 10 years. Took them to my optometrist and had prescription, polarized lenses put in (but the original lenses were polarized too). Think I got mine through Campmor. Don't know that they still have the same one, but they usually have a pretty good selection of sunglasses.

 
mastertangler
distinguished member(4638)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/26/2018 11:20AM  
The key to not losing glasses is a cord so when not in use they dangle. But even that is not foolproof. I crushed a pair of Costas by laying on them during a driving break and another pair of high end glasses I crushed against a boat rail while fighting a big fish ........( yes, the saltwater fish can bring you to your knees and slam you up against the rail, lotta fun except when your glasses get destroyed ;-)

I decided to get my daughter a nice pair of Mauis and strongly suggested using a cord but that was just as unfashionable to wear as a phone case. Naturally both items were eventually destroyed. Mauis are replaced for $80. If you want to keep them wear a cord and a case helps immensely. Now my daughter always has a case. As soon as they get taken off they go into a case.......good girl!
 
06/26/2018 12:00PM  
Another Wiley X user. But my needs were for safety glasses/goggle with prescription lenses.
Wiley X SG1. I use 1 pair photo gray clear prescription and grey polarized prescription, both v-cut gaskets. OK I'm no model but I've used these for 10 years or so.

butthead
 
HangLoose
distinguished member(811)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/26/2018 01:56PM  
I too appreciate a quality pair of sunglasses. Check out Optic Nerve sunglasses. Optic Nerve are quality and priced between $40 and $75. I have seen Optic Nerve at outfitters in Ely and Grand Marais. They sometimes come with different interchangeable lenses for different conditions too.

I also like Oakley.

Maui Jim has always intrigued me but MJ is all polarized and I cannot wear polarized at work due to not being able to see a computer screen.
 
06/26/2018 08:09PM  
I buy cheap, typically 2- 3 pair polarized at amazon for $19. I just know I am going to scratch or lose the big buck pair and I just can't bring myself to do it.
 
4keys
distinguished member(785)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/26/2018 09:00PM  
In the past I never bought any of the year of expensive ones, as they tend to get dropped, scratched, etc. I need bifocals now, so that upped the cost. Haven't found any that I really love yet.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(776)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/26/2018 09:43PM  
I'm with BuckFlicks. Very personal. And though it's not necessarily an issue of cost, if you pay for quality, you will have a better experience.

I have a pair of prescription Oakley Half-Jackets, progressive lenses, polarized. In essence, these are custom sunglasses. Paid $650. BUT..... they are priceless to me. I decided to have progressive lenses installed, as I have in my regular glasses, so I can do close in work and read. This translates well for fishing and reading. I live in the things and worth every penny. I wear them A LOT.

I have a Croakies cord so I don't worry about losing them. They always go in a hard case when I'm not wearing them. The polarization keeps glare to a minimum which obviously is a plus in the BWCA. Wrap-around nature of the frame aids in reducing glare.

Long story short, I would recommend not skimping and purchasing quality within your price range.

Mike
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3109)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/27/2018 06:43AM  
In addition to having a cord/croakie-type thing, I think having a case for mine has helped longevity. On canoe trips, I bring a hard case for my sunglasses and for my regular glasses for when not in use. Less likely to break them by rolling over them in the tent, or stepping on, or crushing them in the pack.
 
WhiskeyCreek
member (17)member
 
06/27/2018 08:00AM  
Cant go wrong with Costa Sunglasses. Watch any fishing show (mainly saltwater) and that is what 90% of the guides are wearing. Make sure you get a glass lens, plastic scratch easier. Maui Jim probably has the best warranty policy but haven't had to test out Costa's yet because I haven't had any problems. Easily the best fishing sunglasses out there.
 
Driftless
distinguished member (331)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/27/2018 08:22AM  
I have been wearing Native's for the past 10 years. They change models so frequently, that you can usually find a pair to ~ $60 on closeout. They usually come with interchangeable lens. Their warranty is hard to beat - if they break or get scratched for any reason, just sent them back. If they no longer make the pair you broke, they will let you pick a new pair. Our puppy used my as a chew toy a few years back and they gave me a new pair - customer service said that happens all the time!
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3109)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/27/2018 08:36AM  
WhiskeyCreek: "Cant go wrong with Costa Sunglasses. Watch any fishing show (mainly saltwater) and that is what 90% of the guides are wearing. Make sure you get a glass lens, plastic scratch easier....."

I always make sure NOT to get glass, just for the sake of eye protection (as recommended by my optometrist, extra safety precaution I need to take). But yeah, that said have to be more careful about scratching. Have not had too much trouble with polycarbonate scratching, as I keep them in a case - or at least not lens-down - when not in use.
 
Nozzelnut
distinguished member (151)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/27/2018 11:25AM  
I'm an avid sunglass wearer. Both for impact and UV protection. I usually get polarized lenses; better for driving and fishing. My fishing includes both lakes (from boats) and rivers (while wading.)

Mirrored lenses for additional reflectivity and bright sun on the water, brown lenses for overcast days, and even low light lenses for fishing during the twilight times...

I've got sunglasses that are 18 years old; I tend to be careful with them; and don't just throw them around. They come with cases for a reason...

Oakley's usually fit me the best but I also have Smith, Costa, and even a pair of Nike.

My latest pair of Costas are 400G lenses; being my first pair of glass lenses in a long time after trying on my buddy's. They are very clear! Previous to this I went with poly lenses; a little lighter, more impact protection but less scratch resistance and clarity.

Sierra Trading Post usually has deep discounts on Costas and other makers.

The best sunglasses are ones that enhance your vision and that you'll wear. There are plenty of sales out there if you look around.

 
BuckFlicks
distinguished member(670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/27/2018 04:48PM  
I prefer glass for clarity and scratch resistance, but I generally go with polycarb for any outdoor activity where breakage is possible. I pretty much only wear glass lenses while driving.

I have worn Bolle, Ray-ban, Maui Jim, Serengeti, Oakley, and multiple frame/lens combinations. And many many cheap options from drug stores, Bass Pro Shops, and even stuff scrounged from the lost and found cabinet when I worked at Six Flags. My eyes can instantly tell if I have a pair of quality shades on... and it's not always dependent upon price. Some very dark lenses may actually let more light in. Some of my Oakleys, even though they look good, leave me with eyestrain as I'm trying to squint to keep out the excess light, and some cheap shades leave my eyes quite relaxed.

If you want cheap shades that have decent optics, I tried (on a whim) out some Shady Rays a few months ago, and they're pretty good. They're not Maui Jims or Serengetis, but at $30-40 they're good enough and a nice compromise between having quality optics and being easily replacable. They only have a few frames and lens colors, but enough that you can find some variation, and they will replace lost or broken shades for the cost of shipping, no questions asked. Yes... even LOST shades. So if you lose your shades when your canoe tips over in rapids, you can have them replaced, instead of being pissed off for the rest of the trip that your $150 Oakleys were ripped off your head. (This may or may not have happened to me on the Buffalo River.)

I'm not positive - but I think they may be made of material that completely disintegrates after a couple months because I haven't seen mine in a couple months... and I've replaced them twice. I think they just disappear into the ether. I very rarely lose my sunglasses. I still have a pair of Bolles that I bought for a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon in 2000.
 
Obe
member (22)member
 
06/27/2018 06:30PM  
Costas!

I have worn Oakleys for quite a while, with my last pair being a wire framed polarized pair. I wanted a good pair of polarized shades for canoeing, so I got a pair of Costas with the copper 580p lenses this spring. I got them off season on sale, only paid $55 from SteepandCheap.com (with MSRP at $189). Copper lenses were favored by fisherman, seemed to make sense for me as I run rivers most of the time. The blue mirror lenses were more favored for open water applications.

After wearing them half the summer, I would highly recommend that brand and lense. Clarity is great, no eye strain or fatigue. They work well from low light to full sun. The frames are flexible enough to accommodate my large melon more comfortably then my Oakleys. They are light as well, and stay stuck in place pretty well. I would pay full price and think it was worth it. I will be buying Costas next time I need new shades.
 
bri
member (35)member
 
06/28/2018 11:36AM  
Currently rolling with some polarized Ray Bans, green plastic lenses. Going on 4 years, they're lightweight and have the flexible hinges which are key for my gigantic head.

Rayban RB3506
 
GearJunkie
distinguished member (158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/28/2018 08:31PM  
WhiskeyCreek: "Cant go wrong with Costa Sunglasses. Watch any fishing show (mainly saltwater) and that is what 90% of the guides are wearing. Make sure you get a glass lens, plastic scratch easier. Maui Jim probably has the best warranty policy but haven't had to test out Costa's yet because I haven't had any problems. Easily the best fishing sunglasses out there. "

This.. Bought my first pair today. After having Smiths, Oakleys, and Maui’s flake apart.

Coastas have the polarization layered between 10 layers of glass. IF you buy the glass version. Wont flake apart and have a life time warranty.
 
andym
distinguished member(4956)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/28/2018 08:55PM  
I'm appreciating the various options. I could be near the time to put new lenses in my Oakleys due to prescription changes. So, I'm open to other options even if I am happy with what I have.
 
Birdknowsbest
distinguished member (281)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/29/2018 02:41AM  
I have 2 pairs of Costas. Both glass. Cant recommend enough. Especially for fishing.
 
mutz
distinguished member(1273)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/29/2018 08:01AM  
ozarkpaddler: "Heheheh, I'll watch, but won't be buying any. Just today we pulled away from Bollinger Mill, an old covered bridge and had to turn around. I remembered I left them on the porch rail for the restroom (LOL)! I'm notorious for leaving them on tractor tires, hoods, logs, rocks, you name it. So I do like ZZ Top, I go get me some CHEAP sunglasses (LOL)!
Cheap Sunglasses "




As you get older, your vision deteriorates and you have to have prescription bi-focals. When this happens your glasses cost $400.00-$600.00. Unless you have a ZZ Top income, you will be amazed by the fact that you know without even thinking about it that the glasses are either on your face or in the case in your pocket. With that said I prefer Raybans or Oakley’s.
 
BuckFlicks
distinguished member(670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2018 05:26PM  
If you have old Oakley frames that Oakley doesn't sell anymore, chances are good that you won't be able to order replacement lenses directly from Oakley. They'll offer you a 25% discount to buy new glasses, but won't sell you new lenses.

I've had fair to decent luck with lenses from this outfit, who make replacement lenses for most name brand shades. They USED to offer some Zeiss lenses among their wares, but I don't see that any longer - their partnership with Zeiss may have ended. BUT... some of the lenses I've gotten were pretty good and some weren't. The biggest issue I had was that I could see the reflection of my eyeball on the inside of some of the lenses and while that's certainly not debilitating, it's damned distracting and I couldn't deal with it. Some of them are made with anti-reflective coating on the inside and that helped. All the lenses fit perfectly in the frames - which I've had problems with in the past with other 3rd party replacement lenses.

The good part is that there are tons more color options that Oakley offers so if you're just looking to salvage a pair of shades with some new lenses that aren't chipped and scratched, this is a good option, and pretty affordable. I'd say they are better than the Shady Rays that I mentioned in an early post, but not as good as Ray Bans. If you are looking for Oakley-equivalent quality, and are an optics quality snob like I am, I can't give my full recommendation. I'd recommend just getting new shades.

Fuse Replacement Lenses
 
BuckFlicks
distinguished member(670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2018 05:44PM  
melnik: "Ray Ban makes a version of their Wayfarer (sp?) that folds up really small. Available polarized as well. I use these so whenever I take them off I just fold them up and slip them in my pocket. No more "left behind" sunglasses. No more "leave them on the bumper and back over them with the rental car...." etc..."

I remember when I was an early teenager (early-to-mid 80s) the Ferrari fold-up sunglasses were pretty popular. I didn't know anyone still made glasses that would fold up like that. I seem to remember they were in the cheap shades category (ie, glasses not made or licensed by the car company) ... there was always a question on the label, if it was Ferarri or Ferrari ... .I assume one was legit and one was knock-off. I think Porsche also had their hands in fold-up shades in the 80s.
 
bwcasolo
distinguished member(1958)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2019 10:06AM  
shady ray's fan here, good prices on a good fitting polarized lens.
 
Rs130754
distinguished member (172)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2019 01:38PM  
I like my Maui Jim's and Wiley X P-17 and Brick. I just ordered replacement lenses for the P-17's from fuse lenses and I have to say they are pretty nice. I went with the polarized ones and they were right around $40. Time will tell how they hold up.
 
bri
member (35)member
 
05/24/2019 01:40PM  
Polarized.
 
05/24/2019 08:35PM  
Another Costa fan here!
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2705)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2019 03:23AM  
Maui Jim's look sharp. I like 'em best. A shade darker than my Wiley pair.
Wiley w/eye prescription from local WalMart eye center. They are a bit costly but great clarity and hug temples comfortably. ($400-$500 w/no-lines Rx) It's what I wear while on BWCA trips. Both cut glare tremendously.
 
Flashback
distinguished member (155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2019 07:29PM  
I love the ones I've found on the rivers for free.
They are typically found in, or below dump spots that the inner city, weekend warriors, and drunken river dorks can't negotiate.

I used to dive those holes with mask and fins. You could not believe the bonanza I found in some of those holes. Sunglasses, money wrapped around limbs & rocks, cameras, cell phones, lawn chairs, fishing poles, coolers and a plethora of beer.
Unfortunately, most river dorks drink Bud Light.

Best find was a Colt Diamondback revolver in a tackle box of fishing lures.
Gave that back to the owner; an older gentleman who got his canoe sideways on a huge boulder. Took 10 of us on pulling on a rope to pull it off.
He gave me & my 2 buddies 20 bucks each as a thank you for helping collect his gear.

At one time I had a large collection of sunglasses, including 4 (free) pairs of Oakleys.

I don't buy expensive sunglasses. Not gonna happen.

BOB
 
Banksiana
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05/25/2019 09:29PM  
My eyes are sensitive to the light after a couple of episodes of snow-blindness. I buy top quality prescription sunglasses and keep them until they wear out. Just replaced my nine year old Bolle with a pair of Wiley. The lenses are better on the Wiley but the extra coverage makes them prone to steaming up (especially xc skiing).
 
HowardSprague
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05/26/2019 01:16PM  
.
 
Louisdaniel
 
09/20/2020 09:59PM  
I have tried a lot of glasses but the Oakley Split Shot is the perfect one. The wraparound fit gives you the protection and coverage you need in a water environment. The durable O-Matter frame features extended coverage on the top, sides, and temples to keep light out and reduce backside glare.
 
mschi772
distinguished member(542)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/20/2020 10:31PM  
The vast majority of all lenses and frames in the world are made by the monopolistic Luxottica. I go out of my way to avoid supporting their corruption. My current glasses are by Chicago-made State Optical, and I have sunglasses by Wiley X which I like but am less in love with.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13572)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/21/2020 08:43AM  
I really like my Maui Jim sunglasses. They cut the unwanted sunlight rays so they leave you with blue skies and water, green trees. I have the ones that wrap around my face and also shield the sunshine on the sides. They cut out the glare when on the water. I can see those huge walleyes coming into my net.
 
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