As fisherman we all have our own sunglasses company/brand we believe is “tried and true”. In all honestly most upper-echelon sunglasses companies make a pretty competitive lens these days. Lets face it, if you can’t see fish with one brand, you sure as hell aren’t gonna see em with a different brand. So besides a great lens I also take into consideration functionality, durability and style. In my opinion the pair that covers the entire basis are the new “Guide’s Choice” by SMITH Optics. Not only is new Techlite Polarchromic lens bad ass, but the frame design provides some other innovative features as well.
One of my favorite aspects of the GC is the built in retainers. You simply pop out the existing temple pad and replace it with the retainer cord which has an integrated pad attached to each end piece (this comes standard with every pair of GC’s and can be seen below). Some slide-on retainers can be cumbersome and irritate the back of your ears especially when wearing a hat. The built in retainers keep the look sleek and the fit true to form.
The next feature I feel is key and often overlooked by many anglers is the wide arm that connects at the hinge. The width keeps out light which allows the lens to perform the way it is intended. When light enters through the back of the lens it creates refraction, this bends the light and causes small reflections making it tough to see through the water. Any form of reflection on the water is the last thing an angler wants when trying to spot fish from the poling platform. The wide arm on the GC’s will prevent light from entering through the side of the glasses.
As for strength and toughness these bad boys are as hardy as they come. I drop my glasses at least once a day on the boat deck from just being clumsy. I also take about a gallon of salt spray to the face a day when it’s rough out. So far all my SMITH glasses have stood up to the elements. Let’s face it, some of us just plain destroy glasses no matter how rugged they may be. For all you destructive anglers, SMITH has you covered with a lifetime warranty on all products!
Last but not least is the style. If you take a look at what’s out there, most “fishing” glasses these days all have that same mundane look. Not only do I wear my glass on the boat but I wear them everywhere I go. So when I want to NOT look like every “Salt Life Guy” and their brother at the marina tiki bar I simply pop off the retainers and I have a classy pair of shades to drink beer and look good doing it.
Take Care, Sawyer