fly fishing sunglasses
I can hear the voices now, ringing out in contempt:
“What? Another sunglasses review? Didn’t you just do one?”
“Unaccomplished Angler has sold out to the MAN!”
“UA is on the corporate dole. Occupy UA!”
Tough crowd, but let me explain. Yes—I did in fact review a pair of Revo sunglasses not too long ago: HERE. I admit, it’s a little awkward to review another similar product, but the way I see it everyone is a winner: I get a complimentary product in exchange for a review, and my readers get an unbiased review to help them make sound decisions when considering a pair of sunglasses. Translation: I get some sweet sunglasses and you get nothing.
The Costa Double Haul glasses come with the 580 lenses, which Costa describes as “Beyond Polarization”. I’m not sure that you can actually go beyond polarization, but the point is well-taken. These lenses are high-quality, 100% polarized, and provide 100% UV protection. According to the marketing folks at Costa, what sets their product apart is “the clarity found in our lenses, they simply outperform the competition. Put on a pair of Costa 580G (LightWAVE Glass) or 580P (Coated Polycarbonate) lenses and you’re looking through patented technologies and the highest quality materials around that create the clearest sunglass lenses on the planet.” Of course, you can’t trust everything you read so the best thing is to see for yourself.
When shopping for sunglasses in the past, I have always required that I be able to try them on for fit. That wasn’t possible, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When asked some specific questions by the folks at Costa I replied that I have a regulation sized head, prefer a full-coverage frame, and mainly fish rivers under all light conditions. Based on my answers I was sent the Double Hauls with the 580G lenses in “Copper”. I will say that these lenses are very lightweight, such that I had to tap the lens with my tooth to make sure they were in fact glass. The telltale sound confirmed it.
The Double Hauls are intended with fly fishing in mind, as evidenced by the name. Even if you can’t execute a good double haul, you know what it is, right? I’m ashamed to admit that I have not had the opportunity to go fishing since receiving the Costas, but I have given them the extended comfort test and they have passed with flying colors (for me, comfort is paramount when it comes to sunglasses). There’s rubberized, non-slip padding where one’s nose and ears contact the frames: comfortable without creating pressure points after hours of wear. And due to the light weight of the glasses, I can honestly say that I’ve forgotten I was wearing them. That’s a good thing until you tip your head back to administer some Visine Anti-Allergy drops. It is the allergy season, afterall.
The frames are large and wrap nicely to keep unwanted light and glare out of the eyes. The full coverage will also come in handy when protecting the eyes from poorly cast flies (either your own or your buddy’s). The Copper lens is easy on the eyes during most light conditions. Certainly come dusk they will be a bit dark, but then again nothing but a clear lens is of much use at that time of the evening. Until I get to go fishing in a week, I’ve been wearing them as my daily sunglasses and the lens is excellent for all terrestrial activity. I believe my vision may be better with the Costas simply because my eyes are more relaxed during high glare situations, such as looking at a white garage door in full sun.
The glasses come with a semi-rigid case but no other accessories. Costa does make “leashes” which you can probably acquire without much trouble. I got mine at the Fly Fishing Film Tour, which Costa sponsors.
The Costa Double Hauls get my nod of approval. The frames are comfortable, the lenses very good and appropriate for my use, even if just for daily wear between fishing opportunities. Costa is a Florida-based company, although the glasses are made in Taiwan. That’s not a deal breaker unless you refuse to buy anything not made in the USA. The quality appears top notch, which you should expect when the glasses come with a $249 price tag.