Low light sunglasses

Nick Clayton

Active Member
I recently picked up a pair of Costa Fantail glasses with the 580g Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses. I bought these based on many glowing reviews saying they excel in low light situations. I already had the same glasses in green mirror for the sound, blue mirror for the ocean, and copper for all around, but wanted to try these out for low light.

I wore them for the first time on the water Saturday. I wore them for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening and these things are flat out amazing in low light. Those early morning and late evening times, or even when it's super cloudy and dark make it tough to wear my normal glasses, and I was amazed at the difference these lenses made. It was especially noticable as evening approached. It got to the point where it was too dark to wear my green mirror lenses so I switched up and the difference was amazing. I was able to wear the Sunrise Silver Mirror right up till nearly dark. The clarity I had was incredible, and it was a game changer to still be able to wear polarized glasses and see fish following a fly even as dusk was coming on hard.

These things let a lot of light in so I highly doubt they would be comfortable for all day wear in bright sun, but if you're looking specifically for something to wear in those low light situations I highly, highly recommend checking out the Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses.
 

Speyrod GB

Active Member
Thanks for the review. I have been looking for a pair of low light/cloudy day fishing glasses for a while. When you took the glasses off at the end of the day, did it seem darker or lighter out? I ask only because I have had some lenses in the past the seemed to enhance the natural light.

My Costa Cortez green mirror glasses work great on sunny to mostly days, but not so well on cloudy or low light situations. Of course they discontinued the Cortez.

Looks like I have some more research to do.

Tight lines.
 

Nick Clayton

Active Member
Thanks for the review. I have been looking for a pair of low light/cloudy day fishing glasses for a while. When you took the glasses off at the end of the day, did it seem darker or lighter out? I ask only because I have had some lenses in the past the seemed to enhance the natural light.

My Costa Cortez green mirror glasses work great on sunny to mostly days, but not so well on cloudy or low light situations. Of course they discontinued the Cortez.

Looks like I have some more research to do.

Tight lines.

I would say these definitely enhance the natural light. When I put them on in the evening after taking off my green mirror I was blown away by how much lighter it seemed. When I took them off for comparison it definitely seemed darker.

I want to say it was Hatch magazine who named them the best low light glasses out there and their review is what really pushed me over the edge to pick up a pair
 

stilly stalker

Switch Rod Samurai
Just the thing for steelheading in shit weather, but you still need to cut glare to wade safely etc.

Thanks for the review. I too have been looking for a pair of shades for low light days
 

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
I was curious about the Smith Guide's Choice yellow lenses, but those fuckers were expensive. What the hell would the wife say if I spent $250 on glasses and still had to squint at my crossword puzzle?

So I got some Fuse yellow polarized lenses for my beat-to-shit old Suncloud frames. It took me 3 minutes to pop my old lenses out and throw these new little peckers on my old frames. I took them up to Alaska for 10 days back in April, and I'll be damned if they weren't better in that gloomy forest than my rose tinted Chromapops. They ain't bad for 30 shittin bucks!
 

Triggw

Active Member
Why carry two pairs of glasses? I have a pair of Smith polarchromic lenses that lighten under less light. Works great. I don't think they get as light as 30% light transmission, but they avoid that moment late in the afternoon when you take the glasses off and realize that it's not really dark and you don't have to go home yet.
 

Nick Clayton

Active Member
Why carry two pairs of glasses? I have a pair of Smith polarchromic lenses that lighten under less light. Works great. I don't think they get as light as 30% light transmission, but they avoid that moment late in the afternoon when you take the glasses off and realize that it's not really dark and you don't have to go home yet.

I have yet to find a pair of Smith frames that fit my face. I've had several and while I always liked the lenses the frames just don't seem to work for me.

Carrying two pairs of glasses is understandably not for everyone. I totally get that. However as someone who has made a living on the water the last several years, spending 120-140 days a year on the ocean and now on the sound as well I find it worth the extra cost and effort associated with bringing two pairs for the advantages they provide. I've yet to find a lense I like more than the 580g. For tuna fishing offshore their blue mirror lense absolutely crush anything I've ever tried, and this year I added the green mirror for the sound and feel the exact same. However in low light, these glasses truly excel.

To me it's kinda like people's different views on fly fishing gear. Some folks are content to use a floater for all their fishing. Some folks just use a multi tip system that might not do anything great, but will at least do most everything sufficiently. Others still prefer to have multiple lines/reels/rods for very specific applications. I most definitely fall into the latter category. A specialty lense like this would definitely be more for people who are wired like me... Where as others are perfectly content with a single do all pair.

Definitely not trying to claim anyone should go out and spend their hard earned money on these, but instead just wanted to share my thoughts on this speciality pair of equipment for others who may be of a similar mind and might be interested
 

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
Why carry two pairs of glasses? I have a pair of Smith polarchromic lenses that lighten under less light. Works great. I don't think they get as light as 30% light transmission, but they avoid that moment late in the afternoon when you take the glasses off and realize that it's not really dark and you don't have to go home yet.
Do you notice the tint change with those lenses? I have not, but maybe that means they work. I really love my Smiths for most of my fishing. But they aren't as good as dedicated low light lenses for dark, rainy fishing. Good enough, for sure.
 

David Loy

Senior Moment
I had some Costa 580G in green mirror and loved them, till I set them on top of the truck and drove off. Tempted to buy another pair but I have two pair of MJs that I like too. For low light around 1990 I bought some Smith amber glasses. I really don’t care for the color, but I put up with them because they do in fact work very well.
 

golfman44

6x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year (GOTY)
I imagine the copper/amber gets little use now since you have specialty ones?
 

Bowbonehead

Active Member
Why carry two pairs of glasses? I have a pair of Smith polarchromic lenses that lighten under less light. Works great. I don't think they get as light as 30% light transmission, but they avoid that moment late in the afternoon when you take the glasses off and realize that it's not really dark and you don't have to go home yet.
While I have not tried the new Costa's may have to check them out this spring I always carry a both Smith coppers and amber for the low light periods and if on a extended trip a second pair of coppers just in case.... I feel my glasses are my most important piece of equipment I have and would be at a big disadvantage without them.... when someone new to the game asks me what they should get first I tell them a good pair of polarized glasses....
 

Big Rob

Active Member
Ive had the same pair of polarized/prescription Costa Harpoons w copper 580G for the last 15+ years.
Spendy...but my best fishing investment by far....ever.
 

Triggw

Active Member
Do you notice the tint change with those lenses? I have not, but maybe that means they work. I really love my Smiths for most of my fishing. But they aren't as good as dedicated low light lenses for dark, rainy fishing. Good enough, for sure.
It's pretty subtle. I have the Ignitor color, which varies from 12 to 18% VLT. But what I find is they're comfortable in bright midday sun, and lighten enough to make late day less gloomy. Some of their other colors lighten up to 30% VLT.
 

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