Polarized Lenses are Critical for Anglers


Anglers fishing the waters of West Virginia, especially at this time of year, will find an advantage to using polarized eyewear. Polizarized lenses will allow an angler to actually have site penetration of the water’s surface, revealing a wealth of activity in the aquatic world.

But anyone who’s done a little research will discovery quickly the term "polarized" can be tricky. It’s not uncommon for just about any pair of sunglasses marketed toward the angling public to carry the term "polarized." One has to be careful to insure it’s the correct type of polarization, because not all are the same.

Explaining the different kinds of "polarized" is technical and difficult to lay out. It’s easier to go to those who produce a product that words and let them explain the process they use to achieve maximum ability.

"There’s a big difference in the manufacturing process for lenses that end up in the five-dollar glasses versus premium eyewear," said Andrew Cohen, product manager for Bolle Eyewear in a recent appearance on West Virginia Outdoors. "The optical quality is very, very important."

Cohen challenges anyone who wears inexpensive glasses to try a pair of premium shades from Bolle or any other premium company.

"You’ll think you’re wearing corrective lenses," said Cohen.

The key difference for anglers is polarized quality.

"Put simply, they block out reflected light and the most obvious place where you have that is around water," Cohen explained. "Every little riffle is going to have reflective glare from the sun. It’s particularly important, one for comfort and two for fishing to be able to see under the water."

The Bolle lens is produced by sandwiching a layer of polarized film between two polycarbonate lenses. The polarized film, on a microscopic level, works like the blinds on a house window, filtering out the glare but still allowing light to illuminate your subject.

Cohen explains his company has engineered two specific tints for their glasses specifically designed for marine applications. The "Offshore Blue" lens is specifically designed for use in open water with heavy and constant sunlight. The goal is more for eye protection than spotting fish. The product is marketed for saltwater applications where anglers are likely to be more on the open water.

Freshwater fishermen who alternate their angling days in and out of shady spots will find an advantage to the "Inland Gold" tint. The design is an amber lens that allows a little more light in. They actually make your site picture brighter, but reduce the annoying glare.

"That’s the lens primarily used by bass fishermen and fly fishermen to see into the water," said Cohen.

Bolle adds several other features like anti-reflective coating on the back of the lens to absorb any light that might escape into the back of the lens. A hydrophobic coating keeps water from creating water spots on the lens and makes them easier to clean. They include high impact plastic designed to protect not only from harmful rays, but from flying sinkers and lures. They even protect against the clumsiest anglers.

"They ship with a neck cord to you can hang the glasses around your neck and if they fall off that, the retainer cord floats," said Cohen.

Learn more at the Bolle Website.

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