Decent polarized sunglasses are essential when fishing. Why some folks don’t wear them is beyond me.
Polarized sunglasses do three important things for fishermen. First they cut glare so that the angler can see what is going on under the water. Secondly, they protect your eyes from hooks, sticks, bugs, and debris. Thirdly, they make you look cool!
Years ago, my fishing mentor, Lefty Kreh, shared his ideas on how to keep your important glasses in tip top fishing shape. We used to attend the Gurney Godfrey dinner for the Maryland Fly Anglers club. Lefty was often the speaker. If Lefty said I needed to wear a Tutu to catch more fish, I would have done it.
He always preached that “seeing is believing” and that you must take care of your eye ware. “How can you catch a fish that you can’t see?” He suggested that you use a string, old fly line, or eyeglass cord to hang the glasses around your neck. Never lay them down on their lenses. Clean them carefully with a soft tissue or silicon cloth, not your scratchy, cruddy shirt tail. Using the glasses case also makes sure that your glasses are also protected.
I still have the original glasses Lefty suggested and used them for decades. This proves that glasses can last a long time with a little care. I used old fly line or heavy mono through a drilled hole in the glasses arms. By suspending them around my neck, they were always available and protected. There are also a boatload of eye ware string choices on the market that come in many styles and colors. Some fit better than others. Using a small drop of GOOP or a silicon sealer on the arms of your glasses will help to hold the slip on strings in place.
Keeping your glasses clean is also important. Many anglers throw their expensive glasses onto their truck dash, boat deck, or just shove them into their pockets. As a result, their glasses end up scratched and ruined. Hot soapy water and a soft tissue will help to keep your glasses clear and clean. Anti-fog sprays and cleaners also work along with the silicon cleaning cloths they come with. Snot rags, shirt tails and paper towels will scratch your precious eye ware!
The tint of your polaroid sunglasses is also important. Open water fishing is best for green or blue tints. Forested watersheds and cloudy days are best served with brown. As a guide and teacher, I am always amazed how novice fishermen are reluctant to try polaroid glasses until I put a pair on their face. Suddenly, their fishing world grows bigger and they can actually see the fish!
If you do not want to buy a prescription pair of polaroid glasses, purchase a pair of “Cocoons”. This brand of sunglasses will fit overtop your prescription glasses. I carry a spare pair of these to loan to unprepared anglers. They are bit more bulky but are worth it. These glasses sport a neck string so they can be taken off and protected.
Today, my glasses now have bifocals and prescription lenses and are even more expensive. Normally, I wear my sunglasses the entire fishing day. At dusk, I take them off to discover I have another hour of decent fishing light.
The only trouble with hanging glasses around your neck is how they catch your crumbs from lunch, spit, dead bugs, and raindrops! That’s when you need to carefully clean them.
Seeing is believing!
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com