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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Boston, Mass.

    Default Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    I visited the eye doctor yesterday, and it turns out that my prescription for my beloved old Smith photochromic copper sunglasses that darken in bright light has to be changed. However, when I go to the Smith website, I can't find the photochromic lenses listed any more. Their current premium lenses are called "Chromapop".

    I don't know whether Smith still makes the lenses I like, and I don't know much about Chromapop, and I know a lot of people prefer Costa to Smith. My doctor can order ordinary prescription polarized lenses in a range of colors from her usual optical lab. She doesn't carry Smiths, but I can get them online or from another dealer. She does carry Costas, but the range of lens colors they offer is daunting, and she doesn't know anything about using them in fishing situations, so she's no help with selection.

    I fish under a wide range of light conditions -- from woodsy trout streams at dawn and dusk to the bright glare of the Carribbean flats. So, what are the pros and cons of the different choices, and what brand and color of prescription sunglasses should I get?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Brazoria County, SE Texas
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    I have Costa Prescription lenses. Mine are the 580g, copper base, green mirror. They really are great out in the saltwater bay and cut down on the glare tremendously and help to see fish and structure under the surface of the water. I only got mine to correct for my nearsightedness, but if I look over them I donít have enough farsightedness to cause any issues tying knots.

    I wear them to drive and when I do a variety of activities outside including fishing. Iíve traveled to the northeast and the west coast and the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico and they seem good everywhere except at dawn and dusk and on real low light days. They block too much light then and I go with my regular glasses.

    They are the only Rx sunglasses Iíve had. I did have some non prescription Revo and Maui Jimís back when I wore contact lenses, but soft contact lenses were never as in focus or sharp as a good prescription glass lens. You canít beat glass over plastic for sharpness or lack of distortion.

    I couldnít imagine fly fishing without something like the Costa lenses I have. I know they enable me to see fish I couldnít have otherwise with my regular glass. Iíve done a quick experiment once to prove it.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    In sight of the Gateway Arch in Illinois

    Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    Use the search function as there are several extended threads on sunglasses. The Smith vs Costa goes on for pages. It is a Chevy vs Ford type of thread but still contains a bunch of good info. Worthwhile.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    I have a pair of Costa with prescription lenses that have a progressive (bifocal) portion as well. They are awesome. My optometrist said he works with a lenses lab that could also make custom lenses for them which opened up options Costa didn't have. You may want to see if you can take your Smith frames and see if they can be fitted with updated lenses.
    Adoption is Amazing

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  8. Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    I primarily fish flats. But also Michigan Rivers and offshore. I have been nearsighted for 60 plus years...All the hype and marketing of fishing polar lenses is plastic in general and polycarbonate specifically including prescription lenses. Glass scripts are limited in color choices and when you go to Costas or Maui Jims for glass it will cost you 600 available for flats and all-round is the brown base green or gold mirror...My suggestions assuming your script is not "coke bottle thick": 1/ get a pair of clear glass script lenses no coatings (I get mine online at the Lens Factory in Louisville Ky) then get three Cocoon overs in Yellow, Blue Mirror grey base, and Green Mirror brown base. 2/ Essilor the French giant essentially owns the world of 'script lenses...own Costa and KbCo lens out of Colorado to name a few KbCo/Essilor have extensive color choices in plastic...I prefer old time plastic CR 39 which is optically better than latest plastic TriVex/or NXT while better than poly but not better than CR39 assuming quality lens mfg such as Essilor...but what you get in KbCo CR39 is multiple colors...downside plastic scratches upside its lighter glass is heavy ...polyc and Trivex are touted as nearly bullet proof but we don't get bullets and a big lead eye clouser did not shatter my old glass Costa 400 before they had 580s. My go to polars for the flats are Polars.jpg these are the old Julbo French Classic Glacier frames now called Julbo Vermont Classic with replaceable leather side shields and nose strap. The lenses are KbCo CR39 in Copper with solid gold mirror with the very effective side shields I did not put any anti glare coating...those old time cable ear pieces hold the glasses on the face even in heat sweat...not as fashionable as Costa, Maui, Oakley, Smith etc...but very function-able. 3/ If your script is not "coke bottle" and your flush then Costa 580g in brown base and green or gold mirror for inshore and grey base blue mirror ...remember those of us four eyes are cursed with limited color choices in glass and weight...I just had my cats removed from both eyes and my 'script is real thin essentially just my astigmatism... no Sphere and -1.50 Cylinder

  9. Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    Forgot to add...if you select a color you want(other than brown or grey) and select glass polar, script lens have whoever you order from sign in their blood and affirm or swear under penalties of perjury that you will receive that color in glass if not no pay

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    I just visited Smiths site and though confusing, click on sunglasses and Techlite (glass) Polarchromic Cooper. I need a new pair too. I intend to visit both Smith and Costa assuming they each have a booth at the NJ Show.

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  13. Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    SS: That's why I added the addendum "blood signature" I don't believe Smith is doing 'script glass polars anymore and yes most brand name sites are confusing for us four eyes who want glass and those that do have glass are priced Costa Maui

  14. #9

    Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    It's funny you posted this today, I just got back from the eye doc. I ended up with a pair of Costas with copper base green mirror, and was able to order copper silver lenses for another pair of costas I bought last year off Steep and Cheap for $80. The lenses themselves, (my Rx was very similar to Bonefish41), were around $200 which I thought was relatively painless. I noticed that the copper silver allow 12% transmission, the green allow 10% (which means the green will be a little darker). I've had good luck with Revo and Costa in the past, so I'm looking forward to it.

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  16. #10

    Default Re: Need prescription sunglass recommendation

    In 2015, I bought Smith Optics Tenet frames with Chromapop lenses in polarized brown, with a prescription for distance vision. I love them!
    I based my purchase on the recommendation here.

    I prefer to have a single prescription rather than progressive, and on the brim of my hat I have a flip-down magnifier that I use (even while still wearing the Smiths) for tying knots.
    There's not a day that goes by that I don't wonder how dreary this world would be if elk were bald and birds had no feathers.
    - Hank Patterson

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