Any recommendations for Low Light polarized sunglasses for cloudy days?

bigtasty114

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I have an awesome pair of brown sunglasses that are polarized and great on sunny days.

However, when it is cloudy they make the surroundings too dark to see (the bank of the stream, walking through the woods, etc)

Anyone have a separate pair they wear on cloudy days? I heard yellow or silver are the way to go.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks.
 

joe_strummer

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I use Smith's polar yellow heavily. A lot of the stream fishing here can be heavily shaded, or under the clouds of afternoon thunderstorms. Planning to add a pair of Costa silver sunrise mirrors in 580G this season. The Smith's are the brighter of the two, the lens with the higher VLT, 32% to 25%.
 

joe_strummer

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31% VLT on the Smith polar yellow.

They have a couple others: a polarchromic amber that ranges from 14% VLT up to unspecified, and polar lowlight ignitor at 40%.
 

mandotrout

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I just use amber most of the time. They are Cocoons fit overs that go over my progressive prescription. If it's too dark I just take them off. I also have some "Drivewear" prescription sunglasses from Costco that are excellent low light cloudy day sunglasses that adapt to different lighting conditions. They just don't have enough side and top coverage for me to wear all the time.
 

Bent Undergrowth

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I made the decision to purchase a pair of low light polarized glasses last year after hearing multiple accounts from guides regarding their advantages. If you think about it, vision is probably the most important tool we have in our pursuit...

My research indicated that there were two worthwhile options on the market: the Smith low light ignitor and the Costa sunrise silver mirror.

The Smiths let in slightly more light, but the general consensus is that the Costas have better lens clarity. After trying both on, I indeed found this to be the case, especially with the glass lenses. Both performed equally well in a dark setting (my optometrist had a room with a dimmer switch) and I was unable to notice a difference in light transmission, so clarity became the deciding factor.

I ended up purchasing the Costa fantail in sunrise silver mirror with 580G (G = glass). The glass was slightly heavier than the polycarbonate, but clarity and scratch resistance were priority and plastic was therefore out. I did have some initial concern about shatter resistance and I called Costa to ask about this. I talked to one of their representatives who informed me that the lenses are designed like a windshield so as not to shatter, but conveyed obligatory caution. If you throw heavier flies with reckless abandon, perhaps this warrants consideration.

Having used them a couple dozen times now, I don't know how I fished without them, especially at dusk. Gives a whole new meaning to sight-fishing.

Beware that if you have light-sensitive eyes (like me), you'll need to have an extra, darker pair on hand. They are not suitable for driving in bright conditions. Also, I will warn you that the clearish-yellow lenses look a bit dorky. Not that this should be a priority when fishing, but worth mentioning.


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bigtasty114

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Wow, thank you all so much! Helps so much! Why I love this site! Great in depth advice and I will def buy the Smiths or the Costas and try them out!
 

Kyo

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Recently picked up a pair of the yellow/copper Costas 580P
but they used a different style of glass to meet my prescription. Went way over my budget here but felt it was important. Used Smith and a pair from LL Bean years ago but couldn't keep up with the prescription changes.

These colors I could use after the sun went down.

* Note I did keep my Cocoon Fit Overs. The pair I bought last year was greatly improved over my old pair. I'm going to be a little rusty by the time I hit the water again so no need to drop these news glasses. :p
 

joshw

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Another recommendation for Costa sunrise lenses in lowlight conditions. They are the best I’ve used over the years on these conditions.
 

dynaflow

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Bent Undergrowth said "I ended up purchasing the Costa fantail in sunrise silver mirror with 580G (G = glass). The glass was slightly heavier than the polycarbonate, but clarity and scratch resistance were priority and plastic was therefore out."
This isn't true these days.Like many I've always worn Glass lens sunglasses but have been assured that the quality of polycarbonate (which isn't Plastic) is equal to Glass these days due to the rapid technological advancements of recent years.
 

Bent Undergrowth

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Bent Undergrowth said "I ended up purchasing the Costa fantail in sunrise silver mirror with 580G (G = glass). The glass was slightly heavier than the polycarbonate, but clarity and scratch resistance were priority and plastic was therefore out."
This isn't true these days.Like many I've always worn Glass lens sunglasses but have been assured that the quality of polycarbonate (which isn't Plastic) is equal to Glass these days due to the rapid technological advancements of recent years.
I suggest the OP try both and decide whether they can detect a difference.

According to Costa, glass provides the best clarity.

Source: Costa 580(R) Lens Technology


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MCHammer

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I have the Cocoons in yellow polarized. They work great, although they were supposed to fit over my prescription glasses but don't. I don't need the prescription for distance, but tying knots is challenging without it.

The yellow color is also excellent for whiteout conditions, which I sometimes find myself in. My snowplow driver also swears by yellow.
 

sweetandsalt

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With a new Rx a couple of years ago I went with Costa Cooper with silver mirror and Smith Amber no mirror, both in glass. I use and like them both depending on light conditions and now I want to add a low light Sunrise or Smith equivalent. My research will begin in earnest when it becomes clear I'm allowed to travel to fish this year...

I am old school and also know a little about optics and there is no doubt that ground glass is optically superior to molded plastic resin, be it CR39 or Polycarbonate.
 

falcon53

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I too use prescription Costa Copper Silver Mirror 580g glasses. They are outstanding. This really became apparent last July. A Friend and I were fishing for smallmouth on the Delaware just above the Rt 84 bridge and the confluence of the Neversink R. near Port Jervis. The air and water temps were very warm and the sky was clear. The original plan was to fish a long oxygenated rocky riff with some depth. This plan only resulted in a few small fish. So we moved to a weedy flat (weeds mean oxygen). Upon arriving I could see numerous smallmouth hunkered in and moving about in the scattered weed beds. I alerted my friend who had difficulty seeing the fish with his sunglasses. We ended up sight fishing to (I played fishing guide ... Mike give me 25 at 11 o'clock) and catching about 15 smallmouth between 10 and 16 inches on small minnow patterns, olive buggers and damsel nymphs in 2 hours before it got too hot and a cold gin and tonic seemed more appropriate. The Costas made a big difference.

The Copper Silver lens are great in bright conditions but too dark on early mornings, evenings and cloudy conditions and I too am looking to add a pair of Sunrise Silver (or similar) glasses for these conditions.
 
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camelbrass

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Costa Sunrise 580G glasses are exceptional in low light. You’ll notice the difference to amber lenses immediately. Can be uncomfortable in bright sunshine though.

Regards,


Trevor


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sweetandsalt

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I wear the amber photochromics under overcast filtered daylight and clear glasses dawn or dusk...hence my desire for Sunrise, previously unavailable in glass.
 

mtbusman

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I have Smith prescription bifocals. I use gray chromapop for driving and the guide's choice in copper chromapop for fishing. The copper is great in the summer sun and still lets enough light in for winter and late afternoon low light conditions. I've been using Smith's copper for years -- usually able to keep wearing them when the sun goes down and seeing OK. But, that doesn't mean that some of the models mentioned in previous posts that are designed especially for low light wouldn't work better.
 

dynaflow

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At the risk of reiteration I stand by my comment that the CR39 lens in 2020 is as good as Glass,and I've always worn the latter (and still do) based on the fact that traditionally glass had superior optics.My new expensive prescription Copper photochromic sunglasses will have CR39 lenses.Obviously YMMV.
Cheers
 

bonefish41

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I have an awesome pair of brown sunglasses that are polarized and great on sunny days.

However, when it is cloudy they make the surroundings too dark to see (the bank of the stream, walking through the woods, etc)

Anyone have a separate pair they wear on cloudy days? I heard yellow or silver are the way to go.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks.
BT: Are these prescription or plano? The cost differential is huge... 40 bucks for Cocoons around 120 for sale closeouts Smiths, Costas...prescription 450-650... and if prescription glass, the tint options are limited whereas plastics are unlimited and because I need minimal correction for distance and because Smith eliminated most of their glass prescription tints(now only brown and grey) and because glass prescription Costas are absurdly high recently (since Smith quit the glass prescription tint I wanted )I also get prescription CR39 plastic lenses mfg by Essilor Xperio in their polarized Sunflower and Ruby tints from an online optical....I get my frames online also...Now if you don't need prescription lenses then your options for glass and plastic tints by Costa, Smith are numerous and sale/closeout inexpensive; however make sure you get USA or Italian frames and lenses

For single vision prescription Essilor Xperio CR39 Polarized Ruby tint with Crizal Sun coating $219 and Smith Guides Choice frame sale 85.00 postage 15.00

Same cost for my lowlight Sunflower tint but I used Randolph Frames since I did not need a significant wrap for low light
SunflowerPolars.jpg
 
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hiplainsdrifter

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Almost all anglers just wear polarized all the time without thinking about it. However, the amount of direct light and the angle of the sun relative to the water will dramatically affect the efficiency of a polarized filter in reducing glare. Try slipping your sunglasses on and off in a given lighting situation to see how much they are benefiting you. I have found in some situations, it actually helps to have some glare on the water to pick out my fly when fishing very small dries. With those disclaimers, I recommend Smith's copper Ignitor color. It is perfectly suited for the application if you feel the need for low light polarized. PS I am a certified optician.
 
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