A good pair of sunglasses is an absolutely essential item for a safe and successful fishing day. How anyone can fish without them I'll never know—I never leave home without mine! Not only can they protect your eyes from things like the sun, bugs, rain, and flying hooks, but they give you a huge advantage in being able to see below the water's surface. While I've always been quite satisfied with just about every pair of affordably-priced glasses I've ever purchased, the few times I've stepped into the world of "higher-end" sunglasses it was always a better experience. Speaking of higher-end, I recently had the opportunity to sample the new Whitetip glasses from Costa. Costing about three times as much as my current pair of sunglasses, would this equal three times the performance?
Frame Color: Matte Grey
Lens Color: Grey
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
Polarized: Yes/100% UV A,B,C protection
Frame Width: 125.3 mm
Bridge Width: 19.4 mm
Lens Width: 58 mm
Lens Height: 38 mm
Temple Arm Length: 122 mm
Extras: Case, Cloth
Hand-crafted right here in Florida, Costa's Whitetip sunglasses bring some interesting and solid features to the table. Classified as "medium-sized," my test pair features 100% polarized lenses crafted from an impact and scratch-resistant coated polycarbonate featuring 580P lens technology. What does 580P specifically do for you? Besides the lenses protecting your eyes, they are said to offer great clarity—but more on that in the next section!
Forming the foundation of my Whitetips is a matte grey frame that is, interestingly, made from biodegradable resins sourced from reclaimed castor oil. Extending along most of the temple arms and in the nose bridge are sections of Costa's Hydrolite rubber to keep the glasses in place. Other features include a black Costa logo on each side of the temple area, small slots at the temple arm ends, and tiny vent holes on each side of the frame adjacent to the lenses.
As expected from a quality pair of sunglasses, these are flaw-free. The frame is smooth all around with no burrs or imperfections, and the lenses offer the same refinement. All of the materials also fit together nicely with no unsightly gaps or loose pieces. Best of all, these glasses look cool as heck!
Let's go in reverse order and talk about how the Whitetips performed while not wearing them on my face. When hooked onto my shirt or slid onto my cap, they stayed put much more solidly than average. The cam-action pin hinges make for a stiff action when initially folding the temple arms, but it also locks them firmly in place whether open or closed. Combined with the rubberized sections and a nice modest curvature to the ear pieces themselves, they stay put very well while not in use.
On a scale of 1–10, I'd rate the fit of the Costa Whitetip sunglasses on me at about a 7. They are plenty comfortable, but the curvature of the temple arms is just a hair too much for my head to give a 9 or 10 rating. Of course, results will vary wildly here! On the plus side, the temple arms offer some good flexibility, and as a whole the glasses conform nicely to my face and nose, serve up great protection from all sides, and they don't weigh a ton which is always appreciated.
So, how about that lens clarity? My honest opinion is that it's fantastic. In fact, the first time I put them on, it took me a few seconds to get in-tune with the crispness. My current personal pair of sunglasses fits me great and has been with me for 2 or 3 years now, but the lenses on the Whitetips undoubtedly blow them away. This also enhances underwater visibility too, as everything appears more precisely than what I'm used to. I'd love to have these lenses with me when I start doing a lot of sight-fishing for snook on the beaches in a couple months!
Great quality, solid performance, and made-in-the-USA....what's not to like? Costa offers the Whitetip sunglasses with either polycarbonate or glass lens options, as well as four different frame color options. The Whitetip is priced up to $239 depending on configuration, and each carries a limited lifetime warranty.
Shopping for Costa Sunglasses?
Try Trouts Fly Fishing