As a multispecies angler and avid outdoorsman, I have gear in my boat, garage, and basement to match just about any condition you come across. My walls are lined with rod and reel combos that are matched to any species you can imagine. Then I narrow down those selections to multiple ones that are just specific to each lure I might choose to tie on.
What I have mentioned is just the rods and reels. That doesn’t even go into the countless amounts of clear Plano boxes lined with bait after bait for all of the species. From the crankbaits to the plastics and then the hooks, oh my! However, one thing that I never took into consideration and typically took for granted was one of my most important tools that I take out on the water or ice with me and that is my eyes.
I recently had a conversation with Dr. Gary Nesty the owner of Solar Bat sunglasses about the importance of proper eye wear while fishing. Dr. Nesty is also a practicing Optometrist as well as a tournament fisherman. I knew that I needed some first-hand knowledge to help me relay my point about the necessity of wearing proper eyewear.
You are probably wondering why I would be bringing such a topic up at the beginning of winter. Many might think I have gone a bit nuts or have a screw loose somewhere. Although those may be true, there is a valid reason behind my madness. As an angler there is no better time to discuss advantages that we can have while fishing than the present.
Now is the time to start thinking about the upcoming seasons that lie ahead. There are still fish to be caught on open water as well as through the frozen surfaces of our local lakes and ponds. In every situation there is a good reason to think about what you put over your eyes that can make a difference.
In my conversation with Dr. Nesty we both agreed on one major reason to wear proper glasses while fishing and that was to protect your eyes from any damage. This could be damage caused by the sun or even damage caused by a dislodged crankbait that decided to find its way out of the fish and into your face. Protecting your eyes should be your number one goal.
I have learned first hand about protecting your eyes while fishing and the dangers that can exist. My father and mentor never wore sunglasses while fishing and at the age of 71 he is paying for it. His eyes are not what they should be for his age and had he worn sunglasses while on the water he would be in better shape. I myself almost suffered a tragedy while ripping crankbaits through the weeds for hungry bass. One good rip and my bait flipped and flew out of the water. It smacked my glasses right in the center of my eye. Without the layer of protection, I might be blind in my left eye.
At the beginning of what you are reading I brought up the fact about having different rods for different species as well as fishing conditions. Well this also holds true with your sunglasses. There are several different tints out there and each one serves a purpose. They all have different conditions that they perform well in and thus you want to think about having different glasses for every condition.
Not only do they protect your eyes from damaging UV rays and flying lures, but they offer an advantage to the angler to help see into the water and pick out your bait, or target species better. One pair that works great on a sunny day for clear water may not work as well for stained water. The differences in the tints and when to use them will be discussed in another piece that I will pen here in the near future.
I just wanted to broach the subject of protecting your eyes as many anglers’ neglect this and often don’t think of the consequences. As winter is beating down our doors, we are faced with the fact that we may not be heading out in the boat to chase our favorite species, but we are getting geared up for some time on the ice. Given that the leaves are off the trees and the ice and snow are nothing but UV reflectors it is important that we gear up our eyes with proper protection.
It is not just as simple as throwing on your standard sunglasses and hitting the ice. There is more to think about than just that. I asked Dr. Nesty what I should be wearing out on the ice and his response was logical but, in the past, I may have taken if for granted that I thought that I knew the answer.
With the ice and snow the sun is hitting your face from all angles and it is important to be wearing a pair with a Dark Grey tint and a mirror finish. Something like the Solar Bat Gray Ice Blue Mirror tint. This tint allows a light transmission of 9%. This will allow you to see much better and protect your eyes the best against any damaging UV rays.
You see as I have said many a time, I am always learning something new. This just proves to me that there is much more learning to do on my part and this will involve several more conversations with Dr. Nesty to discuss the aspect of sunglasses as part of my equipment. Being an owner of Solar Bat and a practicing optometrist, I know that he is going to provide me with some very valuable information that I hope to pass along to you.
If you would like more information on Dr. Gary Nesty and Solar Bat you can find him on the web at www.solarbat.com.