By Neil Taylor,

“Fishing without good polarized sunglasses? You are blind casting.”

A stroke of luck, walking the rows of the industry trade show in Orlando at “I-Cast” about six years ago, I saw the Smith Optics display. I waited until the gentleman was done with the people he was talking to and I made my introduction. The man who was there, none other than Peter Crow. At that particular point, I had heard a lot about all the companies making top-of-the-line polarized eyewear and there were some pretty reputable people who had brought up the Smith name. A store credit I had, I had my first pair of Smith sunglasses at that time and I had not yet used them.

Peter very modestly showed me their products and answered my questions. It was clear to me that this man and this company had done their research and were doing something special.

The test of time, I just recently gave input to a man who was looking at their sunglasses in a local store. I told him “All five pair I have had are still in use and without any repair or warranty claim.” That is the proof. There is no substitute for experience. You can believe me, I have owned some pretty bad sunglasses over the years. With everything I use there is a performance factor and a durability factor and everything comes down to the concept of value. I had two other quality sunglasses in my years of fishing and while they worked for what I was doing, both of them hurt my ears. One was just plain too heavy, the other one just didn’t fit right. With the Smiths, they not only have the comfort: They look good. With anything else I ever wore, my eyes got tired. With the technology of the Smith lenses, eye strain does not happen to me anymore.

“Try before you buy” I honestly have felt very comfortable wearing every pair I have owned in the Smith line. I have my own favorite frame choices but you will find your own. On durability, I don’t know how they do it but I have dropped mine and they have never broken or even scratched.

Peter, the general manager of the company, has had me in touch with his reps for years. Peter manages a number of divisions of Smith, covering the fishing sunglasses. He has been with them in excess of 20 years. Originally a snow goggle company, Smith’s evolved into a company that offers pretty much anything you could need for eyewear including military and law enforcement products. What may help make a difference: Peter is an angler. He loves to fish so he knows what is necessary with quality eyewear for doing it best out there.

The bottom line from my point of view: This is the best product for what I do, a full time fishing guide, specializing in shallow water species. Smith products make it easier for me to do my job successfully. Comfort, glare elimination, filtering light: I am seeing things for what they really are. It is the whole package in eyewear.

What’s new?

A great flow of information all along, I was checking in with them about the tournament I host every year (which they sponsor, so generous and well received by our participants) and he said “Have you heard about the ChromaPop?” I had not and I looked it up right away. He told me “this is our best yet” which is hard to believe, because I have enjoyed every Smith product from the past.

I can tell you that you need to look at these. Smith Optics is better at telling you “why.”

Information from Smith Optics on ChromaPop:

A demonstration:

Smith Optics has introduced a new lens technology that should be a paradigm changer. Called Chromapop, the premise is that where color wavelengths cross (from blue to green, and green to red) the eye has trouble distinguishing color. Chromopop filters out that color confusion specifically in those areas.

Whether you understand that or not, there are other more straightforward attributes that are easily grasped: These lenses do not utilize polarizing film; the treatment happens within the lens material (called Trivex). The Abbe value of Trivex (measure of clarity) is 45. Glass is 44. So it is as clear as glass and clearer than polycarbon. That said, it is 10 percent lighter than polycarbon, and a whopping 75 percent lighter than optical glass. They’re anti-reflective coated, and four times more scratch resistant than plastic. So this is a legitimate best-of-all worlds combination.

We tested the lenses and colors do pop more. There is value in sight fishing scenarios, where subtle motion and color differentiations spell the difference between noticing what’s there and what’s not.

On most lenses, the polarization comes from a film that can cause a haze after use, or even peel free. ChromaPop’s polarization is built in to the lens itself. The lenses are 10 percent lighter than polycarbonate lenses and 75 percent lighter than glass. ChromaPop lenses also have 4-5 times the scratch resistance of plastic lenses and have high impact resistance. The lenses are also tapered to create a perfect sight picture; in other words, there won’t be any distortion around the periphery of the lens. Furthermore, they repel water, grease, smudges and more and are photochromic, meaning they tint automatically to changing light conditions.

FEATURES: + Polarized: NEW film-free polarization eliminates glues and haze. Creates unmatched visual clarity + Ultra Lightweight: 10% lighter than polycarbonate, 15% lighterweight than CR-39, and 75% lighterweight than glass + Speed of Sight: Improves speed of visual processing. See true color, faster + Clarity Redefined: Proprietary lenses crafted with science and art to blend color and clarity like no other + Scratch Resistance: 4-5 times anti-scratch performance over “plastic lenses” + Perfect Vision: Tapered Lens Technology (TLT) corrects light distortion for true optical clarity + High Impact Resistance: Ideal for all activities from casual to competition + Anti Reflection (A/R): Vacuum applied A/R coating on the backside of lenses eliminates bothersome sidelight reflections + Hydroleophobic Coating: Repels moisture, grease, and grime + Polarchromic: Photochromic technology added to select polarized tints to automatically adapt to ever-changing light conditions

ChromaPop will be available in 6 new styles, as well as in 15 best selling frames.

Smith Optics is a four time Supersponsor of the Captain Mel Classic. Thank you Smith for what you do and what you make!  To see more on Smith Optics visit their SITE and also see this previous REVIEW

Neil Taylor
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