Firstly I would like to thank Ben Bangham, who donated the glasses for this review. The website is not yet live but is expected to be up by Christmas, you can check it out here www.coast2coast.com. In the interests of being fair and open about this review I am a big fan of Costas and own three sets. The first set I got was a set of the 580P copper lenses a set of low light yellow lenses soon followed and as my eye got steadily worse another set of 580P bi-focals. So I had heard that some new lenses were becoming available and I wondered if they could be possibly any better than what I had?
Fly anglers wear glasses primarily to protect your eyes from flies that may go astray when casting. If you don’t then quite frankly you’re a Muppet - just Google up some images of folks that have taken a fly to the peeper! The other benefit of wearing polarized glasses is the ability to cut through the glare and see into the water. The ability to see your quarry is especially important whilst fishing running water. When I took the Costa glasses out the cardboard box they were in a hard bullet type case that protects them when not in use. I have never owned a pair of mirrored fishing glasses; it gives me flash backs to the danger zone and Top Gun (apologies if you are not of a certain age that would have gone over your head).
In the bullet case you get a generously sized cleaning cloth for the lenses. There are a couple of cards: the first thanking you for choosing Costa; the second has a bit more information on the lenses and there is some technical blurb. On the back of this card are details about the limited lifetime warranty. This guarantees that if damage is deemed to be through a manufacturing defect that they will be repaired or replaced by Costa although there is a small handling fee of $11.95. Out of the four pairs I have owned over the years, the only damage is when I sat my fat arse on a set and you can’t expect that to be covered under warranty. Also included is a little Costa sticker that can be stuck to a tackle/fly box or whatever really.
Once out and in the hand they feel light and have a smart stylish frame - you can select from a number of different styles though. The ones I was given are the ‘Fisch’ they are matt black and are the wraparound style, very much what I am used to. They have vents in the frames to help with lens fogging a well thought out feature. I have been using these for about three weeks and even on bright days when I would usually be reaching for my copper set I have not felt the need to change. I never thought that the low lights could be improved upon but these are so good. When you put them on your face on a dank drizzly autumn morning it’s like someone flicking the lights on. Although they excel in low light, they also work very well in variable light conditions.
This is what Costa write about their new lenses:
“The Sunrise Silver Mirror lens is described as ideal for low light situations, great for any sight casting applications and Costa’s most versatile lens for changing light conditions. It allows 30% light transmission compared to the typical 10% to 12% and does this successfully while maintaining a 99% polarisation efficiency – making it the highest light transmission of any polarised lens on the market.”
Aye, fancy blurb if you’re an optician, I have no clue what that means. What I can tell you is these are the best polarised glasses that money can buy in my opinion. The only thing that irks me slightly is that there are no bi-focal options for these lenses and I am sure I am not alone in the old farts brigade who needs glasses to tie on their flies.