Angler: F Davis
Make: Smith Optics
Model: ChromaPOPTM Copper Mirror
Style: Matt Black Dolen
Years worn: 4
Price: approx ZAR3000 retail
Having fished in Costas for the past five years, I have to admit that I was hard pressed to move away from those lenses. But after two overseas mates had literally promised me their sisters if the ChromaPOPTM didn’t out perform my trusty Costas, I took the plunge.
After the happy discount from Upstream Flyfishing, I handed over the hefty amount of cash required in balance and, still with some sceptism, lifted the surprising light frames of the onto my face.
Win one for Smith Optics; weight.
I couldn’t believe that these were serious polaroids – being used to glass lens (and even the good plastic polaroids are heavy) I felt an immediate relief to my nose. It’s an issue I have; after seven breaks, nothing sits lightly on my nose. However, the Smiths sit light and tight on your face.
The performance of the lenses is pretty incredible. I did a lot reading prior the purchase and I must say there was a lot rhetoric – but what marketing campaign isn’t full it – regarding the qualities that set theChromaPOPs apart from other polaroid lenses. But for once the perceived expectation seems to have lived up to the promises.
The colour’s in the world round literally pop – let’s steer away from pun’s here – burst out at you through the Copper Mirror lens. The definition and contrast is crisp and most importantly; they cut glare. They really do cut glare.
In my honest opinion they’re better the Costas (sorry Costa, I feel a bit traitorous here!), and way better than the Oakleys and every other brand of Polaroid sunnies I’ve ever fished with.
Win two and three: optic quality!
Smith’s frame are also cool. Because part of their brand lies in the beach/surf lifestyle, I can at last use my fishing glasses for everything all the time! They have a rad range of stylish frames that suit a huge range of faces and social wants. My Persol’s now lie quietly next my Costas waiting…
Win Four: stylish
I tend to be hard on my gear. Many a pair of sunglasses have been tossed to the side scratched and sad. My Smith’s have almost survived their first six months of living on my face! Up to this point the Smiths seemed to live up to claim of being more scratch resistant than glass (or so said the salesman) with only two light scratches on the left lens. Smith’s claim that the lens are hydrophobic seem true enough, and while water droplets don’t necessary bead off perfectly, a light blow on the lens removes droplets with very little residue. However, like many non-glass lenses, they do pick an oily residue that can be difficult to remove without a good (and dry) lens cloth.
Unfortunately, very recently a hinge loosened which meant they sat skew on my face and no longer sat tightly. So I headed straight back to Upstream where Rich dutifully sent them back to the distributors.
I realise things happen and hinges and other working parts can break – just a pity it was so early into their life. I’m waiting to hear back from Rich so after sales remains in the grey – I’ll keep you posted.