I’ve been involved with testing high quality polarised fishing sunglasses for 25 years and in that time I’ve tried on a lot of sunnies! Some are good and some are great, however as long as you’re not wearing $30 plastic lenses, they are all pretty good at what they do – remove glare from the surface of the water. Nevertheless, as soon as you start spending over the $200 mark you want to be able to see the difference.
So how can you tell the difference between the top 20% of polarised sunglasses? It’s in the lens!
Lenses are the most important thing you need to consider when buying any type of sunglasses. Keeping your eyes in good condition is no easy game to play and wearing cheap sunnies is probably the worst thing you can ever to your eyes. Aside from making yourself go blind by making your eyes over compensate for the visual distortion, they let all sorts of nasty light waves into the back of your eye. Light waves, such as blue and violet (HEV), can be dangerous to your retina and cornea.
One pair of sunnies that won’t let your eyes BBQ out of your melon is Tonic sunglasses. Let’s take a look at what makes them tick and find out why they are the state-of-the-art in vision wear.
It all started with an idea to create clear vision by Doug Philips (former Spotters Sunglasses owner), Tonic’s mastermind. Doug first came to me with a heap of lens blanks and said, “I’ve got some new stuff”. I love ‘new stuff’ so I was instantly interested.
“I think these are the ones,” Doug said, and within a few seconds he had my head nodding the right way.
“So clear!” Were the first words out of my mouth, followed by, “The colour perception and separation is insane!”
This is where Tonic shines above their competitors and starts going down its own track.
Clarity has always been an issue with sunglasses. Nothing sees as well as your own eyes and anything you put in front of them will surely detract your vision. So Doug set out on a mission and found the clearest glass lenses he could. Next he found colour films that also possessed true clarity and then mixed several of them together to create the perfect visual aid for fishing. The polarising film can only be made one way so it always has the same intensity and quality.
However, the most crucial function of sunglasses is to have all the light spectrums filtered. The most important are UVA, UVB and HEV. These are the most damaging light wavelengths ranging from 100-500nanometres. Tonic Eyewear has the ability to block these damaging light wavelengths.
What I want out of a pair of sunglasses is, first and foremost, optic correctness. After that I examine its polarisation, clarity, colour retention, colour separation, photocromatic ability, leakage and comfort.
Let’s start with the main one, optical correctness. Ever put on a pair of sunnies and feel like you can’t walk straight or put your foot down properly? If so, your sight has been changed by the curvature of the lens to a point where the light being feed to your eyes is distorted.
Even though it is only ever a little distorted, it puts a strain on your eyes while they adjust. This is a significant issue and some sunglass companies just don’t get it right. Thirty years ago this trouble spot wasn’t on the radar because there weren’t the volume of ‘wrap around’ sunglasses there are today. Wearing sunnies with incorrectly placed lenses will strain your eyes and can lead to eye sourness and headaches.
To fix the problem your lenses will need ‘de-centring’. Each lens needs to be de-centred to the average pupil distance (PD) for the frame style before they are ground from the original glass disc. This takes time and cash, which is why most brands, even ‘high end’, don’t do it.
Tonic Eyewear lenses are all de-centred for optical perfection so visual distortion is eliminated. This is a big plus, especially if you’re fishing for long periods of time.
Colour retention and separation gives a ‘real’ view on what you’re seeing. If the colour tint in your sunglasses changes the colours around you, then something is not right. Seeing the correct colours that are defined and sharp is a huge asset.
The mixture of colour tints in Tonic sunnies is unique. To break it down, without giving you all the code sequence, these new Tonic lenses have a mixture of four tints:
• Yellow. It’s great for lowlight conditions as it helps draw light into the lens. On its own it can be too bright and cause eye strain.
• Copper/brown. This colour blocks most of the blue rays revealing super high contrast against other colours. By its-self it can change individual colours.
• Green. This is another contrast lifter that also helps with colour retention.
• Amber/Rose. It’s a well-known contrast booster and the smoking gun from 10 years ago. However, in a heavy tint it can wash out colour and create a hollow affect.
Tonic gives you the best of all of these advantages by mixing the crucial amounts of these four colours together in one lens.
Even though I’ve talked non-stop about the importance of lenses, the frames play a critical role as well. Fishing sunnies need to work for you, and that means comfort. They need to feel secure around your eyes without touching your eyelashes. Letting them slip 6mm down your nose will allow 30% more UV intrusion into your eye.
Low quality cheap sunnies don’t usually fit properly and will cause UV leakage around the frame edge. This is often exacerbated by not having any AR coating (anti-reflective), which will also allow tones of UV spectrum light to enter your widely open iris and sizzle the back of your eye ball!
Luckily, Tonic Eyewear are in total control of frames and lenses and have put together the best of the best vision for your eyes.
Tonic sunglasses are a league above anything else I’ve worn for comfort and visual excellence. You only have one set of eyes and it pays to look after them. When I go fishing I want every decision to be made positively by knowing what I’m seeing.
We’re here for a good time not a long time, make it worth it and wear Tonic.Reads: 12378