Spot the Difference
  |  First Published: November 2005

Sunglasses are a must for anglers and getting the right pair for you is vitally important to a good day on the water.

Like everyone I started off buying ultra-cheap and disposable sunnies that probably did more harm than good to my eyes. It wasn’t until I started working and could afford a pair of quality sunnies that my search for the right pair began.

I started at my local tackle store and luckily they stocked Spotters. They were a new company way back then in 1990 and the range was fairly limited, but I settled on a pair of brown lens polarised glasses that served me well for a few years until I lost them. I continued to buy Spotters from then on, occasionally trying other brands, but always coming back to Spotters. About seven years ago they introduced a photochromatic lens; these were easily the best glasses I’d ever used and I was hooked!

What makes them so good?

Spotters Shades are a proudly Australian owned company dedicated to developing and manufacturing polarised eyewear that exceeds expectations.

Their high performance sunglasses always live up to the challenge of providing enhanced vision in any conditions. Overcast lighting, glare and haze interfere with normal vision and Spotters sunglasses help to restore clarity and give you an edge when you’re looking for fish, weed edges or drop-offs. This makes Spotters ideally suited to fishing, or just about anything that requires sharper vision.

The range today is loaded with different models, but I like to use the Thunder or the Ice frames. I don’t really care about enhancing my appearance, so I go for the photochromatic lens in a frame that feels comfortable on my head. Both the Ice and Thunder have soft side pads on the inside of the arms and the arms don’t put too much pressure on the side of your head. If the photochromatic lens is not to your liking, all the other lens varieties Spotters offers are available in the two models, including a glass lens or CR-39 lightweight lens.

Expensive loss

As good as Spotters are, they are not cheap: expect to pay around $250 for these quality sunglasses. Having an expensive pair of fishing glasses certainly made me more cautious and I started using sunglass straps. For about $10, these straps protect your investment from going overboard when you’re landing a fish or getting a lure off a snag.

A story that quickly comes to mind is my first trip to Weipa. Giddy with excitement, I left my Spotters (with strap) on the flight from Brisbane to Cairns in the seat pocket that you are always told to check before getting off the plane. While I was a little annoyed with this, I dug out my spare pair, purchased for just this reason, and plonked them on my head. Everything went fine until we jumped aboard the Eclipse and queenfish were smashing bait everywhere around the jetty. We quickly grabbed a rod and reel, any old lure and started casting from the back of the boat. The first fish I landed saw my spare pair of Spotters slowly circle down out of sight as they fell from my face because I didn’t have a spare strap. And being a Melbourne born boy there was no way I was jumping into the water in Weipa to save a pair of glasses!

So I lost two pairs of Spotters before the trip actually began – not a bad start to the trip of a lifetime. Luckily one of the crew had a pair of cheapo glasses I used that trip, but the lesson was learnt, and quite expensively I might add.

What I like

The photochromatic lens I prefer helps keep the glare from the water out of my eyes and really highlights the colours of the water and plants. Green plants and trees look greener and the water’s true depth and colour can easily be seen. Being photochromatic, the lenses actually lighten and darken to suit the sunlight. In bright sunlight out on the reef chasing snapper, the lens will darken to reduce the harshness of the sun. In the shade of a mountain stream, the lenses will lighten to allow more light in and enable you to clearly see everything in the stream and around it.

The lenses will scratch, however they do take quite a bit of punishment before succumbing to scratches and dings. Although I don’t recommend it, the glass photochromatic lenses I have in my current pair have taken all sorts of abuse. I’ve dropped them in sand and mud, stuffed them in my pocket with coins and covered them with salt spray so many times I can’t begin to count. Still the lenses are as good as new, which is testament to their durability.

Where you get them

Spotters are available at most tackle outlets and in some optometrists and sunglass stores. An easy way to find your nearest stockist is to log onto the Spotters website (www.spotters.com.au) and type in your state, post code and suburb. A list with local stockists will appear and then you can go and check them out.

If you’re after a quality pair of sunnies that will protect your eyes and enable you to see more and fish better, then check out Spotters. I reckon for their price, they are a must have in anyone’s tackle arsenal.

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