Which Sunglasses are the best for bass fishing? To me eye protection from the sun is vital, for what every reason I am hyper-sensitive to bright sun. Whether it’s from all the squinting or simply because it’s bright; when there is full sun, I will get headaches and fatigue quickly. Both of which are not good things when you’re fishing a Bass Tournament. I was approached by Jim Van Ryn, owner or Rod Glove, and he wanted me to try out a new line of eye wear; put it through the paces – no holding back. To be honest, I was very happy with my current eye wear. However, here is an opportunity to give a pair of sunglasses the “Mike Cork” treatment and see what happened. A little history on myself and sunglasses, they don’t last! I will drop them, step on them, tackle boxes will fall on them, they will go swimming, jacket zippers will rub against them and they will beat around in the boat compartments constantly; this is all by accident. To purposely, be hard on a pair of sunglasses, well let’s just say Jim didn’t know what he was getting into.
I chose the Numa Sparta and two days after I placed my order my sunglasses arrived. This was impressive, and put’s them off to a great start. Packaged nicely in a hard box for shipping protection from the Postal Service. Inside the box was a very nice case that held the sunglasses and two extra sets of lenses. The Sparta series comes with Polarized smoke lenses installed, plus a set of High Contrast Mandarin and a set of Clear lenses for you to choose from.
After examining them and admiring the stylish fit, it was time to take them outside and see what happens. The word clear, no matter how many adjectives you use, does not begin to describe looking though these lenses. It was like they were not even there. At first I figured that my current sunglasses were old and scratched up, so anything new was going to seem fantastic (anyone that wears regular glasses understands this concept). However, this was not the case, the Numa Eyewear is phenomenally clear. So clear that, over the next few weeks, I found I didn’t need my regular eye glasses as often. I’m not saying they corrected my vision; more so that their clarity enabled me to see line, eyelets, and guides without having to put my regular glasses on.
Sunglasses that are heavy or crimp the side of my head are uncomfortable, and I have the same side effects as not wearing sunglasses at all; headache and fatigue. Numa claims their sunglasses are lightweight, to me this was an understatement. The minute you take them out of the box you notice that they are feather-light. Almost to the point that you wonder about the indestructible claims. Something this light seems like it would be fragile. Jim told me to put them through the test, and that’s what they got. On top of the usual beating a pair of sunglasses takes from me these Numa’s were purposely bent, twisted, and folded.
The frames in my opinion are very tough, and short of running over them with the truck or boat I was unable to damage them. I also put a set of the lenses through some destructive inspection. I chose the High Contrast Mandarin to beat up on because I really like the Smoke Polarized lenses and should something happen I didn’t want to be without them. Jim told me a story about putting the sunglasses in the cloth bag they come with, and to show some anglers at a fishing show how strong they were, he laid the bag on the floor with the glasses in it and stepped on it. Not only did he step on the bag he also stomped it once for good measure. He then pulled the glasses out of the bag, the frames were straight, and the lenses were undamaged. If any of you have met me personally, you know I couldn’t pass this up! In the bag the Sparta’s went with the Mandarin lenses installed. I did not jump up and down on them; however, I put my full weight on them and gave them and rocked back and forth for good measure. When I opened the bag, the arms of the glasses had rolled together, but after untangling them, they returned to perfect shape. One of the lenses had popped out of place. After very close inspection, there was no damage what so ever on either of the lenses. Numa uses an anti scratch shield that seems to be very effective. I spent a day tossing them around the boat as if they were a pair of spare five dollar glasses. Thrown to the floor, in compartments, I even left them on the throttle handle (where I store my hat) while I headed down the lake. These lenses are still in perfect shape, not a scratch.
The flexibility of the Sparta’s is fantastic and allow for a great fit for my oversized head; most hats don’t fit me unless on the last setting. While many sunglasses will stretch to fit my head, they are so tight, wearing them more than a short time is difficult. Numa has a size chart on their website that will help you pick the style that will best suit your size needs. However, I can highly recommend the Sparta’s if you have a large head and have to have a good fit.
Living here in Louisiana the humidity is so high at times that even on warm mornings sunglasses can fog up on you while fishing. I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to test his aspect since it’s winter time; however, it’s been unseasonably warm. I have used my original sunglasses for many years, it’s a trusted band; they have been great except for fogging. In order to do fair comparisons between sunglasses, I carry several different brands. All brands fog at one point or another. That said the Numa’s did fog slightly but recovered very quickly. Several brands of eyewear that I’ve used in the past, after fogging, you’d have to clean the lenses completely to clear them again. I did not have this problem with the Sparta’s. The one time I had a fogging issue I simply raised my hat to allow air flow across the lenses, and they cleared.
Last but not least, the most important part of a pair of sunglasses to a bass fisherman is how good is the Polarization. After all, it’s the Polarization that allows us to see into the water; finding those grass lines, stumps, bedding fish, rocks, basically they allow us to see into the bass world. Numa’s design creates a phenomenal glare reduction that exceeds some of the best sunglasses I’ve worn. Many polarized lenses work great at allowing you to see in the water right at the boat or when there is absolutely no ripple on the water. I found that I could see a greater angles with the Sparta Glasses. Meaning, looking out across a flat I could see items in the water, sometimes up to 15 feet further away than with my current brand. I have to attribute some of that to the clarity of these glasses, however Numa has several layers to their lenses and this process has created a uniquely clear view under the water.
In closing, I must say wearing the Numa Sparta sunglasses is almost like not wearing anything at all. If I opened this review with that statement, you might not have continued reading. They are lightweight and so clear that I honestly forget I am wearing them. I could not damage the Sparta’s with excessive abuse. Short of losing them, under normal abuse I would expect that you’ll enjoy a set of Numa Sunglasses for a lifetime.
Here is a link to the style I chose, Numa Sparta
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