By Mike Stevens
Using quality rods, reels, line, terminal tackle, and lures is a no brainer even to the recreational angler, but if fishing is an obsession that you take seriously, a big chunk of what takes you to the next level lies in accessory items that aren't necessarily physically involved in your physical connection to the fish. That paddle made out of space-age material comes to mind as does your top-of-the-line electronics, the trick PFD that you forget you're wearing, and technical clothing.
But perennially atop of many serious anglers' list of things they can't fish without are polarized sunglasses, and good ones. One could argue that Maui Jim not only makes good ones (or better), and at this summer's ICAST show, MJ unveiled new models geared specifically for fishing and boating, and in aggressive styles that are somewhat of a new look for the company that started on the beach in Lahaina, Hawaii in 1980.
"Sunglasses are now designed for specific sports and outdoor activities. For instance, we have four different lens materials that offer different benefits," said Maui Jim's fishing and marine specialist, Mike Battistoni. "One of the most important considerations for the serious watersports enthusiast is the color of the lenses that, when combined with the superior clarity of our lenses, enhances your ability to see movement and objects, not only on the surface, but below the water line. Frame designs and materials also have radically changed. Boaters and fishermen seek styles with larger, wrap-around lenses, wider temples and a snug fit to block light. They also require anti-corrosive hardware and waterproof coatings that shed water."
Speaking of the importance of lens colors, check out how much Maui Jim geeks out on exactly that, per press materials straight from MJ:
"Rootbeer Fade with Neutral Grey lenses for the most light reduction on bright sunny days. Matte Black frames with HCL Bronze lenses are optimal for
variable light conditions. Gloss Black frames with Maui Rose lenses are designed help spot fast-moving targets. Grey Fade with Maui HT lenses give anglers an advantage because the lens allows enough light to penetrate to enhance their ability to see movement and objects not only on the surface, but also below the water line."
You may have never put that much thought in the color of lens you wear, but we bet you are now.
Making their debuts at ICAST 2014 were the Haleakala, Pipiwai Trail, Twin Falls and Bamboo Forest which are part of MJ's new patented PureAir series that is aimed at emerging as the world's clearest and lightest full-frame sunglasses. The PureAir frames use a new thermo-plastic that is known for its durability and ability to retain its shape, even when the material is thin or flexed. All PureAir frames feature Maui Jim's proprietary MauiPure lenses which are clear, non-glass lenses that are ultra-lightweight, scratch- and impact-resistant.
If you are an angler who spends a lot of time on the water, you owe it to yourself to use eyewear from a company that takes it to this level. Your eyes will thank you later.