In the market for the right fishing eyewear? Well, there is no doubt eyewear is essential to fishing success. The question is: how much should anglers spend?
Trust me, they don’t have to spend a lot.
That statement isn’t going to make eyewear manufacturers or their hashtagging #bestfishingeyewearever pros very happy. Okay, so, maybe the answer is: eyewear manufacturers need charge less for their product. Maybe manufacturers need to give professional anglers less sponsorship money so they don’t have charge so much for their product, monies manufacturers recoup from consumers by convincing consumers their label is worth a small fortune merely because Mr. Superpro wears it.
Trust me, if Mr. Superpro wasn’t on the sponsorship roster, he’d be wearing cheaper eyewear.
Note to corporate: it’s business, not personal.
So, eyewear. The question is: is expensive eyewear superior to cheap eyewear? Well, take these two pair. The elevated pair costs $129 dollars. The other, $6 dollars. I wear them both. If you were to ask which pair I prefer, or which pair is better, I’d say the $129 dollar pair.
Indeed, they’re superior glasses.
The questions is: how much superior?
Having actually worn both pair and put them to the fishing test, and were I looking at both pair on the retailer’s shelf, I would give, say, $15 dollars for the superior pair. It is to say, I’d pay $9 dollars more for them over the $6 dollar cheapies. Now if I were being asked to pay, say, $20 dollars more than the $6 dollar cheapies, I’d buy the cheapies.
Why? Because the cheaper pair is virtually as good, and equally as stylish, too.
So in other words, the $129 dollar glasses are $114 dollars overpriced.
The expensive pair was a gift from my mother. She likes to give me the perfect gift. So she called my wife and asked what fishing-related item I might want, knowing my full-blown bass fishing addiction. My wife new I liked these particular glasses, but that I’d also said they were $114 dollars overpriced. So, I got the glasses as a gift. And indeed, I like them.
The cheaper brand, on the other hand, I bought from a discount store’s fishing department. They were my style. After picking them up and seeing the $6 dollar price-tag, they were even more my style. Although, I didn’t really intend to fish in them. I had superior glasses for that.
As tends to happen, I ended-up, unintentionally, fishing in the cheap glasses all day. I never realized I had the wrong, the so-called inferior glasses on. I hopped in the truck at the end of the day and there were the superior models in the seat. Only then did I realize I had fished in the cheapies all day, which had worked splendidly.
Now, I can’t say there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two pairs of glasses. There’s more than a dime’s worth. There is $9 dollars difference between them, an additional sum I would gladly pay.
The point is, were it not for the unintentional experience I would have never realized the equality of my so-called and thus so-deemed inferior glasses, which cost a $123 dollars less, no less.
Now. Let’s talk polarization. For my fishing glasses, polarization is a must. Here’s why—it’s one of the best visual explanations of the topic I have found.
Basically, polarized glasses eliminate glare. This is a selling point anglers always mention, but don’t really understand what it means. Now they can add visual context. For anglers, polarized sunglasses are critical, particularly during the spawn when anglers are looking at bass and trying to catch them, but for anytime of the year, actually, as anglers need to cleanly see their targets.
In other words, polarization is a legitimate eyewear feature that greatly benefits anglers in particular.
Interestingly, both pair of my sunglasses—the cheapies and the superior models—have this feature. Yet, one costs $6 dollars, and the other $129.
So, what’s left? For what am I spending the extra $123 dollars?
The brand name?
A cooler style?
For the fact Mr. Superpro wears them?
Again, were Mr. Superpro not on the sponsorship roster, he’d be wearing cheaper eyewear.
My buddy Fox, Lee Fox, is one of the best fishermen I know—tour-grade, in fact. We used to fish in a bass club together, and he wore those vintage Bill Dance glasses exclusively. They were like, $4 bucks a piece or something, and the only eyewear he ever wore.
I asked him one day, “You like those glasses?”
“Love ‘em,” he said instantly. “I buy’em by the case,” he followed, pointing to a storage compartment on his boat.
I opened the compartment and, sure enough—a big ol’ box of Bill Dance specials. Actually, a smaller refill box separate and aside from the actual “case.”
And the case price break—he bought them for, like, $2.50 a pair.
“I scratch ‘em, sit on ‘em, they blow off my face, fall into the lake. I don’t give a damn. I grab another pair,” he said.
“Yeah, but do they serve the purpose well,” I asked, in my superior $129 dollars rims.
Like I said, Lee is a tour-grade bass angler that catches a lot of bass and wins tournaments. He took the glasses off, examined them side to side, like he’d never really thought about it. Then he put them back on, fingering the bridge to perfect the fit.
“Check my trophy case and bank account,” he said with a grin.
Like I said, when it comes to choosing the right eyewear, anglers don’t have to pay a lot.
Better still: #bestfishingeyeweareverisn’tcostly.
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