Costa Sunglasses makes a wide range of glasses and lenses targeted at about everyone – from folks who want to look cool at the beach to anglers looking for tarpon on the flats. The Sunrise Silver Mirror lens is probably the most bass-angler targeted lens yet, and I think it’s a real success.
Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses are meant to be worn in low-light conditions – they’re essentially a yellow lens with a light mirroring on them. Costa says they allow for 30% light transmission, which is about three times as much light transmission as you’ll get with a more standard copper lens. They’re polarized to reduce glare, but because they let so much light through you can see in much darker conditions than usual – Costa says these lenses are ideal for cloudy or rainy days as well as the morning or evening, before the sun has really gotten up. Costa also says that because more light gets through, these are particularly good for spotting bedding bass.
I’ve worn them almost exclusively for about half a year now in bright Florida sun at high noon, cloudy April days on Kentucky Lake, chilly winter days on Candlewood Lake and many other conditions. Through it all, I believe the claim that they excel for sight-fishing is nearly 100 percent true. For one, plenty of the best sight-fishermen in the country have adopted them, from Todd Castledine to Scott Canterbury. Personally, I definitely think I’ve seen more bass with them, and I believe I’ve noticed a positive difference between my ability to spot bass and others not wearing the Sunrise Silver Mirrors in the same boat as me.
I’ve long been a believer in using more than one color lens, so the idea that a yellow lens would be good for sight-fishing and morning light isn’t surprising to me. What is surprising is just how versatile I’ve found them to be. I routinely wear the Sunrise Silver Mirrors all day long and that seems to be common practice for folks who own them. Because more light gets in, it’s just easier to see fish, which is the name of the game.
One worry I recently put to bed was how they would do for smallmouths. I figured that because smallmouths are brown and their beds don’t really look like a largemouth bed the glasses might not perform as well. Shayne McFarlin put that to bed in the Costa FLW Series on Champlain, and I got out afterwards and put my mind at ease as well. I think you can pretty safely say these lenses will be excellent on iffy days for smallmouth sight-fishing.
I’ve worn the Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses a ton lately, and though they are good in nearly all conditions I do think you should probably have a second pair of glasses with a darker lens. I’m sure it depends on your eyes, but there have been a few days when I’ve gotten off the water with a headache that I think might have at least a little something to do with wearing yellow lenses in a ton of sun. On that note, my eyes got pretty tired after a long day of idling in the strong summer sun on Kentucky Lake with these lenses – they’re versatile lenses no doubt, but I wouldn’t want them to be my only pair.
Currently, the Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses only come in polycarbonate, not glass. It’s a little less scratch-proof than glass and not quite as clear, but they’re still very good. I’d worn glass Costas a bunch before, and I honestly didn’t realize these weren’t until I looked it up after someone mentioned it to me. If glass is your jam, you may be out of luck. That said, if the Sunrise Silver Mirror continues to be as popular as they have been, Costa will probably try to fill that gap in the lineup.
Finally, they’re expensive. Obviously, you don’t expect Costa glasses to be cheap, but spending nearly $200 on a pair of glasses you may not want to wear all the time is quite a commitment. I think they’ll catch you more bass and make you a better sight-fisherman, but making the call on something that pricey is a personal decision, no matter how much value they’ll provide.
I think if you get a pair of your favorite Costa frames with Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses you’ll be impressed. They’re great for sight-fishing, and also awesome for driving a boat in the rain, takeoff or at dusk.
Company: Costa Del Mar
Lens: Sunrise Silver Mirror
Price: $188 and up