Reviewed by: CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
In 1936 Fin-Nor revolutionized the saltwater fishing world by building the first fishing reel that could easily handle the biggest fish in the sea. It was a mix of quality materials, innovative design and attention to details. It’s the same mix that makes the Rolls Royce an automobile of the highest quality or Browning one of the best shotgun brands. These and other companies often add other products lines or allow their name to be affiliated with other products, but the top companies insist these other products measure up to the exacting standards that is their legacy.
So when Fin-Nor started producing sunglasses, I expected nothing less than the exceptional quality and performance I experienced the few times I’ve used Fin-Nor reels. They met my expectations.
I normally don’t get far into the weeds delving into the technology behind the products I review so much as how they perform for me as I use them in real fishing conditions. I study the tech, but I don’t dwell on it, other than how it affects performance. One of the attributes Fin Nor hypes is that the outside layer on both the front and back sides of the lenses are oleophobic and hydrophobic.
I know the word “hydrophobic.” Something that is hydrophobic “hates” or repels water. I expect most sunglasses will repel water. I looked up the definition of “oleophobic” in an online dictionary: Having a lack of affinity for oils. Most of the sunglasses I’ve owned seem to be “oleophilic” – their lenses attract grease and oils – mostly from finger smudges, I’ll admit – perhaps from sunscreen or insect repellent; often it just seems to accumulate from atmospheric oils, if there is such a thing.
I knew this when I put on my Fin Nor sunglasses and my immediate thought was, “I sure hope they live up to the hype.” The picture was crystal clear, almost like I’d cleaned the lenses in my eyes. I chose the green mirrored glass lenses in the grey North Drop frames. The mirrored lenses reflect both the direct sunrays, but also the rays that bounce off the lake’s surface. The green color comes from the mirror finish being applied over copper tinted glass. The copper (also available in non-mirror version) is good for inshore fishing when underwater visibility from the polarized lenses is important. The North Drop frames shield my eyes from light coming in from the sides, without looking like safety glasses. Rubberized nose-bridge and ear pieces help keep the glasses in place.
And they are oleophobic – mostly. Sure, if I grab the glasses by the lens immediately after smearing on some sunscreen, they’ll have an oily smudge. The grease and oil doesn’t just drip off, but in the course of a day, there’s no oily build up as I put on the glasses, take them off repeatedly for a variety of reasons. What’s there wipes off easily without getting out the Windex. There’s no build up of atmospheric “oleo” either.
I used these glasses daily on a late summer trip to the Pacific Northwest fishing out on the ocean. Those of you who have fished saltwater understand most sunglasses need to be cleaned with freshwater several times daily as they haze over from the salt-air. This didn’t happen with the Fin-Nor sunglasses.
Check out all the options and designs at www.fin-nor.com
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