Polarised sunglasses are an essential part of every fly fishers kit, here are a couple of pairs which I have now been using exclusively for the last couple of months.

Flying Fisherman is a brand which comes from the USA but is widely available from retailers throughout the UK, they offer glasses to cover a wide price range and in a huge number of styles and lens colours. The Calcutta I tested had an amber coloured lens, the Panama a smoke version. I have used stock photos for the review and both frames feature amber lenses in the pictures.

More details on the products can be found here Flying Fisherman

Calcutta - rrp 29.99


The Calcutta comes from the FF 'Action Angler' range and falls into what I consider the budget category for a pair of decent glasses. The lenses in these glasses are triacetate and feature FF's AcuTint polarising along with a high level of scratch resistance.

Panama - rrp 62.99


The Panama comes from their 'Master Angler' range and again has the AcuTint polarising. The lenses differ from the Calcutta in that they feature FF's shatterproof polycarbonate 'RhinoLens'. The Panama also has the separate attached bridge for your nose as opposed to the moulded integral bridge of the Calcutta.

Field Test

I decided to use these glasses exclusively for a couple of months before writing a review. The reason for this is to see how comfortable they were over a long day and how durable they would be under the heavy daily use that my job demands.

The Calcutta glasses fitted well and gave good coverage and protection around my eye. I would say I have an average size head for a 16 stone 6' tall guy (others may disagree ) and I didnt find any problems with them pinching onto the side of my face etc. The end of the legs have a softer rubberised cover on them which I found very comfortable on my ears. The amber lens gave good colour representation and enhanced the blues and greens but not to the point where I felt I wasn't looking at the same picture without them.

The Panama frame is made of a different type of material with a slightly harder feel to it and an air of higher quality. Again the fit was good but I felt the protection wasnt quite as good in terms of how much over my eye area they covered. This of course is down to the particular style and most importantly they covered the eye itself which is the most important thing. What I did particularly like was the added nose bridge which with a little gentle persuasion allowed me to fit the glasses properly to my face. The smoke lenses dulled the bright sunlight well, possibly a little too well for my own preference and the overall image was a little flatter/less colourful than the amber lens.

Conclusion

I dont particularly look after my glasses, I loose them, drop them, sit on them and regularly clean the lenses on my t-shirt etc so they don't have an easy life with me. Looking at these glasses now they are both doing well, neither pair shows any signs of scratching at present and both have been very comfortable and functional in use.

My own favorite is the amber lens and I found the Calcutta was the frame I wore most but again this is purely a personal thing and probably down to the lens preference. I have paid more than 29.99 for glasses that have not been as good as the Calcutta's. The Panama's (with amber lenses) would equally be my first choice if I were not so tight fisted They feel like more than a 60 pair of glasses and look great to.

Overall I would be/am very happy with either and would highly recommend either but if pushed I think the Calcutta is a really great value pair of shades and at 29.99 you cant go wrong.

Available from all UK Flying Fisherman stockists.

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