Eyewear is an important piece of equipment for a fly angler, we rely on the polarized optics to help us see into the water and be able to spot our quarry, and to protect our eyes from UV rays, debris, and the hook point of the flies we cast. I've worn some pretty sweet shades in my lifetime, Vuarnet, Revo, and Oakley all had their special qualities to them. I wore the brand Smith for decades since they first sponsored me while professionally snowboarding in 1989. My Smith rep, and friend, moved out of northern California and into the hunting industry last year. With no more support from the company and him, I have been bobbing in the sea of eyewear searching for something better. You would think Costa would be the next step, but every guide and "20 something year old bearded fly fishing know it all" is wearing them. I've always been one to do things a little differently, and follow the least beaten path.
Quality is very important to me, and upon learning about the Shwood brand from the West coast reps, I was very interested. These high quality sunglasses are made in Portland Oregon, that's right, American made - Not China. I was sent a pair of the "Canby" model with brown polarized lenses to test. My first reaction while trying them on was the crystal clear optics and superior clarity they provided. The lenses heightened my visual senses. The frames fit nicely, which has been a challenge for my small framed skull in the past when dealing with eyewear. The lens allowed the right amount of light in for me to see trout in the steelhead green waters of the Truckee River a few weeks ago. I feel I can see into the water better than I have before.
These are not wrap around style sunglasses, but more conventional. I personally have a hard time wearing wrap around frame designs for long periods of time, I feel claustrophobic in them. If I'm going to wear goggles, I'd rather be charging fresh lines in knee deep powder than fly fishing.
Overall I'm really pleased with the overall performance of the Shwood brand, they have a style all their own, and the precision craftsmanship speaks volumes. The key features include;
- The original wood framed sunglasses using Birch and Walnut
- Optional frame materials of Italian Acetate and Titanium
- Carl Zeiss lenses
- 5-Barrel industrial hinges
- Bombproof case
- Rx options
- Dozens of colors and frame styles
- Gray, Brown, plus Rose and Blue flash lens colors