Action Optics Sol-x Sunglasses

Action Optics Sol-x Sunglasses

Remember the catchy tune with the lyrics"sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug?" Well, think of Rain-X, the product that

  • By: Rick Ruoff

Remember the catchy tune with the lyrics"sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug?" Well, think of Rain-X, the product that makes water (and bugs) roll off your windshield. Perhaps it was some country singer on a Harley who put these two ideas together to waterproof his sunglasses, but it was a motorcycle cop who showed me the trick of Rain-Xing my glasses. As a fishing guide in the Florida Keys for the past 35 years, I've run a boat through more than the average amount of rainstorms.

This technique of Rain-Xing my glasses has always allowed me to drive through the wet stuff without stopping to dry my shades and helps prevent fogging, too. So when one of my clients showed up with a pair of Sol-X, the new rain-shedding Action Optics sunglasses, I took notice. In fact, I switched glasses with him for the day just to see how well these things worked. I was impressed. In fact, Action Optics considers its Sol-X line to be the ultimate polarizing lens the company produces. First off, the Sol-X's lense are photochromic, which means that the density—or darkness—varies according to the light conditions. This is done by adding billions of silver halide crystals during the manufacture of the lens. These crystals react to ultraviolet light by clumping together (thereby darkening the lenses) in brighter light, and then dispersing in lower light.

These thin lenses are also made of the highest-grade optical glass, and they are curved and tapered, with thinner material on the outside to allow for more accurate peripheral vision. This is an especially important feature when tarpon come sliding up where you are not looking. Another plus is the silver flash-mirror finish on the front of the lens, which adds a nice cosmetic effect. The back of the lens has an antireflective coating that stops the light bounce from the sides and behind, eliminating the need for side shields. And finally, both the front and back of each lens bears hydrophobic, rain-shedding coating that makes these glasses so user friendly and easy to clean. The Sol-X glass lenses come in three frames: Boca, Orcas and Glide; and in three colors: Copper, Brown and Gray. Frames are a personal choice, but for inshore fishing, color is most important. Copper is my favorite, as it increases definition and is best in medium to bright conditions. Brown would be a close second, and gray would be best used offshore or as driving glasses. Also included in the Sol-X line is a very lightweight polycarbonate lens, the Pol-Aire, which comes in the same polarizing tints and curved lenses, but is not photochromatic. The frames are trick Italian alloys and are feather-light. There are four Sol-X models available and they range in price from $190 to $215.