Costa King Tide 8 Review
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A king tide is the largest tide of the year. This phenomenon creates big water movements and some of the best fishing of the year. Additionally, the king tide is the namesake for Costa Del Mar’s crowning achievement in eyewear. Costa has touted their new King Tide Sunglasses as some of the best fishing sunglasses ever created, which is a bold statement even for a company that is a leader in fishing eyewear.
Costa Del Mar has been the gold standard in fishing sunglasses for over 40 years. In that time Costa has developed sunglasses that cut glare and allow fishermen in all conditions to have the best opportunity to tackle their quarry. Not only have they been innovators in the industry of eyewear they have been at the forefront of ocean research and marine clean up.
The King Tide sunglasses are 40 years in the making. Costa has taken what they have learned about lens development, frame design, and light reflection in all of their other pairs of sunglasses to produce a pair of sunglasses that has the best features of all of them. Since I first heard of the hype surrounding these glasses last summer I have been eager to get my hands on a pair. Luckily, I managed to get a pair right in time for some great late fall fly fishing.
About the King Tide Sunglasses
The Costa King Tide Sunglasses bring together the most fish-friendly features from Costa’s existing frames and lenses, encased in their most technologically advanced frame to date.
These sunglasses are available in two versions: the King Tide 6 and the King Tide 8, distinguished by the curvature of the frames. The King Tide 6 boasts a more laid-back “West Coast” style with less curve, while the King Tide 8 wraps snugly around the face for top-tier performance fishing. Functionally, both frames are essentially the same, so your choice boils down to personal preference between the King Tide 6 and 8.
The standout feature of the King Tide Sunglasses is the removable side shields, designed to block incoming light around the frames. These side shields have a rubberized grip to ensure they stay in place, and within them, vents that prevent lens fogging. As an added innovation, the side shields extend to the top of the frame, preventing unwanted slippage when you set your glasses down.
The vented ports of the side shields are a theme that is carried throughout the frames, extending into the temples and nosepiece. The temple vents, inspired by shark gills, incorporate three slits for enhanced airflow. Adjustable vented nose pieces contribute to a comfortable fit, while sweat channels in recessed grooves along the temples direct perspiration away from your face.
At the temple ends, keeper slots ensure your glasses stay secure.
Bells and Whistles
With your purchase of the King Tide Sunglasses, you receive a heavy-duty case with soft lining, perfect for safeguarding your eyewear during travels to your next fishing adventure. Additionally, a cleaning cloth is included, allowing you to remove sweat, grime, and sunscreen residue from the lenses and frames.
The true stars of these sunglasses are the lenses. The King Tide 8 Sunglasses feature Polarized 580 Lightwave glass lenses, packed with advanced technology. These lenses incorporate fully encapsulated built-in mirrors for maximum protection. They are 20% lighter and thinner than standard polarized glass.
The 580 lens lineup is engineered to enhance natural colors like reds, greens, and blues while eliminating the yellow tones that can wash out images. These lenses also filter out harmful UV radiation, known to contribute to eye problems like macular degeneration. There are five different colored lenses that are available for different fishing conditions.
Testing the King Tide 8 Sunglasses
Ever since the King Tides product debuted at the ICAST show this summer, I’ve been eager to get my hands on a pair. Finally, in late October, I managed to acquire a set for testing. Now, full disclosure, the fall season in the Colorado mountains doesn’t typically bring sweltering heat, so I had to get a bit creative in assessing fog resistance. To put these sunglasses to the test, I chose a couple of challenging hikes with serious elevation gain, where I knew I’d be perspiring profusely by the time I reached the summit.
No Fog No Problem
The King Tide 8 Sunglasses pleasantly surprised me with their ability to remain fog-free. I can’t recall a time when I completed one of these hikes and could keep my sunglasses on. What’s even more remarkable is that these sunglasses are designed to be enclosed and block out light, which often leads to poor ventilation. However, thanks to the strategic placement of vents throughout the design, ventilation was not a concern by any means.
High Mountain Late Fall Trout
One of my favorite fall fishing destinations is a high mountain lake teeming with grayling, cutthroat trout, and a few hefty brook trout. This location is ideal for sight fishing, offering the perfect opportunity to assess the performance of the King Tide Sunglasses and Lenses.
Fishing often feels like a chess match with nature, and this day was no exception. The fish were being unusually finicky, making it challenging to get them to strike. Thankfully, having the King Tides on my side was a game-changer. I had multiple opportunities to target fish, and eventually, I succeeded in tempting a substantial cutthroat trout to take a perfectly presented dry fly.
As I was heading back, I crossed paths with other anglers who struggled both in catching fish and even spotting them. I attribute my success to the exceptional optics of the King Tide Sunglasses, allowing me to capitalize on those critical opportunities.
The lenses I have in my King Tides are the Green Mirror 580.Polarized Glass. According to the Costa Lens Information Page, the green mirror lenses are well-suited for lake and inshore fishing, particularly for sight fishing, which aligned perfectly with my adventure. I wholeheartedly recommend the green mirror lenses for these conditions.
The fit of the King Tide Sunglasses is outstanding. With the side shields in place, virtually no light infiltrates, resulting in remarkably improved clarity. This feature significantly enhanced my fishing experience that day.
In terms of overall quality, the King Tide Sunglasses are truly exceptional. Despite the presence of glass lenses, they are remarkably lightweight, feeling only slightly heavier than polycarbonate lenses. The fit is nearly perfect, and the high-quality temple hinges provide the right amount of flexibility for prolonged comfort.
Over sized Case?
The package that includes the robust case, lens cloth, and retainer is a thoughtful addition. Although the case may be a tad on the larger side, it ensures that your sunglasses remain well-protected. However, for every fishing excursion, you might want to consider the case’s size and decide if it suits your needs. Nevertheless, the case exudes quality.
Specs on the Costa King Tides Taken Directly From Costa
- Frame color: Black Pearl
- Lens color: Green Mirror
- Lens material: Polarized Glass (580G)
- Frame fit: Wide
- Size: L
- Lens curve: Base 8 Decentered
- Absorbing Harmful High-Energy Blue Light (HEV)
- Enhancing Reds, Greens, and Blues
- Filtering Out Harsh Yellow
Final Thoughts on the Costa King Tide 8
When it comes to evaluating the greatest fishing sunglasses, it’s all about packing in the features that anglers need. In this regard, the King Tide 8 Sunglasses from Costa seem poised to claim the title. These shades are meticulously designed with one primary purpose in mind – fishing.
The King Tide 8 Sunglasses excel at their intended purpose. They enhance your ability to spot fish, even in bright and choppier conditions, thanks to the effective side shields that block out stray light. Their thoughtful inclusion of venting holes and sweat channels keeps moisture at bay, making lens fogging a non-issue.
The true standout, however, is the synergy between the frames and the 580 glass lenses. The visual clarity and image quality they provide are exceptional, making fish and their surroundings come alive. For any dedicated angler, choosing between the King Tide 8 and its counterpart, the King Tide 6, may be the toughest decision you’ll have to make when it comes to eyewear for your fishing adventures. If you would like to learn more about these or Costa’s other eyewear, visit www.costadelmar.com or www.amazon.com.