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Photochromic Lens – Perfect for the Freshwater
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Photochromic Lens – Perfect for the Freshwater

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You may have never thought about the variety of lenses on the market. Or maybe as a freshwater angler you have you heard that you should be wearing,a copper or brown lens.

Have you heard this before?

Or that blue is for clear water (the ocean) and brown is for dirty water (freshwater)?

This does speak true, but the world of lenses goes much deeper. It’s just like buying a lure, you consider the size, colour, brand, action, swimming depth and it goes on. All for a $20 lure that you may only ever tie on once a year.

Your sunglasses, on the other hand, are imperative as you will be looking through them during every single cast. Understanding how lenses work and how they suit different situations is something every successful angler needs to understand. In this article I’m going to share with you the features of my favourite lens style for freshwater fishing – the Photochromic Lens.

The Photochromic Penetrator lens is the ultimate for freshwater fishing

What is Photochromic?

A Photochromic lens isn’t a specific lens, it’s more like a category of lenses. For example: you know how you can get ‘mirror’ lenses? They are the reflective style that you can see yourself in when you look at someone wearing them. Well you can get these mirror lenses in all different sorts of colours; blues, greys, yellow, emeralds and so on. The Photochromic range is just like this, you can get them in a range of different colours too. Now let’s go into more detail……

So what actually is a Photochromic lens?  

Definition:  A Photochromic lens will adjust – it goes lighter or darker – according to your environment.

Photochromic Activation Process - the lens has been partially covered
The cloth has been removed and you can see the difference between the activated and non-activated lens

That’s right! The technology within these lenses allow it them to become brighter or go darker according to the environment around you. So let’s say your fishing late in the afternoon and the sun is setting. A photochromic lens will become lighter allowing more light to enter through the lens and this allows you to wear your sunglasses for longer. In the opposite situation you may be fishing in the morning and as the sun rises the lens will darken and therefore block more light making for the perfect vision all day long. This means more time wearing your sunglasses therefore more fish can be spotted. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it!

How it Improves your Vision and Fishing

This technology is incredible because with a normal pair of sunglasses they darken everything and are built for use in the sun. Once the sun disappears either because of sun set or rise or maybe thick cloud cover, you may think sunglasses aren’t as important. Well this is not so true – because when it comes to fishing it’s so important to be wearing them all the time! Being able to see fish following your lure or to spot structure beneath the surface can be the difference between catching fish and not. How painful is it when the clouds roll in and it becomes too dark to wear your sunglasses and you have to take them off? Well as anglers we cannot afford to lose this extra vision and just because the clouds are covering the sun it doesn’t diminish the UV light. Having to remove your sunglasses in these conditions exposes you to possible UV damage. But now with photochromic lenses we can wear our sunglasses in any situation.

Nothing beats watching a native follow your lure out from a snag and inhale it at full speed!

How the Photochromic lens works?

All Photochromic lenses work under the same principle but some brands use different materials in their Photochromic lens, we will talk about both variations. A standard photochromic lens is made from an organic matter or filters and it’s these filters that activate and change the lens. They activate once they come into contact with UV light and this is what triggers these organic filters to change.

There is a downfall with standard photochromic lenses. Car windows are equipped with UV filters which makes the lens less effective while you’re driving. Also these organic compounds only have a specific life span, so after time their effectiveness wears off. This means your pair of sunglasses will lose its ability to change to the extremes and this is when it really counts.

After a lot of research I found the only photochromic lens in the world that uses a different technology that is more effective and lasts forever.

Two different Photochromic lenses available from the Spotters range - Penetrator and Xtreme

Spotters Unique Photochromic Technology – how it works compared to normal Photochromic lenses

Spotters Sunglasses have created a unique and effective Photochromic lens. They have designed the world’s first Photochromic technology that is triple activated and it will last forever. They were able to achieve these properties in their Photochromic range by using an atomic silver halide crystal rather than an organic compound. This crystal is embedded between layers of Crown glass and are continuously activating between dark and light.

Remember I mentioned the standard organic Photochromic lenses are only activated by UV? Well Spotters have managed to make their lenses triple activated. They are the only lens in the world that can do this. So what does triple activation mean?

The 3 environmental factors that activate the lens are UV light, general light and temperature. Standard lenses are only activated by UV light so when behind the car windscreen they don’t work. When the Spotters lens is behind the car windscreen it will still activate based on general light and temperature. So no matter what conditions you are in they will seamlessly react to your total environment.

Another feature of the Spotters Photochromic lens is they will last forever. Unlike other lenses that will eventually die off, the crystal isn’t an organic compound and will continue to activate to its full potential. What I love is that Spotters offer a life time guarantee on the Photochromic activation – so if at any point your activation process doesn’t work anymore, you can send it back!

Activation of Photochromic Lenses

Ultra Violet Light (UV) General Light Temperature
Spotters Technology
(Crystal Halide)
Yes Yes Yes
Standard Technology
(Organic Compound)
Yes No No

Rhys’ Favourite Lens – Spotters Photochromic Penetrator

Everyone has their favourite lure or reel – when it comes to sunglasses my favourite by far is the Spotters Photochromic Penetrator! First of all it’s made from Crown Glass which is a must in quality sunglasses in this day and age. You already know why I love the Photochromic range – but why did I choose the Penetrator? And what other choices are there?

There are a number of different styles on the market but you can’t go past Spotters when it comes to Photochromic lenses because of their unique crystal halide technology. In saying that make sure you do your research to ensure you are getting the best lens for you, but after all the research I’ve done I can say these are the best quality sunglasses.

The authors favourite lens is Spotters Photochromic Penetrator, especially when targeting Murray Cod in rivers

In their Photochromic range they have the; Halide, Penetrator and Xtreme.

The Penetrator is built for freshwater situations, especially if you fish along rivers. As I love my river fishing this lens matches my style of fishing. First of all because it lets in more light in low light periods, I can wear them for longer which helps me to locate submerged structure. It creates an amazing depth perception allowing you to identify how far away object are more easily and this aids in accurate casting. And it enhances the shadows during the day, creating a much clearer image when looking between bright and dark lit areas.

Spotters Photochromic Range

penetratorPenetrator-
The Penetrator is my all-time favourite lens when it comes to freshwater fishing. It is a copper based coloured lens which suits the freshwater conditions. For any native specialist this is the perfect choice as it creates increased colour contrast, amazing depth perception and is also good for low light conditions. It is incredible at brightening the shadows and darkening the direct sunlight.

Tip: perfect for native fishing along rivers and creeks xtremeXtreme-
The Xtreme lens is one of the most underestimated lenses on the market. It is a yellow based colour and is perfect for extremely low light conditions. This lens lets in high amounts of light which creates a super high contrast by brightening everything around you. It’s perfect for use on thick overcast days or first and last light when most sunglasses are still in their cases.

Tip: best lens for Trout Polaroiding in shallow and clear water halideHalide-
The halide is the last Photochromic lens in the Spotters range, it is very similar to the Penetrator. It is a copper based lens and it is actually the darkest Photochromic Copper Crown Glass lens in the world. This makes it perfect for the higher glare situations like fishing on impoundments and area where you receive large amounts of sun reflection. Perfect lens if you are sensitive to bright light.

Tip: perfect lens for chasing Murray Cod and Golden Perch in impoundments

As you have just read in the past few minutes there is a lot you can learn about the gear you use and you probably never thought that sunglasses were so technical. Now that you know all about Photochromic lenses, how they work and how they can make a difference. It’s time to go out and treat yourself, make sure you have a look through a Photochromic lens – it will make a huge difference to your fishing experience.

Rhys Creed

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Rhys Creed

Rhys Creed is the Founder of Social Fishing. He has grown up with a love for freshwater fishing, especially lure fishing for natives. His favourite style of fishing is casting for Murray Cod in fast water rivers. He is passionate about bringing to you the best in freshwater fishing education!

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