Finally back home after two weeks on the road visiting some pretty awesome places in Colorado and Wyoming. It feels good to be back and start catching up on some fantastic gear that I’ve been fishing lately. At the forefront of the list is my Guideline Swift Sunglasses review: a new frame style this year. These glasses have been great over the last month of fishing and have served me well as I’ve targeted some stubborn trout.
We’re no stranger to Guidelines frames and lenses either. In fact we have a number of reviews that you can find here. Why do we keep reviewing them? Because they keep making sweet glasses for the outdoors-man/woman, and we believe they have particularly good application to fly fishing at a reasonable cost.
What makes good Fly Fishing sunglasses?
I suppose you could come up with a number of things that makes good fly fishing sunglasses but at the top of our list is the following:
- Lens Polarization and Color
Let’s check out how the Guideline Swift stacked up on the above four requirements for good fly fishing sunglasses.
I’m clumsy, I admit it. OK, I take that back, I just have a one-track mind when it comes to fishing. So here’s a typical scenario: I sit down on the shore to tie on a new fly. Going in for a closer look under the brim of my hat I remove my sunglasses and set them on the top of the bill of my baseball cap. Fly is on and I’m ready to fish. I quickly jerk my head to the side and off fly the sunglasses crashing onto the ground… Every happen to you? It happens to me all the time.
With that in mind I need a pair of sunglasses that can take a bit of a beating without giving up. The Guideline Swift glasses did not disappoint. I played out the above scenario multiple times while fishing and each time the glasses came away with minimal scars. With a lightweight non-corrosive aluminum frame these are pretty durable glasses–theres no plastic to crack!
Ever fished 12-15 hours straight? If not, you have yet to live. Given the amount of time that I like to sometimes spend on a river, a comfortable frame is highly important. The Guideline Swift did a pretty good job. I noticed the following:
- The rubberized nose pads are a nice touch and add a good amount of comfort to the location where the most weight of the frame resides. That said, they could be more adjustable for people with giant schnozzes like myself.
- The padded temple tips and flexible arms fit a small to medium face perfectly without any added pressure. My ears or temples were never sore after long use.
- While I’ll agree the frame is lightweight for a metal frame, it is heavier than most plastic frames that I fish – so be prepared for a bit more weight on your face.
Polarization & Color
This is where I think Guideline really comes through. Their polarized lens are crisp and clear and provide so much power when fishing. Once again I had an experience where the person fishing next to me (my wife this time 🙂 ) couldn’t see the fish we were targeting. I kept telling her to cast in a particular location where a number of fish were congregated on the Fryingpan river. Finally out of frustration I handed her my sunglasses to replace the ones she was wearing. The fish were suddenly visible and my instruction made more sense.
Besides the UV A and B polarized lenses, the Swift version also comes in some excellent lens color choices. I chose to fish the brown lens given I think it’s the most versatile lens for the varying light conditions of the Mountain West and the stream bottom colors I fish. That said, if you’re more often fishing in very bright light conditions like on the ocean, you might consider the gray lenses they offer.
The Guideline Swift have a bit of a classic look to them with a square lens on a wrapped frame. I’d say they kind of have the Men in Black feel to them. Its a nice classic frame that doesn’t easily go out of style and isn’t the latest trend but is stylish for most occasions.
A word to the wise, these fit Medium or smaller faces best. I would consider my own face to be fairly slender and I thought these fit perfectly. For a much larger face, these might not be the right frame.
Buy them… I mean seriously, they are high quality lenses in a great looking frame. A little heavy at times, but very comfortable on the temple and ear area as well as a padded nose. Guideline did not disappoint with this new frame.