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Seeing Dots: Costa Sunrise Silver Mirror Lens Review

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Costa built the Sunrise Silver Mirror lens to see fish through water in any light. We put them to the test against Louisiana redfish.

costa sunrise silver mirror glasses

On day one, the sun is out. I easily see the telltale black tail-fin dot that signifies a redfish. But on day two, it’s overcast. I’m fishing blind. To my husband’s delight, I’ve missed more fish than he’s caught. A full day of guided fishing lapses to a half-day when our guide says he can’t see dots with or without polarized sunglasses.

Photo courtesy: Kris Millgate

I can’t either, but I really want to. Just before we call it a day, my husband rummages around in his bag like a skinny Santa in shorts and pulls out a new toy. Costa sunglasses with the new Sunrise Silver Mirror lens ($169–259). They’re specifically designed for challenging light conditions like dawn and dusk.

My first thought is “gimmick,” but I’m desperate. I’ll go for gimmick.

Costa Sunrise Silver Mirror Review

You want a clear, sunny day when going for Louisiana redfish. If you don’t get clear and sunny, the brown, cloudy water redfish prefer masks their movements and their shadows. When sun is shut out, you need something to amplify whatever definition and contrast there is. Overcast conditions reduce shadows. You need shadows for redfish sighting.

Photo courtesy: Kris Millgate

That’s where the Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses come in. Not your everyday lenses, the Sunrise Silver Mirrors allow more light transmission (30 percent) than Costa’s other lenses (10–12 percent).

After I put them on, it takes a few minutes to adjust to the selective world this “sunrise” lens lights up. Once your eyes settle, the flat is amplified. I started seeing contrast in the dull water – it was my target, the redfish. Meanwhile my guide just saw chocolate milk.

costa sunrise silver mirror lenses
Costa’s depiction of no lenses (left) versus contrast-amplifying Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses (right)

I spotted a fish, threw a fly, and missed. A specialized lens doesn’t improve your catch rate, but sight rate definitely goes up. After my husband put them on, he spotted and caught within five minutes. Our guide was still poling the flats blind.

Sunrise Silver Mirror Lenses: What Doesn’t Work

These sunglasses are limited wear, not all-purpose. Heed the warning on the box: “Not suitable for driving,” among other things.

The lens heightens contrast with a yellow glow, so if you wear them in bright sunlight, you will see dots. Just not the good kind. So keep these sunglasses in the case in full sun. Because they’re not an all-day option, you’ll have to pack more than one pair of shades per trip.

Last Word: Sunrise Silver Mirror

I didn’t know my husband put this lens in his bag for our redfish trip, but I’m glad he did. Packing an extra pair of sunglasses added extra fishing hours. Without them, it would have been lights out for seeing (good) dots.

Costa currently offers Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses on numerous frame styles.

Outdoor journalist Kris Millgate is based in Idaho Falls, Idaho. See more of her work at www.tightlinemedia.com

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