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Costa Rafael Sunglasses Review

A good pair of sunglasses is really a necessity in fishing. Being able to see stumps, grass and even fish under the water can be the difference in catching a key fish or multiple fish. Your eyes are one of the most important tools in fishing, so good sunglasses that let you see far into the water always help. I’ve been wearing the new Costa Rafael sunglasses for the last few months while fishing to test them.

I got a pair just before ICAST and have been pleased with their fit, lightweight, no slip contact, breathability and most of all their glare reduction and the distance I can see objects under the water’s surface.



The glasses feature a heavy duty TR-90 nylon frame. The material has great durability and flexibility under pressure. This means they are not as brittle as a lot of high end frames and will withstand some abuse without any signs of wear or stress cracks. That material is extremely lightweight as well so it makes them comfortable to wear all day on long fishing days. 

The no slip pads on the nose and arms keep the glasses comfortably snug on your face and ears without any discomfort and you don’t have to keep pushing them on your head. I wear my driving, running, biking and of course fishing without a single issue with them. 

The vent holes on the sides of the frames near the lenses keeps them from fogging when you get hot on cool mornings or when they get cool on hot days. It’s nice to have good lenses that you aren’t always having to clear.

They come with holes in the arms to attach clip style lanyards to keep the eyeglasses around your neck when not in use if you so choose. 

The side plates are a little broader to block out light from the sides. That’s nice when you’re really peering into the water. And these frames work well for a medium to large size head without being bulky. Maximum coverage in a narrow profile. 


My experiences

I’ve been really happy with how these glasses have held up. I keep them in their case when not in use and I take them inside every day. So I do baby them a bit. But they are so light and comfortable on my face. I have a bit blockier head than some so finding sunglasses that fit comfortable but don’t look like scuba masks can sometimes be difficult. I like that these look small on my face but fit well. The nose and ear pads hold well.

 I’m never am outside without sunglasses on so I’ve always got these on whether I’m running, biking, driving or fishing. I like that they are so light I forget they are on. They have never fogged up on me, even in the changing weather. I wear them on top of my head a lot indoors and TR90 material flexes without fear of cracking or breaking. 


Most importantly I am seeing a lot of cover, fish and other things under the surface with these shades which is my ultimate determining factor with fishing sunglasses. Can I see easily into the water? Can I see what other anglers are seeing with different sunglasses? Can I identify targets at a distance and be afforded a couple more fish because of what my sunglasses are helping me to see? I’ve had some pretty memorable catches already off pieces of shallow wood I saw at a distance under the surface with the Rafael sunglasses and green mirror high contrast lenses this summer both in dingy waters of Kentucky Lake but also in clear waters of Table Rock Lake. 

If you take care of sunglasses, they will last a long time. I keep mine in the provided hard case whenever they are not on my face and have not had any issues with them in the first several months of heavy use.

You can find these sunglasses at, and at retailers and eye clinics that carry Costa products. These frames are also available for prescription lenses.