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Optics Review


Float from the Beach to the Bar - Julbo Paddle Optics

Date: 11/20/19
Tackle type: Optics
Manufacturer: Julbo
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.33 - GREAT

There are already numerous floating sunglass options available but perhaps none quite as stealthy as the micro-bubble infused Julbo Paddle Series. Designed to look like any normal pair of sunglasses this pair of optics provides style, comfort, and floatability at a reasonable price.


Julbo Paddle Sunglasses Specifications

Frame Style Tested


Frame Material

Polymer with bubble infused frame

Frame Options

Translucent Black/Black
Translucent Black/Orange
Gray Tortoiseshell/Green

Frame/Lens Color Tested

Translucent Black/Orange


Soft Pouch, Cleaning Cloth, Floating Cord

Other Features

Floating Design, Polarized 3CF lenses, Curved temples for comfort, grip tech surfaces, shock absorbing nose grip inserts


$129.95 ($104.95 at Amazon)


Impressions: Julbo is probably not a brand that mainstream anglers will know but the company does have a rich history of catering to outdoor enthusiasts. The company was founded in France by Jules Baud who started designing eyewear that was considered quite innovative in the early 20th century. In 1888 at the request of Chamonix crystal hunters that wanted to protect their eyes in the mountains he designed the first "cristallers" sunglasses which marked the beginning of the Julbo story. Over the years the company continued to develop sunglasses designed for mountaineers and rock climbers that required protection in harsh summit environments.


The Julbo Paddle Sunglasses feature Polarized Spectron 3 lenses that are made from polycarbonate and block 89% of visible light


Over the last 125 years Julbo continued to introduce new designs and increasingly technical lenses to meet the needs of the complete range of outdoor sports, and today the company is expanding to deliver optics specifically designed for use on and around the water. This is where the Paddle Series comes in, a new style that is designed for use on beaches, lakes, or rivers, and as the name implies caters to stand-up paddle (SUP) athletes that require protection and comfort while moving quickly on the water. These attributes, combined with polarized lenses, also make this pair of sunglasses an option for anglers.


Designed for watersports (especially SUP) these optics also cater to anglers who require polarized lenses and good coverage


Real World Tests: To test the Julbo Paddle sunglasses I wanted to employ them in as wide a range of outdoor applications as possible. This included using them as my primary optics for bass fishing, but I was also interested to see how they performed on dry land as well, and headed to the deserts in Southern California to see how they would perform in vastly different environments.


The Paddle may look like a normal pair of sunglasses but the frame is constructed with thousands of tiny air bubbles


Design, Operation, and Performance: The Julbo Paddle sunglasses are pretty traditionally beach-styled with oversized lenses and a slightly squared look that blurs the line between form and sport oriented function. They are available in a range of lens options including photochromic and polarized choices. I tested the spectron polarized lenses, which are constructed out of polycarbonate, and feature an orange mirror finish. These lenses are recommended for all types of water and mountain sports, and are optimized to block out glare from either water or snow with a visible light transmission (VLT) of 11%.


With the bubble infused frame this lightweight pair of optics is designed to provide security to anglers by floating if dropped in the water


The lenses on the Paddle provided clear vision and the polarized performance was very good. I was able to discern structure variations and hovering fish beneath the water, even when the sun was in different positions throughout the day, which helped make sight fishing much more effective.


The glasses float right at the surface level


While the Paddle's polycarbonate lenses did provide a clear view and excellent polarization I didn't find them as optically crystal clear as some competing glass based lenses. While glass lenses do typically provide optimal clarity they also come with disadvantages as well, including impact durability and added weight.  


The Paddle also comes bundled with a floating lanyard but this is not required for buoyancy


Next Section: From the lake to the desert...









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