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Optics Review

Born from Fishing Nests – The Hybrid Performance Styled Costa Antille (continued)


I’ve purchased a lot of Costa sunglasses over the years and the two styles that I have used the most are the Harpoon, and more recently the more lifestyle oriented Spearo frames. Costa’s portfolio of frame styles is huge, and if there were not already enough choices there are multiple frame color, lens material, and lens color options to configure from. Besides styling what keeps me coming back to Costa are the company’s 580G Polarized Glass lenses which I have found to offer excellent clarity, polarization, protection, color enhancement for fishing, and durability.


Though the Antille may look like a lifestyle frame it does have performance features including vented nosepads to help reduce fogging


While polycarbonate lenses are much lighter than most other materials, I personally prefer the optical clarity of glass. Costa’s 580G glass lenses go a step further by making their lenses thinner than the average glass lenses while incorporating encapsulated mirrors between layers of glass and molecular coatings for enhanced scratch resistance. I have worn multiple Costa frames with polycarbonate (580P) lenses and like how lightweight they feel but always yearn for the clarity that the glass lenses provide when fishing in very bright or low light conditions.


My first test took to me to the east coast of Florida to target Snook


The Antille is no different, and the lightweight frames provide a comfortable platform for some very large and clear glass lenses. I selected the “Blue Mirror” frames because I knew I would be employing the Antille for both fresh and saltwater applications. Blue lenses like these are particularly well suited for full sun conditions when the sun is bright and often harsh.


The Antille proved to be great for sight fishing by enabling me to spot Tarpon flashes, resulting in my very first landed Tarpon


When sight fishing for both snook and tarpon I found the Antille Blue Mirror glasses to be excellent for helping discern both flashes and movement in open water, which is normally very reflective. There was a period where we ran the boat parallel from the Cocoa Beach all the way down to Palm Bay in search of tarpon and the Antille helped me spot two tarpon flashes, and one of which turned into not just a jumped fish but my very first tarpon after three trips to Florida trying to land one. The entire experience was one that I’ll never forget.


When compared to the Fantail Pro notice how much these performance frames wraparound


When battling snook in Florida I always noted how comfortable the Antille frames were on my face. Unlike more sport oriented frames the Antille is a hybrid design with both performance and lifestyle styling and features. This gives them a more relaxed look, which I personally prefer, but also not all the sun and wind resistance of some of Costa’s more technical frames. The open design worked well in these warm and humid conditions, and I didn’t have issues with the lenses fogging up or my eyes drying up when running the boat.


The side shields on the Fantail Pro are also quite large to lock out sun and wind


Back home in Northern California the Antille styling fit right into the California beach lifestyle, and I still felt they had enough technical features to make them suitable for bass fishing. Costa frames like the Blackfin Pro and Fantail Pro boast all the brands “Pro Series” features including a vented and fully adjustable nose pad for a customizable fit, sweat channels and eyewire drains designed to help keep your vision clear, side shields, hooding, stickier “Hydrolite” and metal keeper slots to help to keep your frames on your face and the sweat and sun out of your eyes.


The Fantail Pro even has sweat channels and hydrolite temple pads that get tacky as they become wet


I personally have been wearing the Fantail Pro for a season on bass fishing and find this style excellent for fishing on the Northern California Delta when long runs during early mornings can really dry out your eyes. The way that these tighter, sleeker, frames wrap around your face and how they can be adjusted perfectly make them a much more tactical option. The only problem for me is that I personally don’t love the way they look.


Anglers looking for the ultimate performance will probably prefer the Fantail Pro frames, but I personally like the look and hybrid approach of the Antille


Styling is always a very subjective thing when it comes to optics but to me glasses like the Fantail Pro look like frames with one purpose, to be high performing fishing optics. If the sleeker style and wider temple arms is what you prefer than these are a no brainer.


While the Antille is a hybrid frame it still performs beautifully in most angling situations


My all-time favorite styled Costa glasses are the Spearo frames which have a more relaxed beach styling and looks like something that is well suited for the boat, the bar, and everything in between. What is sacrificed with a design like the Spearo are many of those high-performance features. This is why I like the Antille, not only does it do a good job blending both performance and styling, but it is also able to accomplish this with a lightweight recycled frame. Unlike the smooth more traditional looking bio-resin frames on the Spearo the Antille’s NetPlus frames have a matte appearance that gives them a distinctive texture and look.


Styling-wise my favorite Costa frames are still the lifestyle oriented Spearo frames and the Antille delivers similar styling with their oversized lenses


Throughout the season I found the matte frames were comfortable and provided a very good grip even when my hands were wet, but on the downside, I did notice they picked up more dust and grime than other smooth frames due to their more porous surface. They can be cleaned easily with a little liquid soap, or lens cleaner, so I didn’t find this to be a major issue. Overall, the Antille held together very well through an entire season of use. I liked the glasses so much for fishing that I started traveling with them and brought them on trips to other bright areas, including exploring the landscapes of Anza Borrego and Joshua Tree, where the lenses were excellent for the bright desert sun.  


Not just for the water. The Antille Blue Mirror frames were great in the bright sun in the desert

Next Section: Selecting the right 580G lenses...









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