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Sunglass Review


Down Under Optics: Seeing Clearly with Makoís Polarized Sunglasses (continued)

Once I had the fit on both pairs perfect it literally took just one trip on the water for me to start seeing and feeling the difference with these optics. I typically fish with brown/copper lenses most of the time as I find they are the most comfortable to use all day long, and can be used in both bright and low light conditions. The Mako Blade that I wore the most makes use of the companyís Green Mirror (G2H5) lenses, and while I like the way that green lenses typically look, I donít usually like the tint or color shift that green usually results in. Makoís green lenses are different, and make use of a rose base color which completely changes the view and is designed to not only make colors look more natural but help anglers see through water in greater detail.


The Blade's ability to improve contrast and better make out patterns underwater are a real advantage for anglers that like to sight fish

Makoís green mirror lenses do a fantastic job reflecting sunlight while the HD filter removes UV light, and the rose base feels natural, comfortable, all while making it easier to sight fish or simply better perceive the structure and surrounding areas that you are casting towards.

I also had the opportunity to fish for extended periods with the GT paired with Makoís blue mirror (G1HR6) lenses. Blue lenses are typically the go to color for applications requiring high contrast variation, but similar to green lenses a purely blue tinted lens can really alter the colors that you are seeing.


The Mako Blade became a favorite for me over time, eventually displacing frames that I have used for over a decade


Makoís answer here is the addition of a non-distorting brown base color with an HD filter that enhances color and contrast while also removing harmful UV light and heat transfer. These are a good option for those bright days on big water, versus the green mirrors which I found better if youíre anticipating fishing in low light conditions.


One of the things that makes Mako's lenses so good is their ability to perform well in a wide spectrum of light conditions, everything from open water to navigating a creek

Though I fished them the least I also spent the last week trying the Blade frame with more traditional Grey (G0HR) lenses. These glasses were the stealthiest looking of the three and delivered almost no distortion whatsoever, and are a good all round choice for not only outdoor activities but general everyday use, everything from hiking to driving for example. While I liked this color I found the green and blue mirrored lenses more vibrant and fun to wear.


Light and glass lenses don't usually go hand in hand but weighing in at only 1.2oz. the Mako Blade and GT both get it done

Durability: Makoís frames are tough and I had no issue with the frames over the entire length of the tests. I did manage to break one lens on the GT, but it was not the fault of the sunglasses. It was towards the end of a shoot on the water when I was on the back of the boat and Cal was preparing for a final series of casting shots when he accidentally knocked one of our cameras right over the edge of the boat. My instinct was to dive in and save the camera, and in a mad panic I shed all my gear, including taking off the GTs and throwing them down, at which time they unfortunately impacted a metal latch on the boat at full force. Cal beat me into the water and we still lost the camera with a full day of footage, and the shattered pair of Mako GTs in the process was like pouring salt in the wound. That direct impact would have likely shattered any glass based sunglasses, and though the lens was broken none of the glass came out of the frame, and was an example of how the lenses would have protected my eye in the event of an object impact of similar force.


The glass lenses are far more scratch resistant than polycarbonate

When I wasnít throwing the Mako sunglasses I was impressed with just how well the Makoís oleophobic and hydrophobic coasting effectively repelled water, dust, and even oil on the lenses. These glasses fogged up considerably less than others I have used before and I found them extremely scratch resistant. I like how light polycarbonate based optics are but they fall far short of glass when it comes to clarity and scratch resistance. We took a knife edge directly to the Mako sunglasses and was able to run the point and edge over the lens without leaving any scratches whatsoever. These glasses are tough!


Fishing at sunset with the GT

Price & Applications: Though Mako sunglasses are good for pretty much the complete gamut of outdoor applications, or simply just relaxing on the beach with a cold beverage, the companyís roots are in fishing and creating sunglasses specifically suited for angling applications continues to be the priority, and it shows. The styles that Mako Polarized focused on in the US all feature wrap around designs that isolate light leakage and focus on lenses that are ideal for outdoor sports, especially in and around water.


A look at the hard case that comes with each pair of Makos

The only real downside to Mako sunglasses is that they are still somewhat of a secret here in the U.S. market. While the brand is extremely well known in Australia Mako is just starting to ramp here stateside and trying on a pair or even procuring a pair can be a little challenging. The Mako Blade and GT styles both retail for $258.99 online, a reasonable price for a premium pair of glass lens polarized sunglasses, and puts them in the same price range as other popular fishing sunglass brands including Maui Jim and Costa Del Mar. There are cheaper options out there, but few that offer the range of technologies, exceptional clarity, and low overall weight as the Mako offerings do.


The sunglasses also come with a polishing cloth

When it comes to exclusivity, at least right now here in the U.S. market, Mako Polarized offers anglers a unique option that strikes just the right balance between style, polarized performance, ergonomics, plus the best scratch resistance I have ever experienced in a pair of angling oriented optics.


Sporting the GTs on largemouth caught right at the end of the day

(We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Mako Blade (and GT) Sunglass Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Quality frame and lens construction, the use of glass sometimes weighs down sunglasses but Mako's glasses are both light and durable at the same time (unless you slam them against metal, as I learned) 9
Performance Exceptional clarity and polarized performance. The Mako Green Mirrors are really excellent for a wide range of light conditions with the rose base color and HD and IR filters. The GT was extremely comfortable and proved good for bright conditions 9.5
Price Pricey but within the price range of other premium branded sunglasses, I just wish that they were more accessible to anglers 7
Features Loaded with features including all glass lenses with built in filters, scratch resistance, AR coatings, a durable case and polishing cloth 8
Design (Ergonomics) Results will vary as far as fit, but the GT fit great on me and the Blade fit very well after I made a slight adjustment to the angle of the bend at the bridge. Overall these are pretty wide frames that are comfortable to wear all day long due to the low weight 9
Application Protection from UV rays and excellent polarized performance that improves contrast. Clarity with these Japanes and Italian lenses is exceptional and while they are designed for anglers they are also great for outdoor enthusiasts in general, as well as drivers! 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Comfortable/Lightweight - Price
+ Loaded With Features  
+ They Float!  
+ Great Visibility  


Conclusion: Seeing truly is believing and Makoís Blade, and GT, sunglasses have quickly become my go to optics for not only fishing but driving as well. Not only are they extremely light and comfortable but when it comes to seeing details in the water the clarity offered by these lenses is difficult to match.


Seeing clearly and staying comfortable are both traits that Mako sunglasses offer in spades


What I like best about the lenses on the Mako Blade is their ability to reduce glare without any distortion, providing incredibly sharp and clear visibility in the complete range of weather and light conditions.

Iím usually not a huge fan of green mirrored lenses but Makoís rose base color underneath has made me a convert. It is hard to describe just how much better I can make out shapes beneath the surface but after switching pairs of sunglasses back and forth I am confident that I can only perceive shapes better but also see slightly deeper as well with these glasses due to how these lenses effectively manage light, enhancing color and contrast.


The Mako Blade has become my go to pair of sunglasses, providing sharp visibility and excellent polarization in a wide range of light conditions. Mako may be a newcomer to the U.S. but they are absolutely worth checking out!

Iíve worn Costa sunglasses for almost all my freshwater fishing for over a decade, and you can go back into the TackleTour archives to see just how long Iíve been sporting the Harpoon frames with 580G lenses, but for the first time in years with the Mako Blade Iíve found a pair of sunglasses that actually performs better in numerous areas including low weight and optical clarity. The Mako Blade is now my go to pair of sunglasses and I highly recommend trying a pair of Mako Polarized Sunglasses that best fits your style and application. The Mako Blade and GT both delivered exceptional glare reduction and distortion free vision on and off the water, and are both winners of our Editorís Choice Award. Compare the sunglasses side by side with your current optics, fish with them for a day, and it will be clear (pun intended) just how exceptional these angling oriented optics really are.

Looking for Mako Optics like the Blade and GT?
Try the Mako Polarized U.S. Website









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