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The Costa Skinny Report

Costa is committed to producing high-quality sunglasses and protecting the environment in which we wear them.

June 3, 2021
Angler poling the flats
The right lens makes it easier to spot fish. Courtesy Costa

Top Product: Next-Level Lenses

When it comes to sunglasses, there’s a glass for every sun. From backwaters to open ocean, from dawn to dusk, sunglass lenses should reflect the conditions and environment you’re in. Not only did Costa do it first, but the company has always done it. Costa was founded almost four decades ago by an angler whose previous sunglass options failed him, so he made his own. In fact, Costa was the first manufacturer of color-enhancing, all-polarized glass sunglass lenses, and to underscore the company’s conservation ethos, some of its lenses are made from mineral glass developed from sand.

Costa logo
Costa’s been producing next-level lenses for almost four decades. Courtesy Costa

It’s important to understand just how critical the right lens can be in skinny water. The sun at high noon or an overcast haze can make it challenging to spot rolling tarpon or tailing bones. Costa developed two lenses with shallow-water anglers specifically in mind. The green mirror lens offers enhanced vision and contrast for fishing inshore and on the flats, as well as sight-fishing in full sun. This is made possible by Costa’s 580 lens technology. The number 580 refers to 580 nanometers, the wavelength on the visible light spectrum for yellow. These lenses block out yellow light, which in turn boosts the amounts of reds, greens and blues, providing better definition. Similarly dialed for the flats, the sunrise silver mirror lenses are made for the least amount of light—the moments before sunrise when targeting sleepy silver kings, or the last glow of sunset as you chase permit to close out a grand slam.

These lenses now have new homes with the Costa Pro series, versions of the popular Fantail and Blackfin frames that Costa upgraded based on angler feedback. New features include side shields and hooding to keep light out, and ventilated nose pads to reduce fogging.

Angler navigating a narrow channel
Costa’s lens technology makes it easier to chase fish in the harshest light conditions. Courtesy Costa

Top Mission: Protect Our Waters

Earlier this year, Costa released a 36-page overview of its many conservation initiatives, highlighting the company’s 38-year tradition of protecting our watery world. Among the successes in 2019 and 2020 was removing 90 tons of trash from beaches and coastlines, and recycling 4 tons of polycarbonate lenses.

The Protect Report showcases Costa’s vast array of partner organizations, initiatives and projects. Take Indifly, for example, which promotes recreational fishing as a way to create sustainable livelihoods and ecosystems for indigenous people from Wyoming to Guyana. (Indigenous communities are guardians of 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity.) And there’s also Junk, a Costa-supported documentary about two adventurers who spent 88 days at sea on a raft made from 15,000 plastic bottles to highlight the growing problem of plastic pollution in the ocean.

Fisherman releasing fish
Costa is protecting the environment for future generations through numerous conservation initiatives. Courtesy Costa

Two organizations in the report focus on issues near and dear to skinny-water anglers. Captains for Clean Water is dedicated to saving Florida’s waterways and Everglades restoration because one cannot happen without the other. It was founded by Capts. Daniel Andrews and Chris Wittman, guides on Florida’s Gulf coast who have seen their home waters tainted by poor water-management decisions to the point where the places they grew up fishing and camping are closed due to contamination. Support for the organization has grown exponentially since 2016.

“Captains for Clean Water is a beacon of the entire outdoor industry to speak up and stand up for the places we love,” says Capt. Benny Blanco, host of Guiding Flow TV, which focuses on water issues in Florida.

Fisherman with a bonefish
Costa’s partnership with the Bonefish Tarpon Trust aims to conserve and restore bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and habitats. Courtesy Costa

Costa also partners with the Bonefish Tarpon Trust, which aims to conserve and restore bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and habitats through research, stewardship, education and advocacy. While serving fisheries worldwide, the BTT is strategically headquartered in Miami, a short run to some of the greatest flats fishing on Earth.

The BTT has assisted in a range of initiatives. It established nationally protected bonefish conservation zones in the Bahamas and consults on fisheries management for the Florida Keys, the backyard of Key West fly-fishing guide Capt. Brandon Cyr.

“I’m confident that if we unite around BTT’s efforts, I won’t have to tell my kids about days that once were,” Cyr says. “They will be able to enjoy and preserve healthy, improved fisheries for years to come.”