Angler: F Davis
Make: Smith Optics
Model: Techlite Polarchromic Polarised TM Copper
Style: Turtle Shell Dolen
Years used: 3 months
Price: approx ZAR 3000 retail

According to the Smith website, they “combine the glare-free benefits of advanced polarization with UV sensitive, self-tint-adjusting Polarchromic technology to bring you the most advanced sunglass lenses we have ever created”.

Quite a statement from a top sunglass manufacturer!

So, Gareth from Stealth SA replaced my Chromapops with a pair of Smith Techlite Polarchromic Copper Dolans. Service at its best and I can’t fault him and his team on their professional approach and client service. Big win for Smith SA!

I’ve been using the Polarchromics for 3 months now and didn’t want to write this review until I had given them a proper and thorough testing in all light conditions. I also managed to get them onto different water bodies in a variety of different light conditions.

It took me awhile to get used to the subtle shifts in tint in the different light conditions. But I soon came to terms with the often lighter shade of lens and now really enjoy these shifts.

The Techlite Polarchromic Copper Mirrors have a 13 – 20% VLT (Visual Light Transmission translates, in layman’s terms to the amount of light reaching your eyes through a lens) (the Chromapops were 12%).

Some on the water, small stream testing...

Some on the water, low-light, small stream testing…

smith_ptics_polarchromic_review-002While this rating is not considered ideal for low light conditions, I was happily surprised by how much of a difference the shift in tint makes to low light conditions.

During bright days on streams, dams and the salt the lens were fantastic. I was particularly impressed with the lens and the lack of salty build up during long days on the brine. The hydrophobic layer does what it says.

The frames themselves may not be everybody’s first choice for fishing glasses – the lack of wrap means light does get in – but that was purely my choice (Gareth even questioned my choice of frame) however they suit my face and for me all-round wearability most certainly plays a role in functionality.

They sit snuggly and I add a spec saver type strap while fishing. They’re comfortable and don’t slip off my face. The lenses are relatively light compared to many other glass lenses that I’ve tried – it’s only after a full day of fishing that I begin to feel their weight on my nose.

Glass is obviously always the best choice in terms of optical clarity. The Smiths Polarchromics are no different. The glass is crystal clear and I love the Copper tint – the colours are clear and the contrast is crisp.

They’re holding up well, no scratches, they’re great sunglasses!

I’ll keep using these lenses happily and don’t hesitate to recommend them!

2015_liesbeek_fletcher_carp 002

Two ugly mugs and good looking pair of shades!


  1. Rex fey 9 June, 2015 at 19:18 - Reply

    I’m very very impressed with my copper mirror chromapops but I do feel I am still missing out a bit in low light conditions. What about the polarchromic amber lenses. Think they are vlt 15 to 30%? Or do u prefer the copper from a colour point of view?

  2. Fred Davis 18 June, 2015 at 23:30 - Reply

    Rex, amber lenses are rad too! But if you’re looking for real low light, start at the Techlite Polarized Low Light Ignitor (40%) or the Polarised Yellow (40%).

    This is an interesting chart on VLT and colour…

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