I’m on my second pair of Wiley X sunglasses, and typically wear them during some portion of every day.
To be honest, I was looking for a good pair of prescription polarized shades and originally considered Wiley X for no other reason than the series was available through my local optometrist. After trying on a number of models, I quickly settled on the Jake as it best fit my oversize skull. That was roughly 8 years ago.
Whether I was standing in a bass boat, sitting behind a pickup windshield, pushing a snow blower or driving a lawn tractor—if the sun was shining—the Jakes were on my face. They also traveled with me to, I’d guess, about 15 states, a handful of Canadian provinces and Mexico.
My Top 4
There are a few reasons why I like these shades, and bought a non-scrip pair for each of my sons.
- Lens Quality: I’ve worn polarized sunglasses before that weren’t up to the task. I recall sightfishing on Florida’s Lake Toho alongside a pro who got mad at me because I couldn’t see fish in the lily pads. When I finally tried his shades, I figured out the problem. Since getting the Jakes, I’ve never had an issue seeing what’s below the surface.
- Fit: There’s nothing I hate more than eyeglasses that slip down your nose. These shades fit snugly and stayed in place. I only used the keeper strap to hang them from my neck when I had to step inside a gas station or bait shop.
- Climate Control: I have to say that I used the removable eye cup insert only when I needed it—say, when I was fishing from a 70-mph bass boat. Rarely did I use it in a 50-mph multi-species rig, and never when I was highway driving. They did what they were designed to do in terms of blocking wind, dust and light; I just personally didn’t feel the need all the time.
- Protection: I knew all about Wiley X’s military-spec eye protection, but didn’t really give it a lot of thought until a couple of years into my first pair. That’s when a ¼-ounce jig popped out of a walleye’s jaw and shot straight for my face. It smacked the right lens—low-and-outside, so I don’t think it would have hit the actual eyeball. Nonetheless, it didn’t leave a mark on the lens, and that’s when I decided to get a pair for each of my boys.
These, I figure, are some pretty good grounds for recommending Wiley X Jakes. But as I said at the beginning, I’m on my second pair. After so many years, my prescription changed enough that I had to break down and get a new pair. This time I went with the WX Gravity model. The reason: It was the best-fitting style in my optometrist’s inventory. I’ll tell you about them down the road.