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Ah, sunglasses, one of the most pivotal aspects of kayak fishing. Not only do they help us see our quarry and the structure they hide in and around, but they protect our eyes from the sun and flying lures. I was given the opportunity to review the hobie bayside and I thought I would match them up against my costa Del mar wave killers. I “broke” each one down into pro and cons, let's see how each stood out.


•    Wide for those of us that have large grapes
•    Thin and comfortable frames with long rubber earpieces
•    Multiple lenses and frames to fine tune your needs (my preference is matte black frames and the 580 lenses in reflective blue)
•    They are durable these glasses have passed my under 5 year old and yellow lab tests with flying colors.
•    Case keeps the glasses safe and secure in the case

•    Pricey, you are looking at 119.00 to 219.00.
•    The lenses when dropped have a tendency to scratch  slightly, even though the rest of the sunglasses are durable the lenses seem to be “soft”
•    Fogging an issue all the time unless using an anti-fog treatment on the lenses
•    Thin frames that allow light to come in. what I can’t be condescending

•    The high sides keep sunlight out
•    Tight fit around your head keeps them secure
•    Polarized
•    Large lens for unobstructed peripheral views
•    Several different frame colors and lens colors
•    Fogging up was a non-occurrence
•    Under 5 year old and Labrador test pass with flying colors, and the lenses when dropped never scratched

•    Tight fit presses on your temples
•    when using a strap was not easy with the glasses as they made the glasses uncomfortable
•    the Velcro that closed the case up failed after about a week
•    I had an issue with the whole frame twisting after the glasses where in my truck on a hot day, after some babying the frame evened out but it took some time.
•    Polarization wasn’t as strong as on the costa’s
•    Price is a slightly high with all of the different choices (190.00 msrp)

So if you look at the pros and cons I would pick the hobie bayside a winner. But for me I am going to stick with my costa Del mar wave killers. Why? Well for me the deciding factors where; the size, if the glasses where just slightly larger in the width so that they weren’t pressing on my head all the time they would be absolutely comfortable, and it would allow the use of a strap to help keep them secure. The polarization was great but in early mornings and in really bright days they just couldn’t penetrate the glare like the costa’s would. The case, the case was great but the Velcro failed fairly quickly, and when in use I would have the glasses fall out, if there was a small buckle or snap then the case would be one of the best out there.  Know the costa’s are not going to get away without getting my opinion either.  The rubber earpieces come off easily and make it almost impossible to use a neoprene strap; if they molded the rubber to the plastic then this would be a non-issue. The lenses fog up really easily; if they are pretreated with an anti-fog treatment then this again would be a non-issue.

Little story about why I said safety in the beginning. Recently I was bass fishing in some very heavy cover, and when I fish in the pre pre spawn I am using a heavy jig and punching it into the middle of the nastiest cover. Know with this technique you need to, when you get a bite try and rip the bass so hard that she can’t get you tangled i.e. pointing the rod tip at the lure and setting the hook past your ears. When it sticks you can almost guarantee landing a big bass. But when you miss the lure is going to do two things either it’s going to get snagged or its going to come at ya like a rocket and a fast move is well, a must. On this day I didn’t move quickly on one swing and well the hobies caught the jig, cracking the one lens. After several minutes of swearing up and down, I slipped on my costa’s (yes I would carry both) and moved to sight fishing, unfortunately I was quick to the trigger and launched the jig again into my face and cracked the lens of my costa’s.  Granted I am pissed that my glasses are broke, but without them I would have had serious trauma to my eye and I might have lost it.

So I hope this helps you pick two great pairs of sunglasses, the hobie bayside where a great pair of glasses and that I might pick up a pair or I might check out some of their other styles (I am privy to the Oceanside style that’s my old stomping grounds) so give them a try, you won’t be disappointed in either one


About the Author: Mark Wheeler is a pro staff member with yakangler.com, yakdaddy.net home of the slider, and irish water dogs. Mark specializes in freshwater bass fishing as well as hitting the salt occasionally in his hometown of Virginia Beach, VA. He is married to Becky wheeler and has two wonderful children Markie and Haley.


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