TESTED: Mako ET Signature Series sunglasses

Experienced fishos appreciate that quality polarised sunglasses can be as important as any bit of tackle. Unlike a decade or so ago when polarised fishing sunnies were rare and most frames available would’ve doubled nicely for welding, many companies now offer cool looking frames specifically for fishing.

One of the most established sunglass names is Mako Eyewear. Mako has been synonomous with fishing sunnies for several years, as has Andrew “ET” Ettingshausen. Aptly, Mako has just released its ET Signature Series range, which feature HD (high definition) glass polarising lenses. In comparison to a popular brand of glass lens fishing sunnies I bought some years ago these Makos are impressively light – they don’t feel any heavier than plastic lens models. There’s also the option of photochromatic lenses that adjust the amount of light they allow through which helps vision in low or harsh light conditions.

Fisho recently gave a couple of pairs of ET Signatures a solid week’s workout while bonefishing at Christmas Island – Fisho’s Scott Thomas tested out a pair of the photochromatics – Scott’s comments follow.

Being the popular wrap-around style ET Makos are sunnies I would happily wear driving and for general use as well as for boating and fishing – not always the case with some fishing oriented frames. Importantly, the wraparound design blocks unwanted light getting behind the lenses and obscuring vision. This aspect is very important when spotting fish in difficult conditions, especially in low light and cloud as we experienced at Christmas Island.

The frames proved to be as comfortable as any I’ve worn – even with a neck strap fitted to the arms – and after wearing them for 10-hour days for almost a week this was a very welcome aspect. The lenses didn’t have a tendency to fog up as some glasses I’ve used do, which proved a big plus.

Lens cleaning had to be done quite often due to a constant wind that blew salt spray around as we travelled on boats or copped the odd spume from angry bonefish tails! Some lens cleaner and a wipe with a lens cloth/tissue during the day largely kept lens streaks at bay. Spotting bonefish can be easy or very difficult. Once your eyes are dialled in they are easier to see, although quality polarised lenses definitely make the job easier. I found the brownish amber lens tint on the ET Makos not overly “bright” or taxing on the eyes during long sessions on those brilliant white CI sand flats.

Overall, the ET Signature Series are a cut above any polarised fishing sunnies I’ve worn or owned before. They’re available now from tackle and BCF stores from $189 RRP.

Scott Thomas on the photochromatics:
The photochromatic lenses on the pair I tested really came in handy during periods of low light. The idea is the level of tinting changes depending on light levels. As the sun lowers, the lens becomes brighter, which allows more light through. When low light forces most people to remove their sunnies, photochromatic lenses still allow you to easily spot fish until it’s almost dark!

As Mick said, the frames are very comfy. And that’s important when you’re spending long days in the sun. Heavy lenses can be be uncomfortable and lead to headaches. The grey colour lens is a good “all-round” colour

for multiple fishing uses. If you want a dedicated flats or “polaroiding” fishing lens, I’d recommend the amber colour for better contrast.

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