When it comes to choosing a polarized lens, this was the common dogma:
“If you want lens clarity, glass is your only option.”
“If you want light weight lenses, plastic is your only option.”
Kaenon wasn’t content to accept these artificial limits. Hence the name of their company — “Kaenon” (pronounced KAY-nun), which is the Polynesian word for “free”. A few years back, Kaenon set out to break “free” from these artificial limits and created a lens that many feel is superior to both glass and standard plastic (polycarbonate and CR-39) lenses.
Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly why the chose their company name, but it sounds good, right?
Enter SR-91® .
This is really what put Kaenon on the map. Kaenon believes SR91® is the “world’s first non-compromising lens”, excelling in the attributes of both glass and plastic. SR-91® was designed to give you the razor sharp clarity of glass and the reduced weight of plastic.
Some Kaenon Facts
Kaenon shipped their first order of sunglasses in 2001. Kaenons are made in Italy and designed in California. They offer tons of very cool and edgy frame styles for both men and women that truly stand out in a crowd.
If you want to look like everyone else, don’t buy Kaenon. If you want compromised manufacturing and technology, don’t buy Kaenon. Kaenon has “no compromise” company philosophy that demands the best. They pay particular attention to functionality as well as style and it shows.
You probably won’t find Kaenon ads in the fishing magazines, but do you really require that kind of petty affirmation before you purchase sunglasses anyway?
Not Just For Surfer Dudes
Kaenon, a company with a West Coast sort of vibe, is known for being popular among surfer dude types, volleyball players, paddle boarders, competitive sailors, and other aqua sport aficionados that hang out around beachy waterscapes. Kaenon actually has a pretty significant customer base in the saltwater and fly fishing world too. When it comes to bass fishing, I believe Kaenon has a little more of an underground presence. It’s there, but you have to look for it.
Start by looking at these guys… Aaron Martens wears Kaenon. So does Dave Wolak… and Kevin Hawk, John Murray, Brett Hite, Mike Long, and Bryan Thrift.
Lens Tints and LTC Technology
Kaenon builds their lenses according to their LTC technology (light transmission control). The numbers represent the percentage of light allowed to pass into your eyes. This number is the “LTL rating” (light transmission level). An LTL rating of 12 means that 12% of the available light gets through. An LTL of 28 means that 28% of light is allowed in… and so on…
Why is this important?
Using LTC technology, it is possible for Kaenon to produce two different lens tints that let in the same exact amount of light, e.g. C12/G12. Though the lenses provide a different kind of contrast and color enhancement, they actually let the same amount of light pass through.
So, if you own a pair of copper lenses and you’re satisfied with those light levels, you can get a pair with grey lenses at the same LTL rating and not worry about them being too dark or too light. Very cool!
Kaenon Kore (C12) – My Personal Review
I’ve been wearing my Kaenon Kores in the C12 lens since last January. This lens is probably your best all around bet. They provide great contrast and can be worn in relatively low light conditions. The copper lens in general is my go-to for the majority of conditions we bass anglers will face — including most sight fishing.
Yes, the SR-91 lenses are as clear as glass. I sure can’t tell the difference. I experience no perceptible loss of visual acuity while wearing them. The polarization of these lenses is top notch. I always do what I call the “light bulb test”. I’ll stare up at a ceiling and try to see if I can see the very light bulb itself through what would other wise be a huge emanating glow of brightness. See below for an imperfect representation of what I see when doing this test. The second light bulb picture was shot with my camera through my Kore lenses.
The Kore’s ultimate wrap-around design are awesome at blocking out that peripheral side light. The nose pads are comfortable and they don’t drive my crazy with that ear-tugging effect. I can wear these all day long comfortably.
As a bonus, Kaenon also provides a brightly colored hard case to not only make these easier to find in your boat, but to protect them when not in use. A lot of brands skimp on the cases, not Kaenon.
So, what’s it like wearing the Kaenon Kore in copper (C12) polarized lenses on the water?… About like this…
What is it like not wearing them? About like this…
Need I say more?…
Yellow Lenses – The Sight Fishing Underdog?
While copper lenses might be the best “if-you-had-to-buy-just-one” lens, FishStrong fan and fishing buddy Matt Peters of SouthernSwimbait.com is hot on Kaenon’s Y35 lens for sight fishing. That’s right… yellow. Could yellow be the most under appreciated lens color in bass fishing?
Click here to find out more.