Cool Shades

Al Perkinson likes Bajio Sunglasses so much, he founded the company.

Bajío Sunglasses set up shop in New Smyrna Beach in April and launched a performance line of eyewear that promised to give fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts a safer and clearer way to enjoy the outdoors.

Less than six months later, Bajío has rolled out a new line of products that aim to help fishermen focus better as they spend time on the water.

Bajío, which is pronounced bah-hee-oh, announced in September it now is providing prescription services for all of its high-end performance fishing and lifestyle sunglasses.

Bajío founder Al Perkinson said his company’s glasses will definitely help the local fisherman.

“An angler can be much more successful if they can see fish under the water,” Mr. Perkinson said. “Bajío lenses help them see fish better, cutting glare and eliminating bad light, which leaves an angler’s eyes feeling fresh at the end of a long day, instead of tired and red.”

Prior to launching Bajío, Mr. Perkinson spent nearly 20 years on the executive team at Costa del Mar Sunglasses. He launched Bajío with a vision to not only serve the fishing community, but also serve the environment in which they fish. Mr. Perkinson said he believes “that it is our responsibility to take care of the resources we rely on for fishing.”

Bajío’s website explains the company is on a mission to “protect the planet’s saltwater flats and the people who call them home.” It lists a host of eco-friendly initiatives, including an “Odyssey expedition” that seeks to catalog saltwater flats, identify issues threatening them and develop plans to protect them.

While on a recent Odyssey expedition in Xcalak, Mexico, Bajío’s team assisted in establishing a trash cleanup program that is working to restore health to the area’s 7.5 miles of beaches. Information on the project and ways the public can participate can be found at bajiosunglasses.com.

Bajío’s website also details the range of sustainable materials the company, which is 100% carbon neutral, uses in production of its sunglasses and other products. They include 100% recyclable glass for lenses and bioplastics, including a material derived from discarded coconut husks, for frames. Bajío says it is in the process of developing a line of sunglass frames made from recycled water bottles.

To address the glare that naturally comes with a day on the water, Bajío employs what it calls LAPIS technology to block 95% of the blue light present in sunlight as well as 90% of yellow light. Overexposure to the blue light area of the spectrum is thought to increase the risk of retina damage and cataract formation.

“By eliminating light at these points on the light spectrum, we increase clarity and reduce health risks,” Mr. Perkinson said.

The lenses also are treated with oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings that make them easier to clean. He describes the coatings as “sort of like a high-end RainX” that fight back against the smudging and haze caused by sunscreen and ocean mist.

Keeping in line with its mission to serve the serious fisherman, Bajío’s new line of lenses is available in a progressive lens option that the company says provides “just the right amount of reading area to tie flies, check out your GPS or dig into your tackle box.”

Bajío sunglasses, with or without prescription lenses, can be purchased at many retailers in Volusia County as well as online through the company’s website.

New Smyrna Beach is known as a fisherman’s paradise, providing countless locations to cast in freshwater or saltwater. Tarpon and red drum are favorite targets in the Indian River Lagoon. Fishing from the beach means the opportunity to hook a shark, including blacktip, bonnethead and hammerhead as well as bull sharks. Pier, surf, charter boat and kayak fishing are all popular pastimes in the region and draw tourists throughout the year.

Information on obtaining a fishing license, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about fishing regulations, can be found on the Volusia County Tax Collector’s website at vctaxcollector.org.

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