I’m getting older and the lenses in my eyes are getting stiffer, just like my joints. This ocular affliction is called presbyopia. The lenses no longer adjust fully, and the end result is that my far vision remains good, but tie a size 20 fly to my tippet? That’s a many minute ordeal.
The bottom line is that I need magnifiers to help with my near vision. Through the years, I’ve tried carrying glasses to use when necessary, and a variety of clip-on glasses that attach to the brim of my hat.
There are basically two types of clip-ons. One type swings away from the eyes when used, while the other type swings toward the eyes.
After trying these various solutions, I think that the Carson clip-on magnifiers provide the best vision, whether to tie on a fly or to unhook a fish. Swinging toward the eyes, they position just like a pair of glasses, offering a full visual field. The Carson product has a hard finish, and withstands the many abuses that occur while hiking and wade-fishing.
In comparison, clip-ons that swing away from the eyes provide a smaller visual field. They often require repositioning of one’s hat to line them up with the eyes in order to clearly see a fly and get it tied on. I find this quite annoying.
Unfortunately, the Carson clip-ons are rarely found in flyshops, perhaps because they are generally staffed by the younger set who haven’t yet been afflicted with presbyopia. But they can be purchased through Amazon.com.
written By Al Simpson, October, 2020.