The spring is approaching, and with that arrives the perfect weather to go fishing. To acquire the true fishing experience, you need the proper fishing gear. And it is impossible to complete the gear without a pair of fishing sunglasses.
This is an extremely important yet underappreciated part of the fishing gear. Yes, you do in fact need sunglasses for fishing. And no, you cannot just use your regular pair.
There are plenty of reasons why professional fishermen prefer to use fishing sunglasses, also known as polarized sunglasses. What makes these glasses so special is the invisible filter added to shield the eyes by decreasing the amount of reflected light and glare that enters the eyes. These glasses also assist in the appearance of honed and clear objects.
Now there are “plenty of fish(ing sunglasses) in the sea”. However, it is important to take your time so you do not end up wasting your money on the wrong pair. On that note, let us take a look at what to keep in mind when looking at fishing sunglasses and the best ones that are available in the market.
You can also read: What is Fly Fishing
There are certain features that you should pay attention to when purchasing fishing sunglasses.
Typically, a sunglass has two parts - the frame or the body and the actual lens. The frame of the sunglass is important as it is what keeps the lens in place. It is also the part that comes in direct contact with your body so it is important for the frame to be comfortable.
Coverage of the Frame
It is highly important that the glasses are well secured on your face. Most fishing sunglasses come with an eight-base frame to ensure safety and coverage. Such a frame is also referred to as a wrap-around style with thicker temples. Thick temples are crucial as they can keep sunlight, wind, and other particles out of your eyes.
Material of the Frame
Since salty air and water contain a lot of moisture, which invites rust and corrosion, you will want to make sure your fishing sunglasses are durable. Metal sunglasses corrode quickly, have the least amount of security and coverage, and bend easily in hot weather. Acetate, a form of plastic, is also not recommended due to the ease with which it bends in the heat due to its meal core.
The material that is most suitable is nylon. Nylon can withstand extreme weather, be it hot or cold while retaining its shape. This ensures that your fishing sunglasses will not be bending out of shape. It is also incredibly light, making it super comfortable for wearing long hours at a stretch.
Fit of the Frame
It is necessary to find a pair of sunglasses that are (a) the right size, (b) have a grip around the temples and nose bridge, and (c) are comfortably snug but (d) do not push against the side of your head.
Let’s talk about the other part of the sunglass. That is the lens. Just like the frame, there are certain factors you should keep in mind when selecting the right lens.
Polarization of the Lens
Fishing sunglasses must have polarized lenses. They help filter out glares due to the sun which allows you to see clearly through the water's reflective surface.
Material of the Lens
Polycarbonate, Glass, and Trivex are the three most popular lens materials. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Polycarbonate, for example, is extremely safe, shatter-resistant, and lightweight.
However, it is easily scratched. Glass, on the other hand, is the most robust, clearest, and non-scratchable material, but it is also the hardest and most likely to fracture. Finally, Trivex comes somewhere in the center of these two extremes. They are more scratch-resistant than polycarbonate lenses, but they are just as light.Different lenses will fit best for you based on the nature of fishing you enjoy.
Color Enhancement of the Lens
Grey and colored tints are the two main types of tint, each with its own effect. Grey tinted lenses can darken the hue you see through the lens rather than adjusting it.
Greys are perfect for bright, sunny days, but they do not offer as much contrast. Color-tinted lenses, such as copper and rose, alter the color of your surroundings while increasing contrast. Many anglers and fishermen prefer the copper tint because it offers both sun protection and good contrast even on cloudy days.
A yellow lens is also a good idea if the weather is likely to be gloomy or if you intend on fishing at night. Yellow lenses increase contrast in low-light conditions, but they aren't dark enough for use on bright days.
There is another factor that most people forget to consider while choosing which fishing sunglasses to purchase. That is the environment in which a person intends to fish. Although the environment does not have much impact on the frame of the sunglasses, it plays a huge role in selecting the appropriate lens.
Polarized sunglasses have two lens colors: one on the outside (outer lens) and one on the inside (inner lens)
The objective is to adjust the lens color to the water color.
For the color of the lens, green could be considered as one of the effective ones, and glasses with an amber or coppery inner lens color are perfect for this purpose. Lenses with lighter and warmer colors make the day look brighter.
You can also go with a mirror finish. This approach works well for inshore fishing in saltwater as well as most freshwater conditions. In deeper lakes, a blue outer tone may be preferable.
A gray outer lens with or without a mirror finish is best for mid-range fishing. This works best when paired with a warmer color or gray inner lens to brighten up the day.
These are perfect for anglers who want to fish all of the areas. In shallow water, there will be a trade-off, but if you only have one pair of glasses and want to use them for offshore, inshore, and deep water, these gray-outer-color lenses will work just great.
Deep Water Fishing
Blue is the most suitable lens color for fishing in deep water. The combination of a blue outer lens and a gray inner lens is suitable for most fishermen. Blue-toned mirrored outers are also a good choice.
The mirroring effect on lenses tends to minimize glare even further. Deeper water has a higher amount of light, so you'll want a lens that can counteract the harsher glare. That way you can spend a day of fishing without being disturbed by glare.
Best Fishing Sunglasses of 2021
Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley
Polarized glass lens
UV Protection Coating
Maui Jim Stingray
Super Thin Glass Lens
Very comfortable and durable frame
Offers a 2-year warranty
Costa Del Mar Fantail
Polarized polycarbonate lens
Offers UV ray protection
Oakley Flak 2.0
Optimized Peripheral View
Available With Prescription Lenses
100% protection from UV rays
Oakley Split Shot
UV Protection filtering
Utilizes Prizm Lens Technology
Polarized lens blocks 99% glare
Native Eyewear Kodiak
100% Protection from UV Radiation
Resistant to Impact
Complete accuracy in color perception.
Costa Del Mar Men's Blackfin
Frame made of nylon
Lightweight yet resistant to impact
Removes 100 percent of the glare
Plutonite lenses offer 100 percent protection from harmful rays.
Three-point fit system helps alleviate pressure on the head
Composite nylon frame
Polarized Glass lens
Under Armour Igniter
100% protection from UV radiation
1. Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley - Best Fishing Sunglasses
The Tuna Alley by Costa Del Mar is undoubtedly one of the best fishing sunglasses available in the market. This one, in particular, features the 580g polarized glass lens in the color green mirror. 580g provides superior visibility, scratch resistance, 100% safety from harmful UV radiation, and the highest polarizing efficiency currently available.
The green mirror, on the other hand, allows for improved vision and contrast. This feature is essential when fishing inshore and on the flats. The frame material is tough and strong, as well as comfortable to wear.
2. Maui Jim Stingray - Best Fishing Sunglasses
Maui Jim's Stingray sunglasses feature their Super Thin Glass Lenses, which provide improved scratch resistance and visibility without adding weight. This ensures that you can wear them for long stretches of time without experiencing any discomfort.
The PolarizedPlus2 lens technology featured in the sunglasses enhances colors to protect your eyes from glare and harmful UV rays. It also increases clarity for sight fishing. The pair also has Neutral Grey lenses. The highest possible light reduction is given by Neutral Grey lenses, making them the most effective in clear, direct sunlight.
3. Costa Del Mar Fantail - Best Fishing Sunglasses
The Fantail from the Costa Del Mar is a polarized sport fishing sunglasses suitable for any fisherman. It is made of a polycarbonate lens. The lightest and most durable lens material is polycarbonate.
The material provides high visibility, impact resistance, and is very lightweight. This means you can comfortably wear it all day if you want.
The blue mirrored glass makes it best suited for bright, full-sun environments on the open water as well as offshore. The frame is built by hand and comes with a limited warranty.
4. Oakley Flak 2.0 - Best Fishing Sunglasses
The Oakley Flak 2.0 offers a standard-size frame with improved lens coverage and High Definition Optics which maximize every millimeter of the peripheral view. The lightweight design is durable and brings performance to the next level while also adding elegance.
The Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Sunglasses have an 8.75 base lens curvature for protection against heat, wind, and impact. Their proprietary XYZ Optics preserves visibility along the curve as you push the limits with the comfort and safe grip of Unobtainium. Although the lens is not polarized, it still offers 100 percent protection from UV rays.
5. Oakley Split Shot - Best Fishing Sunglasses
The Oakley Split Shot provides full coverage while fishing. Light does not penetrate the frame from the sides or back, reflecting off the inside of the lens and through your eyes.
Your eyes are covered by extended side shields and a drawn-out frame top. The wider lens also increases your peripheral vision. The construction of the frame is highly durable yet comfortably lightweight.
It works by eliminating the irritating colors while enhancing the colors that your eyes are most receptive to. PRIZM technology helps you to see deeper into the water rather than just the surface reflection.
6. Native Eyewear Kodiak - Best Fishing Sunglasses
This pair of fishing sunglasses called the Kodiak by Native Eyewear protects your eyes against 100% of ultraviolet rays. It also blocks potentially harmful high-energy visible blue light rays. The lenses serve as a shield to reduce the glare from the sun.
Gray-based lenses produce a neutral contrast with 100% color perception accuracy, making them suitable for snow and water sports. The lenses are made of lightweight polycarbonate and have a patented hard coating to avoid scratching. They also resist cracking on impact.
7. Costa Del Mar Blackfin
Costa Del Mar’s Blackfin uses the 580 Polycarbonate which offers outstanding visibility, impact and scratch resistance, and all-day wearable. Whether you use this on the open water or offshore, the polarized blue mirror is ideal due to the warm and full-sun conditions.
The nylon frame is tough and durable, as well as being comfortable to wear. The polarization removes reflected glare and decreases pressure on the eyes. A limited lifetime warranty is provided with the pair.
8. Oakley Gascan
The lenses in the Oakley Gascan sunglasses are first cut from the curve of a single lens shield, and then placed in the frame. This retains the original, continuous contour of the lens, thus achieving an unrivaled peripheral field of vision.
The Plutonite lenses in each pair of Gascan sunglasses block 100 percent of all UVA, UVB, UVC, and harmful blue light.
The sunglasses’ frame is quite lightweight thus brings maximum comfort. The 3-point fit helps the lens to be precisely aligned.
9. B.N.U.S Polarized
This pair is 100 percent polarized for glare and UV ray safety. They absorb 85% of visible light and block the rest of blue light. This stops straining your eyes during fishing and other activities.
The glass lenses are more scratch resistant than plastic lenses and have a multi-layer reflection nano-coating that not only decreases glare but also makes them easier to clean.
10. Under Armour Igniter
Under Armour's patented ArmourSight lenses have maximum visibility and are lightweight and durable. As you already know, Under Armour is a performance brand that specializes in active wear.
For a long day on the water, this lightweight style is perfect. Multifunctioning lens coatings repel water and are scratch, smudge, and stain resistant. For optimum impact resistance, ArmourFusion frames are made of a mixture of titanium and Grilamid.
These are excellent sunglasses, and the best part about this product is that it also comes with a lifetime warranty.
So this was all that you needed to know about fishing sunglasses. We hope you can find the perfect pair for you from the ones we recommended. If not, the buying guide is there to help you find the pair that is best suited to your needs.