Best Fishing Sunglasses (blinded by the light!)
You might be asking yourself, why do you need sunglasses for fishing? Well, we should all know how damaging the sun’s rays can be, especially for your eyes, and going fishing is no different.
If you’re heading out fishing, wearing sunglasses can be even more important compared to if you’re simply out walking.
This is because the water where you’re fishing can act as a mirror, reflecting the harmful UV rays back into your face and into your eyes. Also, you’ll have more success if you can properly see what you are doing.
Top Fishing Glasses At A Glance:
(these links take you to Amazon. More on these and more further below)
We want to give you an idea of some of the best sunglasses for fishing that we have found on the market, to help you get a better idea of the type of sunglasses that will offer you the most protection when you’re out there enjoying yourself.
What Features Make A Good Pair Of Fishing Shades?
When you’re choosing your sunglasses, comfort is key. It’s important to remember that you’re probably going to be wearing them for long periods of time, so you will want them to sit comfortably on your face.
Choosing the correct size of sunglasses is important, as if they don’t fit you properly they are not going to be much use when you’re out all day fishing, or doing anything else for that matter.
It’s always better to try on various pairs of sunglasses in different sizes and styles, to work out which ones are more comfortable for you. Everyone’s face is a different shape and size so what might work for your friend might not work the same for you.
Buying sunglasses online can be beneficial because you’re able to return online purchases more readily if you change your mind, meaning you can buy numerous pairs from an online retailer to try on at home and return the ones you don’t like.
When you’re out fishing, the last thing you want to do is have to worry about your sunglasses falling off your face, especially if you’re right in the middle of making a catch. Having to constantly adjust the shades on your face is also inconvenient.
However, when you find a pair you like, you might find you can have the arms adjusted to fit your ears better. Some opticians will be able to do this, as will some specialist eyewear retailers.
We're going to get into Polarized lenses later, but first...
One of the most important features on a pair of sunglasses are the lenses. This is where it’s best not to go down the cheap route, as some cheap lenses may offer merely colored glass and provide you with no UV protection whatsoever.
When you’re out fishing all day, you’ll want all the UV protection you can get, so that you can make the most of your trip without damaging your eyes.
The sun gives off harmful UVA and UVB light, which is essentially radiation and can lead to permanent damage for your eyes as well as your skin.
You want your sunglasses to offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays and it will usually tell you on the label of the sunglasses what protection they offer. Often if there is no mention of the protection level, there’s a high chance they offer very little or none at all.
Having lenses that offer no protection at all can be just harmful as not wearing any sunglasses, as the darkened lenses will trick your eyes into thinking you’re protected from UV rays and your natural squinting reaction won’t kick in to offer its limited protection.
Sunglasses with mirrored lenses could be beneficial if you fish in bright sunlight, as they can help to limit the amount of light that enters your eyes. This is because it tends to be reflected back by the lens.
A mirrored lens may also be more resistant to scratches than a non-mirrored lens, which you might find useful for watersports or snowsports where there may be a higher risk of them being damaged.
Mirrored lenses can also come in a range of colors. However, the color of the mirror coating shouldn’t affect your perception of colors, as this is determined by the color of the actual lens underneath the coating.
What Color Lens Should I Use?
When you’re choosing sunglasses you may not realize the importance of the color of your lenses. There are various colors available and each one can have its benefits depending on the conditions you’re in.
Colors that can be ideal for fishing in waters that are grassy or with lots of vegetation might be shades of brown and dark amber. This is because it can help to limit the amount of blue light.
If you’re fishing in sandy waters, you might find that yellow and even some shades of red can help. These colors can also be suitable for cloudy conditions but will usually not give you true to life colors on what you can see.
Gray and green lenses can give you more normal color vision and can be ideal for fishing in very bright sunshine. These colors may also be ideal for offshore fishing where there will tend to be more glare because you’re surrounded by water.
Polarized sunglasses are designed to reduce glare, whether it’s from the sun reflecting off the water or bouncing off a vehicle coming towards you. So when you’re fishing or boating, polarized lenses can be useful.
Why Do Fishermen Use Polarized Sunglasses?
What Are Polarized Lenses?
Polarized lenses have a chemical coating on them which helps to prevent glare from the sun. This means you can see more clearly, particularly if you’re on the water but can be beneficial for other activities, such as jogging or even driving.
How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work?
The chemical coating used in the polarization process is designed to prevent horizontal waves of light while allowing vertical waves of light to pass through. Because the sun creates waves of light both horizontally and vertically, this is what can cause glare. But with polarized sunglasses, this can be reduced.
This means that when you’re out boating, you should be able to see into the water despite the sun bouncing off of it. This can also help to stop you from straining your eyes, as it can limit some of the most reflective light from affecting your vision.
Without polarized lenses, your vision may not be as clear. Because, although your eyes may be protected from UV light by your sunglasses, non-polarized lenses will not be able to stop the horizontal light. Therefore, light will be coming in from all directions.
As well as allowing you to see clearly without the glare, polarized lenses should also give you a more true to life representation when it comes to colors.
How To Tell If Your Lenses Are Polarized?
If you already have sunglasses and aren’t sure if they’re polarized or not, there is a way you can check.
If you look at your phone screen or computer screen (or any other digital screen) while wearing your sunglasses and you notice that there is a rainbow effect on it preventing you from reading the screen properly, then this will usually mean your lenses are polarized.
Polarized vs Non-Polarized
The type of lens that you need will often depend on your personal preference. Polarized lenses can reduce glare and can be ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
Non-polarized lenses, on the other hand, may be preferable if you need to be able to see a digital screen while you’re wearing them, such as certain vehicle dashboards or electronic fishing gadgets.
You can see the difference in vision quality here:
When you’re out fishing you’re a lot more vulnerable to the elements than if you were simply walking down the street, so you’re going to want your sunglasses to stand up to the rigours of your outdoor lifestyle.
This means that bringing along your most expensive designer sunglasses may not be the best idea, unless of course you don’t mind it if they hit the deck. Sunglasses with scratch resistant and shatterproof lenses are a good choice for outdoor pursuits.
Sunglasses come in a range of different materials, with plastic ones often being more popular for sporting activities. Ideally for fishing you want a pair of shades that will stand up to inevitable knocks and drops.
Best Sunglasses For Fishing
1: Costa Del Mar Mag Bay Sunglasses (Best Overall)
These sunglasses are a good choice for fishing, as they are both lightweight and durable. They have extra large lenses that will help to protect your eyes from the light at all angles, and most importantly they block 100% of UV light.
The lenses are polarized to offer better visibility when you’re out on the water. They are also mirrored and made from polycarbonate, so they’re scratch and smudge resistant as well as being resistant to water, oil and sweat.
2: Spy Optic Dirty MO Flat Sunglasses (Most Durable)
These plastic sunglasses benefit from Grilamid technology, which is a super durable material used in their construction, so they should be able to withstand plenty of fishing trips.
The wraparound style is comfortable to wear and ideal for sports. The lenses are not polarized but they block 100% of UV light and they feature Happy Lens, which lets in the good sun rays and blocks the bad in an attempt to boost happiness.
3: Oakley Men's Holbrook Polarized Rectangular Sunglasses (Best Polarized)
These sunglasses are designed for sports and even feature impact protection, making them extremely durable. The polarized lenses block all UV light as well as damaging blue light and they offer sun protection from all angles due to a slightly curved lens.
Another feature of the lens is that it has High Definition Optics, which improves visibility with less distortion from the curved design. They are designed to be lightweight and comfortable to wear and benefit from a Three-Point Fit, which helps to hold the glasses in position.
These win the best polarized sunglasses award.
4: Bolle Sport Python Sunglasses (Best All-Rounder)
Featuring durable plastic frames and polycarbonate lenses, these lightweight sunglasses feature nose padding and a temple lining, designed to be more comfortable to wear and can help keep them in place.
The wraparound design helps to keep light out from all angles to help reduce eye strain as well as being a comfortable design for sports. The shatter resistant lenses also offer full UV protection.
5: Suncloud Cookie Sunglasses
Featuring an extra durable Grilamid technology frame and tough polycarbonate lenses, these sunglasses combine style with practicality and come in a range of colors. The polycarbonate lenses keep the sunglasses lightweight, helping to give you more comfort when out fishing.
The large lenses mean more of your eyes will be protected and they also offer full protection against UV light. The lenses also benefit from being polarized, so they can be a stylish choice for watersports and fishing.
6: Oakley Men's Badman OO6020 Polarized Iridium Sunglasses
With a durable aluminum frame these sunglasses are lightweight and have Unobtainium nose pads and ear socks to give you extra comfort and a secure fit. The large, plastic Plutonite lenses block all UV light and even some harmful blue light.
These sunglasses feature a wraparound design that’s made for sports and feature Oakley’s 3 point fit to help them stay aligned. The lenses are polarized and are designed to offer clear vision from all angles.
7: Duduma Polarized Sports Sunglasses (Budget Option)
These sunglasses can be a good choice if you’re looking for good value as well as UV protection, as they offer both. The polarized lenses block 99% of UV light as well as being scratch and impact resistant.
Another feature of these sunglasses is that they are a wraparound style, with large lenses, meaning they can offer good shade for your eyes. These sunglasses may also be a good choice for other sports in addition to fishing.
8: Hulislem Blade Sport Polarized Sunglasses (Budget Option)
A stylish feature with these sporty sunglasses is that they feature just one lens, but they offer full UV protection as well as a mirrored coating that helps to prevent light from getting through.
The lenses on these wraparound sunglasses are also polarized and rimless at the bottom, which is designed to give you even clearer vision with less obstruction from the frame. Another feature is that the frames are extra durable and can be a good value option.
9: Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses TR002 (Budget Option)
If you’re looking for a mix of value, style and functionality, these lightweight sunglasses can offer all of those. They offer full UV protection and polarized lenses, and benefit from the rimless jacket frame to give you unobstructed vision.
Made for action, these sunglasses are pretty much unbreakable and can be bent in all directions thanks to their flexible frame. The lenses are also scratch and impact resistant.
How To Take Care Of Your Sunglasses
Keeping Them Clean
Most of the time when you buy a pair of sunglasses you get a case and a cleaning cloth. This cleaning cloth is what you should use to clean smudges off of your lenses, as it is soft and shouldn’t scratch your glasses.
If your sunglasses need a little extra cleaning, you can use a lens cleaning solution, as long as it is suitable for the type of lenses you have. You can also use mild dish soap and water to clean the lenses and the frames.
How To Avoid Scratches
One way to avoid scratching your sunglasses is to keep them inside a protective case when you’re not wearing them. A sturdy, durable case should help to keep your shades safe while they’re in your bag, backpack or in the glovebox of your car.
When you take off your sunglasses, it’s recommended that you don’t put them down lenses first. If you have to sit them down, place them down gently onto the frames and arms (temples).
Using other materials, such as a tissue or your shirt, to clean your lenses can also cause scratches, as there may be very fine abrasives inside the material, so it’s a good idea to always stick to using the cloth that came with your glasses.
Don’t Lose Them!
There are some occasions where we might not be able to help losing our sunglasses but there are a couple of things you can do to minimize the risk.
If you’re heading out on the water, having sunglasses that float can be a good idea, because if they do fall overboard you might be able to retrieve them a little easier.
One way not to lose them might be to keep them on your face. However, you might need to take them off at some point. But if you’re out fishing or kayaking, putting your shades down might not be the best idea.
However, a neck cord could help keep you attached to your glasses even when they’re not on your face.
Now that you’ve had a chance to delve a little deeper into the world of fishing sunglasses you should have a better idea of what you’ll be looking for when you purchase your next pair.
The most important thing to remember is that your sunglasses are there to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, so they need to have UV protection otherwise they won’t be serving you any purpose at all.
Also very important is vision (polarization etc.) especially with the reflective glare that comes off the water. So make sure you are able to see clearly in the environments where you’ll be wearing them.
When you’re out fishing all day you also want a high level of comfort so don’t just choose your sunglasses based on their design. They need to actually fit your face correctly to be able to offer you comfort and protection.
Durability is another important feature to keep in mind when you’re purchasing sunglasses, especially for fishing. So make sure your new sunglasses can stand up to your active lifestyle as well as meet the other criteria.
Always remember that the type of sunglasses you choose should be down to personal preference. If they don’t feel good on at first you’re probably not going to want to wear them for long periods when you’re out.
What sunglasses do you use when you're out catching? Tell us about it below...