If you’re wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses for sight fishing, you have an added advantage over the fish as you reel it into your landing net. However, it can be hard to pick out the best brands, lens types, colors, and more.
The Short Answer
In a rush? Here’s our pick for the best-polarized sunglasses for sight fishing:
Costa Del Mar’s Fantail glasses takes our number one spot for the best fishing shades. The polarized lenses block out 100% of the horizontal rays reflected toward your eyes, providing the best contrast and overall picture in the industry. With a price tag of just under $150, Costa Del Mar makes your investment worth every penny.
In fact, they’re so confident that every pair of Fantail Sunglasses includes a limited lifetime warranty. With nine different color schemes available here, you can find the best shades for you. The Fantail product line comes in seven different colors in terms of the lens colors, making Costa’s best-polarized sunglasses for sight fishing.
One of the drawbacks of polycarbonate lenses is that they’re prone to accumulating scratches. However, Costa Del Mar changed the game with lenses that won’t scratch up quickly–and unliked glass lenses. Costa’s cutting edge lenses won’t shatter in case the sunglasses fall off your face.
Furthermore, the frame of your Fantails resists damaged from regular wear and tear, as well as high impacts, UV light, salt water, and more. Costa achieved this quality with a bio-based nylon frame material that is tough and durable, offering a comfortable, lightweight fit.
Costa Del Mar’s Fantail sunglasses are a great investment for any serious angler looking to cut out yellow and blue light. Click here for a warranty-backed, great product made right here in the U.S.A.
Other Great Polarized Sunglasses for Sight Fishing
Orvis, already a trusted name in the fishing community teamed up with Zeiss Vision, the leading manufacturer in high-performance lens technology. The result is the Orvis Deschutes sunglasses that make a day on the water as comfortable on the eyes as possible.
The optical-grade lens block out any horizontal light shooting off the water and straight into your eyes. Orvis’ matte tortoise frame forms well on anyone’s head, and they won’t cause painful pressure points on your temples or the bridge of your nose. You’ll forget you’re the Deschutes wearing them until you get back in your car.
Orvis spent their time developing the brown eyepieces, eventually choosing to add a blue mirror to the lenses’ base for added reflectivity. They even added their brinephobic coating to ensure all unnecessary light doesn’t reach your eyes. In terms of durability, the Deschutes lenses won’t break if you drop them, and they won’t scratch, meaning you can focus solely on how you’re presenting your fly on the water.
The Deschutes sunglasses are a great addition to any fishermen, but especially those operating on a budget. At just a little under $120, Orvis’ sunglasses won’t break the bank to protect your eyes against UV light damage. Click here to purchase your own today!
Another great product from Costa Del Mar is their Saltbreak Rectangular sunglasses. There’s nothing fancy about these sunglasses because Costa knows their customer base only cares about performance. They constructed the frame with a durable nylon material that grips your face without becoming uncomfortable throughout the day.
Costa Del Mar stands by their handcrafted sunglasses with a lifetime warranty that backs your sunglasses for life. In terms of the lenses, Costa’s polarization technique blocks virtually 100% of the blue and yellow light that blinds fishermen on the water.
With a $200 price point, Costa Del Mar understands the commitment anglers make when they choose Costa products. What separates this product from other sunglasses lower on our list is the image quality the Saltbreak sunglasses provide. But don’t take our word for it, here are some reviews that customers left on Amazon:
Spy Optic initially built their reputation in the law enforcement community with the battle-ready polarized sunglasses. Eventually, some anglers took notice, and people began using these polarized sunglasses for sight fishing.
Spy Optic’s lenses of color and contrast enhancing Happy Lens and Trident polarization, which goes a long way to rendering an accurate image on the water. It allows you to better differentiate colors and contrasts to spot underwater terrain and an approaching fish.
In terms of the frame, Spy Optic made sure their product would last the long haul with 5-barrel hinges on the inside to resist damage from the most intense moments reeling in a large bass.
The Reefton sunglasses from Costa Del Mar live up to the company’s reputation for quality sunglasses. The expert-crafted lenses block out blind sunlight on the water, making them a favorite product among sight fishermen worldwide.
Part of the great polarization has to do with the blue mirror aspect, which helps create a crisp image on the water in every sunlight situation. You won’t have to worry about the lenses scratching and breaking because Costa Del Mar used their custom nylon frame that resists damage from the most stressful situations.
However, you shouldn’t expect to have these glasses fall off your face since the sunglasses frame fit the head snugly without leaving your face sore after a couple of hours.
Here’s one review a satisfied customer left for the Reefton sunglasses.
The bottom line with these polarized sunglasses for sight fishing is that they’re a great long-term investment.
At $200, some people might find themselves drawn to the cheaper Costa Del Mar sunglasses, which is why these glasses didn’t make the top of our list. That’s the only drawback of these glasses since the lenses and frame material are giants in the sight fishing sunglasses market. Click here to pick up your pair today.
Smith Optic’s Chroma Pop sunglasses will give every angler an advantage on the water. The chroma pop lenses themselves block certain wavelengths that can confuse your eyes on the water, helping you maintain a clear image as your hook a fish. As a result, with these shades, you’re able to see colors and distinctions you normally wouldn’t with the naked eyes.
Furthermore, the frame’s construction protects your peripheral vision from distracting you by extending the plastic frame back toward your temples. This feature also adds durability to the frame, meaning you won’t have to worry about beating up your chroma pops on a fishing trip.
Smith Optic’s placed a material called Hydrophilic Megol, which is designed to grip your skin and keep the sunglasses in place gently. This can make a big difference when you’re looking down to net your fish. The last thing you need is for your glasses to fall straight off your face into the water; meanwhile, your hands are full with your fishing rod and your landing net.
Still not convinced? Here’s an account in the wild:
This pair of polarized sunglasses from Infi Eyewear are great all-around shades for any activity in the sun. However, their cutting-edge polarization makes these sunglasses popular for sight fishing. The nylon frames, technology first used by N.A.S.A. blocks out 99.9% of unwanted light, providing a clear image while you’re fishing.
In total, the lenses protect your eyes from harmful UV light, UVB, UVC, blue light, and glare to give your eyes a relaxing view. Meanwhile, Infi’s patented TR90 sits lightweight on your head and resists damage from UV rays.
At only $40, these sunglasses are great for anyone who needs polarized lenses, but they’re keeping themselves to a budget. While you sacrifice some of the image quality than with, say, Costa Del Mar’s more expensive products. At the end of the day, this a great product for anyone, especially as a backup pair to keep handy.
What To Look for In Your Polarized Sunglasses for Sight Fishing
Below, we’ve put together a quick buyer’s guide to help you determine the most valuable polarized fishing sunglasses for sight fishing.
Keep in Mind the Lens Color of Your Polarized Sunglasses
Depending on your specific fishing needs, you’ll need to get particular about your sunglasses’ lens color. The general categories are amber, gray, green, blue, and yellow.
Amber is one of our favorite lens colors for low light conditions because it’s the best all-around shade available. These lenses provide a better contrast to easily see the fish bed in streams, rivers, lakes, and more–especially in the early morning and evening. However, the shades of amber allow more light to pass through.
With that in mind, if you’re fishing in the Bahamas of the Florida Keys, amber lenses might let in too much light. In brighter conditions, rose-colored lenses diminish contrast to help anglers see through the bright haze bouncing off the water’s surface.
Gray-colored, polarized lenses provide the most authentic color distinctions, but you have to deal with the lack of contrast and resolution. Green has a similar effect, making these colors great for someone who doesn’t want to strain their eyes to see differences in colors.
Just like exposing your eyes to UV light, straining your eyes to see a subtle color change on the water will wear you out.
Pay attention to the lens material sunglasses for sight fishing
Typical polarized sunglasses for sight fishing come with either a glass lens or another synthetic material. Most anglers take the extra step of purchasing glass lenses because they provide a crisper image than a polycarbonate lens.
Glass lenses also resist scratches better than synthetic materials, contributing to a high performing product in the long run. Polycarbonate lens accumulates scratches easier, a major issue if you have to move around a boat as you’re reeling in a catch.
However, everything has its drawbacks. Glass lenses are more likely to break than polycarbonate materials. Also, polarized glass lenses sit heavier on the bridge of your nose, which can become annoying.
This factor is also a disadvantage because the extra weight means the glasses slide off your face easier, which isn’t ideal given their tendency to break when dropped.
Consider the Lens Curvature in Your Polarized Sunglasses for Sight Fishing
Lens curvature is a vital aspect of any pair of polarized sunglasses, no matter the activity. The lens’s base curve––the degree of how curved the lens is–influences how much light reaches your eyes and how clearly you can see.
You want your sight fishing sunglasses to present as accurate a sight as possible as if your eyes weren’t so sensitive to light. For example, a lens with too much of a base curve distorts your perception of depth and size.
When it comes to polarized sunglasses, the front of the lens should run in a straight line. This manufacturing decision allows the polarized filter to block out as much horizontal light with its vertical transmission filter.
The only curve in a quality lens shields your periphery vision from excess solar rays.
Frequently Asked Questions About Polarized Lenses
What are Polarized Sunglasses?
The regular sunglasses you’d buy at a gas station don’t block out light as well as polarized lenses. This advantage comes from the polarizing chemical applied to the lenses, and the molecules naturally arrange to block out horizontal light. This effect is called a vertical transmission filter, and it makes a world of difference when you’re fishing.
Without sunglasses, the light bouncing off the surface of the water reduces your ability to see the fish you hooked, putting you at a disadvantage. When you invest in a pair of polarized lenses, this vertical light isn’t an issue, and you can see deeper into the water to better angle your fishing rod.
The method of polarization is an important factor because prices on these sunglasses range from $20 to well into the hundreds. Lesser-quality lenses have a polarized filter stuck onto the lens itself, which eventually peels off under stress from the elements.
Any minor manufacturing faults during this method of polarizing the lens will greatly impact the performance. Misplaced film on an already flimsy lens will lose the vertical transmission filter before you get your money’s worth.
If you can make the investment on a valuable pair of sunglasses, they’ll last for years without losing its ability to block out horizontal light. Companies such as Orvis design glasses specifically geared toward sight fishing. According to their website:
“Higher quality, higher-priced glasses feature lenses with the polarizing film sandwiched between lens layers, encapsulating it. Placement is aligned exactly for optimum performance. This process results in superior clarity, better peripheral vision, and lasting durability.”
Orvis summed it up pretty well for us. The products listed above feature this precision manufacturing, with a variety of choices to suit every budget and need.
What are some other activities that polarized sunglasses enhance?
Polarized sunglasses are a great product for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors. Especially during the summer months, the extra sunlight can wear down your eyes throughout the day. And over time, this UV damage can begin to impact your vision.
With polarized lenses, much of this harmful light never reaches your eyes, giving you a relaxing view as you hike along trails, explore cities, and even jogging. That’s why, for sight fishing, polarized sunglasses are so popular.
They provide a clearer image that isn’t disrupted by bright and powerful light that can give even the most experienced angler a migraine.
What are the Fishing Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses?
Seeing what’s below in the water is a great asset, no matter what size fish you’re hooking or where you happen to find your feet. Obstacles like rocks, underwater vegetation, and more can snag your hook or even break your fishing line as you’re reeling in a heavy bass.
Polarized lenses block out light bouncing off the water surface, which to the naked eye becomes a sharp and painful haze. On the one hand, this wears your eyes out. If you spend enough time on the water, you’re liable to start nodding off on the ride home. Polarized lenses help combat this because these high-quality sunglasses protect your eyes from powerful and harmful UV rays.
Just like any exposed skin needs sunscreen to protect against sunburn, your eyes need a layer of protection to prevent any damage to your retinas. If you spend years on the water without polarized lenses, you could develop cataracts that cost a chunk of cash to treat.
Polarized sunglasses are an essential aspect of any fishing trip, especially during those days when the sun beats down on still waters. The reflective light can temporality blind you, and the UV rays wear your eyes out. With a great pair of polarized sunglasses for sight fishing, you can spot fish and underwater terrain better so you don’t snap or snag your line. Costa Del Mar’s Fantail sunglasses are a great product to add to your arsenal. At $150, Costa ensures that your sunglasses will last the long haul with durable polycarbonate lenses and a bio-based nylon frame material.