Best Fishing Sunglasses of 2022

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Best Fishing Sunglasses of 2022

Updated Aug 12, 2022 3:26 PM Every angler needs a good pair of fishing sunglasses. Sunglasses serve sever

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Updated Aug 12, 2022 3:26 PM

Every angler needs a good pair of fishing sunglasses. Sunglasses serve several key functions that help you catch fish and keep you safe and comfortable during your time on the water. Sunglasses provide UV and sun protection. Polarized sunglasses reduce the surface glare on the water, which helps significantly with sight fishing.

Beyond that, sunglasses are critical pieces of safety gear. Wearing sunglasses when fishing can prevent a stray hook from being embedded in your eye, saving you a trip to the ER and even permanent eye damage. This means that you absolutely don’t want to hit the water without your sunglasses. Here are our picks of the best fishing sunglasses.

You need to consider two main factors when looking for a new pair of fishing sunglasses: frame type and lens type. Both of these features impact how your fishing sunglasses will perform. The frame type is not just a matter of style. Your frame will also affect how well your sunglasses hold the lens in place and the amount of protection it offers. Similarly, your lens will affect both your glasses’ sun protection and visibility.

Why do you need polarized lenses?

Polarized lenses reduce glare by blocking all horizontal rays while still allowing vertical rays of light to pass through. Horizontal rays primarily reflect off of flat surfaces such as water or phone screens. This means that polarized sunglasses can drastically reduce surface glare and allow for sight fishing in situations that aren’t possible with normal sunglasses or no sunglasses. If you’re looking for a pair of the best fishing sunglasses, you need to consider polarized shades. 

Polarized lenses differ from basic sunglass lenses, which do not filter out horizontal rays of light. Non-polarized lenses protect against UV rays and minimize glare, just not to the same extent as polarized lenses. For anglers who want the best possible fishing glasses, polarized lenses are a must.

Coverage

Fishing sunglasses need to provide sufficient coverage. What does this mean? Your sunglasses need to protect you not only from the sun that reaches you through the lenses, but also reduce the light that seeps in from the edges of your shades. For instance, if you wear square, Ray-Ban style shades, there will be a lot of excess light that finds its way through the sides and tops of your glasses. This will reduce both UV protection for your eyes, and potentially, your visibility. This problem can become especially dire when you’re fishing in the ocean or lakes that reflect a lot of extra light toward your eyes. 

What kinds of sunglasses provide the best coverage? In short, sunglasses that fit closely to your face. This means that the frame will wrap around your eyes and feature thick temples which prevent excess light from reaching your eyes through the edges of your sunglasses. As always, fit of the glasses is critical. Ensure your sunglasses hug your face tightly without being so tight that they are uncomfortable to wear and give you a headache. The right wrap-around sunglasses will reduce glare and keep you fishing even on the brightest of days.

What should you do in low light conditions?

Most sunglasses are meant for sunny conditions. But when you go fishing, it’s not always sunny out. You should still wear sunglasses because the safety component is vital. And even in overcast weather, the water surface will still emit a glare that can make it difficult to see your bobber or fly, which means that you might start missing strikes. If you spend a lot of time fishing at dusk or in inclement weather, consider purchasing a pair of sunglasses made specifically for low light conditions. 

Low light lenses will either be clear or lightly colored. They probably won’t be mirrored like sunglasses designed for bright conditions. Be aware: many low light shades on the market are not polarized. Avoid these products if you can. You will still want to filter our horizontal rays that reduce the surface glare off the water.

Look good, feel good, fish good

You know the saying: Look good, feel good, play good. The same motto applies to fishing. As with other types of outdoor apparel, your fishing sunglasses say a lot about you as an angler. You want to get a pair of fishing sunglasses that not only work well on the water, but that you also enjoy wearing. 

Still, make sure to balance style with functionality. You might be comfortable reducing frame coverage to have a more traditional-looking style of shades. This should be fine so long as you aren’t fishing in extremely bright conditions. This give and take consideration is one that you need to make before buying a new pair of sunglasses. No matter what, don’t get non-polarized sunglasses. That will drastically reduce your sunglasses performance without impacting the style. Other than that, find the right balance between style and functionality. Then hit the water with confidence.

Are you on a budget?

Fishing sunglasses can be expensive. What do you get from pricey fishing sunglasses? Typically, a durable frame with lenses that offer superb visibility. The lenses will usually last a relatively long time so long as you do a good job protecting them from scratches. That said, one of the leading price factors of expensive sunglasses is the brand name. Sunglasses have some of the highest margins of any outdoor product, meaning they cost relatively little to produce compared to their final price tag. This means that a discerning shopper who doesn’t care about brand names should be able to find a high-quality pair of shades at a low price point. 

When you’re on a budget, make sure that the shades you buy are polarized. This will take the cheapest sunglasses off of the table, but non-polarized lenses are a non-starter for most anglers. Beyond that, look for the same thing you’d look for in pricier sunglasses—sun protection and style. Then pull the trigger.

Best Performance

Why It Made The Cut: The Smith’s Guide Choice is our top pick for best-performing fishing sunglasses because of the comfortable yet secure fit and unmatched performance protection.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: medium-large
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: yes

Pros

  • Scratch resistant
  • Integrated leash
  • All day comfort
  • Excellent visibility

Cons

When you’re spending all day outside in the sun and on the water, you need the best performing sunglasses out there. The Smith’s Guide Choice sunglasses provide high visibility, unbeatable protection, and a comfortable fit. Available in various frame colors and lens styles, Smith’s ensures you find the right sunglasses for your needs and personal preferences.

The lenses are all polarized and proven to reduce glare, which is perfect when out on the water. The Scratch-resistant Techlite™ provides a clear view and improves the sunglasses’ durability. With a medium-large fit, these glasses are intended to fit the average adult. For added comfort, they’ve integrated a nose grip, temple pads, and a detachable leash to keep the sunglasses on you, even in rough water conditions.

Although the price may be high to some, it is comparable to other high-end sunglasses. For most, these glasses last years of use and outperform most on the market, making them well worth the investment.

Best Polarized

Why It Made The Cut: The Costa Del Mar Blackfin 580G Polarized Sunglasses offer top-notch anti-reflective, water-repellent, 100% polarized lenses held by a durable nylon frame.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: large
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: yes

Pros

  • Comfortable for all day wear
  • Two lens color options
  • Great visibility
  • Stylish fit

Cons

  • Price
  • No prescription option

Costa Blackfin 580G Polarized Sunglasses are a high-quality option for serious anglers. The well-made lenses provide 100% protection from UV A, B, and C rays. The TR-90 nylon frame provides more than enough coverage to reduce glare off the water. The polarized lenses utilize 580G LightWAVE® glass lenses that filter out harsh yellow and blue light to make your vision clearer.

Like most of the Costa Del Mar sunglasses designs, the Blackfin’s do have a prescription option available. The option to have either blue or green lenses provides the consumer with a slightly more customizable pair of glasses. Not all frame styles or lens colors have the same type of polarization, so pay close attention when choosing the one you want.

Overall, these are high-quality pairs of sunglasses. They will be comfortable for all-day wear and provide the level of protection that anglers of all skill levels can appreciate.

Best for Offshore Fishing

Why It Made The Cut: The Fin-Nor North Drops are the top pick for anglers that pursue offshore fishing with hydrophobic/oleophobic coatings on both sides of the lenses, lightweight frames, and intelligent polarized design.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: large-extra large
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: N/A

Pros

  • Variety of lens and frame options
  • Designed for wear on the water
  • Lightweight and breathable frames
  • Integrated side shields

Cons

Designed for saltwater anglers, The Fin-Nor North Drop sunglasses are an innovative new design produced by a respected figure in the eyewear and fishing realms. Offshore fishing can be demanding and often means extensive sun exposure. These glasses are an ideal fit, frame, and lens style to help protect your eyes, increase visibility, and stay comfortable all day long.

These sunglasses can be bought according to your personal preferences and needs, available with either glass or polycarbonate lenses, four lens color options, and a few frame colors. Not only are the lenses high quality with lateral lens technology and dual hydrophobic/oleophobic coatings, but they are among the most stylish sunglasses made for anglers.

Best for Inshore Fishing

Costa Deal Mar Fantail Sunglasses

Why It Made The Cut: The Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses are our top pick for inshore fishing due to their versatility, scratch-resistance, lightweight frames, and overall durability.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: standard
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: yes

Pros

  • Prescription lenses available
  • Scratch and impact resistant
  • Excellent warranty and customer service
  • Glass lenses provide exceptionally clear view

Cons

  • Older frame style seemed more durable
  • Glass lenses are more prone to scratches and damage

The Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses are an excellent option if you want a versatile and unbeatably clear pair of sunglasses. Utilizing glass lenses, a clear view is guaranteed. It isn’t fair to compare glass to plastic when speaking about lenses, but it is worth mentioning that glass lenses are heavier and more prone to damage if dropped, so be aware of that before buying. Regardless, the lenses are still quite durable despite being glass.

The 580G LightWAVE® glass lenses filter out blue and yellow lights, improving overall vision and making colors brighter and objects more defined. The polarized lens also cuts glare which is necessary anytime you are enjoying time around water. It’s unlikely these will slip off your face with the snug fit. The Fantail design also has nose pads and temple tip inserts for an even more comfortable and secure feel.

Best Wrap Around

A pair of sunglasses with a black and grey frame and structure and two lenses in bright neon blue.

RIVBOS Polarized Sports Sunglasses RIVBOS

Why It Made The Cut: The RIVBOS Polarized Sports Sunglasses are affordable and boast a wide temple design that provides good coverage.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: standard
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: N/A

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Snug, comfortable fit
  • Lightweight frames
  • Variety of lens colors

Cons

  • Cheaply made and less durable than higher-end options

RIVBOS Polarized Sports Sunglasses are form-fitting, wrap-around shades that perform well on the water, especially if you fish in bright conditions. The polarized, mirror-coated lenses reduce surface glare and provide plenty of sun protection. The wrap-around design of these lightweight frames is one of the main selling points if you’re willing to compromise durability for affordability.

These are cheap sunglasses, but they do perform reasonably well. Be realistic about your expectations with these sunglasses, but they generally provide decent protection and personalization. Just make sure to keep special care to keep these out of harm’s way since they aren’t the most durable option.

Best Low Light

A pair of sunglasses with a black frame and structure and two lenses in bright neon yellow.

Smith Optics Redding ChromaPop Sunglasses Smith

Why It Made The Cut: The Smith Optics Redding ChromaPop Sunglasses are explicitly designed for inshore and freshwater use in low light conditions.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: small-medium
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: N/A

Pros

  • Lens coating to repel moisture and grease
  • Variety of lens and style options
  • ChromaPop lenses
  • Impact resistant

Cons

  • Varied lens protection depending on the style option
  • Price

The Smith Optics Redding ChromaPop Sunglasses provide impressive clarity for low-light fishing. The lenses are oil and water-resistant and feature an anti-reflective coating. These are a high-quality pair of polarized shades that are perfect for overcast days, as well as late-evening and early-morning outings.

Like many other Smith’s brand sunglasses, the price may be a bit high for some, but the quality makes most of them well worth the investment. We like the styles of almost all of their glasses options, but if you need something that excels in low light conditions, these glasses get the job done.

Most Stylish

Costa Cut 580P Polarized Sunglasses cabelas

Why It Made The Cut: The Costa Cut 580P Polarized Sunglasses are a functional pair of fishing sunglasses that you’ll want to wear even when you aren’t fishing.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: standard
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: yes

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Durable
  • Handcrafted 580P polycarbonate lenses
  • Lightweight

Cons

The Costa Cut 580P Polarized Sunglasses feature handcrafted 580P polycarbonate lenses that provide clarity and color contrast that will enhance any angler’s vision. The shades have a style-forward square-frame design, and the black frame with orange streaks on the bottom makes for a good-looking pair of sunglasses. 

Performance-wise, these are comparable to other Costa Del Mar’s brand sunglasses and match the quality. The fit and frame style works well for people of all genders, and the variety of lens options allows you to select a type that fits your lifestyle best. While all lens options have similar performance, they will vary slightly.

Most Sustainable

Costa Del Mar Untangled Collection

Why It Made The Cut: Costa Del Mar has been working on using more sustainable materials for all their frames, but by far, their most sustainable line is the Untangled, made from recycled fishing nets.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: standard
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: yes

Pros

  • Made from 97% recycled materials
  • 580G polarized lenses
  • Secure and comfortable fit
  • Hooding and side shields for better light protection

Cons

  • No return or recycling program for old glasses

Making sustainable sunglasses is a tall order, and Costa Del Mar is making moves in the right direction. Their Untangled Collection uses recycled fishing nets to make the frames. While this isn’t a perfect solution, it is helping clear some plastic pollution from our oceans. What would be nice to see with all Costa Del Mar glasses is a return/recycling program of their own to reduce waste and create more circularity within the brand. It would also be nice to see them utilizing more recycled materials across all frame designs instead of just having one line of products.

Regardless, these glasses are effective and perform well. There are always ways we can improve and become more sustainable in our lives, and being intentional with our purchases is one of them. With three lens colors, glare protection, and light yet scratch-resistant lenses, it is nice to know that you’re investing in a pair of sunglasses that help protect the places you love.

Best Cheap

A pair of sunglasses with a black frame and structure and two lenses in bright colorful shades.

KastKing Skidaway Polarized Sport Sunglasses KastKing

Why It Made The Cut: The KastKing Skidaway Polarized Sport Sunglasses are affordable, functional, and durable.

Key Features

  • Frame Fit: standard
  • Polarized: yes
  • Prescription Lenses: N/A

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Several design options
  • Works in both sunny and cloudy conditions
  • Impact resistant lenses

Cons

  • Not very durable
  • Seem to wear down easily around saltwater

KastKing Skidaway Polarized Sport Sunglasses feature a well-made frame and glare-reducing polarized lenses at an impressively low price point. The 1.0mm polarized lenses are comparable to many higher-priced offerings. This pair of sunglasses is a great option for any angler who’s on a budget.

FAQs

Q: Blue or green lenses: what’s better for fishing?

Blue lenses are good for fishing in certain conditions. Most “blue” lenses are not actually blue but blue-tinted, meaning that the lens, which is typically gray, is coated with a blue mirror. This coating can provide some key benefits to anglers. The blue mirror blocks harsh glare, especially in bright conditions. Get a blue-tinted lens for sunny days on the water.

Q: Are polarized sunglasses worth it for fishing?

This is mainly a matter of personal preference and the type of fishing you do. So long as the lenses are polarized and provide enough coverage to protect your eyes from the sun, you can’t go wrong with polarized fishing sunglasses. Focus on finding a pair of sunglasses within your price range and that you’re comfortable wearing for long periods of time.

Q: What tint of sunglasses is best for fishing?

Brown, amber, copper, and rose-colored tinted lenses are often said to be the best for fishing because they are high-contrast. However, the type of fishing you are doing can change this. These high-contrast lens colors are ideal for inshore fishing, whereas a grey or blue lens is more commonly used for offshore fishing.

Q: Can you see through water with polarized sunglasses?

Yes, you should be able to see into the water with polarized sunglasses. Polarized lenses reduce the glare from light hitting the top of the water, giving you a clearer view down into the water. The color of the lens can also influence your ability to see through the water.

Q: What’s the difference between cheap and expensive fishing

sunglasses?

There are often many differences between cheap and expensive fishing sunglasses. Two major differences are the tint/color and the lens material. High-quality sunglasses utilize a tint that enhances vision, whereas many cheap sunglasses darken the lens to make it appear tinted without providing any actual benefit. Many high-quality sunglasses have plastic lenses, but most expensive sunglasses are made with glass lenses that are scratch resistant and maximize visual clarity.

Q: What is “sight fishing”?

Sight fishing is when you spot fish in the water and then coax it towards your bait or lure. Having the proper eyewear can make this easier as it provides better visibility into the water, but sight fishing is still a difficult method to perfect.

Final Thoughts

Sunglasses are an essential piece of fishing gear and provide several vital functions. They protect your eyes from the sun and stray hooks while also enhancing your visibility. Every angler should own at least one good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses. The polarization blocks horizontal light rays and allows you to peer beneath the surface of the water. Owning a comfortable and good-looking pair of fishing shades is a must for any angler. Don your new fishing sunglasses and hit the water in style.

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