Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses of 2023

Geoff Stadnyk in Fishing Accessories on

Standing on a sandy beach, or on rocks alongside a gently bubbling stream, even on the slowly shifting deck of a boat miles out to sea; one thing in common with all of these scenario’s so soul satisfying to you and I, is glare.

The sunlight reflecting off water can be mesmerizing, but the effect on our eyes is powerful, often negatively so..

It’s all about the eyes..

The best fishing sunglasses will all reduce and enhance what we see through their lenses, while they provide us with a much improved view both over and under the water, and hey, who of us would deny that we like that they make us look good too!

This article is going to give you the most important info on the following key criteria for deciding on your fishing sunglasses, and provide you direct links to purchase them. Interested? Let’s check it out!

Table of Contents

Why Do Fishermen Need Polarized Sunglasses?

Eye protection

There is one thing most important to your search for the fishing sunglasses; your eyes, you only have one pair!

The primary reason for your choice must be protection.

In our bright sun and water environment we experience levels of glare and reflected light most people would never be exposed to, light reflects off water and sand at an intensity not found anywhere else.

Our bodies natural reaction is to squint our eyes, using our eyelids to cut down the light entering the eye, and so quality is very important; bad glasses are worse than none, use a cheap low protection lens, and the eye’s natural squinting safety mechanism does not kick in, the eye perceives less light but the UVA and UVB spectrum light get right in, causing permanent long term damage.

Then lastly, we need a physical protection barrier; sand, dust, salt and salt water, pieces of bait from a cast, and the traces and hooks themselves all are potential dangers to your eyes.

Catch More fish

The next most important thing is the ability to catch more fish!

I know, sounds like an infomercial, but good sunglasses will make our favourite pastime much more effective; they will allow us to see better on and into the water, they will cut the glare and prevent eye fatigue, and with better vision, we can make better choices.

When to strike, what to bait, where to cast, all will be improved by a good pair of sunglasses.

Enjoy Fishing More

Lastly, your best fishing sunglasses will most certainly allow you to enjoy fishing more.

You will be able to enjoy your environment more, with brighter colours, and better contrast, the views will pop for you, like you’ve never seen them before.

Less eye strain means you can enjoy your favourite spot for longer, and the additional style benefit means your friends will be complimenting you on your looks as a bonus!

How To Choose Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing

To Polarize, or Not to Polarize, That is the Question

If there is one topic of debate around the choice of best fishing sunglasses, it is this

Non-Polarized lens


Polarized lens


Here’s the thing; as you can see in the images above, Polarized lenses act like a Venetian blind in the lens of the sunglasses, the reflected light off water and sand comes at you horizontally, the polarization filter allows light only in the vertical plane to enter your eye, this cuts the glare factor by huge amounts, this is why they work.

Short answer; Polarize!

Plastic vs Glass Lenses

The next major topic of debate is the lens material. The older die hard lobby will argue glass lenses always; the argument will normally be based on optical correctness, and this argument says glass is better..

However, the current technology in plastic based or polycarbonate lenses is now so advanced as to make both the strength (toughness) and optical clarity arguments moot. If polycarbonate is good enough for a fighter cockpit canopy, the new technology supporters will say, it’s good enough for lenses.

Truth is, more lenses prescribed and manufactured by opticians are polycarbonate than glass.. So, in summary;

Glass- heavier, more coatings, more resistant to scratches, optically easier to perfect

Plastic- lighter, more comfortable, more impact resistant, cheaper, optically equal

Medium answer: your choice!

Color of the Lense

The last major topic of debate wherever fishermen are discussing sunglasses will be about lens color. The reality here is that the colors the lenses are tinted all have a purpose; coloring the lens accentuates some colors in some light conditions, and reduces some colors in some light conditions; the trick is to know which is best for which!

So let us help you out here, with a quick color guide:

Primary lens color choices will be Grey, Green, Brown, and Yellow / Amber. Grey, green and brown colors will be available in polarized lenses, yellow / amber lenses probably not. (not really a problem, low light conditions very seldom have glare)

See the table below for what color suits what condition:

Please remember: Colors refer to tinting color, not coating color!

(A mirror reflective lens could be tinted any of the colors below)

GreyGlare reducing, true colorsBright, reflective sunlight
GreenGlare reducing, true colorsBright, reflective sunlight
BrownColor, contrast emphasizingBright sun, shaded water
Yellow / AmberLight enhancingLow light, sunrise, sunset

Short answer: buy more than one!

(otherwise; choose a color for your prevalent or most common conditions)

Our Polarized Sunglasses Recommendations

Economy, mid-range, or expensive?

In the end, it comes down to the age old saying,”you get what you paid for..”

Only you can decide what constitutes too expensive, or for that matter, too cheap, but we can help by recommendations in each of the price groupings for you.

Our choice for Economy – Suncloud Atlas Polarized Sunglasses

Atlas, by Suncloud, are a great example of what available in the economy grouping for the best fishing sunglasses out there.

Polarized lenses, hardy frames, comfortably fit, great price!

We are sure that you will love these, and have long use out of them too..

Our choice for Mid-range (or best value for money) – Smith Touchstone Polarized Sunglasses

Touchstone, by Smith Optics, is a great example in the best value for money grouping out there.

Glass lenses, with excellent ultraviolet protection and advanced

polarizing technology, Anti-Reflective and Hydroleophobic Lens Coatings.

Evolve frame material and a comfortable but secure fit.

These premium feel glasses will last you a lifetime if looked after carefully, we’re sure you will love them..

Our choice for Expensive (but worth it..) – Costa mens Saltbreak 580 Sunglasses

You guessed it, we put them up there front and center at the beginning!

The gold standard with glass lenses, 100% polarization, 100 UV protection, hand made, with a lifetime warranty!

These premium quality sunglasses surely qualify for the title of the best fishing sunglasses out there. These glasses will delight you for years..

So there you have it, lots of choices for you, all the info you needed right here.

We hope you’ve got enough info to go out and get yourself some really good protection, armed with the knowledge to ensure you get the best out of your fishing experience ever..

For other fishing accessories such as fishing vest and fishing backpacks, we have articles for that.

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.

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