Top 10 Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fishing (2021 Review)

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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Having a good pair of polarized sunglasses is a must when fishing. 

They protect your eyes from flying hooks and harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun that can damage your retina and skin. 

The best polarized sunglasses for fishing can also help your vision cut through glare on the water so you can see what’s going on beneath the surface and tailor your fishing to what’s happening down there.

It might not be 20/20 vision but sunglasses will definitely help your sight fishing game. Read on to find the perfect pair for you.

The Best From The Review

Let’s take a quick look at the best three from the list…

Top Pick

Smith Optics Basecamp

These frames are durable, light, comfy, and they have got some style. They come with auto-lock hinges so they stay open or shut, depending on what you need.

Smith Optics Basecamp

Our top pick from the review is the Smith Optic Basecamp sunglasses.

These are affordable, have great style and durability, and have great visual clarity for seeing fish.

You can pick from pretty much every color of polarized lens to suit your fishing environment and the frames are made with eco-material.

What more could you ask for?

Best Value

Wiley X Nash

Highly durable glasses that are made for every environment and activity

Wiley X Nash

The best value sunglasses in the review are the Wiley X Nash. 

They are the most affordable and the most durable pair of sunglasses in the review, perfect if you’re looking for a pair for life. 

These cheap polarized sunglasses are good at cutting through the water and they’re ballistic rated – If you were to stamp on them, they wouldn’t break.

Editor’s Choice

Maui Jim Peahi

Made from nylon and are both lightweight and durable, plus they are comfy to wear. They come with high-quality polarized color enhancing lenses made from SuperThin glass.

Maui Jim Peahi

If I were looking for a pair of fly fishing sunglasses, I would pick the Maui Jim Peahi every time. 

They’re great polarized sunglasses and, in my opinion, have some of the best polarized lenses made of glass that offer the best clarity, which is key to spotting the most amount of fish as early as possible.

They’re durable, light, comfy, and come in every color option you might need. They’re also great fly fishing sunglasses.

Our Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fishing 

Costa Del Mar Fantail

These Costa sunglasses are light and durable lenses that offer excellent polarization and UVA and UVB protection.

Costa Del Mar Fantail

The polarized fishing sunglasses Costa makes have become some of the most popular in the industry and they are great sunglasses for the money. 

They started their business in 1983 and through awesome product development, they now make every lense and frame you could ever need on the water and are worn by pro guides and fishermen all over the globe. 

Color Options

Their 580 polycarbonate polarized lenses offer excellent polarization and 100% UV protection.

They come in every color and or mirror you could ever want. Just make sure to get a pair that lets you read your handheld fishing GPS without any hassle if you use one of those.

The lens color options includes copper, grey, yellow, blue mirror, green mirror and sunrise silver mirror. You should consider these carefully if you’re into sight fishing

For frames, there’s matte black, tortoise, and camo.

Once you have found the frames you like, you can tailor your lenses to whatever situation, be it sight fishing or fly fishing.

Durability

The lenses of the Costa Del Mar Fantail are also light and durable with built-in scratch and impact resistance to ensure they can handle life out on the water. 

The Fantail has a tr 90 nylon frame which offers good coverage, blocking light from coming in through the sides, and is quite stylish if you like a sporty look.

The tr 90 nylon frame is light and sits on your face pretty comfortably, so you can avoid the earache heavy sunglasses sometimes give you. 

It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, the only downside is that there is no option to pick a glass lens for that extra clarity.

Specs

  • Frame Material: TR 90 Nylon
  • Frame Colors: Matte black, tortoise, camo
  • Lens (L) Material: 580 Polycarbonate
  • L Colors: Copper, grey, yellow, blue mirror, green mirror, silver mirror
  • L Width: 59 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • Durable and lightweight
  • Scratch and impact resistant
  • Affordable
  • Great polarization
  • Great options of colors
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Repels water and oils

Cons

  • No glass lenses option

Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley

Considered by some to be the best fly fishing sunglasses, these frames are square looking and offer great coverage to stop any light coming through the sides or back.

Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley

The Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley polarized sunglasses are one of the best fly fishing sunglasses Costa made. The frames are quite square looking and offer great coverage to stop any light coming through the sides or back. 

Color Options

They come in a range of lens colors and frame colors.

The frames are light and comfy once you have the right fit. However, they look a bit too sporty for my tastes. 

All the guides I know, use these.

They use Costa’s 580 polycarbonate lenses that offer 100 UV protection and excellent polarization for sight fishing.

Durability

The Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley frames are also durable thanks to their impact and scratch resistance. 

The coating actively repels oils and water to keep them clean. 

Like with all Costa’s you have your pick of colors for your lenses which you can match to any fishing situation, even sight fishing, just make sure you like the frames.

It’s a shame they don’t offer a scratch resistant glass option with their sunglasses, it would add another dimension to their range.

Specs

  • Frame Material: TR 90 Nylon
  • Frame Colors: Matte black, tortoise, camo, white
  • Lens (L) Material: 580 Polycarbonate
  • L Colors: Copper, grey, yellow, blue mirror, green mirror, silver mirror
  • L Width: 62 mm & 61.5 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • Multiple frame colors to suit your style
  • Lots of lens colors
  • Resistant to scratches and impact for durability
  • Light and comfy
  • Good polarization for seeing through the water
  • Repels oil and water
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • No glass option
  • Look too sporty

Costa Del Mar Blackfin

These glasses have a rounded shape with a large protective side panel and are a great option for stopping light from breaking in through the sides, giving you better contrast.

Costa Del Mar Blackfin

Another pair of polarized fishing Costa sunglasses is their Blackfin model.

The frames have a rounded shape with a large protective side panel and are a great option for stopping light from breaking in through the sides, giving you better contrast. 

Build

The Costa Del Mar Blackfin is made from Costa’s TR 90 Nylon, like all their frames, they are durable, light, and comfy to wear.

These sunglasses also come with Costa’s 580 polycarbonate polarized lenses that are designed to reduce yellow light.

It has lot of lens colors to choose from but zero options for choosing a glass version. 

Frame colors ranging from matte black to bright blue.

Lens colors such as; Copper, grey, yellow, blue mirror, green mirror, and silver mirror.

The lenses are excellent at standing up to the wear and tear of any flying fisherman thanks to their impact, scratch, water, and oil resistance.

Durability

They should last up to 5 seasons or more if you look after them. They come in every mirror/color option so you can match the sunglasses to your fishing environment. Whether you’re in a fishing canoe or by the beach, they should have your number.

These sunglasses don’t have the best style and aren’t the sunglasses I’d pick to walk around Miami beach, but they are some of the best polarized fishing sunglasses you can find – I’d happily sacrifice style to see fish better.

Specs

  • Frame Material: Nylon TR 90
  • Frame Colors: Ashwood, matte black, tortoise, camo, blue
  • Lens (L) Material: 580 Polycarbonate
  • L Colors: Copper, grey, yellow, blue mirror, green mirror, silver mirror
  • L Width: 62 mm & 61.5 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • Nice looking frame
  • Lots of lens colors to match the environment
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Durable with resistance to impact and scratches
  • Light and comfy to wear
  • Repels water and oil to keep them clean
  • Excellent polarization for seeing into the water

Cons

  • No glass options
  • Not very stylish sunglasses

Costa Del Mar Whitetip

Light and durable glasses. These glasses might run small for some but it can be comfy even when wearing them all day if they fit right.

Costa Del Mar Whitetip

The final pair of Costa polarized fishing sunglasses in the review is the Whitetip sunglasses. 

Build

The frames are light, durable, and comfy if they fit right, even when wearing them all day, every day, like a flying fisherman. 

They don’t offer much coverage on the side to block out light when you’re sight fishing, which some people prefer – but it’s something to be aware of. 

Size

Some people do say these sunglasses run small, so if you have a wide face, you might want to look at other sized polarized sunglasses. 

These polarized sunglasses come with Costa’s 580 polycarbonate polarized lenses with UV protection, like all the others. 

Color Options

You can pick from every lens color and mirror to suit your fishing situation and be sure they’ll last many a fishing season due to their hydrophobic nature and impact / scratch resistance. 

Again, there is no option to go for lenses made of glass for extra clarity and these sunglasses are again a little sporty looking for wandering around town in for some due to the boxy frames, but they do look quite good in tortoise and green mirror in my opinion.

Specs

  • Frame Material: Nylon TR 90
  • Frame Colors: Ashwood, matte black, tortoise, camo, blue
  • Lens (L) Material: 580 Polycarbonate
  • L Colors: Copper, grey, yellow, blue mirror, green mirror, silver mirror
  • L Width: 58 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • Light and comfy
  • Excellent polarized lenses for cutting through glare
  • Durable frames and lenses resist damage from scratches and impact
  • Every kind of color to choose from to match the environment
  • Lenses repel water and oils to stay clean
  • Cool looking in tortoise frames and green mirror lenses
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • No glass options
  • Not the best at blocking out light on the side
  • Run a bit small

Editor’s Choice

Maui Jim Peahi

Made from nylon and are both lightweight and durable, plus they are comfy to wear. They come with high-quality polarized color enhancing lenses made from SuperThin glass.

Maui Jim Peahi

Maui Jim polarized sunglasses are also very popular in the fishing world and their Peahi sunglasses of some of their best polarized fishing sunglasses.

Build and Color

The Maui Jim frames are made from nylon and are both lightweight and durable, plus they are comfy to wear.

They come in a range of colors, not as many Costa’s, but you certainly have enough to choose from. 

Durable and Clear Lens

This Maui Jim pair comes with high-quality polarized color enhancing lenses made from SuperThin glass. You can also opt for their Blue Hawaii lenses.

The use of glass gives you much clearer optics and that means there is no additional weight. The color enhancement gives you better contrast so you can see fish on darker surfaces more easily and notice all the depth changes. 

The only downside is that the lens color options are a bit more limited but you should find what you need for sight fishing or fly fishing.

Specs

  • Color enhancing lenses for a better image
  • Glass for better quality optics
  • Light and comfortable
  • Durable and resistant to impact and scratches
  • High-quality polarization
  • Repels oils and water to stay clean
  • 2-year warranty

Pros

  • Glass for better quality optics
  • Light and comfortable
  • Durable and resistant to impact and scratches
  • High-quality
  • Repels oils and water to stay clean
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • A smaller range of color options

Maui Jim World Cup

Durable, light, comfy, and has lenses made from Superthin glass that enhance colors and image clarity more than polycarbonates.

Maui Jim World Cup

The Maui Jim World Cup polarized sunglasses are another popular choice for fly fishing with. 

The frames are durable, light, and comfy although they only come in three frame colors as outlined below, unlike others that have a lot more frame colors. 

Frame and Lens

These are some of the best sunglasses around and the frame style offers good coverage to block out any side light and they are quite stylish with their rounded look, as fishing sunglasses go. 

These Maui Jim specs also use lenses made from Superthin glass that enhance colors and visual clarity more than polycarbonates. 

Durability

The polarization on these are excellent, plus they’re made to last being oil, scratch, impact, and water-resistant. 

Maui Jim sunglasses would only suit river, lake fishing or flats fishing in bronze color, but it would be better to have a green mirror on the front for the flats.

Specs

  • Frame Material: Nylon
  • Frame Colors: Matte black, marlin, chocolate stripe
  • Lens (L) Material: SuperThin Glass
  • L Colors: Bronze, grey
  • L Width: 64 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • Color enhancing lenses for a better contrast
  • Glass for better optics and clarity
  • Lenses repel oil and water
  • Durable and resistant to impact and scratches
  • Top-quality polarization
  • Comfortable and light to wear

Cons

  • Limited color options

Ray-Ban Wayfarer

Iconic sunglasses that help you bring style on the water. The lenses are made of glass and offer excellent clarity.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer

If you’re looking to have some style on the water, then you can’t go wrong with Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Style

The Wayfarer frame is iconic and has come around in the fashion world a few times, first in the 60’s and then again in the 2010’s.

Not many fishermen use them though as they tend to stick to brands made for fishing like Smith’s or Costa. The frames are made from nylon so they’re light, durable and comfy. 

Frame

They are quite open at the sides and let light in, which can make seeing through the water a challenge, but this does remove the ‘panda eye’ scenario as your skin will get tanned. 

The lenses are made of glass and offer excellent clarity.

Lens

I have fished with these and the image is crystal clear and the polarization and UV light protection is excellent. Ray-Ban knows what they are doing when it comes to sunglasses lenses. 

These glasses aren’t really made for fishing and come with limited color options of the lenses but their amber lens does a good job on freshwater and the flats.

Specs

  • Frame Material: Nylon
  • Frame Colors: Tortoise/Black
  • Lens (L) Material: Glass
  • L Colors: Amber, grey
  • L Width: 55 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • A little less expensive
  • Crystal clear glass lens
  • Lenses repel oils and water
  • Comfy and stylish to wear
  • Avoids panda eyes
  • Excellent polarization and UV protection
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Very limited lenses and frames color options
  • Not really made for fishing
  • The frame is quite open to letting light in

Best Value

Wiley X Nash

Highly durable glasses that are made for every environment and activity

Wiley X Nash

Wiley X was developed by a veteran and Wiley X sunglasses are all about offering the best protection for your eyes.

They are made for every environment and activity thanks to their incredibly durable design. 

Build

The Wiley X Nash sunglasses are made from a highly durable, light, and comfy nylon frame. The style is pretty sporty – not my favorite but some love it.

They offer great coverage, blocking out any side light from entering in to give you a better view. 

Durability

The glass lenses are about as durable as lenses can get.

Made from Shatterproof Selenite Polycarbonate they meet ballistic standards for mass and velocity impact, so no fishing gear will ever get into your eyes, nor will the lenses break. 

Lens

The polarization on the Wiley X Nash sunglasses is pretty solid but they aren’t specifically made for fishing, so there are better ones out there for reducing glare to the max. 

Also, the lens colors are limited but the ones on offer do cover shallow and deep water.

Specs

  • Frame Material: Nylon
  • Frame Colors: Matte black, black, kryptek
  • Lens (L) Material: Shatterproof Selenite Polycarbonate
  • L Colors: Green, blue mirror, grey
  • L Width: 64 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • High mass and velocity impact protection
  • Super durable
  • Light and comfortable
  • Repels water and oils
  • Quite affordable if you’re on a budget
  • Lifetime

Cons

  • Not very stylish
  • Limited to 3 colors
  • Polarization could be better

Top Pick

Smith Optics Basecamp

These frames are durable, light, comfy, and they have got some style. They come with auto-lock hinges so they stay open or shut, depending on what you need.

Smith Optics Basecamp

Smith hit the polarized sunglasses market with a bang in the 1960’s and now makes some of the best polarized sunglasses for fishing around. 

Outside of Costa, you see Smith’s sunglasses used by guides on the water more than any other brand. 

Build

Their basecamp sunglasses come with an injected polymer frame that’s made from 53% bio-based eco-friendly material, there is an eco tick there for anyone who likes to have one.

The frames are durable, light, comfy, and they have got some style. They come with auto-lock hinges so they stay open or shut, depending on what you need. 

Colors

You also get a solid range of frame colors to suit your style needs. 

The lenses are similar to Costa’s 580s offering great polarization, UV protection, and they’re super durable too thanks to their impact, water, oil, and scratch resistance. 

Anti-Reflective Coating

The difference between these and Costa’s lenses is that they come with an inner anti-reflective coating for better contrast.

Smith lenses come in a huge range of colors too, from blue lenses to gray lenses, so you can match any fishing situation you want to. 

The only downside, just like Costas is the lack of an option to choose lenses made of glass, but you can’t have everything.

Specs

  • Frame Material: Injected Polymer
  • Frame Colors: Black, tortoise, Meditteranean, iron, gravy
  • Lens (L) Material: Polycarbonate
  • L Colors: Black, blue mirror, g. mirror, yellow, amber, grey
  • L Width: 59 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • Frames use 53% bio-based eco-friendly material
  • Auto-lock hinges so they stay open/closed
  • A solid range of lens colors
  • Durable and resistant to impact and scratches
  • Reply oil and water to stay clean
  • Excellent polarization for seeing through water
  • Stylish frame
  • Lifetime Guarantee

Cons

  • No glass option

Smith Guide’s Choice

Uses Chromapop+ lenses that are 10% lighter and offer enhanced image clarity with a higher-quality polarized film to cut through the glare more so you can see more fish.

Smith Guide’s Choice

The Smith Guides Choice polarized sunglasses are similar to the Basecamp above but come with better lenses for a higher price. 

These use Chromapop+ lenses that are 10% lighter and offer enhanced image clarity with a higher-quality polarized film to cut through the glare more so you can see more fish. 

Durability and Color

The lenses come in a range of colors for every fishing situation and are just as durable as any others thanks to their water, scratch, impact, and oil-resistant coating. 

You get a great image with these and you can see a lot of what’s going on beneath the surface. 

Like the Basecamp, these are made from an injected polymer with 53% bio-based eco-friendly materials for the eco tick. They are light, durable, fit nicely, and have some style.

Specs

  • Frame Material: Injected Polymer
  • Frame Colors: Black, tortoise, Meditteranean, iron, gravy
  • Lens (L) Material: Polycarbonate
  • L Colors: Black, blue mirror, green mirror, yellow, amber, grey
  • L Width: 62 mm
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100%

Pros

  • Chromapop + lenses are lighter with better clarity
  • Repels water and oils for cleaner sunglasses
  • Anti-reflective for a clearer image
  • Great polarization against UV light
  • Durable to scratches and impact
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 53% bio-based eco-friendly material

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No glass options

What Are Polarized Sunglasses? 

Polarized fishing sunglasses are a pair of sunglasses that use a polarized lens instead of non-polarized. 

This polarized lens technology is what provides extra UV protection from UV rays and removes some or all of the glare of the water so you can see what’s really happening under the surface. 

The first time I went from using a pair of non-polarized to polarized fishing sunglasses I was on a boat looking out to a reef in the Indian Ocean. 

The entire world changed.

Advantage

View Through Lens
View Through Lens

I could see all the different colors of the sea; light blues, dark blues, dark green patches, and sandy yellow parts too.

I looked down, and I could see the bottom crystal clear.

It was one of the best moments in my fishing career. 

I have worn nothing else since that day because they are the best-polarized fishing sunglasses. 

They changed the game, and I could now see fish coming a mile off and all the depth changes around me based on the colors. Plus, I don’t look half bad while waiting for my fish alarms to go off. 

How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work? 

When light bounces off a water’s surface, it creates glare. 

Glare is a reflected horizontal blue light and it’s what stops fishermen from seeing what’s happening underwater. 

Fishing polarized sunglasses have a chemical laminate on the lens that blocks out horizontal light waves, which is usually harsh blue light, removing some or all of the glare so fishers can see through the surface more easily.

See the difference when using polarized glasses with the cool video below.

See Underwater with Polarized Glasses

Why Use Polarized Sunglasses For Fishing? 

You don’t have to use polarized sunglasses when fishing, you could just use a normal pair of non-polarized fishing sunglasses but you won’t have a clue what’s going on under the surface. 

In some fishing situations, seeing through the glare doesn’t really matter, like when bottom fishing for carp in a muddy lake.

Even when wearing polarized sunglasses, you won’t be able to see through the milky tea-colored water because it’s so dirty. 

See Through Glare

Water Glare
Water Glare

When you’re fly fishing in a crystal clear spring creek or sight fishing on the clean blue flats of Florida, the best sunglasses for fishing are polarized. 

Wearing polarized sunglasses lets you see through the glare and reflected light to spot fish and depth changes that you wouldn’t see without them. 

This gives you the upper hand, as now you can see the fish, or areas where fish might be, and throw your line in that direction rather than shooting in the dark. 

If you’re a dedicated fisherman, you’d be mad to use a non-polarized pair of cheap sunglasses. 

The Benefits Of Using Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

  • When fishing on a cloudy day or sitting in the shade, the water reflects up to 85% of harmful UV rays into your eyes. These rays are damaging to your eyesight and the best polarized fishing sunglasses removes these harmful UV rays. 
  • Polarized sunglasses for fishing also enhances clarity and contrast to give you a clearer image. When looking for fish, your eyes are working hard and can get tired, especially if you’re guiding. Having better image clarity and contrast takes the strain off the eyes and helps avoid headaches. 
  • The more time on the water spent fishing, the more chance of a hook flying towards the eyes. A pair of fishing sunglasses protect your eyes from any random missiles that might come along. 
  • The main benefit to a pair of polarized sunglasses for fishing is, of course, being able to see what’s happening underwater. You’ll be able to see fish, all the depth changes, and the shallow structure they might be hiding around.

Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fishing

Sun Shining Bright Through Glasses
Sun Shining Bright Through Glasses

Frame

Sunglasses are meant to look cool right? 

We all want frames that suit our face and style as much as possible, as everyone’s face is a little different.

But, when it comes to polarized sunglasses for fishing, there is one consideration that trumps both of these needs, the need to see fish. 

TIP
The best polarized fishing sunglasses will have a frame that blocks out as much light as possible from entering your eyes. 

Provides Clarity and UV Protection

This not only protects from harmful UV rays but also helps you get the maximum amount of clarity and contrast for your vision enabling you to see a lot more while you’re spending time on the water.

This does mean you’ll end up with dreaded ‘panda eyes’. Your face will be tanned but the skin around your eyes will be white – quite comical, 

NOTE

If you look at guides in Seychelles or Florida, they all have these ‘guide goggles’. 

Lens Material 

There are two main materials that lenses can be made out of, polycarbonate and glass.

Each of them has its pros and cons and one isn’t really better than the other overall, it comes down to your personal preference. 

Glass Lenses 

Glass lenses give you more clarity and overall provide you with better image optics.

They’re more scratch resistant and better at handling higher temperatures too. 

The negative to a glass lens is that they’re heavy and can weigh down your ears, making life a little painful.They’re also more expensive than polycarbonate. 

Polycarbonate (plastic) Lenses 

Polycarbonate is the most common material due to its affordability and because it’s durable and lightweight.

They are less likely to shatter than glass, are more impact resistant, and some come with a scratch-resistant film for extra protection. 

Plastic lenses also prevent more UV rays from coming through due to the reduced transparency it has compared to glass.

Which Is the Best Lens Material For A Pair Of Fishing Sunglasses? 

It comes down to personal preference. My favorite lenses are glass, as they provide added clarity and contrast so you can see more of what’s going on. 

I use polarized prescription sunglasses and glass is much better for prescriptions than plastic. 

I know a lot of guides swear by polycarbonate lenses but I think this comes down to the high-quality polarization they get from the brand of fishing glasses, rather than the material of the lenses. 

Lens Colors & Environments

Man in a Kayak Wearing Polarized Sunglasses

There are loads of lens colors to choose from but not all lens colors are made for fishing glasses. 

The lens color you choose for your polarized fishing glasses makes a big difference to what you’ll end up seeing – You want to make sure you tailor them to the environment you’re fishing in and the light conditions. 

There are a huge range of lens color options out there, from green mirror and silver mirror to low light lenses, tan and blue mirror lenses.

You can divide the lenses up into three categories, shallow water, deep water, and low light conditions. 

Shallow Water 

The best fishing lens color for shallow water is amber, tan, or copper lenses (they’re all the same) with a green mirror on the front end. 

These provide the best clarity and contrast for shallow waters like rivers, lakeshores, and on the flats.

The green mirror reflects a lot of the light rays for UV protection and the tan lens provides good contrast behind it. 

Deep Water 

When I talk about deep water, I mean offshore fishing where you’re scouring the horizon for finning marlin. 

The best lenses for this environment are gray silver mirror or amber lenses with a blue mirror.

The blue mirror lens filters out all the harmful reflective blue light you get over the ocean and helps cut through the glare a lot more while the grey or amber lens gives great contrast for scanning large areas and spotting fish. 

Poor Light Conditions 

On cloudy days when there isn’t enough light to cut through the water and show what’s underneath, the best lenses to use are yellow with a silver mirror. 

The yellow lenses and silver mirror make the bottom light up with great contrast in low light conditions and the silver mirror lets more light in than the blue mirror or green mirror, giving you a brighter image when you need it. 

Polarization 

Not all polarized lenses are made equal, some are better or worse than others, but why? 

The quality of polarized lenses come from the lens materials to begin with, glass being the best and polycarbonate second. 

Then it’s about the quality of the polarized film and how it’s put on.

NOTE

The film should be top-notch and sandwiched between two lenses making sure it’s properly aligned when worn.

Ideal Fishing Sunglasses

Man Unhooking a Fish
Man Unhooking a Fish

The best fishing sunglasses will have polarized lenses with a higher quality polarized film and an anti-reflective inner coating to stop light reflecting off the lenses into your eyes. 

They’ll also use a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating to repel water and oils to make sure your lens is clear at all times.

Price 

You should expect to pay a couple hundred dollars for a good pair of polarized sunglasses for fishing. 

Cheap polarized sunglasses are not a great option as the polarization will be poor quality and will not last. 

Plus the lens materials will be cheap and most likely scratch and crack easily. 

Quality

The more you spend on a pair of sunglasses the better the polarized lenses are going to be and that’s what you need in order to have the best fishing sunglasses.

They’ll be durable, last, and give you the best chance of seeing the fish you’re looking to catch. If you can afford it, going to the higher-priced models is a great option.

Reeling Up

Here’s the top three sunglasses from the lineup…

Thanks for reading my article and I hope your world has been opened up to the value of polarized fishing glasses, they are worth every penny and will improve your fishing.

If you haven’t quite picked a pair from the review yet, here are a few more pointers. 

Top Pick

If you’re looking for all-around quality and style you can’t beat the Smith Optics Basecamps. 

The cut through the water as well as any other pair, they’re durable, affordable, and come in every color you could want for every fishing situation. 

Best Value

Where budget is a concern, or if you’re always breaking your sunglasses, then the Wiley X Nash have you covered. 

They have ballistic rated, shatterproof lenses that no fisherman would ever be able to break using them properly.

Plus their the most affordable, come in the two colors you need for shallow and deep water, and their polarization and UV protection ain’t bad either. 

Editor’s Choice

If you want the best, as I do, then the Maui Jim Peahi sunglasses are the way forward. 

They are the only ones with lenses made of glass and offer superior image clarity so you can see more fish coming.

Plus, the lenses come in every color you could ever need for sight fishing, plus the polarization, UV protection, and durability is excellent.

I hope you have found these polarized sunglasses reviews useful and please share them with anyone else you think might enjoy them.

I’ve also written some others such as ‘the best tarpon fly rod’ which may be helpful to your fishing experience. 

Enjoy your new sunglasses, send me your sunnies and your catches over on my social media channel – I hope you can see every fish that comes your way.

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.
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