Anglers understand the importance of having a good pair of shades. Polarized sunglasses come in handy whenever you’re fishing under the sun. Having one of the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing is as crucial as life vests and good quality reels. Without it, fishing can easily be a dud.
We’ll help you find the best option for you in this article.
Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses
Here are the most sought-after and well-performing eyewear available today:
1. Costa Del Mar Rincon Sunglasses
First on our list is a favorite among serious anglers as it allows them to sight fish quickly. The Rincon model has excellent scratch resistance and is able to repel oil, grease, and water.
A lot of glasses aren’t effective in muddy water. They also get damaged easily and don’t provide the quality and experience that the best eyewear for sight fishing offers.
All these issues and more are wiped away by the Rincon. It’s made for use offshore, deep-sea, and inshore, so it’s safe to say it’s an ironman!
A pair of Rincon is polarized and its color range provides you with several options suitable for various kinds of fishing applications. The size is quite large, too, so you would definitely like its fit if you have a medium to large size head.
2. Strike King Okeechobee Sunglasses
Okeechobee Polarized Sunglasses are an incredibly reliable and effective low-light pair of shades.
It does a great job at providing a clear view for sight fishing as it eliminates glare. Fishing for hours will no longer put a strain on your eyes with these glasses.
These sunglasses, however, aren’t that great at resisting scratches. But, with the price tag, you certainly won’t lose any sleep should they get scratched or when you lose them.
With this pair, you’ll get what you’ve paid for and more as the lenses are polarized.
3. Costa Del Mar Blackfin Round Sunglasses
Another favorite among anglers and one of the best-selling Costa products, the Blackfin sports a popular round frame. It also has over 14 color variants so you can choose one that best suits your color preference.
Blackfin polarized shades are mostly what you see veterans wear for the comfort and quality that they offer. The Blackfin is reliable and durable, not to mention the fact that it offers a good level of protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
There’s less weight to this product as it’s made of 580 polycarbonates for the lenses and the frame has a bio-based nylon material construction.
Apart from being lightweight, it’s also guaranteed to last you an entire lifetime, provided it’s maintained and cared for properly. As for the clarity, it’s standard for Costa shades which most know to be excellent.
4. Oakley Sliver XL Rectangular Sunglasses
This is the product that we can’t resist trying out from its style. They have a rather athletic appearance that contributes to this pair’s elegance and distinctiveness.
As soon as you open the box, its quality is evident, plus the results were also incredible! It’s lightweight and offers a clearer vision when used outdoors.
The razor-sharp vision it provides can feel like you are looking at your surroundings with the naked eye.
The polycarbonate lens material is also a great protector against blue light and UV radiation for up to 400 mm. If your eyes are sensitive, its rectangular shape will be perfect in providing a wider coverage.
5. Under Armour Assist Sunglasses
If you’re a sports enthusiast, then you may recognize the brand, Under Armour.
Apart from creating excellent sports gear, they’re also a producer of some of the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing, including the Under Armour Assist.
We can say they’re very reliable and durable. You can choose to wear it to any fishing event of yours and you wouldn’t regret it as it’s polarized without any doubt.
It cuts through the glare to let you see it all! What we love most with this eyewear is the fact that it has screwless cam-lock hinges. This makes it able to provide a good fit and next-level comfort.
6. Smith Caper Sunglasses
The Smith Caper is secure eyewear well-equipped to let its user handle life while on the go.
If you’re on the lookout for sight fishing shades that you can also wear when you’re running through the neighborhood or even when you’re on a vacation abroad, these shades are a great choice.
The Smith Caper Sunglasses have ChromaPop polarized lenses which are available in different contrasts and colors.
They’re also very protective. The secure fit is due to the fully rubberized nose pads that help the glasses in places regardless of the weather condition. Although they’re quite tight for bigger heads, they’re still comfortable even when we wore them all day.
7. Smith Barra Sunglasses
The Smith Barra has successfully blended form with function. It caters to anglers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers.
Smith Optics has managed to provide quality eyewear while ensuring it looks damn good while on the trail. We’ve found that it has maximized its user’s level of comfort with its auto-lock hinges and large visual coverage.
The nose pads are nearly flush against the frame so they don’t dig into your nose bridge. The ear tips are rubberized for a snug fit while you move around or change positions. But, the main element which goes into delivering a superior visual experience would be the ChromaPop lens.
It’s polarized and finished with multi-layer mirroring and anti-scratching. The lenses on the Smith Barra are able to preserve color perception and optimize optical clarity.
8. SPY Optic Hielo Sunglasses
Last on our list, but definitely not the least, is the SPY Optic Hielo model.
This excellent piece of eyewear has 8-base polycarbonate ARC lenses that provide added optical performance.
It has a low profile and offers 100% UV protection which means it can reduce eye fatigue and help prevent long-term eye damage.
The frame features the highest quality high-grade propionate, which means it’s not only durable but lightweight as well. As if all that wasn’t enough, it also has an extra trendy look!
How to Choose the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Sight Fishing
Owning the best sunglasses to see fish in the water can save you from various dreadful situations. But, while you’re on the quest of finding the right one for you, there are a couple of things that are crucial for you to take into consideration.
They are as follows:
This is one of the essential factors to consider whenever you’re choosing between different products on our list of the best polarized fishing sunglasses. The frame’s design and shape can have an impact on the longevity of your sunglasses.
Two of the popular styles of polarized fishing sunglasses are sports and aviator. Aviator sunglasses are both stylish and comfortable. But, they are easier to break compared to a pair of plastic-framed sunglasses.
The slender metal construction of an aviator opens it up to quite a number of possible casualties like being sat on or dropped. Aviators also have a lot more moving parts that can lead to broken hinges, lost screws, loose nose guards, etc.
This is why the sports style with a solid plastic frame is usually the best choice for anglers. The flexibility of this type of sunglasses eliminates the chance of it breaking.
A majority also come in the wrap-around style that aids in blocking the rays and glare of the sun out of your peripheral vision. As for their cost, they’re about the same.
You may be wondering if you really need to get $200 sunglasses or you can just settle for the ones that you can pick up at a local shop. With cheap and expensive polarized sunglasses, the biggest difference between them is how they’ll hold up over the years.
Out of their packaging, less expensive sunglasses for sight fishing will work as well as ones that you’d have to splurge on. But, here’s the catch: time will most definitely take its toll and your cheap sunglasses will deteriorate quickly.
While Maui Jims or Costas sunglasses will last you a lifetime, cheaper shades won’t make it past the first year of you using them.
If you’ll only be fishing once a year, then you can make do with a less expensive pair. This means that a cheap pair you can get from your local superstores can work just fine.
But, if you’re among the fortunate ones who can get out on fishing trips more often and you’re a little more serious about landing different species, then, we highly recommend you spring for one of the best sight fishing sunglasses that your budget allows. The good news is that they’ll be able to pay for themselves down the road.
The fit will be based on the shape of your face. Remember that even when you have good polarized sunglasses for fishing, it can still give you a massive headache if it has a poor fit. Your shades must match your face shape and be comfortable even when you wear them until the sun goes down.
Contrary to what fishing sunglasses brands would have you think, there’s no one size that can fit all face shapes.
For instance, for oval faces, sunglasses suitable for them won’t fit those with smaller faces. Also, people with bigger heads aren’t going to fit into sunglasses that are intended for smaller faces.
We suggest you read online reviews related to the fit of the sunglasses that you’ve shortlisted. As you’ll be ordering online from the convenience store, make sure that you buy from a brand that accepts returns/refunds should you find that the glasses you ordered don’t have a good fit when they arrive on your doorstep.
Type of Lens
There are two kinds of lenses used in creating the best polarized fishing sunglasses: glass and polycarbonate.
Glass lenses provide a clearer viewing experience compared to polycarbonate, and they also don’t scratch as easily compared to their polycarbonate counterparts. That being said, there’s quite a huge price difference between glass and polycarbonate.
Glass is significantly more expensive. Not just that, they can crack just like an egg when you drop them. Glass lenses are great, but you need to be very careful with them.
This is the most commonly used type of lens. It’s plastic, so it’s super strong, plus it’s great at resisting scratches.
The best thing about this material would be its price. It’s much less expensive compared to glass lenses plus it’s less likely to damage when you drop it.
As for its clarity, it doesn’t provide as clear of a viewing experience compared to glass lenses but some would argue that the difference in clarity doesn’t justify spending extra hundred dollars for glass. In our opinion, it’s all about personal preference.
If you’re on a tight budget, you’re prone to dropping stuff, and/or you don’t want to be stressing over the possibility of you breaking your sunglasses, then get a great pair of polycarbonate polarized sunglasses for sight fishing.
The last crucial factor to consider when you’re choosing between different fishing sunglasses that are suitable for sight fishing is the lens color.
Do you get the one with the gray, amber, or perhaps the blue-colored lens? Is there one lens color that can work perfectly in any condition?
While there are a lot of lens colors you can choose from, the main colors you can look at through your lens are copper and gray or smoke.
Mirrored exterior for lenses is important in preventing glare from damaging your eyes but they’re also mainly for show only.
Most gray or smoke lenses for polarized sunglasses have a blue, mirrored exterior.
They’re best for when you are fishing on a bright sunny day as they will only let approximately 10 percent of the glare from the sun penetrate your viewing area. They’re the go-to for offshore fishermen for deep water fishing.
Copper lenses come with green, mirrored exterior lenses that work best in a low-light setting with murkier water.
They are great for inshore anglers with an inshore fishing reel. By allowing up to 12 percent of light to enter, they’re the most versatile. You can also add amber, rose, and vermilion in this category.
If possible, match the lens color with conditions specific to where you will be fishing. This includes the color or state of the water.
Although you can’t control the amount of sunlight that mother nature provides, you should know what’s appropriate for you to use depending on whether you’re sight fishing in Florida or fishing 20 miles offshore with blue waters.
If you’re an avid angler and you frequently venture offshore but you also love targeting inshore species, we recommend getting two different pairs of polarized sunglasses: one copper-based and the other gray-based.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I test for polarization on my sunglasses?
The best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing absorb the horizontal light waves effectively while allowing minimal vertical waves to get through the lenses.
There’s a quick test you can undertake to determine the polarization of your sunglasses and that’s with the use of a computer screen.
Take your glasses and put the lenses against your computer screen horizontally. You should be able to still view your screen through them. Now, try rotating your glasses vertically. The lenses will turn black if they’re polarized.
What is the proper way to care for my polarized fishing sunglasses?
Below are tips that can help prevent losing your glasses and care for them to ensure they’re in good shape and for you to get the most use out of your new investment.
- Wet the lenses first before you start cleaning them.
- Only use a piece of microfiber cloth in cleaning your lenses. A pair of quality polarized sunglasses will come with the best material for cleaning your shades.
- Never use a paper towel, your shirt, or a napkin in cleaning your glasses as this can result in unnecessary scratching.
- Always be mindful of how you’re storing your sunglasses when you’re not using them. As much as possible, keep them in their protective case whenever you’re not wearing them.
- Try to avoid placing your shades in the most precarious places like your dashboard. Just take a second to place them in proper storage.
- Don’t lay your glasses on a surface face down.
- If possible, place your glasses in just one area of your house every time you arrive from a fishing trip.
- Keep your glasses close to you as this can help avoid losing or damaging them.
- Check out accessories for your sunglasses like sunglass retainers as they can keep you from putting them down in general.
- For women, don’t store your glasses in your purse when they’re not in their case yet. This is especially if there are already too many objects inside the bag that can damage your shades.
Are the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing necessary?
Yes, they serve two primary purposes: eye protection and increased visibility.
Quality polarized shades will protect your eyes from UV damage. As your time spent outdoors increases, the importance of having sufficient eye protection from the sun’s UV rays also increases. According to NIH, ultraviolet light exposure is associated with retinal degeneration and cataract formation.
In both cases, it’s hypothesized that UV rays can initiate free radical formation which causes lipid peroxidation and protein modification.
Several procedures are recommended to prevent UV light damage, and this includes the use of a suitable pair of protective sunglasses whenever outdoors. For maximum protection, make sure that your shades are rated 100% UV light protection.
Additionally, polarized sunglasses can shield your eyes from foreign objects such as a fly on a backcast or a tree branch.
The ability to see beneath the surface of the water will let anglers be more effective and a lot safer on water.
Polarization of sunglasses restricts vibrations. This means the vibrations of light are reduced so you can see even on a bright sunny day.
The best polarized sunglasses allow anglers to:
- See underwater with enhanced visibility, which can help wade safer, and avoid obstructions such as logs and boulders
- Spot fish and be more effective at determining the best way to catch them without spooking them
We’ve thoroughly evaluated hundreds of polarized shades available today and we’ve concluded that the best from our list of the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing is none other than the Costa Del Mar Rincon Sunglasses.
This is because it can accompany anglers to the darkest and brightest of places and still provide a clear vision.
It’s also capable of shielding the eyes against harmful ultraviolet radiation. Get a pair to see for yourself!