Best Sunglasses for Fishing

If there’s ever a crucial time when you need sunglasses, its when you’re out fishing all day in the bright sunshine. Choosing the best sunglasses for fishing is important for your health, but in more ways than you might expect. In this article we’ll break down the different types of shades, reasons for different colored lenses, and the best scenarios to wear them. This way you’ll be sure to have the best sunglasses for the right occasion.

Safety first

A huge safety precaution that sunglasses play a major role in but most people don’t even consider is the dangers of getting a hook in the eye. Sounds unlikely but it actually happens more often than people might think. Getting a hook in the eye is far worse than getting a hook almost anywhere else since it can result in blindness. If that happens, you can kiss that fishing hobby goodbye, among all the other great things vision provides you in your life. We recommend a quality pair of sunglasses with real glass lenses to protect the eyes from hooks flying around.

The second safety precaution, and far more obvious, is to protect your eyes from damage incurred by ultraviolet radiation, and uncomfortably bright glare. Ultraviolet radiation, or UV rays, penetrate your eye from the sunlight. Too much of the harmful UV rays can result in long term damage to your vision. We recommend always buying lenses with 100% UV ray protection and don’t assume that just because they are dark tinted lenses that they protect the eyes more than lighter lenses. Be sure the lenses come with a UV protection sticker when you buy them otherwise the dark tints will give you the illusion of eye safety, but in reality you are still experiencing all the harmful effects even worse than if you were wearing no sunglasses at all.

After UV protection, the next most important thing to consider is Polarized lenses and their tint or color. What is a polarized lens you might ask? It’s a type of sunglass lens with a filter on it that significantly reduces glare reflecting off water. Think of it this way; the good light we use to see objects in our vision is vertical light. The bad light that is blinding is horizontal light, usually caused by a distortion of light waves bouncing around in different directions of a reflective surface such as water, snow, windows, sand, or asphalt. Polarized lenses have a filter on them that block out most of the horizontal light, while allowing the good vertical light to pass through so we can still see clearly. This is not only important for health, but it’s a huge advantage or fishing because when the glare is reduced, you can see through the water’s surface allowing you to spot fish and other creatures lurking around you. We recommend always wearing polarized lenses when you’re fishing, for essentially every scenario.

Grey and Brown/ Amber lenses

These are the best colors for everyday use, and everyday conditions. They’ll work great on a bright day and good on an overcast day. Don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need shades on a cloudy day. They can still cause strain on your eyes and you can still experience most of the same harmful effects from ultraviolet radiation even if it’s not sunny out. Amber is also good for enhancing contrast and depth perception, while grey lenses are better for minimizing even more glare off the water and providing a true color perception while minimizing brightness in your eyes. They’re also probably the best overall for seeing clearly through the water and identifying the objects or fish around you. When in doubt, go with amber or grey lenses.

Green and Blue lenses

Similar to grey and amber lenses, green and blue are good everyday use tints but I wouldn’t recommend them over amber or grey if you had to pick between the two. Blue lenses are fairly trendy right now, so if style is important to you then we definitely recommend picking up a pair of nice polarized blue sporty surf style sunglasses. Green lenses provide some added value by reducing glare but also brightening shadows which is great for enhancing contrast especially in low light conditions.

Yellow and red lenses

These color lenses we would not typically recommend for fishing in particular, although they can offer some added value in certain situations. The nice thing about yellow lenses is they offer clear vision in overcast, cloudy days, and also filter out blue light which can accompany UV rays from the sun, but is also emitted from electronic devices as well. Red lenses can improve visual depth and provides the greatest amount of contrast which can help to identify objects under the water but it will still depend on the angle of the glare, if any, reflecting off the water. So again, in certain situations the yellow or red lenses can help, but the majority of the time it would be best to stick to amber or grey.

Frame Choice

Another important factor to consider with your sunglasses is the frames. The two major considerations are comfort and function. We personally think the best sunglass frames for fishing are floating sunglasses, a huge help for long days out on the water so you don’t lose your precious shades if they fall in. Next is comfort. Just like lenses, not all frames are created equal and finding a pair that fits can be the difference of a fun day on the water with your boys, or a aggravating day of eyesore and headaches. This might sound dramatic but its true. Find frames that fit the width of your head, comfortably. You want them firm enough so they don’t fall off when you look down, but not so tight that they press hard against your temples. Sunglass frames that are too tight can lead to headaches and a nagging pain just above your ears. Another thing to look for is how it sits on the bridge of your nose. We all have different shapes and bumps on the bridge of our nose, and some sunglasses just fit much better than others. The bridge of the nose should be a snug and comfortable fit but again, not too tight otherwise it will rub against and irritate the skin. This is especially common if your nose is moist from water or sweat.