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Published May. 27, 2021

Every angler needs a good pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses serve several key functions that not only help you catch fish, but also keep you safe and comfortable during your time on the water. Sunglasses provide UV and sun protection. Polarized sunglasses reduce the surface glare on 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 five of the best fishing sunglasses made for anglers.

What to consider when shopping for 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.

Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses: Costa Blackfin 580G Polarized Sunglasses


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Costa Blackfin 580G Polarized Sunglasses are a high-quality option for the serious angler. 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.

Coverage is crucial

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.

Best Wrap-Around Fishing Sunglasses: RIVBOS Polarized Sports Sunglasses


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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.

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.

Best Low Light Sunglasses: Smith Optics Redding ChromaPop Sunglasses

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.

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.

Best Stylish Fishing Sunglasses: Costa Cut 580P Polarized Sunglasses


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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. 

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 Budget Fishing Sunglasses: KastKing Skidaway Polarized Sport Sunglasses


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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.


Q: What color sunglasses is best for fishing?

It depends mainly on the light conditions. Clear and yellow lenses are best for low light situations. Copper lenses don’t significantly impact the light color, which makes them good for everyday wear. Gray lenses are typically darker and better for bright conditions. Gray lenses often come overlayed with green or blue mirror tints.

Q: Are blue lenses good 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: What are the best polarized sunglasses 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.

The final word on fishing sunglasses

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.