Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fishing
If your eyes have been fortunate enough to view aquatic life through a high-quality pair of polarized fishing sunglasses, then you know their benefits first-hand. There is no mistaking the advantage provided by a good pair of fishing sunglasses.
The best fishing sunglasses can bring out incredible detail, subsurface structure, and the big fish feeding down deep in the water column.
When you need to spot fish and place your cast with accuracy, the contrast between cheap and reputable polarized sunglasses will be night and day.
That is why the Fly Fishing Atlas team provides our in-depth comparison with a variety of polarized fishing glasses that will perform for your most demanding sight fishing opportunities.
Why Wear Polarized Fishing Sunglasses?
Whether you are hitting the saltwater flats or a crystal clear creek, when that one-time opportunity swims into casting range you want to be able to spot it as soon as possible. Placing the perfect cast is up to you, but without a good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses that big fish will either go swimming off or get spooked before you notice it. You are likely to be quite shocked with what you are able to see when you try sight fishing with quality fishing sunglasses.
Polarized fishing sunglasses play another very important role: providing eye protection. They can prevent eye injury, which can be a particular concern while false casting during windy fly fishing outings, or when you are dealing with blowing sand in the surf.
But the primary protection they provide is in blocking UV light, which can be particularly harmful on the water. With the sun overhead, and the water reflecting UV light up from below, you are taking UV light from all directions. Quality polarized fishing sunglasses block nearly all UV light.
Even in cloudy or slightly colored water, the surface glare hides subtle details that you cannot see without polarized sunglasses. These important details might be as small as being able to notice an insect hatch, or even a giant brook trout finning in the slack water 30 feet upstream. These subtle benefits add to your overall vision and can make you a much more effective angler.
Top Polarized Sunglasses Comparison Chart
Best Fishing Sunglasses
If you are already familiar with polarized fishing glasses then you won’t be surprised that our top choice for polarized fishing sunglasses went to Smith Action Optics. Their fishing sunglasses just cut through the water, and provide a level of clarity not seen in other polarized sunglasses.
Our sibe-by-side test with the Smith Lowdown 2 Sunglasses with with ChromaPop lenses was both impressive and memorable. The sun was creating a significant glare on the water and these polarized sunglasses nearly removed the glare entirely. In fact, we were even able to spot a few good fish that were all but entirely unseen previously.
Smith ChromaPop technology filters specific light wavelengths that are a common cause of color confusion by the human eye. This allows ChromaPop lenses to provide incredible detail, more natural color and clarity which provides unparalleled definition.
Smith Lowdown 2 ChromaPop Pros:
- Non-corrosive Rugged Design
- Great Style For Daily Use
- Top Quality Lenses
- Good Selection of Lens Colors
Smith Lowdown 2 ChromaPop Cons:
- Not much to complain about here!
Most anglers will want to use their polarized sunglasses in a variety of environments. Good sight fishing isn’t just a freshwater pursuit, but often the saltwater flats can offer incredible sight fishing opportunities as well. Thankfully these sunglasses are well suited for saltwater or freshwater, with plastic frames that won’t corrode from constant exposure to the elements.
Smith really nailed the sizing variety as well. Being well aware that anglers need polarized sunglasses that fit comfortably, Smith makes multiple sizes of the Lowdown 2 for just this issue: the Lowdown 2 Slim is for smaller faces, as well as a Lowdown 2 XL for larger face fits, in addition to the original Lowdown model. A little something for everyone!
Smith Optics are well known in fishing circles worldwide for their performance and quality. We are big fans of these fishing sunglasses and feel Smith Lowdown 2’s with ChromaPop lenses are terrific polarized sunglasses for sight fishing. We highly recommend!
Here is a look at the Smith Lowdown 2 style and design:
- Square - round frame shape with Medium-Large fit/coverage
- Polarized, Hydrophilic megol temple pads for a secure fit
- Auto-lock hinges, Hydrophilic Megol nose pads, and evolve frame material
- 4 base lens Curvature
- 55 lens width x 16 nose width x 145 Temple length
If you are look for quality polarized sunglasses you won’t get far without looking at a pair of Oakley’s. Oakley Holbrook fishing shades landed our second spot for best polarized fishing sunglasses, and they earned it.
First of all, these are a really affordable pair of high-quality fishing sunglasses. With prices hovering just over the $100 mark, you’re not likely to match this level of quality to the same price point elsewhere.
Secondly, Oakley High Definition Optics offer a truer image by minimizing distortions like magnification and refraction. Other lenses can be deceptive and make objects appear to be positioned incorrectly. When you’re setting up that perfect cast, you want it to land exactly on point, and Oakley Holbrook Sunglasses make it happen.
Oakley Holbrook Polarized Sunglasses Pros
- Tremendous Value for the Quality
- Good Frame Color Variety
- Good Lens Color Variety
- Stylish on or off the water
Oakley Holbrook Polarized Sunglasses Cons
- Plastic Frames Without Nose or Ear Pads
These sunglasses offer a really unique variety of frame colors as well as lens colors. The frames are all plastic so you don’t have to worry about corrosion in the surf or on the flats.
Oakley is far from a new-comer to producing top-notch sunglasses and it shows in the smart and comfortable design of Oakley Holbrook sunglasses. If you are in the market truly quality polarized fishing sunglasses we highly recommend picking up a pair of Oakley Holbrook shades.
- Case included
- Lenses are prescription ready (rx-able)
- Hollbrook is a timeless, classic design infused with modern Oakley technology. Perfect look for performance and style.
Anglers who prefer fishing gear with a well-tested reputation will appreciate the notoriety of Costa Fantail fishing sunglasses. Moreover, these polarized sunglasses offer versatility that can perform in the brightest conditions of the open ocean to the back country trout streams.
When it comes to polarized fishing glasses, clarity is pivotal and allows you to see deep within the water column. Clarity is one of the notable features that characterizes Costa Fantail sunglasses.
The variety of lens colors and frames truly stand out among others in the field. Honestly, there are so many possibilities, it’s almost overwhelming. Fantail’s are available in nearly every color and shade of lens you can imagine, with and without mirror surfacing.
Costa Del Mar Fantail Polarized Sunglasses Pros
- 580 Glass Lenses
- Scratch-proof Mirroring
- Fishing-focused design
- Excellent value for the money
Costa Del Mar Fantail Polarized Sunglasses Cons
- Won’t fit larger profiles
Costa Fantail Sunglasses offer another big plus that you won’t find in polarized shades in this price range: glass lenses. Glass lenses are much more resistant to scratching and Costa encapsulates the mirroring surface between layers of glass. That technique really makes the mirroring scratch-proof altogether.
Of course, you still want to keep those high-quality lenses clear and scratch free for the foreseeable future. Thankfully these fishing sunglasses come standard with a zippered case and cleaning cloth to preserve that long-lasting clarity.
- 580Glass provides the best clarity in material
- Encapsulated mirrors (between layers of glass) are scratch-proof
- 20% thinner and 22% lighter than average Polarized glass
- 100% UV blockage for maximum protection
- 100% polarization kills reflected glare
With a classic aviator look and all the color options of modern fishing sunglasses, Haskill polarized fishing sunglasses from Native Eyewear offer top-notch performance and technology coupled with a stylish design.
Native Eyewear Haskill fishing sunglasses feature advanced N3 lens technology, which provides excellent protection from impact, infrared light, as well as UV protection and filtration.
But Haskill N3 lenses don’t stop at providing top notch eye protection. Sight fishing requires good clarity in fishing sunglasses, and a crisp image so anglers can pick up on subtle details and movements sometimes from pretty far distances. Haskill sunglasses deliver with undistorted, high contrast imaging, with great polarization that keeps with the best polarized fishing sunglasses on the market.
Native Haskill Sunglasses Pros:
- Lightweight Rhyno-Tuff Frames
- Excellent Infrared Light Reduction
- Crystal-clear N3 Lenses
- Lifetime Warranty
Native Haskill Sunglasses Cons
- Won’t Fit Smaller Profiles
We all know how some aviators can over-do it. We’re not looking at a pair of fishing sunglasses that mimic ski goggles here. This frame is a lightweight option, that brings optimal coverage to the table without being just plain huge.
Native Eyewear is known for their tough designs, and Haskill fishing sunglasses continue the tradition, giving the competition a lesson in build quality. And when you leave the water these polarized sunglasses remain fashionable enough for a suit and tie.
- Flex Metal Adjustable Nose pads allow for a more customized fit
- N3 Polarized lenses feature infrared light reduction decreasing eye fatigue
- N3 lenses minimize haze so you get greater clarity color and contrast and are built to withstand serious impact
- Co-injected Rhyno-Tuff Air frames and Cushionol nose pads and temple boots keep your shades in place during athletic activity
- Optimal fit for medium to large profiles
The Oakley Bottle Rocket fishing shades are another top-tier pair of polarized sunglasses, and the only semi-rimless option we reviewed. It is also worth noting that these polarized sunglasses are a particularly popular model among a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts.
With some of the best polarized lenses on the market, Oakley Bottle Rocket sunglasses deliver HD clarity and detail with 99% glare filtration. And you won’t have to worry about these sunglasses becoming uncomfortable since the semi-rimless frames are very lightweight.
We particularly like the lens color and tint of these fishing sunglasses, as they are effective in a variety of applications. Hot sun or cloud cover, the lenses of the Oakley Bottle Rocket sunglasses are more than competent in reducing glare. For heavy fishing in bright sun, Oakley also provides black frames and gray lenses for anglers with that preference.
Oakley Bottle Rocket Polarized Sunglasses Pros:
- Semi-Rimless Frames
- Enhanced Field-of-View
- Comfortable Unobtainium® earsocks
- Highest Quality Polarization
- Top Sports Sunglasses
Oakley Bottle Rocket Polarized Sunglasses Cons:
- Limited Color Selections
These polarized sunglasses provide a great overall fit, and the Unobtainium® earsocks really keep the glasses from slipping and moving even during aggressive movements.
- Oakley Plutonite Lenses offer top UV Protection filtering 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light up to 400mm. The lightweight Plutonite lens material offers superior comfort, clarity & protection against impact and ultraviolet radiation.
- Patented High Definition Optics (HDO) provides superior optical clarity and razor-sharp vision at every angle.
- O Matter stress-resistant frame is lightweight & durable for all-day comfort & protection. Oakley's injection molded thermoplastic O-Matter frame provides improved strength & flexibility over traditional acetate & is built to withstand shifting or deforming over time.
- Unobtanium earsocks and nose pads for increased comfort and performance. Pads increase grip with perspiration to help provide a secure and custom fit.
- Microbag included to clean and store your Oakley sunglasses.
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