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Best Fishing Sunglasses

Chris Riley by Chris Riley Updated on July 24, 2020. In Fishing

If you’re planning on heading out on the water, you need to equip yourself with the best fishing sunglasses.

Not just any old pair of shades will do. While most sunglasses will do their part when it comes to protecting you from dust, sand, wind, and other elements, being on the water presents unique challenges. Unfortunately, your regular pair of aviators won’t be able to hold up to the challenge.

Investing in sunglasses that are specifically designed for fishing is key, as they can protect your peepers from the harsh rays of the sun, along with the glare reflected off the water. A great pair will even help you detect hazards, obstacles, and fish swimming about in the water.

How do you know what to look for? In our guide to the best fishing sunglasses, we will tell you everything you need to know. 

1. Costa Del Mar Men's Saltbreak Rectangular Sunglasses

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Costa Del Mar is one of the leading brands when it comes to polarized sunglasses that are great for fishing, and these polarized shades are no exception. They’re expensive, but you won’t mind spending the extra money when you learn about all of their benefits. These are some of the best polarized sunglasses for fishing you will find. 

Designed specifically for fishermen and women, these sunglasses are durable and stylish. They are available in five different lens colors (white, tortoise, black, silver, blackout, and blue/light crystal) so you’re sure to find the pair that works well in any kind of setting or lighting condition. 

The frames are made out of lightweight, CO-injected bio-based nylon. Frames are available only in one color – matte black – but weigh only a pound. 

With these sunglasses, you’ll be guaranteed protection from both HEV and UV light. They’re also backed by a limited lifetime warranty, so you don’t have to worry about anything happening to your sunglasses. To prevent damages, though, Costa Del Mar does send each customer a case and cleaning cloth.

The Saltbreak Sunglasses are made in the United States and are both scratch-and impact-resistant. They are just durable enough without being too heavy on your nose. 

Pros

  • Scratch- and impact- resistant
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
  • Lightweight yet durable

Cons

  • Might be too large for narrow faces

2. Maui Jim World Cup Wrap Sunglasses

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Investing in wrap sunglasses is a smart choice because it can reduce the amount of light that gets between your head and your frames. These wrap sunglasses by Maui Jim don’t come cheap, but they’re definitely worth every penny.

These sunglasses are made in-house – Maui Jim is a company that handles most of its manufacturing itself. They’re equipped with state-of-the-art Polarized Plus 2 technology that really stretches the limits of polarization. You’re rewarded with an excellent pair of sunglasses with the ability to protect your eyes even in the kind of direct, intense sunlight you’d get when looking straight at the sun (although doing so is definitely not recommended!

Not only that, but these sunglasses come with exceptional 100% UV protection. No matter what kind of conditions you’re fishing in, you’re guaranteed to be able to see your fishing rod and reel (and stay comfortable) with these superb shades. 

The frame is made out of flexible, durable plastic that offers comfort along with impact resistance. Plus, it’s somewhat wider than the average frame, meaning it will work well even for people who have larger-than-average head sizes. 

The Polarized Plus 2 coating also helps to enhance clarity and allows for scratch resistance. Although we normally wouldn’t recommend sunglasses with a coating (as it can chip and peel away) this coating is unique in that it’s built to last and offers substantial additional protection. 

At less than 8 ounces, these sunglasses are also lightweight. No more worries about them flying off your head as you’re reeling in the catch of a lifetime!

Pros

  • Stylish and fashionable with a face-hugging fit
  • Plastic and nylon frames available 
  • Made on-site in Hawaii

Cons

  • Glass lenses are prone to breakage

3. Oakley Men's Oo9096 Fuel Cell Rectangular Sunglasses

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Another great pick when it comes to the best fishing sunglasses is this pair by Oakley. Made in the United States, these fishing sunglasses are backed by an impressive two-year manufacturers’ warranty. 

When you buy, you’ll not only get the sunglasses themselves, but you’ll receive a designer case and a cleaning cloth. 

The sunglasses themselves are made out of O Matter plastic, with black frames that are stylish for both men and women. The polarized lenses are unique because they are made out of plutonite, which is durable. The sunglasses also contain materials like polycarbonate and plastic.

Every pair of Oakley sunglasses is equipped with state-of-the-art HDO technology that offers all the benefits you’re looking for in a good pair of fishing sunglasses, including UV protection, refraction, and clarity. 

These trendy shades offer comfort and durability. Although they’re a bit heavier than some of the other options reviewed in this article, tipping the scales at 1.3 ounces, you will still barely notice that they are there. 

These fishing sunglasses are perfect for all settings, as their polarized lenses cut the blinding glare from the water without impacting the way you perceive colors. 

Pros

  • Five different lens colors available
  • Comes with a cleaning cloth and designer case
  • 100% protection from the harmful rays of the sun

Cons

  • Lenses are easy to scratch

4. REKS Unbreakable SLING-BLADE Sunglasses

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If you’re like most people, you probably have a hard time hanging on to sunglasses for the longterm. From leaving them behind on the boat to dropping them into the water, sunglasses can sustain all kinds of damage. These polarized sunglasses by Reks won’t help you remember where you left your shades (or stop you from stepping on them!) but they will help you get more life out of a pair of lenses. 

These sunglasses are marketed as unbreakable because they are incredibly difficult to damage. They are designed with BPA-free composite frames, which are said to have some of the best elasticity. 

They also have two super durable lenses that are equipped with anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings. Again, coatings are usually ill-advised when you’re shopping for polarized sunglasses, but these are truly the exception to the rule. 

They offer excellent protection against UV rays with UV-400 certification. The polarization on the lenses allows you to look directly at the water, regardless of how cloudless or bright it is. These shades will really help you take your fishing game to the next level! 

The Reks Unbreakable Sling-Balde Sunglasses are impact-resistant and strong – consider picking up a pair today

Pros

  • Lenses can completely mirror the light
  • 100% UV-400 protection
  • Frames made out of durable, lightweight, and flexible BPA composite

Cons

  • Not truly indestructible – they can break over time

5. Flying Fisherman Maverick Polarized Sunglasses

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These shades by Flying Fisherman are some of the best polarized fishing sunglasses you will find – plus, they’re offered at a fraction of the price of competitors. 

Although they only block up to 95% of UVA and UVB rays (not the maximum level of UVA and UVB protection you will find) they do a great job of reducing the glare from the water with their polarized lenses. Just don’t look directly up at the sky, as you won’t be fully protected (again – not something we recommend anyway)!

Not only that, but these sunglasses have a unique auburn tint to the lenses. This helps eliminate blue light penetration and also gives your vision a somewhat yellow cast when you look through. 

The frames are lightweight and designed to fully fit your nose, unlike some that slide forward and backward depending on how you are built.

With a lightweight feel and design (they weigh less than 3 ounces!) these are some of the best sunglasses if you’re on a budget. Plus, they’re backed by a one-year limited warranty. 

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Full nose bridge coverage 
  • Backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty

Cons

  • Not 100% UV protected

6. Maui Jim Hot Sands Rectangular Sunglasses

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With a design inspired by one of the most popular surf destinations in Lahaina on the Hawaiian Islands, these sunglasses are sporty and high-performing.

They are perfect for people who enjoy partaking in outdoor activities- including fishing. They offer a 99% reduction in glare that is perfect for when you’re spending time out on the boat, but also holds up to snow and sand, too, for increased visibility in all conditions.

You’ll enjoy wonderful eye protection with Maui Jim’s exclusive PolarizedPlus technology. You’ll feel safe and protected from the harmful UV rays regardless of where you go. They can be used in a variety of weather conditions, regardless of whether it’s sunny or cloudy outside. 

At less than an ounce, these sunglasses are some of the most lightweight you will find. They offer the ability for you to enjoy clear, sharp views without having to don a pair of unattractive duds. They are comfortable to wear and perfect for all kinds of sports – and not just fishing.

Pros

  • Designed specifically with athletes in mind
  • Polarized lenses help provide excellent clarity 
  • Lightweight at 0.96 ounces

Cons

  • Some customers don’t like the tight fit of these sunglasses around their nose and eyes

7. Kaenon Burnet Mid Sunglasses

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Although there’s plenty to love about all of the leading polarized sunglasses we’ve told you about so far, you have to admit – it’s easy to get sick of the bland black designs. These sunglasses by Kaenon take style to a whole new level, offering anglers a more unique design and appearance.

They’re made with classic tortoiseshell frames, allowing you to stay stylish at all times. They are polarized and incredibly comfortable to wear.

The frame is super lightweight – the entire pair comes in at less than 5 ounces – and sit well on any face. The shades are equipped with Variflex nose pads that increase your level of comfort when wearing sunglasses all day, too.

There are six styles you can choose from, with the polarization tinting and magnitudes varying depending which one you select. However, no matter which style you pick, rest assured in knowing that all are lightweight and equipped with corrosion-resistant metal hinges. 

Pros

  • Durable and corrosion-resistant
  • Some of the most stylish polarized sunglasses you will find
  • Built-in nose pads improve comfort

Cons

  • Shape doesn’t work well for all faces

Buying Guide: What To Look for When Shopping for Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

Not all fishing sunglasses are built alike. Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping for your next pair. 

Frame

There are all kinds of choices when it comes to frames, with different sizes and shapes to suit any preference. It’s up to you to decide which shape, color, and style you like the best. You may want to try them on to see which frames work best with your facial features and shape.

You are going to want a pair of sunglasses with lightweight rims. These will fit your face better and are more likely to stay on your face without sliding off. They are often more durable, too, although that’s not always the case. 

If you plan on wearing prescription glasses underneath your polarized fishing sunglasses, you may want to look for a pair that have wide frames to accommodate for the extra gap.

Lens Build

A good set of lenses is the crux of your polarized fishing sunglasses. You need to pay special attention to the lenses you use. Ultimately, there are two types of lenses – glass and polycarbonate. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. 

Polycarbonate lenses, though lightweight and less fragile than glass lenses, are prone to becoming scratched over time. While glass lenses are heavier and fragile, they’re less likely to become scratched. 

Consider your preferences and try out multiple types to get an idea of which is best for you. 

Lens Color 

In addition to the way your lenses are built, you’re also going to want to look closely at the color. Believe it or not, you can buy the best fishing sunglasses in a wide assortment of colors. It’s not just about looks, either. Different colors of polarized lenses can offer visibility in a vast array of situations. 

For example, the color gray will give your sunglasses a neutral tone. It’s the most versatile color and lets all wavelengths of light filter equally into your eyes with minimal distortion. If you plan on fishing in a freshwater setting, grey lenses are ideal.

If you do a lot of fishing in overcast weather, amber shades may be a better choice. These will filter the light into your eyes and will heighten the contrast so you can see more in dim lighting. You’ll be able to fish comfortably at any time of day.

Green lenses, like gray lenses, are good in most situations. They will protect your eyes in direct sunlight and they can also give you some contrast on cloudier days. They’re also good for fishing in murky water, since they filter out some brown light. 

Finally, yellow lenses work well when you are fishing in the shade. They aren’t great for wearing in direct sunlight, as they can magnify the impact of the harsh lighting. 

Those aren’t the only colors you will have to choose from, but some of the most common lens colors you’ll find on polarized fishing sunglasses today.

One other option to consider is photochromic lenses. Also known as transition lenses, photochromic lenses adjust to various levels of light so you don’t have to take them off inside. They can adjust to darker lighting when you drive your boat into a bit of shade, or when the day becomes rainier or more overcast, too. 

Lens Coating

Some sunglasses are coated, which can save you some money as coated lenses tend to be cheaper. However, keep in mind that the coatings can come off when your lenses are scratched. 

If you’re hard on your shades, you may want to opt for sunglasses that have protective features embedded into the lenses instead. It will cost more money, but your reward will be a pair of sunglasses that holds up for quite a bit longer.

Prescription

If your eyesight is poor and you wear glasses, you may want to invest in prescription polarized lenses. These can be hard to find, but they’ll eliminate the need for you to wear your regular spectacles in addition to fishing sunglasses at the same time. 

Eye Protection

Whenever possible, invest in fishing sunglasses that offer th best level of protection for your eyes. Direct UV rays can be quite damaging to your eyes. Even in dim lighting, UV rays can still harm your health. 

Look for sunglasses that offer high-rated UV protection and always opt for full coverage. The more coverage, the better – that way, you’ll be able to handle the many changing angles of light throughout the day.

Materials

When shopping for polarized sunglasses for fishing, pay close attention to the materials out of which they are made. There are all kinds of materials you can choose from, including metal, nylon, plastic, and even PVC. 

Each offers distinct benefits, features, and disadvantages. Some are more lightweight than others, while certain materials might feel more comfortable on your face. 

For example, metal is more durable than plastic, but it could rust. Plastic is also less durable, but prevents rust due to the corrosive effect of the saltwater spray. 

Build

It’s hard to evaluate the build of a pair of sunglasses without holding them in your hand, but read some customer reviews while you’re shopping around to give yourself a good idea. You’re going to want a pair of fishing sunglasses that is sturdy and well-built. The hinges of the shades, in particular, are worth examining.

You may also want to check out the lenses. Make sure they are resistant to scratches, cracking, and smudges. Although you may have to pay more for this kind of durability, trust us – it’s worth it. 

Which is the Best Pair of Fishing Sunglasses? 

Any of these fishing sunglasses should do the trick, depending on your needs and preferences, but personally, we like the sunglasses Costa Del Mar makes for fishing best. These are some of the best polarized fishing sunglasses for all light conditions, and Costa Del Mar has a fantastic reputation when it comes to fishing sunglasses and other gear, too. 

The final decision is yours, though, and any of these excellent picks should get the job done for you.

A pair of fishing sunglasses can either make or break your day out there on the water. While the ideal pair will allow you to enjoy everything the day throws your way, an ill-fitting or poorly-designed pair of fishing sunglasses can lead to headaches, discomfort, and lost fish.

No matter which of these options you decide on, rest assured that any of these can easily become the best pair of fishing sunglasses to meet all of your angling needs. 

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