Polarized sunglasses are indeed useful for fishing. They reduce glare and help the angler better see into the water to spot fish, habitat, and structure. Professional anglers know this, and you won't find one without polarized sunglasses on the water. Fishing guides also understand the value of polarized lenses. But you don't have to be a pro to take advantage of polarized lenses for fishing. A recreational angler can gain the same advantages.
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It's no secret that polarized sunglasses cut glare and provide sharper, clearer vision. That makes a huge difference on the water. The sun's rays reflect off the water's surface, making it harder to see. Polarized sunglasses cut that glare so fishers can see above the water, and also into the water. Depending on the water's depth, polarized sunglasses often help anglers see all the way to to the bottom. When you know the structure of a shallow lake, pond, or river, as well as submerged rocks, logs, and vegetation—you increase your chances of success. Of course, in certain conditions, seeing the bottom can also help the angler spot fish, such as trout holding in the river current, or a bass near a submerged log. And remember that prescription polarized sunglasses are available if you wear prescription glasses.
Improving your sight and thus improving your angling success is the key advantage to wearing polarized lenses, but it's important to protect your eyesight against ultraviolet light. UV rays can cause permanent damage, and the intense sun coming off the water puts anglers at particular risk. Ensure that your polarized lenses offer 100 percent UV protection. Polarization alone does not protect against UV rays—UV protection is another layer that must be added to the lenses.
There are a few sunglasses manufacturers who specialize in polarized sunglasses for fishing, including Costa Del Mar and Maui Jim. Good fishing sunglasses will also block light entering through the periphery of the frames, so wraparound designs are helpful. And don't forget the strap for your glasses. A short strap allows you to remove your fishing sunglasses when you need to, and keeps them out of the way while you're trying to land a fish, or release that fish back into the water. Some straps also have flotation built in, giving you an extra measure of security if they somehow get knocked into the water.
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